Washington Home Owner Now Required To Disclose Internet Service During Sale

Concerns about internet access are now a reason for a potential buyer to rescind an offer

Under a new law, people selling their homes in Washington will have to disclose information detailing their internet service.

Homeowners will news to report if their property has internet access as well as who is their internet provider. 

The policy, House Bill 1064, passed unanimously in both houses of the state’s legislature in April of 2020. Starting on Jan. 1, information regarding a home’s internet access will be disclosed as part of the pending sale. If the information is a concern, potential buyers have three days following the seller’s disclosure to withdraw their offer in writing.

The seller’s disclosure form already includes the typical questions about the infrastructure and integrity of the home and property, including if it is on a sewer or septic system, if it gets water from a public system or well, whether the house has ever been flooded or caught fire and if the electrical and plumbing systems are in working order,” notes The Center Square.

The disclosure form does not require a seller to give details about internet quality, access speed, or alternative providers.

The new disclosure is the latest in an array of efforts by lawmakers across the country to respond to our increasing reliance on home internet connectivity for work, education and entertainment,” reports CNET. “That internet connection has become even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has upended the lives of billions of people, forcing quarantines and lockdowns as people adjust to a new normal of daily life.”

Internet access is not supervised in real estate transactions the way utilities have been, including electric, HVAC, and water.

For almost two years, COVID-19 and the increase of remote workers triggered a wave of relocations from urban cities to suburban and rural communities. 

According to Forbes, “With workers no longer expected to show up in person, at least not daily, where they choose to live will continue to change. Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of people have moved, with urban centers like San Francisco and New York City experiencing the greatest losses and nearby suburban areas experiencing the greatest gains. While many people have been heading for the suburbs, rural and remote communities have also welcomed a high number of new residents.”

Remote workers are, however, dependent on reliable internet access for their livelihood. Surveys indicated that up to 56% of the nation’s workforce could work remotely, internet access remains a significant barrier to lifestyle change. Data indicates that about one-third of Americans say they can not work from home because they do not have high-speed internet.

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