Selling Your Home - Obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy
Once you have decided to put your home on the market, there are a few things a homeowner is responsible for. Among the most important items is getting a continued Certificate of Occupancy, or "CO."
Regulations, costs and inspections vary from one municipality to the next, but generally a homeowner must provide a CO to a Buyer prior to closing on the property. The CO confirms that the municipality has inspected the premises and deemed it inhabitable.
Generally, a CO inspection will check for safety hazards and quality of life issues, but a CO Inspector can cite a homeowner for any and all violations that are on the municipality's books. That means things like scraping and painting, cutting down tall grass & weeds, and replacing sticky doors can be cited as violations just as easily as missing handrails or non-functional smoke detectors.
Some towns include a Fire/Smoke Detector/Carbon Monoxide Detector test as part of the CO inspection, while others require a separate inspection by the Fire Dept. These inspections are primarily done to ensure that the premises has a working Fire Extinguisher in the kitchen, and working Smoke/Carbon Monoxide detectors on each level.
I can assist homeowners in determining what items are most likely to be noted by a CO Inspector, but the ultimate decision rests with the Inspector.
If you do not pass your inspection, you need not worry; it is very common for older re-sale homes to fail the first CO Inspection. Generally, the Inspection Dept. will issue a written list of violations, which must be abated, re-inspected, then passed in order to get your CO.
Most CO's are good for six to 12 months, once again depending on the municipality. Below are some available guidelines and application fees for local municipalities CCO's. Money orders are generally accepted as a form of payment. I can assist you in filling out the applications and scheduling the inspections.
Belleville Twp. CCO Guidelines & Application - Belleville charges $150.00 for a single-family CCO application, and $250.00 for a two-family.
Bloomfield Twp. Building Dept. - Bloomfield charges $125.00 for a single-family CCO application. Applications must be filled out in the Building Dept. Office in Town Hall.
City of East Orange - Division of Inspection & Code Enforcement - Fees for inspections for Certificate of Conformity vary according to size and use of the building or premises.
Irvington Twp. - Irvington charges an application fee of $179.00 per dwelling unit, e.g. a single-family home's application fee is $179, while a two-family home's fee would be $358.
City of Newark - Newark recently increased it's fees for CCC applications as follows: 1-2 Units: $200.00; 3-10 Units: $250.00. Additionally, the Newark Fire Dept. must inspect and charges fees as follows: 1-2 Units: $35.00; 3 Units: $50.00