Monday, May 28, 2012

certificate of occupancy (CO)

general information from :

"A certificate of occupancy is a document authorizing occupancy and use of a building. When any new construction or modification of an existing structure that requires a building permit has been completed, a final inspection of the building is done. Upon approval of the inspection, the building inspector, allowing the owner or tenant to take residence, will issue a certificate of occupancy.

Here are some examples of when a certificate of occupancy needs to be issued
* When a residential newly constructed home has been completed and complies with municipal building codes.

Who is responsible for getting the certificate of occupancy?
Inspectors from the municipal building department come in stages to inspect the work that has been done and report the approval back to the building department. Once all the work has been done and construction completed, a final inspection is done of the premises. If the work has been done correctly and there are no building code violations, a certificate of occupancy will be issued to the contractor.

Does issuance of the certificate of occupancy always mean the residence is in usable condition?
The certificate should not be issued if the property violates any building codes, and is not in usable condition. However, some inspectors may authorize issuance of the certificate of occupancy when the work has not been completed, with the understanding that the contractor will finish the work. This is when the property is very close to completion and is in useable condition and the work needing to be completed is minor.

Can the certificate of occupancy be revoked?
The building official does have the authority to revoke a certificate of occupancy when issued in error or when false or misleading information is given in order to obtain occupancy of the premises."

The requirement for a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) varies from state to state, and varies by local jurisdiction (city, town, county, etc.) within a state. Depending upon the size and strength ($$$) of your state and/or local homebuilding lobby, the $$$ contributed to political campaigns by builders, etc., a CO may not be required in your state or local jurisdiction, where it's needed the most--for new house construction. With no national standards, the individual citizen/consumer is "left out to dry". Check your local listing (local building department, local lawyer familiar with requirements for new residential construction, etc.) for the CO requirements near you.

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