Residential House Acquisition Policy

To avoid health and liability concerns and to comply with local building codes, The Archdiocese requires testing during the due diligence period prior to closing. Any building on a property to be acquired must be tested for the presence of contaminants such as mold, termites, radon gas, lead paint and materials containing asbestos. Any of these contaminants can make the ultimate cost of the property prohibitive if the contamination is significant.

In order to help avoid unexpected and unwelcome testing, health-related liabilities, future building problems and their associated costs, the following policies will apply to the acquisition of property that contains a house that is to be occupied by an Entity for any period of time. If the house is to be demolished immediately upon purchase, these policies will not apply.

  • The Archdiocese advises parishes, missions, and schools planning to acquire residential properties to exclude properties with buildings constructed prior to 1980 if they are planning to occupy the building. This advice is given to save the Entity time and money associated with investigating older residential structures that are likely to have major lead paint and/or asbestos issues.
  • In every case, the dwelling to be occupied after purchase must be inspected by an ASHI certified house inspector and a hazardous material consultant prior to closing on the property. Only contractors who are licensed to remove contaminants may do so. No other contractors or volunteers should be involved with the inspection or removal of any contaminant. Catholic Construction Services, Inc. will assist the Entity in the selection of a certified inspector and removal contractor if needed.
  • Phase I environmental inspections may also be performed for each property placed under contract to purchase.
  • Along with testing for contaminants, inspections of structural, mechanical, and electrical systems must be conducted.

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