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City Inspection Requirements

The Kirwin Group is licensed to perform City Inspections in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Bloomington.

Minneapolis – Truth in Housing Disclosure: The purpose of the Minneapolis Truth in Housing Ordinance is to inform the buyer and seller of a home, prior to the time of sale, of any major structural defects or hazards to the health and safety of the occupants. The revised ordinance (effective September 1, 2003) requires the repair or replacement of certain items declared as health or safety hazards by the truth in housing evaluator.

The ordinance requires that the seller of single and two family dwellings and townhouses in the City of Minneapolis provides either a Truth in Housing Disclosure Report or a certificate of Code Compliance to the purchaser of the home prior to time of signing a purchase agreement. Condominiums and sales of new units are exempt. The truth in housing report must be prepared by a certified truth in housing evaluator, generally hired by the seller. The ordinance requires that the completed truth in housing evaluation, the certificate of code compliance, or the orders resulting from a code compliance inspection be available for inspection at the premises at all times when the dwelling is being offered for sale. The fee for the truth in housing inspection is negotiated between the seller and the evaluator. A new disclosure report, certificate, or orders resulting from a Certificate of Code Compliance inspection shall be required for each change of ownership at time of sale. For more information, call the inspections department at 612/673-5862. Or call the automated information number, 612/673-2489, and ask for option 16. www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/inspections/TIH-home.asp

St. Paul – Truth-In-Sale of Housing: The City of St. Paul has proved in its Legislative Code an ordinance concerning the sale of housing within the City’s limits known as Chapter 189, the truth-In-Sale of Housing ordinance. this ordinance provides for a Truth-In-Sale of Housing Disclosure Report that may only be compiled by an independent evaluator who has been tested and licensed by the City.

Failure to obtain a truth-In-Sale of Housing Disclosure report before marketing a house for sale, or failure to make that disclosure report available to prospective buyers is a violation of law and is punishable as a misdemeanor carrying up to 90 days in jail and/or a $700.00 fine.

This disclosure report is an overview of the building components and fixtures. It is to inform a prospective buyer of the observed condition of a dwelling at the time of the evaluation. The disclosure report is intended to provide basic information to the home buyer and seller prior to the time of sale; not necessarily detailed information. Prospective buyers may also seek addition opinions from various experts in the inspections field prior to purchase.

One and two-family dwellings, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops require a Truth-In-Sale of Housing Disclosure Report whenever there is an intended change in ownership.

The report is valid for one (1) year from the date on the report and is only valid for the owner named on the report.

The ordinance requires an evaluation be done within three (3) calendar days of a dwelling being offered, listed or posted for sale. The Disclosure Report must be conspicuously displayed at the dwelling that is for sale at all times for review by potential buyers. A valid Disclosure Report issued for the dwelling must be provided to the buyer before or at the time of the sale of the dwelling. It is the responsibility of the owner or the owner’s agent to comply with these requirements.

Evaluators are private contractors, not employees or contractors of the City. The City does, however, maintain a list of licensed Evaluators and will provide this list (which includes their phone numbers ) to anyone requesting it. You may also contact an Evaluator through a REALTOR or agent. The City will not recommend an Evaluator. You may request a list of licensed Evaluators from the City by calling 651-266-8435. For additional information see www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/depts/code_enforcement/tishousing.html

Bloomington – The Time-of-Sale Housing Inspection Program: The program provides potential purchasers with information about the condition of a dwelling and requires the correction of immediate hazards. An inspection and a report are required for all houses offered for sale. All single family, two family, and multiple family dwellings, including condominiums, townhouses and mobile homes are included. The property must be inspected and a report form completed prior to offering the property for sale. The Housing Evaluation Report must be available for review by potential purchasers at all times when the property is offered for sale. The seller can choose either a licensed independent contractor or the City’s Building and Inspection Division staff. All inspectors are required to be licensed by the city of Bloomington. The city maintains a list of all licensed inspectors. Only those items which pose an immediate hazard to the occupants of the structure are required to be repaired. Other deficiencies are noted in the Housing Evaluation Report, but do not require correction. When hazardous items are identified by the inspector, the City of Bloomington follows up to determine whether the hazardous condition has been corrected. Hazardous conditions must be corrected and approved by the city before the dwelling is occupied. If the dwelling is already occupied, corrective action shall be taken by the owner or agent of the owner. For more information, call City of Bloomington Building and Inspection Division, 952/948-8930.Click here for Bloomington web site info.

Maplewood – Truth in Housing Disclosure: Maplewood requires a disclosure type Truth-in-Housing inspection be done before a property is listed or shown. The ordinance includes all dwelling, single-family, duplexes, apartments, condominiums, townhouses and mobile homes. The city maintains a list of licensed Maplewood inspectors. Questions? Contact Ken Roberts at 651-770-4560.

Below is a list of other cities that require sellers to have an inspection done before selling their home, but the Kirwin Group does not perform these inspections.

Crystal – Mandatory Code Compliance: The City of Crystal requires an inspection of all dwelling units at time of sale by the city housing inspector. “Dwelling Unit” is defined as a single or two family property, a duplex, a condominium, or a townhouse. It is unlawful in Crystal for an owner to convey a dwelling without providing the buyer a certificate of compliance or a disclosure statement at time of sale.

The certificate of compliance issued by the Crystal housing inspector indicates that the property has been inspected and any conditions found in violation of city code have been noted. The owner is responsible for the corrections required by the compliance order.

As an alternative procedure, the owner may provide the prospective buyer at the date of execution of any document conveying the property, a written disclosure statement stating the conditions in the property that, if not corrected, will constitute a major structural defect or an immediate health and safety hazard. In this instance, the buyer is presumed to have purchased the property with notice of this condition and is responsible for the corrective actions required by the ordinance. Call 763/531-1000 for more information. Click here for Crystal web site info.

Hopkins – Truth in Housing Disclosure: Hopkins has a time of sale housing inspection ordinance requiring a truth in housing disclosure report to be completed by an independent truth in housing evaluator. The ordinance requires inspection of all one to four unit dwellings including condominiums and townhouses. The Truth in Housing Disclosure Report must be available for review whenever the property is offered for sale.

The ordinance does include a section titled, Mandatory Correction of Hazardous Items. Items listed in this section must be corrected if noted on the disclosure report. These hazardous items are related to gas piping, water heaters, furnaces, gas fired appliances, free standing space heaters, venting systems, ungrounded electrical fixtures, and rooms being used as bedrooms without proper egress. For information call 952/935-8474. For additional information see www.hopkinsmn.com.

New Hope – Dwelling and Maintenance Ordinance: The New Hope Dwelling and Maintenance Ordinance requires code compliance inspections on All residential property prior to every sale, or at change of name conveyance. Application is made and inspection fee paid by the seller or seller’s agent. Any orders issued are to be completed within 60 days or before closing, whichever comes first. The city inspector is called back for final inspection when all corrections are made, and the Certificate of Compliance is then issued.

A prospective buyer may purchase the property “as-is” by signing an acknowledgment of work ordered (document provided by the City) and agreeing that work shall be completed within 60 days after closing. Upon receiving this acknowledgment, the seller receives the Certificate of Compliance, so the sale may proceed.

For more information, call 763/531-5124. For additional information see www.ci.new-hope.mn.us

Osseo – Truth in Housing: Osseo requires a Truth in Housing Disclosure Report at the time of sale for all single family, two family, and three and four family dwellings including condominiums and townhouses.

No owner or agent for the owner may sell residential properties in Osseo without providing to the buyer prior to the time of sale a Truth in Housing Disclosure Report issued within one year of the time of sale. The report shall be made available for inspection at the property at all times when the property is being offered for sale.

The ordinance requires that items noted as hazardous by the housing inspector on the report must be repaired by the owner prior to occupancy by the buyer. The buyer may elect to make the required repairs with the written consent of the city. Call Osseo for more information, 763-425-2624.

Richfield – Mandatory Code Compliance: Richfield requires that all single and two family homes obtain a Certificate of Housing Maintenance Compliance and be inspected by Richfield city inspectors at the time of sale.

A city inspector will conduct an inspection of the property. If violations exist at the time of inspection, a notice will be given to the owner indicating the areas that are to be corrected and the timeframe in which this is to be accomplished. A follow-up inspection will be conducted and a Certificate of Housing Maintenance Compliance will be issued if the violations have been corrected.

A prospective owner shall not occupy the structure prior to the issuance of the certificate except in extraordinary or exceptional circumstances.

During the period of one year following its issuance, a certificate may be accepted by the city in satisfaction of the requirements without the need for a second inspection unless alterations and remodeling have occurred which would warrant reinspection and provided that the seller is the one who is named on the certificate..

An application must be completed whenever a single or two family home is to be sold. This application is to be completed and mailed to the city with the appropriate license fees as soon as the closing date has been set. For more information contact the Inspections Division at 612/861-9882.

St. Louis Park – Mandatory Code Compliance: This ordinance applies to all single and two family units, townhouses and condominiums. The present occupant or owner must make application for the certificate of Housing Maintenance Compliance. The initial inspection must be completed before a seller can accept a purchase agreement.

To schedule an inspection , either the homeowner or the owner’s agent must complete an application form and submit the application fee. An appointment for a 45 minute inspection should be available within three to four days. Forms are available by calling 952-924-2588 or stopping by City Hall, 5005 Minnetonka Boulevard.

During the inspection, a City inspector will check the roof, foundation, exterior, electrical system, plumbing, and heating and cooling system for compliance with the City’s housing requirements. If the inspector finds that the home complies with the housing code, you will receive a Certificate of Compliance.

If the inspector finds code violation, work orders are issued for the needed repairs. After the corrections are completed, a City housing inspector will return for a follow-up inspection to verify that all repairs meet code. Once this is done, a Certificate of Compliance is issued. Sellers must obtain a Certificate of Compliance before the sale, transfer of title, or change of occupancy.

A house must comply with the code that was in effect at the time the home was constructed. Corrections must be made if the deficiency was a violation of the code when the home was built or if the deficiency poses a safety hazard. Life-safety hazards must be corrected, even if the deficiency was not a code requirement when the home was constructed. Many items, such as ceiling heights, floor area and window size, are exempt from the code if they are considered “built-in deficiencies” and do not present a safety hazard.

If the structure complies with the housing code, the city manager will issue a certificate to the present owner or occupant. This certificate is then filed with the city. The prospective buyer shall not take occupancy of the dwelling before the certificate has been filed with the city. The Certificate of Housing Maintenance Compliance is valid for one year from the date of issuance. For more information call 952/924-2588.

South St. Paul – Point of Sale Code Compliance Program: Point of Sale Code Compliance Program: In South St. Paul, there is a point-of-sale code compliance program. All hazardous violations must be fixed before sale, and the inspection must be performed before the property is shown. The City of South St. Paul maintains a list of licensed evaluators. The ordinance covers all dwelling and there is a $10 filing fee. Contact the City of South St. Paul at 651-554-3220.