Spring Lake, MI asked in Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for Michigan

Q: Can the county require us to install a septic alarm system to sell when there wasn't one there when we bought the house?

The township in Michigan where we live requires a septic inspection to be done before a house is bought or sold. When we bought a house 4 years ago, the inspector passed the septic system and said there were no problems. Now we're trying to sell, and the inspector from the same department is saying we need to install an alarm in the "dose tank." The septic pump is working fine and is actually only 1 yr old, and so is the drain field. There was no alarm when we moved in, and it's looking like the installation could be pretty expensive. Can they really legally require us to do this in order to sell when they failed to make it a requirement for the people selling to us?

1 Lawyer Answer
David Soble
David Soble
  • Farmington Hills, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: The law and requirements could have changed since you purchased the property. A septic inspection is required for most communities to issue a certificate of occupancy as well as for most lending institutions that will fund the purchase of the transaction. I would check to see if the alarm is now part of their municipal code / regulations, if it is, you are unfortunately stuck.

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