Sally Malsch, CRS, GRI, ABR, SRES, ePRO
Five College REALTORS | 413-519-4465 | sally@sallymalsch.com


In order to ensure that on-site systems (conventional septic systems, cesspools, and innovative/alternative systems, including Leachfields —otherwise known as Alternate Bed Systems) are protective of human health and the environment, Title 5 generally requires that systems be inspected by the seller when the property is sold. This information sheet provides basic details on property transfer requirements, but information provided here is not intended as legal advice to buyers or sellers.

Click here for answers to the following questions...

  • When is an inspection required?
  • How long is an inspection valid?
  • Inspection requirements for specific transfers
  • Inspections for new construction and upgrades
  • Title changes that do not require an inspection
  • Responsibility for obtaining the inspection and submitting results
  • Buyers' rights in property transfers

Frequently Asked Questions: System Inspections and Property Transfers
Summary of Innovative/Alternative Technologies Approved for Use in Massachusetts and Under Review

Septic System Regulations:

Mass.gov Title 5 Septic System Main page

For answers to the following questions and more, please visit the Mass.gov Title 5 Septic System FAQs page...

  • Who regulates on-site systems?
  • When did Title 5 go into effect?
  • What is the difference between a cesspool and a septic system?
  • Does Title 5 require every cesspool to be replaced?
  • What is maximum feasible compliance?
  • What happens if I cannot meet the minimum requirements of maximum feasible compliance in repairing a failed system?
  • What are Nitrogen Sensitive Areas?
  • What are "tight tanks" and how are they regulated?