If I’m building my own home without any type of loan/lien, am I required by law to follow local building codes and to obtain a certificate of occupancy?

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If I’m building my own home without any type of loan/lien, am I required by law to follow local building codes and to obtain a certificate of occupancy?

I want to live in the structure while completing it. I have had and passed inspections for electrical, plumbing, etc. Also, I do not want railings on my porch. Shouldn’t I have the right to not do this?

Asked on January 20, 2016 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A certificate of occupancy is necessary whether or not a building is mortgaged. It is also needed even if a structure has passed electrical and plumbing inspections(although it cannot be issued without having passed those inspections). 
The purpose of obtaining a C/O is to evidence that a building complies with the plans and specifications that have been submitted to, and approved by, the local authority. A C/O, along with a building permit (the document that indicates that the proposed construction will follow building codes), demonstrates that all laws and regulations relating to the construction of a structure have been complied with and also that the premises is safe to occupy.


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