A Certificate of Occupancy (CO) or (C of O) is a document that is used to prove the use of a building. A building can be, industrial, residential, or commercial, or have a combination of the three categories, and the C of O will clarify which of the three is allowed. The document also shows that the building is suitable for occupancy. If there are unsafe conditions, or it is not up to code, the building won’t be granted this certificate.
A certificate should be obtained when:
- A new building is constructed
- The building’s use has been altered
However, the building must first pass inspections before the document is issued.
- Final Construction inspection Sign-off
- Final Plumbing inspection Sign-off
- Final Elevator Sign-off
- Final Electrical Inspection Sign-off
- Final Building survey
- Final Builders pavement plan
- No open applications
- No open violations
- Owner’s Cost Affidavit (PW3)
- A PW3 document must be signed and motorized by the owner
If there is still work to be done on the building, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) may be issued. It is different from a non-temporary document, in that it expires after 90 days. TCOs can be renewed after expiring. This for when a building has more minor repairs to do.
Buildings built before 1938 that have had consistent use do not need a C of O. If you still need a document as proof, however, you can obtain a Letter of No Objection (LNO).