Cetificate of Occupancy?

I have a client that asked me this question. "This inspection will be good for a certificate of occupancy? My first time running into this. Please advise.

The “Certificate of Occupancy” is issued by the AHJ (Authority having Jurisdiction). It is a code compliance inspection release to live in the house.

It has nothing to do with a home inspection.


So if the home is not new construction and has been previously occupied, then a certificate of occupancy would have already been issued.

Probably, but I have seen homes (out in the sticks) that were lived in for years and never got a C of O.
One would have to verify that the house complied by checking with the local Building Code Department of the county (usually)…possibly the state or city.

Some times homes that have not been lived in for a while and have any of several services that need to be restored (electric, water, sewer) need an AHJ inspection before the service is restored and a CO can be issued.

The home looks really nice. Strange that it shows to be listed and relisted starting in 2012 and shows it sold in Nov 2019 for 120,000 less than the original listing. I have advised her of the proper inspections she would need if she indeed does need to get a certificate of occupancy and that i’d be glad to do the home inspection after.

AHJ will also pull the original CO if a house was rehabbed/remodeled WITHOUT the necessary permits and inspections. Break the law and lose your CO. Start all over. BAD deal!!

Tell your client that you are not in a position to provide them advice regarding certificates of occupancy, which is a government function. They should contact the appropriate building department for any questions they may have. You do not want to give uninformed, potentially erroneous advice on this, just like you don’t want to give advice regarding property taxes.


Your answer to said client would be “no”.