Brooklyn Park might Join New Trend

The City of Brooklyn Park in Minnesota is debating a proposed point-of-sale housing inspection ordinance. If passed, they would join at least 6 other cities that also require the inspection for resale homes, those being Bloomington, South St Paul. St Louis Park, Crystal, Richfield, and New Hope.

The point-of-sale ordinance would require an inspection by a city inspector of all single-family, duplex, townhouse, condominium or other residential buildings with in 14 days of the property being listed or sold for. The fee would be $200 and repairs would be required even if the property does not sell. The ordinance might take effect May 15, 2007. If it does take affect, all properties currently listed for sale will have to comply as well. There is no “grandfather” period.

A partial list of items the seller must correct would include: plumbing systems, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, electrical fixtures, venting, accessory structures, sump pump drains, junk vehicles, egress windows, broken windows, roofing and roof ventilation, foundation, exterior peeling paint, un-permitted work, unpaid fines and utility bills.

The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors is on the side of the home owner and is asking the city to reconsider its proposal saying, “the Association does not believe that requiring code compliance at point of sale will effectively assist a community in maintaining a healthy, affordable housing market. Point of sale inspections affect only the small percentage of properties that are sold each year (3 to 5 percent in many areas). Most problem properties are not for sale. To increase its effectiveness, a city should direct its efforts at the problem properties, rather than focus on point-of-sale inspections.”

I believe, too, that this is just another unneeded and unwanted “additional” government law that should be rescinded. I am not a fan of “more” government. What are your thoughts? Do you see a need for more local government ordinances that really do not benefit the home owner?

(The most recent proposed ordinance is available on the Brooklyn Park website. Questions about the proposed ordinance should be directed to Gary Brown at the City of Brooklyn Park, 763.493.8101 or )

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