Certificate of Occupancy
A Certificate of Occupancy is a document issued by the building department certifying a building's compliance with applicable building codes and other laws, and indicating it to be in a condition suitable for occupancy.
Obtaining a certificate is generally required whenever:
A new building is constructed
A building built for 1 use is to be used for another (e.g. an industrial building converted for residential use)
Occupancy of a commercial or industrial building changes, or ownership of a commercial, industrial, or multiple-family residential building changes
The purpose of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy is to prove that, according to the law, the house or building is in livable and / or usable condition. Generally, such a certificate is necessary to be able to occupy the structure for everyday use, as well as to be able to sign a contract to sell the space and close on a mortgage for the space.
A certificate of occupancy is evidence that the building complies substantially with the plans and specifications that have been submitted to, and approved by, the local authority.
Review & Inspections
Initial review is conducted upon the receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy Application Form (PDF). Items such as intended use, required parking, and minimum toilet facilities are all taken into consideration. The reviewer will look at all existing documentation on file with the city. The applicant may be asked to submit additional documentation for the review process.
Onsite inspections may be required if, during the review process, questions and / or concerns arise that may warrant additional review. Final Inspection may be needed if any corrections and/or modifications are required as a condition of occupancy.