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General Laws

Section 127B1/2. At any time prior to or during the course of proceedings conducted pursuant to section one hundred and twenty-seven B, resulting solely from contaminated media caused by a release of home heating oil or from the detection of dangerous lead paint levels, as determined under the authority of section one hundred and ninety-four, or in the event the state environmental code pursuant to section thirteen of chapter twenty-one A requires the repair, replacement or upgrade of a septic system the owner of a structure used for human habitation may petition the board of health in a city or town to make findings consistent with its authority under this chapter and may enter into an agreement, subject to appropriation, authorizing such board of health or such owner to cause the premises to be properly serviced by a septic system, removal of a residential underground fuel storage tank, removal of contaminated media caused by a release of home heating oil or to have removed any dangerous levels of lead paint, as determined under the authority of section one hundred and ninety-four, at the owners expense. An owner who enters into such an agreement shall be responsible for all expenses incurred by the board of health, directly or indirectly, or required by the board of health and incurred by the owner for such repairs, replacement, or upgrade of a septic system, removal of a residential underground fuel storage tank, removal of contaminated media caused by a release of home heating oil or removal of dangerous levels of lead paint. A notice of such agreement shall be recorded as a betterment and be subject to the provisions of chapter eighty relative to the apportionment, division, reassessment and collection of assessment, abatement and collections of assessments, and to interest; provided, however, that for purposes of this section, such lien shall take effect by operation of law on the day immediately following the due date of such assessment or apportioned part of such assessment and such assessment may bear interest at a rate determined by the city or town treasurer by agreement with the owner at the time such agreement is entered into between the board of health and the property owner. In addition to remedies available under chapter eighty, the property owner shall be personally liable for the repayment of the total costs incurred by the city or town under this section; provided, however, that upon assumption of such personal obligation to a purchaser or other transferee of all of the original owners interest in the property at the time of conveyance and the recording of such assumption, the owner shall be relieved of such personal liability.

Any costs incurred under the provisions of this section may be funded by an appropriation or issuance of debt, provided that any debt incurred shall be subject to the provisions of chapter forty-four and shall not exceed twenty years.

Any appropriation or borrowing by the city or town for purposes contained within this section shall not be included for the purpose of computation of the levy or borrowing limits otherwise imposed upon such city or town by the general laws.

An agreement between an owner and a board of health in a city or town pursuant to this section shall not be considered a breach of limitation or prohibition contained in a note, mortgage or contract on the transfer of an interest in property.

A board of health in a city or town acting pursuant to the provisions of this section shall have the same authority as set forth in section one hundred and twenty-seven B to institute an action for eviction. Any such action by the board of health shall not otherwise impair the rights or obligations of the occupants or owner with respect to each other.

Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 183A to the contrary, the organization of unit owners of a condominium may petition the board of health in a city or town to enter into a betterment agreement pursuant to this section to finance the repair, replacement or upgrade of a septic system serving a unit, one or more of which is used for human habitation provided that such system comprises part of the common areas and facilities. Such agreement shall:  (i) be approved by a majority of the unit owners benefited by the repair, replacement or upgrade of the septic system or any combination of such septic system improvements; (ii) include an identification of the units and unit owners subject to the agreement and the percentages, as set forth in the master deed, of the undivided interests of the respective units in the common area and facilities; and (iii) include a statement by an officer or trustee of the organization of unit owners certifying that the required number of unit owners have approved the agreement. As between the affected unit owners and the city or town, such certification shall be conclusive evidence of the authority of the organization of unit owners to enter into the agreement. A notice of such agreement shall be recorded as a betterment in the registry of deeds or registry district of the land court where the master deed is recorded and shall be otherwise subject to the provisions of chapter 80 as provided for in this section. The assessment under such agreement may be charged or assessed to the organization of units owners but shall not constitute an assessment of common expenses. Instead, the allocable share of the assessment, prorated on the basis of the percentage interests of the benefited units in the common areas and facilities, shall attach as a lien only to the units identified in the recorded notice and benefited by the repair, replacement or upgrade of the septic system or any combination of such septic system improvements and the owners of such units shall also be personally liable for their allocable share of the assessment as provided for in this section. Words defined in section 1 of said chapter 183A and used in this paragraph have the same meanings as appearing in said chapter 183A.

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