Certificate of Occupancy

5 Replies

About to schedule our first duplex's COO in Minneapolis. We live in the lower unit, tenants in the upper. What do I need to do to ensure a successful inspection? What kinds of things do they look at, and are concerned with? Minneapolis is a fairly renter-friendly city, so if there are any items I need to address before they arrive, What are they, specifically or generally?

@Johnny Nelson The City of Minneapolis has their own list:  Rental License Checklist.

Big picture:

Notice the tenant and walk through their unit several days prior to the inspection to check for the overall condition. First, the bulk of the inspection is the property physical condition, but tenant actions can also complicate the walk through:  removed smoke alarms from ceilings, improper extension cords, etc.  

A few common items to be on the lookout for
:  Look everywhere inside and out for peeling or missing paint and fix as necessary, test windows to make sure they open, can stay open, close, and lock (old wood windows may have problems doing this regularly or be stuck all together), review basement for any signs of standard black, non-toxic mold/standing water, make sure all stairs are cleared of tenant items (no bikes, boxes, etc.).   

At the end of the day, the inspector may be difficult or may be reasonable--it really depends.  

Good luck!

I second what @Brad Schaeppi says.  You want to be prepared for this, when he/she walks in you want them to get an impression that the place is in good shape and that you have addressed all items.  That can make this go more smoothly.  I would recommend bringing some extra batteries in case one of the smoke detectors dies before he shows up. 

Last - don't get concerned if you miss something, it is pretty common on a first trip through the process.

@Johnny Nelson

Hey Johnny, I’m house hacking myself and will be in the upper unit of my duplex (Still in the process of securing loan). I see you mentioned that you had tenants already renting before getting your Certificate. I live in Detroit so I’m curious if that’s acceptable in my market. Was there any pushback on the inspector seeing tenants already in place? Also what takeaways did you have from the inspection??


@Brandon Johnson: is your house in Detroit or suburb?

In our experience with 33 metro Detroit cities, most won't care if you already have a tenant. Just follow the process. If you share the city, we can give you more details.

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