Many duplex owners across the nation are required to obtain a pre-sale inspection of their property before their local municipality will allow them to sell their duplex.
In Minneapolis, this report is called a truth-in-housing or T-I-H.
This inspection is required for all properties four units in size or smaller. So, not only would a Minneapolis duplex need to have one, but so too would a condo, single family home, townhouse, triplex or four unit apartment building.
It is also a requirement regardless of the way you sell your property; whether it be via a contract for deed, an all cash sale, whether you used a Realtor or sold the duplex yourself.
The purpose of this inspection is simply to see how the duplex measures up to current housing code. For example, current city of Minneapolis code is that all properties have a carbon monoxide detector within ten feet of any bedroom.
The pre-sale inspection is NOT as thorough as the kind of inspection a buyer might wish to have done prior to purchasing the duplex, and a clean T-I-H may or may not mean there aren’t issues with the property.
Failure to have one will result in what’s known as a Required Repair or RR. The seller may choose to make this repair before the property is sold. However, if the seller is unwilling or unable to make those changes, the buyer may assume responsibility for them at closing, provided he or she agrees to complete them and have the property reinspected within 30 days.
So what happens if you don’t get a pre-sale inspection done? While penalties differ everywhere, in the city of St. Paul, for example, you may be charged with a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.
That should be enough incentive to check with your city or county to see if a pre-sale inspection’s required if you’re going to be selling a duplex!