Most are aware, and I have discussed a few times on this blog the requirement, effective January 1, 2014, that Sellers are to complete an Affidavit at closing regarding smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. In lieu of executing such Affidavit Sellers must pay $250.00 to Buyers.

Many Sellers, after advice of counsel, have chosen not to execute the Affidavit and to pay the $250.00. (We have been providing our clients with a letter addressing the risk so that they are undoubtedly aware of the same.) These risks, among others, include concerns that the Sellers were making a warranty regarding the detectors that could hold them (Sellers) responsible should the detectors fail to perform adequately after closing, that most carbon monoxide detectors on the market do not display the statutorily required digital readout, and, representing that the detectors do not “exceed the standards under which such equipment was tested and approved”.

Substitute Senate Bill No. 427 (copy attached) attempts to address some of the issues… This Bill adds language that states “Nothing in the Affidavit shall constitute a warranty beyond the transfer of title”. The Bill further deletes reference to a readout (digital or otherwise) of parts per million on these detectors. Lastly, the Bill deletes the statement that the detectors do not exceed the standards under which such equipment was tested and approved.

Many people will still not feel comfortable in signing the Affidavit, but the legislature has been somewhat responsive to our concerns.

The legislation is effective as of July 1, 2014.*

Thanks for listening.

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