A Certificate of Occupancy states that structures on a property or any improvements made to them comply with codes, ordinances and regulations of the governmental agency issuing it. It certifies that the property can be occupied. Local governments often send an inspector to properties to make sure that a property is fit for occupancy.
Do I Need A Certificate of Occupancy?
Well, maybe. If you own a rental or investment property, then you almost certainly need one. The document will state what class the property is in. For example, is it a single family residential building? Is it a commercial building? The classification prevents the structure from being used in a way that is permitted by the governing agency. For example, it helps prevent a residential property from being used as a nail salon or grocery store. It will also affirm that it complies with all standards and municipal and building codes.
When Do I Need A Certificate of Occupancy?
Check with your local city or county. Many municipalities have different rules. Generally, newly constructed buildings require a certificate of occupancy. If a property is changing from one class to another, it usually requires one. When a multi-family unit, commercial space, or industrial property changes ownership, they are also generally required.
How Do I Get a Certificate of Occupancy?
Check with your local building department, because they are obtained through the local government. Generally, you have to apply for one, before doing any work, but the certificate isn’t issued until all the inspections are complete. There may be multiple inspections. For example, you may have a general building inspection, a plumbing inspection, and a fire safety inspection. After all the inspections are done and paid for, they issue the certificate.