Do we need a C/O for our house?

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Do we need a C/O for our house?

We bought a “fixer upper” and it was titled “as is”. The city inspector came in before we bought it and gave a list of what to fix, however did not specifically say the we needed a C/O. This house is nowhere ready to move into yet but we are fixing everything on the list to meet safety standards. Once it is ready to live in, should we still persue a C/O even if it wasn’t requested or should it just be assumed to have one?

Asked on January 28, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A certificate of occupancy is necessary (even if a structure has passed electrical, plumbing  and other 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. It demonstrates that all laws/regulations which relate to the construction of a structure have been complied with, as well as that the premises is safe to occupy. Depending on the nature and extent of the "repairs" that you need to make, you may need to re-apply for a C/O. Your local buiding department can advise you. If you do need to obtin a new C/O and dont, you won;t have the legal right to live in the house. Further, you won't be able to mortgage the house and neither will any future buyer which will make the house near impossible to sell for fair market value.


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