Agent Alert

June 29, 2020
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has changed its procedures for providing information regarding the status of payment for water charges when a property is being transferred. As a result, water charges will no longer be included as part of your municipal tax search. To protect a buyer from delinquent water charges, the seller must request a Title Read Letter from DEP by sending a Title Read Request to . or by calling 718-595-7000. DEP will issue a Title Read Letter within 30 days after receipt of a Title Read Request. The Title Read Letter will remain in effect for 60 days after the date of its issuance.

If a Title Read Letter is obtained prior to closing, a bona fide purchaser is protected against subsequent adjustments of the water bill. DEP will not adjust charges upward on an account for any applicable period prior to the issuance of a Title Read Letter. If a Title Read Letter is not requested prior to closing, an Off-Cycle Reconciliation Letter will be produced, which will not provide protection to a bona fide purchaser.

Our title commitments for properties in New York City will include the following exception:
“Water use charges as may be due and payable to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. NOTE: To omit this exception, a Title Read Letter dated within 60 days prior to closing must be submitted to the Company or its agent. Request may be made at or 718-595-7000.” 

If you are representing a buyer of a property in New York City, you should make sure that a Title Read Letter is requested at least 30 days prior to closing. CATIC Title will not remove the above exception for possible delinquent water charges unless the seller presents a Title Read Letter dated within 60 days prior to closing, with proof that all water charges are paid or will be paid at closing.

Your CATIC Title team is here to help you with any of your real estate title needs. If you have any questions or need any further information please contact me.

Stephen Maggiola | Senior Vice President & Counsel
Direct: (914) 333-3113  Cell: (203) 605-6539

CATIC Title is open for business and ready to help.
Please let us know how we can assist you.

Please continue to check out our    dedicated webpage    for COVID-19 information and guidance, on a regular basis. We will be updating the material as we learn of new developments.