Certificate of Occupancy

What does Certificate of Occupancy Mean?

Definition of Certificate of Occupancy in Construction
The Certificate of Occupancy is a document issued by the local Building Department that indicates their approval to move into the structure.

Normally this document is not issued until the final inspections are conducted by the appropriate local agencies, and all life safety issues have been met. The Certificate of Occupancy is the goal of all contractors and is normally the point at which a successful project is determined.

Items such as final punchlist, final billing, etc are triggered by the successful receipt of a Certificate of Occupancy. What has become common practice is the issuance of a temporary certificate of occupancy. This has softened the impact of the final certificate of occupancy and has allowed the owner of the project to move into the structure prior to final completion of all items. Unfortunately this situation simply delays final completion and delays the final close out of the project, by providing more excuses for not finishing.

The certificate of occupancy is the diploma at the end of the project and it’s issuance is normally a positive occurrence for all involved parties.