Archive for the ‘Real Estate Related Laws’ Category

New Home Heating Oil Law

There is a new law regarding homes with oil that to ensure that there is equipment installed to prevent leaks from tanks and fuel lines.  As taken from Bay State Realtor magazine dated September/October 2011:

The new law requires that by September 30, 2011 owners of one to four unit residences that are heated with oil must already have or will need to install an oil safety valve or an oil supply line with a protective sleeve on their heating equipment.  Installation of these devices must be performed by a licensed oil burner technician.  Technicians are employed by companies that deliver home heating oil, or they are self-employed.  It is important to note that heating oil systems installed on or after January 1, 19990 are most likely already in compliance because state fire codes implemented these requirements on new installations at that time.

For those who need to install this equipment, state officials estimate that the typical cost of installing either an oil safety valve or oil supply line with a protective sleeve ranges from $150 to $350 (including labor, parts, and local permit fees).  While it is an expense that is not insignificant, the costs to clean up a leak can be in the thousands of dollars.

It is important to homeowners to remember that this rule applies to all homeowners, regardless of whether they are selling their homes or not.  The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 9DEP) has an excellent, easy-to-understand document that explains this new rule  http://www.mass.gov/dep/cleanup/laws/hhsl.htm

New Homestead Law

Under the new law all homes are automatically protected for $125k for those who don’t file a formal Declaration of Homestead.

From March 19th Lowell Sun – James Hartounian (real estate, estate planning and business law attorney in Billerica MA)

Though prior existing individual homestead declarations do not require new filings, do not assume this will automatically apply to a property owned in trust.  Consult with a real estate lawyer about any questions dealing with trust property

Re an old age question – The proceeds from the sale of a principal residence or the insurance proceeds from a principal residence that suffers a casualty loss, are protected by the homestead n order to purchase a new principal residence or repair a damaged one.  The proceeds from a sale are protected for the period of one year from sale of the current principal residence.  Insurance proceeds are protected for a 2 year period from receipt of the proceeds.

Which spouse files Homestead? – Both spouses who have an ownership interest in the principal residence sign the Declaration of Homestead.  In addition, the declaration must identify each person receiving homestead protection, including the name of a spouse who may not be an owner.

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