Does Arizona Real Estate Seller Need To Certify Septic Tank?

Question: We are purchasing an expensive home in Paradise Valley from a bank that has a septic tank. Under the bank’s “as-is” addendum, we agreed to pay for all inspections and investigations relating to this home. But doesn’t the bank, have to certify that the septic tank is in working order? If so, even though we agreed to pay for all inspections and investigations, doesn’t the bank have to pay for this certification?

Answer: According to Arizona and real estate laws the bank or other seller of a home cannot sell the home without an inspection of the septic tank. There is no requirement by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for a certification, just an inspection. A.A.C. R18-9-A316. In other words, even if this inspection shows that the septic tank is not working, there is no requirement for the bank or other seller of a home to certify that the septic tank is in working condition or to make any repairs. Although there can be no transfer of a septic tank without an inspection, the seller and the buyer can agree in the purchase contract that the buyer will pay for the cost of this inspection. Therefore, if the “as-is” addendum requires you to pay for the cost of this septic tank inspection, you will have to pay this cost.

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