An estate is selling a home, price is agreed at $80,000, the township has a point of sale ordinance and after inspection insists the estate which has no cash available make $9000 in repairs, to sidewalks, etc, township refuses to issue a temporary use and occupancy certificate to buyer and insists all work is completed before they will issue a use and occupancy certificate. Buyer walks and estate is now stuck with a home they cannot sell. This is actually illegal in Pennsylvania, but many Main Line and surrounding area township ordinances are in breach of state law, state law says that a temporary certificate must be issued giving the buyer 18 months to make required repairs after settlement when a permanent use and occupancy permit can be issued.
This doesn't make sense.In a recent survey most homeowners 73% said they had seen, read or heard nothing about point of sale ordinances. Until a homeowner comes to sell their home they usually don't know if their township has a point of sale ordinance such as a use and occupancy certificate or not. As a buyer they did not care as the seller had to pay for any of those issues and it did not register particularly.
But why a point of sale ordinance does not make sense is that it can take decades for every home in a township to actually sell and therefore for important issues to be taken care of, and if you don't sell your home, you are not "forced" to make the repairs. Most homeowners also don't realize that these ordinances give the township the right to enter your home, make inspections and demand for repairs to be made. A recent example I had a buyer buy a home in Phoenixville, under the use and occupancy certificate the homeowner was required to make certain repairs, but it will take an estimated 35 years for every home to come up for sale in the township and therefore for important issues to be taken care of by every homeowner.
Suburban Realtors Alliance our local government affairs group recently launched this wonderful website www.ThisDoesntMakeSense.org which highlights the local townships and if they have a point of sale ordinance, if they do it estimates how long it will take before every home would be required to make repairs. It gives you the opportunity to contact your local township representatives and ask for them to remove point of sale ordinances and replace them with something better that does make sense and will deal with these issues in a common sense way.
There is also a very good video that explains why these point of sale systems are unfair to homeowners who are selling their homes and not requiring those who are not selling and may have bigger issues to avoid making any repairs. This is another reason why you should have good buyer agent representation and understand your rights.
Have a look and tell me what you think.