A Certificate of Occupancy
is a document issued by a local government agency or 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.
The procedure and requirements for the certificate vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and on the type of structure. In the United States, obtaining a certificate is generally required whenever:
- a new building is constructed
- a building built for one 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 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. It complements a building permit—a document that must be filed by the applicant with the local authority before construction to indicate that the proposed construction will adhere to ordinances and codes and laws.
New York City
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