Thinking about buying a 2-4 unit home?

There are some things to think about if owning a small rental property (2-4 units) and becoming an owner-occupant landlord is right for you. So we are pleased to share a number of free educational resources.

These are optional “add-ons” to existing homebuyer education and advising services to help you decide if multifamily homeownership is right for you. While these free resources don’t fulfill any landlord education requirements, it is a great place to start if you’re thinking about buying, managing, and living in a 2-4 unit home.

  • The Minnesota Homeownership Center’s free, self-paced training module highlights some of the things you should take into consideration before you buy.
  • HousingLink’s self-guided training will help you learn everything you need to know to follow Fair Housing laws and avoid complaints.

You may also meet with our homeownership advisors to help you consider the options when buying a 2-4 unit home.

Down payment assistance

If you are buying a 2-4 unit, owner-occupied home, you may be eligible for down payment assistance through the Family Housing Fund’s Building Equity in Small Multifamily Ownership initiative. The program is administered by Build Wealth Minnesota.

Program highlights

  • $5,000-$40,000 in down payment assistance, forgiven over 5 years.
  • Buyers must must have an annual income at or below 115% of Area Median Income.
  • The home must be owner-occupied, 2-4 units, and in the 7-county metro area (Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota, Scott, Carver, Washington).

Download full program requirements.

For additional questions, contact Senior Loan Processor Bao Nhia Vang at Build Wealth Minnesota at 612-800-5982.

Ready to buy a duplex, triplex, or 4-plex?

If you are ready to buy a 2-4 unit home, some communities require property owners to participate in landlord education before granting a certificate of occupancy. Education may also be required in order to receive down payment funds to purchase owner-occupied multi-family properties. Below are some of the options available.

Workshops and Online Education providers

**COVID-19 Update: at this time, we are only aware of two online options for landlord education, RentEd and the City of Minneapolis RPOW. You may check with other providers to see if classes are being offered in alternative formats.

RentEd. – Online Training and Certificate of Completion
phone: 888.366.5768      email:    website:
RentEd. is designed for property owners and property managers to provide information on the fundamentals of property management.

City of Minneapolis – Rental Property Owners Workshop (RPOW)
The Minneapolis Police Department provides a comprehensive workshop for rental property owners and managers two times a month. Attending the workshop provides attendees with valuable information, resources and opportunities to network with other property owners.

Crime Free Multi-Housing Program – City of St. Paul *
phone: 651-266-5994        e-mail:
The Minnesota Crime Free Rental Housing Program is designed as a partnership between law enforcement, and rental property owners, managers and tenants to keep drugs and illegal activity out of rental property. When crime and drugs operate out of rental property, neighborhoods suffer and landlords pay a high price. That price may include the loss of valued tenants, decline in property values, property damage, civil penalties, fear, frustration, resentment and anger between neighbors, tenants and property managers.

Landlord 101 Course – City of St. Paul *
phone: 651-266-8995   e-mail:
The landlord 101 course is designed for the first time landlord in the City of Saint Paul, to provide foundations for the development of their property management skills, and for those experienced city landlords who wish to better understand tenant, landlord relationships and responsibilities.

Home Line – Training for Landlords & Managers
phone: 612-728-5767      email:     website:
The speech, “Tips from a Tenant Attorney, Laws Every Minnesota Landlord Should Understand” focuses on key issues that cause problems between landlords and tenants.  Additionally, learn about new laws that took effect in the last few years.


*These courses will meet the requirements of SPLC 40.04(b) (4), requiring first time Fire Certificate of Occupancy applicants in Saint Paul to complete an approved course of instruction.

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