What Is a Certificate of Occupancy?
A certificate of occupancy is an essential document for every rental or investment property owner.
This document usually serves three purposes:
- What the Structure Is Used For: The certificate of occupancy describes what class the property is in. This classification is to prevent the property from being used in a way it was not intended, for example, using a residential property as a day care.
- That the Structure Is Suitable for Occupancy: A certificate of occupancy serves as proof that a property has complied with all standards and codes and is now fit for occupancy.
- That the Structure Complies With All Building Codes: Obtaining a certificate of occupancy will serve as proof that the building has conformed to all housing and building codes.
Who Needs a Certificate of Occupancy?
- New Construction
- Property Conversion
- Change of Ownership
- Major Construction
How Do You Obtain a Certificate?
In order to obtain a certificate of occupancy, your property must pass a series of inspections. These inspections may include a plumbing inspection, an electrical inspection, a fire safety inspection, and a general building inspection.
What If You Do Not Pass Inspection?
If your property does not pass the inspection, you will be given a list of items that need to be corrected so that your property will conform with all building and safety codes. You will be given a certain amount of time to correct these issues.
Once you have completed all repairs, you can call to have your property re-inspected. You may have to pay an additional fee. If you pass, you will be granted your Certificate of Occupancy.
What Happens if You Don’t Get One?
If it turns out your local laws require you to get a certificate of occupancy for the type of property you have or for the work you are doing and you did not, you could be fined or even sued by the town. This fine could accrue for each day you had the property but did not have the certificate of occupancy.
Certificate of Occupancy = Proof Your Home Is Safe
(There may be other reasons to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, please contact the City Building Services department for questions)Certificate of Occupancy forms may be found below. Please send the completed form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may drop off completed forms in person at:
Once submitted, your application has not yet been approved. Please wait for us to contact you to process and collect fee, if applicable.
Commercial Certificate of Occupancy Request
Residential Certificate of Occupancy Request