What are the Seller Disclosure Requirements in Minnesota?

seller disclosure requirements in minnesota

When selling a home, it’s important to remember that there are different real estate obligations from different countries and states. Although like most states, Minnesota law requires home sellers to disclose any major defects that could affect the home buyer’s decision—or defects that could harm the condition of the new owner in the future.

The law states that the seller should provide a written disclosure to the buyer prior to signing a contract. It should include all the crucial information that the seller is aware of or of its best knowledge.  

If you are selling a property in Minnesota, here are all the seller disclosure requirements you need to know:

  1. Federal Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards
  2. Condition of the Property

Did you know Houzeo’s Gold Plan provides relevant Federal and State Seller Disclosures?

Federal Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act

Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act passed in 1992 requires the disclosure of any lead-based paint or chipped paint in any housing built before 1978

Also known as Title X, its primary objective is to protect residents from possible exposure to lead from paint, dust, and soil, or lead poisoning. Under federal law, the homeowner should comply with the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure. The seller should notify the buyer whether the house has any reports or records of lead-based paint hazards.

The seller can provide a 10-day period for the buyer to do a risk assessment or paint inspection for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. For safety purposes, the homebuyers may look for a lead hazard inspection firm by following this link.

Condition of the Property

As manifested by the Minnesota Bar Association, the Condition of the Property Disclosure Form is a nine-page document that the home seller should fill out, and answer in “good faith”. According to Minnesota Statutes § 513.55, (on General Disclosure Requirement), it states that the seller should disclose “all material facts of which the seller is aware that could adversely and significantly affect: (1) an ordinary buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property; or, (2) any intended use of the property of which the seller is aware.” In addition, the law also emphasizes that “(b) the disclosure must be made in good faith and based upon the best of the seller’s knowledge at the time of the disclosure.” Unlike other states, Minnesota’s disclosure form is quite more specific.

The standard form contains any known malfunctions of structural or mechanical components. These are material facts that must be disclosed, which can include facts such as lead-based paint, flooding, cracked floors or walls, and damaged ceiling. However, the buyer has a right, under a separate provision of the contract, to perform certain inspections of the property to determine its condition.

The Condition of the Property Disclosure identifies any known information that would affect the buyer’s decision if they knew about it. This information is collectively known as material facts. Although it is the seller’s obligation to tell his buyers about any known issues with the property, he does not have to go out of his way to find problems to disclose by hiring his own inspector.

The standard form contains a provision that a home is being sold by the seller in “as is” condition. This indicates that the seller feels the contract sale price takes into account the condition of the home and he does not intend to make any repairs to the property. However, buyers have a right, under a separate provision of the contract, to conduct inspections of the property to ascertain its condition.

Moreover, the form has a series of questions that you need to answer whether it’s “Yes” or “No”—if yes, then you should provide an answer in the designated section. The Minnesota law allows the buyer to take legal action if the seller modifies the information from the disclosure form. Note that the buyer has two years to sue the seller after closing the sale.

However, the seller doesn’t have to disclose every issue about the property. For instance, it’s irrelevant and unnecessary to disclose the buyer that someone has suffered from AIDS or HIV at the house. Furthermore, facts about suicide, natural death, or paranormal activity are not necessarily included in the disclosure.

As a seller and as the only source of all the information in this form, here are the statutory disclosure requirements you are obliged to state:

Underground Storage Tanks. If any existing storage tanks are on a property, the seller should disclose this fact—whether these are underground or above ground storage tanks.

Water Wells. (Minn. Stat. § 103I.235, et seq.)The home seller should inform if there are any wells on the property, and notify whether they are sealed or currently not in use, or in use.

Individual Sewage Treatment Systems. (Minn. Stat. § 115.55, et seq.) It’s the seller’s obligation to disclose information about how sewage at the property is specifically managed—inform whether the sewage leads to a sanitary sewer or private system.

Radon Gas. (Minn. Stat. § 144.496) In any real estate transaction, the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act requires certain disclosure to be provided to home buyers. Since Minnesota homes can have dangerous levels of radon gas, it’s important to comply with this publication entitled “Radon in Real Estate Transactions” and disclose in writing prior to signing a purchase agreement.

Methamphetamine Production. (Minn. Stat. § 152.0275) It’s also required to disclose any occurring manufacture of methamphetamine on the property.  If there is, the seller should also inform if it has been resolved or remediated.

Common Interest Community Resale Transaction. (Minn. Stat. § 515B.4-107) If the property under the Minnesota Common Interest Community Act is resold, the seller should provide the potential owner with a document called Resale Disclosure Certificate.

Contract for Deed Sales. (Minn. Stat. §§ 559.201-202) A seller who has Multiple Contract for Deed must provide the home buyer with a disclosure of the possible risks. Multiple sellers refer to a person that has four or more contracts for deed involving real estate transactions and property during the 12-month period.

Other examples of material defects are:

  1. Roof leak/damage
  2. Plumbing leaks
  3. Defective drywall
  4. Wood destroying organisms (active infestation and/or previous damage)
  5. Foundation issues
  6. HVAC system (not working)
  7. Mold
  8. Ice Damage

Also, the disclosure form contains questions such as: if you have done roof repairs or replacements? warranty claims? any altered structures? or any pets? If yes, then you have to explain in the designated section.

What if the seller fails to disclose any of this information to the buyer?

In an event when the seller intentionally hid the defects and are fully aware of them, the buyer could sue the seller for failure to disclose honestly.  The Minnesota Law specifically allows the buyer to “bring a civil action and recover damages and receive other equitable relief as determined by the court.”

Additionally, sellers are only required to disclose defects or flaws that they knew about.  You are not responsible to perform an inspection to check every nook and cranny of your property for issues. So, make sure to tell honestly as possible. Litigation can cost a fortune and could waste a huge time for both parties. Seek advice with a professional real estate agent to learn and understand more about the disclosure process.

NoteAll the information mentioned above is just a guide for real estate sellers in Minnesota. It is still best to seek legal advice from experts if you have anclarifications.

Did you know Houzeo’s Gold Plan provides relevant Federal and State Seller Disclosures?

Related Keywords: household dust, home for lead, prospective buyer, lead based paint hazards, property of which the seller, knowledge at the time, seller is aware, lead poisoning, lead testing, exposure to lead, ordinary buyer, written disclosure, intended use of the property, enjoyment of the property, young children, window sills, adversely and significantly affect, lead dust, aware that could adversely, obligation to disclose, seller disclosures, seller disclosure requirements, seller disclosures in minnesota, seller disclosure requirements in minnesota, lead-based paint