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Friday, January 24, 2014

Buying a home in Saint Paul? TISH is here to help.

Buying a home is one of the most important—and expensive—decisions a person can make. In Saint Paul, we have a Truth in Sale of Housing (TISH) ordinance that helps buyers be fully informed of a home’s condition, and hopefully make the decision easier.

Truth-in-Sale of Housing is a program that ensures home buyers have a full understanding of what type of condition a home they are considering is in before they buy it. The program provides buyers with a standard basis to compare the home condition to other homes, and alerts buyers to possible repairs, corrections or replacements that the home might require. The ordinance was adopted in Saint Paul in the mid-1970s.

The City of Saint Paul evaluates homes for the project using  the city’s Minimum Maintenance Code, Chapter 34, with some comparisons to current building (trades) codes. We provide a “disclosure only” report that does not require repairs of ‘hazardous’ or ‘below standard’ conditions found during the evaluation, but serves to inform buyers of the situation. We do, however, enforce the Hard-Wired Smoke Detector ordinance, which requires that at least one smoke detector be installed in all single-family homes. 

There have been many changes in the more than 30 years since the ordinance’s enactment. After Saint Paul pioneered the concept, other cities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area have adopted their own “inspection on sale” programs and tailored them to their own communities. A recent trend among the other cities has been to not just disclose the condition of a property, but to also require some degree of correction or repair to the deficiencies found during an evaluation.
Saint Paul’s TISH ordinance applies to all single-family homes, duplexes, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops, with a few exceptions. One exception allows a recent inspection (within the past year) to substitute for a TISH report.

To find out more about Saint Paul’s Truth in Sale of Housing program, visit this page.

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