Before any Boston residential property can be sold whether; condo, apartment building or a boarding house you must comply with the Boston Fire Code that states:
MGL Chapter 148 sec 26F requires that sellers of residential properties built prior to 1975 having 1- 5 dwelling units obtain a Certificate of Compliance for Smoke Detectors upon sale or transfer. Properties built after January 1, 1975 or having 6 or more dwelling units are exempt from the requirements of 26F and are not inspected by the BFD for smoke detector compliance.
MGL Chapter 148 sec 26F ½ require sellers of residential dwelling units regardless of the year of construction or number of units to obtain a Certificate of Compliance for Carbon Monoxide detectors.
Earlier this week, I scheduled a Boston Fire Dept. smoke detector test for a 5 unit boarding house on 12 Dern Street in Beacon Hill. I will now outline the process that brokers or for sale by owners need to beware of in 2022.
First, you will need to go to the BFD website to schedule a Boston fire Dept. smoke/carbon test at https://www.cityofboston.gov/fire/inspections/sdiform/ please fill out the form as accurately as possible to avoid delays. All blank fields are necessary to complete unless stated otherwise.
In reference the scheduling, my recommendation is you apply for your smoke detector / CO detector inspection as soon as you sign your Purchase and Sale Agreement on the property for sale.
All requests will be entered into the Boston Fire Dept. testing division on a first-come, first-served basis and assigned based on the first available appointment date. Based on the time of year, please give yourself at least a couple weeks advance notice so it won’t cause a delay in the closing.
It’s important that you do not submit multiple requests on the same property.
You will receive an e-mail confirmation that your inspection request was submitted.
Once your inspection is scheduled you will receive an email containing the date and time frame of your inspection.
On the day of the smoke detector inspection, the Boston Fire Dept. you need t be waiting at the property, in my case, the time frame for the inspection was between 8:30am – 12:30pm. Fortunately, the BFD inspector arrived 9:00am so I didn’t have to wait long.
Now when you’re at the inspection you will need a bank money order or cashier’s check made payable to the City of Boston. The amount of the check will vary on the size of the property. Here’s a breakdown of the pricing:
Single Family or Condo Unit $50.00
Two Units $100.00
Three Units $150.00
Four Units $150.00
Five Units $150.00
Six Units *$150.00
Seven or More Units*$500.00
In my case, the 5 room boarding house on Beacon Hill was $150.00 which also included testing the basement and the attic.
Once the inspection is completed you must provide the inspector with the required funds, which must also have the address of the property on the check. the inspector will then provide you with a BFD certificate that you will need to bring to the closing, or send it to the closing attorneys prior to the closing.