M.G.L. c 148 s. 26F - The Law
Massachusetts General Law, chapter 148 section 26F mandates that upon the sale or transfer of certain homes, the seller must install approved smoke detectors. These requirements apply to residences that were built or modified prior to creation of the Massachusetts State Building Code (January 1, 1975). If a building has undergone renovation, addition, or modification after January 1, 1975, the date of the building permit determines the smoke detector requirements of the building code. Although the transfer law applies to residences with 5 or less residential units, this pamphlet will focus only on 1 and 2 family homes.
After a successful inspection for smoke detector compliance, the local Fire Department will issue a Certificate of Compliance indicating that the residence meets the smoke detector requirements. Although the law applies to homes built prior to the date of the building code (January 1975), it is industry practice that most purchase and sales agreements, and many mortgage companies require that the seller, as a condition to sell or transfer, obtain a Certificate of Compliance issued by the local fire department, even if the home was permitted or modified after 1975.