Time of Sale Program

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Time of Sale Program

The Time-of-Sale (TOS) Housing Inspection Program in Columbia Heights is designed to ensure the safety and quality of residential properties within the city. By requiring inspections and corrections of immediate hazards, the program aims to protect both buyers and sellers during property transactions. Implemented through Ordinance No. 1695, the program is an essential step in maintaining the value and integrity of our housing stock.

The TOS Program applies to the selling, gifting, or transferring of all single, two-, and three-family dwellings, condominiums, townhouses, and mobile homes within Columbia Heights. Multi-family rental buildings with four or more units are not included.


  • Time-of-Sale Inspection: Prior to the sale of a property, a Time-of-Sale Housing Inspection must be conducted. This inspection highlights any safety or maintenance concerns that need to be addressed.
  • Immediate Hazard Corrections: Immediate hazards identified during the inspection must be corrected before a Certificate of Property Maintenance can be issued.
  • Sewer Line Inspection: Sellers are required to have the sewer line of the property televised. Proof of the inspection must be submitted to both the building official and potential buyers.
  • Application Process: Homeowners must submit an Application for Time of Sale Inspection to the inspections department and schedule the inspection.
  • Buyer Assumes Repairs: If the owner/seller cannot or will not undertake corrective action, the buyer may elect to assume the immediate hazards identified in the Time-of-Sale Housing Evaluation Report. The buyer must obtain written consent from the City of Columbia Heights Building Official and provide proof of a financial guarantee in the form of a cash escrow to ensure the completion of the necessary corrections.
  • Fees: The initial and final inspections are covered by the $160 application fee. Subsequent inspections for re-inspection of corrections are charged at $65 each.

Immediate Hazard Items
Nine items not meeting codes or health and safety standards have been identified as possible immediate hazards, including but not limited to issues with heating systems, water heaters, electrical systems, plumbing systems, structural systems, exterior elements, abandoned fuel tanks, sanitation, and smoke detectors.


General Program Timeline
  1. Enactment of Ordinance: Ordinance No. 1695, establishing the Time-of-Sale Housing Inspection Program, was passed on April 22, 2024, and went into effect on May 22, 2024.
  2. Application Submission: Homeowners wishing to sell their property must submit an Application for Time of Sale Inspection to the inspections department.
  3. Scheduling Inspection: Upon receipt of the application, the city inspector will schedule a Time-of-Sale Housing Inspection.
  4. Time-of-Sale Inspection: The inspector comprehensively inspects the property, identifying any immediate hazards or safety concerns.
  5. Correction of Hazards: Homeowners address any immediate hazards identified during the inspection, either by completing repairs or agreeing to have the buyer assume responsibility with proof of escrow.
  6. Sewer Line Inspection: Sellers are required to have the property's sewer line televised and provide proof of inspection to potential buyers and the building inspections department.
  7. Issuance of Certificate: Once all repairs are completed or proof of escrow is received and the sewer inspection is reviewed, the inspector issues the homeowner a Certificate of Property Maintenance, allowing the property sale to proceed.

Contact Us
For more information or assistance with the Time-of-Sale Housing Inspection Program, please contact us:
Phone: (763) 706-3670
Email: inspections@columbiaheightsmn.gov
Address: 3989 Central Ave NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421