Certificate of Occupancy

Last Updated: April 27, 2024

Certificate of Occupancy

Requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy

A certificate of occupancy is similar to a completion certificate, is a document that signifies the property complies with building codes and laws. The following are the requirements for obtaining a certificate of occupancy.

  • House number must be 4″ in height.
  • Smoke detector in all levels.
  • Appliances must be installed properly.
  • Three or more steps stairs must have a handrail installed.
  • Landing and porches must be 30″ in height.
  • Electric gas and water must be turned off during the inspection.
  • Windows, except fixed window, must be easily opened.
  • Basement and crawl space must be free from water.
  • The property must be free from insect infestation.

How to Get a Certificate of Occupancy? And Who Needs To?

To get a certificate of occupancy, you must process the documents in the local government, usually in the town’s building department. The request for this certificate in word must be made before any work is done. The property must also undergo a process of inspection, such as structural inspection, electrical inspection, plumbing inspection, and general building or house inspection.

Certificate of occupancy are needed in:

  • New construction of houses or building.
  • Major construction that will change the occupancy of the property.
  • Property conversion from one use to another.
  • Change of ownership

What Is an Occupancy Permit?

An occupancy permit is a document that signifies that an inspector or building surveyor is satisfied that the finished building or house have passed a series of inspection and is ready for occupancy. Building and houses, including apartments and units, will always require an occupancy permit to be issued.

The occupancy permits are issued once the building or house is considered as suitable for occupation. The surveyor or inspector may request certificate template or statement from various practitioners involved in the construction of the property to ensure that the construction follows with the proper building legislation.

Certificate of Occupancy Guidelines

The following are guidelines that explain the process of obtaining a certificate of occupancy.

  • A certificate of occupancy will not be issued to any building or structure until all the requirements are met. Therefore buildings or structures may be classified as follows:
    • Non-occupiable – These are the building or structures that lack safety and accessibility system and risk analysis plan. This property may have incomplete or partial utility, no restrooms, and has dirt floors.
    • Occupiable in part – These are the building or structure with complete life safety system and completed the requirements and in compliance with applicable building codes and legislations. These buildings are ready to be issued with a certificate of occupancy.
    • Occupiable – These are the buildings or structures that are already issued with a modern certificate of occupancy because they are complete and in compliance with the laws and regulations.
  • No building or structure shall be used or occupied until the building official ha issued a certificate of occupancy.
  • A certificate of occupancy is granted once all the contingencies of the building permit have been satisfied.
  • A TCO or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is granted only for a project when the building owners desire to occupy a portion of a building or structure.

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