Under the guise of public safety, the city of Brooklyn Park, MN is added to the list of 11 other local cities that require a Point of Sale Inspection before the transfer of property to a new owner. Anyone that owns a single family residence, condominium, townhome, duplex, or any other type of residential real estate is required to apply for and obtain a Certificate of Inspection from the city. (The few exemptions to this rule include a new construction model home, new construction not previously occupied, and inherited property not occupied by the heir.)

According to the city, an application fee of $150 must be paid and then it is the responsibility of the home owner to order the inspection. The entire property must be made available for inspection, with the inspector looking at compliance for all city and maintenance codes. Consider this:

  • If you have a code violation, then you must fix the problem, even if you do not sell the home.
  • If your home is in compliance, than your certificate is only good for 18 months. If you take your home off the market and decide to wait a few years to sell, than you must apply all over again and pay the fee.
  • a temporary Certificate of Inspection might be issued if the inspector determines there is no hazardous conditions present and a buyer agrees to accept responsibility for repairs and complete them within 180 days of ownership transfer.
  • Ordinance does not go into effect until September 2007.

The city is trying to “clean up” its neighborhoods and blighted areas which is noble. But the only ones really being hurt are the home owners with good properties. They are the ones more likely to sell by this new ordinance… and no matter what the city calls it, it is still a tax. My question is, what if the homeowner is just too financially strapped to make the repairs. What will the city do, refuse to let them sell? And is it fair to put the responsibility on the new buyer, who also may not have the income to complete the repairs in 180 days? More interesting is the blighted properties that do not go up for sale, are still blighted, the whole reason for this ordinance. What a waste of taxpayer money by punishing those without the problems!

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