What is a Certificate Of Occupancy?

certificate of occupancyA certificate of occupancy (C.O.) is a document given by a building department or local government agency that certifies that your commercial building and/or space complies with the plans you submitted to and that were approved by the city, the city’s / county’s applicable building codes and laws, and that it’s in a suitable condition to occupy. 

Who Needs a Certificate of Occupancy?

The procedure and requirements for a certificate of occupancy vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and on the type of commercial property. In general however it’s required when

  • A new building is built
  • When a property is changing from one use to another(e.g. an industrial building changed to residential use)
  • Change of ownership
  • Occupancy of a commercial building changes
  • When doing tenant finish outs and a permit is required

Temporary Certificate of Occupancy

A Temporary certificate of occupancy gives the occupants the same rights as a CO however only for a temporary time period.

Certificate of Occupancy in Austin TX

If you are buying or leasing commercial real estate Austin Tx and doing any construction or improvements you more than likely will need to get a permit and then ultimately approval for a certificate of occupancy. When you complete and pass the inspection phase after tenant finish out and construction you will receive a certificate of occupancy. The C.O. proves that your building and space is safe for your particular use. If you are trying to get a C.O. in Austin and not sure where to start the following steps will help.

  1. Start with the City of Austin Development Assessment center . Here you will verify the intended use that is allowed under current zoning, submit plans for construction, determine if a site plan is needed.
  2. Next is Commercial Plan Review. Anytime a structure is erected, altered, improved, repaired, etc the review staff has to approve.
  3. Permitting – After the commercial plan review has approved your building plans and application you can pick up permits and pay.
  4. Inspections – Your project will be inspected to ensure that it’s compliant with mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and zoning, as well as other structural and engineering inspections. Once everything passes you will be issued a certificate of occupancy.
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