What is Truth-in-Sale of Housing or Point of Sale ordinance?

Some local units of government now require property owners to have a housing inspection performed and reports of the inspection provided for potential buyers prior to transferring property. Cities are requiring these inspections in order to provide potential purchasers with information about the condition of a dwelling and to ensure the housing supply is safe, adequate, and kept from deteriorating. Below is a list of Minnesota cities, compiled and provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®, that implement time of sale inspections. Please check with your Local Association or Board to find out if communities in your area have added this requirement.

Bloomington Crystal Hopkins Maplewood
Minneapolis New Hope Osseo Richfield
St. Louis Park St. Paul South St. Paul

City of Bloomington

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 the City of Bloomington Building and Inspection Division, (952) 948-8930 or visit www.ci.bloomington.mn.us.

City of Crystal

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.

  • In Crystal, it is unlawful 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.

For more information, call the City of Crystal at (763) 531-1000 or visit www.ci.crystal.mn.us.

City of Hopkins

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 single family 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 includes a Mandatory Correction of Hazardous Items. Items listed in this section must be selected if noted on the disclosure report.

For more information call the City of Hopkins at (952) 935-8474 or visit www.hopkinsmn.com.

City of Minneapolis

The revised Minneapolis Truth in Housing Ordinance requires that the seller of single and two family dwellings and townhouses and first time condo conversions in the City of Minneapolis provides both a Truth in Housing Disclosure Report and a Certificate of Approval to the purchaser of the home prior to time of signing a purchase agreement.

  • It requires the repair or replacement of certain items declared as health or safety hazards by the Truth in Housing evaluator.
  • The Truth in Housing Report must be prepared by a certified Truth in Housing evaluator, generally hired by the seller.
  • The completed Truth in Housing evaluation, the Certificate of Code Compliance, or the orders resulting from a Code Compliance inspection are required to 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 City of Minneapolis Inspections Department at (612) 673-2031 or visit www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us.

City of Maplewood

Maplewood requires the disclosure of housing information and defects as a condition of the sale of housing. (Includes single family, duplex, townhouse or condominium or any other attached housing unit designed for one family – excludes manufactured homes.)

  • An owner shall not show a housing unit or residential building to a prospective buyer without publicly displaying and making available a Truth-in-Housing Disclosure report.
  • This report shall be at the housing unit or residential building at the time of showing and within three days of listing.
  • A copy of the disclosure report shall be issued to the buyer before the execution of a contractual agreement.
  • The Truth-in-Housing report shall be prepared by the city. It shall include an evaluation by a city certified housing inspector of specific parts of the building and property listed on the housing disclosure report.
  • The report shall also include a signed statement from the owner disclosing material facts about the property in which the seller has knowledge.
  • City inspectors may use this information to require the correction of code violations.
  • The Truth-in-Housing report shall be valid for no more than one year from the date of approval from the city. If you have additional questions, contact the City of Maplewood at (651) 770-4566 or visit www.ci.maplewood.mn.us.

City of New Hope

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 is generally paid by the seller. 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 (this document is provided by the City) and agreeing that the 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 or visit www.ci.new-hope.mn.us.

City of Osseo

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

  • No owner or agent of 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.

For more information, call the City of Osseo (763) 425-2624 or visit www.ci.osseo.mn.us.

City of Richfield

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 time frame 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 re-inspection and provided that the seller is the one who is named on the certificate.
For more information, contact the City of Richfield Inspections Division at (612) 861-9882 or visit www.ci.richfield.mn.us.

City of St. Louis Park

St. Louis Park’s Property Maintenance Code requires that all buildings (residential, commercial and apartments) be maintained and in compliance with the building code that was applicable during the year in which the building was constructed. A Property Maintenance Certificate must be issued to the seller before the closing and presented when the property transfer occurs. The City does not require disclosure of inspection results before signing of a purchase agreement.

  • Effective January 1, 2002, the homeowner or owner’s agent pays the application fee of $150 and
  • schedules an appointment with a city inspector. St. Louis Park will no longer allow private inspectors to perform property maintenance inspections. All inspections must be performed by city inspectors. Applicants can schedule an appointment for inspection immediately after receiving their receipt at the city inspections counter.
  • If the inspector finds no maintenance code violations, the owner is given a Property Maintenance Certificate. If the housing inspector finds any code violations work orders are issued. After the owner makes the necessary repairs or corrections, the city housing inspector does a follow-up inspection to verify that all repairs have been completed and meet city code. Once corrections are made, a Property Maintenance Certificate is issued.
  • 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 may obtain a temporary property maintenance certificate as long as they sign an agreement acknowledging the work orders and agreeing to make all required work within a specified period of time.The Property Maintenance Certificate is valid for one year from the date of issuance.

For more information, call the Inspections Department at (952) 924-2589 or visit www.stlouispark.org .

City of St. Paul

Any owner or agent of an owner who makes available for sale a residential detached single family, two family, townhouse, condominium or co-op property by implementing any of the following actions, including, but not limited to, advertising the sale of the dwelling, entering into a listing agreement to sell the dwelling or posting a sign that the dwelling is for sale, shall, within three (3) calendar days of any such action, have an evaluation conducted by an inspector who is certified as a Truth in Housing evaluator with the City of St. Paul.

  • Upon completion, this report must be displayed in plain view at all times the property is offered for sale. The report shall also be provided to the buyer before or at the time of sale of the dwelling.
  • This Truth in Housing Disclosure report is valid for one (1) year from the date of its issuance. The report is valid only for the owner who is listed on the disclosure report.
  • The Truth in Housing Disclosure report is not a warranty by the city of the condition of the dwelling evaluated. The evaluator by his/her report warrants that he/she has utilized reasonable care and diligence inspecting the dwelling.

For additional information, visit www.ci.stpaul.mn.us .

City of South St. Paul

No single, two-family or multiple family dwelling or mobile home located within the City may be voluntarily conveyed for sale until the owner has first applied for and secured an evaluation prepared by a city certified evaluator.

  • A separate evaluation report shall be prepared for each dwelling or structure.This report must be conspicuously displayed for inspection at the premises at all times that the dwelling is being offered for sale.
  • A valid evaluation report shall be provided to the buyer before or at the time of sale of the dwelling.
  • The buyer shall not occupy the structure prior to issuance of the evaluation report.
  • If the structure is in compliance, the evaluation report shall state that the structure has been inspected and is in conformance. If the dwelling unit is occupied and an immediate hazard exists, corrective action shall be taken by the owner.
  • Under special circumstances the buyer may elect to correct the immediate hazards identified in the evaluator’s report. A buyer intending to correct immediate hazards must have written consent from the City Administrator.
  • Evaluations are not meant to be a warranty or guarantee of the dwelling evaluated.

For additional questions, contact the City of So. St. Paul at (651) 450-8709 or visit www.southstpaul.org .