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Blog

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Falls Township Halts Residential U&O Inspections

Posted by: Pete Kennedy on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 3:00:00 pm Comments (0)

How about a bit of good news to start 2021?

Falls Township, Bucks County, will no longer conduct residential resale inspections.

Township supervisors approved an updated use & occupancy inspection ordinance at their Jan. 18 meeting. The ordinance ends township resale inspections for owner-occupied homes.  

Falls Township Manager Matthew Takita explained why the change makes sense and won't increase the risk to buyers:

"The way the real estate agencies are set up, with the private home inspections and all the other forms they have to fill out, there's a lot of protection for the buyer that's already incorporated into the industry," Takita said.

"The level of inspection that home inspectors do privately is far, far greater than what the township's program was providing.  With the certifications, we'll make sure all the essentials are covered. There still will be a property history review, so any open violations or open permits will still be listed on the certificate when it's issued, so the buyer is aware of what's outstanding."

The township will still require four certifications before a sale:

  • heating system
  • fireplace/heater, chimney, flue and vent
  • sewer lateral inspection
  • electrical service panel 

The ordinance also makes changes to the township's regulations regarding rental properties, including implementing a rental unit inspection program.

This significant, positive development is a direct result of advocacy by the SRA, the Bucks County Association of Realtors, dozens of Realtors who responded to an SRA survey on doing business in Falls Township, and the elected and administrative officials in Falls who were responsive to community input.  

The ordinance was passed Jan. 18. Realtors should consider holding off on applying for U&Os until it becomes effective on Jan. 25. View video of the Falls Township supervisors meeting approving Ordinance 2021-1.

Pictured: A meeting to discuss Falls Township U&O issues in February 2020. From left: Maureen Scanlin (SRA board member), Pam Croke (BCAR AE and SRA board), Matt Takita (Falls Twp Manager), Jamie Ridge (SRA CEO/president), Bob Ramagli (Century 21) Drew Ferrara (RE/MAX Total), Alex Shnayder (SRA board president 2019-2020). Photographer/not pictured: Connie Kaminski (RE/MAX Total)

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