Jul 5, 2011

Tip 27-2011: Septic System Follow UP

(Septic System Follow UP)  A recent Tucker’s Tip #17-2011 (see archive link below) discussed the issue of how the size of the septic system can affect the number of authorized bedrooms and total occupants allowed by the Certificate of Occupancy (CO). 

Several realtors offered suggestions on how they handled this potential problem.  The first suggestion is why not ask the County or Health Dept to use common sense in that most homes do not really have two occupants per bedrooms.  In other words how many four bedroom houses really have eight occupants?  Unfortunately, the current regulations are pretty clear.  There can only be two occupants per approved bedroom, and good luck fighting “City Hall.” 

A second suggestion is that it is possible for a four bedroom house with a three bedroom septic system to receive a special health permit limiting the total occupants to six persons.  This solution will occasionally be requested by the original builder.  If this occurs, the septic limitation is usually recorded in the appropriate Clerk’s Office.

Probably the best suggestion is to actually go to the Health Dept and obtain copies of the relevant septic information before the house is listed.  By having the actual approved permit, there can be no doubt as to the number of approved bedrooms.

Thanks for all the suggestions.  Tucker’s Tips appreciates all comments, both good and instructive.  Have a Happy and Safe July 4th.
Please contact our firm if you have questions or need legal advice.  Tucker Griffin Barnes - Where deep insight equals powerful advantage.

Senior Partner
William D. Tucker, III
Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C.
Charlottesville, Virginia


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