Home buyers can use Google to find: “St. Paul property look-up” and type in a property address of a home for sale and find the Truth in Housing Report. I would provide a link but those pages move around too much.
The City of St. Paul requires a truth in housing report for residential dwellings of all types before they can be sold. The report is made by an inspector who has been approved by the city.
They look for code violations and the seller is not required to repair anything but is required to put in a hard-wired smoke detector if there are none in the home.
“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 $1,000.00 fine.”[city ordinance]
These reports are different from the seller’s disclosure. The seller’s disclosure is a multiple page form the must be filled out by the sellers. it contains questions about the condition of the property, and the sellers can disclose information about maintenance problems.
In the older homes, it isn’t unusual to find several odds and ends on the TISH report that need attention. The idea is to make the buyer aware of these problems. The reports are helpful to home buyers, their agents and inspectors.
The city has a list of the ten most common deficiencies, search StPaul.gov for the list and fix everything before the inspector arrives. 🙂
The inspector also looks for open permits. All permits have to be “finaled” by the city inspector before the sale of the home can close. Looking at the permits can provide a lot of useful information about when work was done to the home.
Buyers should note that the cities inspection does not take the place of a buyers inspection and I urge home buyers to have an inspection. The buyer’s inspection covers much more than the city inspection.