Substitute House Bill No. 5635

Public Act No. 00-179

An Act Requiring Sellers To Include Information On Municipal Assessments In Residential Property Disclosure Reports And Concerning Information About The Residence Address Of Criminals.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 20-327b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, each person who offers residential property in the state for sale, exchange or for lease with option to buy, shall provide a written residential condition report to the prospective purchaser at any time prior to the prospective purchaser's execution of any binder, contract to purchase, option, or lease containing a purchase option. A photocopy, duplicate original, facsimile transmission, or other exact reproduction or duplicate of the written residential condition report containing the prospective purchaser's written receipt shall be attached to any written offer, binder or contract to purchase. A photocopy, duplicate original, facsimile transmission or other exact reproduction or duplicate of the written residential condition report containing the signatures of both seller and purchaser, shall be attached to any agreement to purchase the property.

(b) The following shall be exempt from the provisions of this section: (1) Any transfer from one or more co-owners solely to one or more of [his] the co-owners; (2) transfers made to the spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, child, grandparent or grandchild of the transferor where no consideration is paid; (3) transfers pursuant to an order of the court; (4) transfers of newly-constructed residential real property for which an implied warranty is provided under chapter 827; (5) transfers made by executors, administrators, trustees or conservators; (6) transfers by the federal government, any political subdivision thereof or any corporation, institution or quasi-governmental agency chartered by the federal government; (7) transfers by deed in lieu of foreclosure; (8) transfers by the state of Connecticut or any political subdivision thereof; (9) transfers of property which was the subject of a contract or option entered into prior to January 1, 1996; and (10) any transfer of property acquired by a judgment of strict foreclosure or by foreclosure by sale or by a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

(c) The provisions of this section shall apply only to transfers by sale, exchange or lease with option to buy, of residential real property consisting of not less than one nor more than four dwelling units which shall include cooperatives and condominiums, and shall apply to all transfers, with or without the assistance of a licensed real estate broker or salesperson, as defined in section 20-311, as amended.

(d) (1) [On or before January 1, 1996, the] The Commissioner of Consumer Protection, shall, by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, prescribe the form of the written residential disclosure report required by this section and sections 20-327c to 20-327e, inclusive. The regulations shall provide that the form include information concerning municipal assessments, including, but not limited to, sewer or water charges applicable to the property. Such information shall include: (i) Whether such assessment is in effect and the amount of the assessment; (ii) whether there is an assessment on the property that has not been paid, and if so, the amount of the unpaid assessment; and (iii) to the extent of the seller's knowledge, whether there is reason to believe that the municipality may impose an assessment in the future.

(2) Such form of the written residential disclosure report shall contain the following:

(A) A certification by the seller in the following form:

"To the extent of the seller's knowledge as a property owner, the seller acknowledges that the information contained above is true and accurate for those areas of the property listed. In the event a real estate broker or salesperson is utilized, the seller authorizes the brokers or salespersons to provide the above information to prospective buyers, selling agents or buyers' agents.

.... (Date) .... (Seller)

.... (Date) .... (Seller)"

(B) A certification by the buyer in the following form:

"The buyer is urged to carefully inspect the property and, if desired, to have the property inspected by an expert. The buyer understands that there are areas of the property for which the seller has no knowledge and that this disclosure statement does not encompass those areas. The buyer also acknowledges that the buyer has read and received a signed copy of this statement from the seller or seller's agent.

.... (Date) .... (Buyer)

.... (Date) .... (Buyer)"

(C) A statement concerning the responsibility of real estate brokers in the following form:

"This report in no way relieves a real estate broker of [his or her] the broker's obligation under the provisions of section 20-328-5a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies to disclose any material facts. Failure to do so could result in punitive action taken against the broker, such as fines, suspension or revocation of license."

(D) A statement that any representations made by the seller on the written residential disclosure report shall not constitute a warranty to the buyer.

(E) A statement that the written residential disclosure report is not a substitute for inspections, tests and other methods of determining the physical condition of property.

(F) Information concerning environmental matters such as lead, radon, subsurface sewage disposal and such other topics as the Commissioner of Consumer Protection may determine would be of interest to a buyer.

(G) A statement that information concerning the residence address of a person convicted of a crime may be available from law enforcement agencies or the Department of Public Safety and that the Department of Public Safety maintains a site on the Internet listing information about the residence address of persons required to register under section 54-251, as amended, 54-252, as amended, 54-253, as amended, or 54-254, as amended, who have so registered.

(e) On or after January 1, 1996, the Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall make available the residential disclosure report prescribed in accordance with the provisions of this section and sections 20-327c to 20-327e, inclusive, to the Division of Real Estate, all municipal town clerks, the Connecticut Association of Realtors, Inc., and any other person or institution that the commissioner believes would aid in the dissemination and distribution of such form. The commissioner shall also cause information concerning such form and the completion of such form to be disseminated in a manner best calculated, in the commissioner's judgment, to reach members of the public, attorneys and real estate licensees.

Approved June 1, 2000