Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.)

The Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the local township. The lender requires a C.O. as proof that the dwelling is ready for occupancy. Specifically, the C.O. documents the property has met local standards and at that moment in time, and would  not present a health or safety issue to prospective occupants.

How to arrange for a C.O. Inspection
The Seller shall obtain a C.O. application from the local building department. Once the completed application and fee is received by the building department they will check to be sure all local taxes and utilities are up to date. The Building Department will provide detailed information on what is needed to obtain a C.O. and set up a time for the actual inspection.

Certificate Of OccupancyWhat does the Inspector look at?
The inspector usually checks the functionality and placement of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Sometimes they also require a heat certification and will make sure the dwelling is being used in accordance with local zoning laws. If the Inspection complies with local ordinances and is habitable a written C.O. will be issued.

What has to be done to prepare for the CO. Inspection?
Smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors shall be tested. All fire extinguishers shall be properly charged. Any additional C.O. requirements should be satisfied before the Inspector arrives. If the Inspection Fails, the sale may be delayed and the seller will have the additional expense of applying again.