You can save yourself some time and money by having the following items done before we arrive to conduct your Minneapolis Truth-in-Housing inspection.
1. Smoke Detectors
Make sure you have a working smoke detector on each level of the home, including the basement. These can be inexpensive, battery-powered detectors which often cost $15 or less. The best place to locate them is on the ceiling, just make sure you keep them at least about a foot away from any walls. For more information, see the video below.
2. Backflow Preventers
You should have a “backflow preventer” screwed onto your outside faucets to prevent drinking water from being contaminated due to backflow. If you have a laundry tub with a threaded faucet spout, place a backflow preventer there too. These are available in the plumbing section of any hardware store. These cost about $6.
3. Jumper Cable
Look for a jumper cable attached to the water piping near the water meter. This heavy duty wire should be attached to the pipes on either side of the water meter and “jump” across the meter. This is an important electrical safety device which is often missing from older homes. This should cost about $10.
4. Exposed Electrical Outlets or Wiring
Make sure there are no electrical outlets or switches that are missing covers or have bare wires exposed. These wires should be protected, and the covers re-installed.
5. Uncapped Gas Lines
Make sure there are no uncapped gas lines in the basement near the laundry equipment, typically this would be where a gas dryer was used in the past.
6. Improper Gas Lines
Some clothes dryers or stoves may have lightweight, flexible gas line connectors behind them. The type that must be replaced are typically a dull yellow color, as shown below. This type has very thin walls and can get kinked and leak fairly easily. These need to be replaced with new stainless steel lines, soft copper or rigid steel piping.
|Proper Gas line||Improper Uncoated Brass Gas Line|
7. Missing Handrails at Interior Stairways
A handrail is now required on any interior stairway that has 4 or more risers. We often find that basement stairs or stairways to the second floor are missing a short section of handrail at a small section of the stairway. Other times we find that a basement handrail has been removed to help move furniture or appliances into the basement. In any case, a handrail will need to be installed.
This is just a partial list of the many things the city requires , but if you have these items covered, you will greatly reduce the chances of needing a second visit for a re-inspection.
You can learn more about the Minneapolis Truth in Housing Program on the city’s website.