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Garden State requires that before a home is remodeled, upon completion of construction, and/or before a tenant moves into the space, the space must have a New Jersey Certificate of Occupancy.

Do you have doubts regarding your certificate of occupancy? In this blog we will cover many aspects regarding this certificate. However, if you still have questions after reading our blog, you can contact our expert NJ real estate attorney for a private consultation.



Do You Need A Home Occupancy Certificate In New Jersey In 2024?

New Jersey requires that before the closing of new construction occurs, the builder or seller obtain a certificate of occupancy from the municipality where the property is located.

For resale of existing property, sellers are not required by the state to obtain a certificate of occupancy. This is because the requirement is left to the jurisdiction of the municipality where the property is located.

However, New Jersey may require the seller of the property to obtain a certificate of:

  • Carbon monoxide.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Smoke detector.

Fires can break out anywhere, and Garden State is no exception. Therefore, it is important to have a smoke certificate in New Jersey. We have a blog focused on clarifying doubts about what it is and how to get this certificate. 

In conclusion, a certificate of occupancy will be needed when the following exists:

  • New construction. 
  • Repair or reconstruction.
  • Property conversion.
  • Change of owner. 

Types Of Building Permits And Certificates Of Occupancy 

There are 3 main types of these permits when building a property in New Jersey. These are:

  • Certificate of occupancy. For those who are changing the use of the property from a lower use and occupancy classification to a higher classification or construction work needs to be completed on the property.
  • Certificate of continued occupancyFor changes of tenants or owners of the property. This certificate is issued after a municipal inspector inspects the place to see if all the necessary requirements are met.
  • Zoning approval. For the place where it is planned to open some type of business of permitted use.
types of houses in new jersey

Now that you know the main types of certificates for when building a property in Garden State, you might also like to learn about the different types of houses in New Jersey.

How Long Does It Take To Obtain A Certificate Of Occupancy In New Jersey?

Typically, the time it takes to obtain a certificate of occupancy is approximately 10 business days. During this waiting time, the property cannot be occupied until the certificate is issued. Doing so will result in a $2,000 fine.

Transfer Of A Certificate Of Occupancy

The transfer of the certificate of occupancy must be obtained before a closing and/or change of property title. When making arrangements to obtain a transfer permit, the following should be considered:

  1. Submit a completed application to the Code Enforcement Department. Be sure to provide all requested information along with the required fees.
  2. Make arrangements for inspection appointment. This must be done at the time of submission.
  3. Wait for the notification of the transfer permit. Once the inspection is complete, you will receive a notification indicating whether or not the property transfer permit was approved.

Certificate or deed transfers can occur on all types of property in Garden State. Do you already know what a quitclaim deed is in New Jersey? We invite you to discover more about this topic in our respective blog.

Who Is Responsible For The Certificate Of Occupancy In New Jersey?

Generally, the person responsible for the certificate of occupancy is the owner of the property or the landlord. However, the terms of the lease may require both the tenant and the property owner to obtain the certificate.

It is illegal to proceed with a building or lease without a certificate of occupancy. Section 52 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes discusses regulations for certificates of occupancy when it comes to any rental or construction.

requirements for the certificate of occupancy in new jersey

What Consequences Exist If I Do Not Have A Certificate Of Occupancy?

In order for work to be completed on a property, you must have a certificate of occupancy that ensures the space is safe. If you don’t have it, you may have to pay financial penalties for each day that construction work is done on the property.

Additionally, if an accident occurs due to instability in the structure, the owner or holder of the place can be sued.

Consequences for not following the law or the rules can arise in any matter. For example, when applying for a loan. Do you know what the requirements are to apply for a mortgage in New Jersey?

Where Do You Get A Certificate Of Occupancy In New Jersey?

To obtain a certificate of occupancy, the owner selling the property or their real estate agent must submit an application available on the Bureau of Housing Inspection website .

There is a $200 application fee. Once delivered and paid for, the office will schedule an inspection. Upon completion of the inspection, the owner or agent will be notified in writing if any violations are found at the property.

home inspection in new jersey

Don’t know what property inspections are? We invite you to go to our blog on home inspections in New Jersey to learn about it.

What Do I Need For A Certificate Of Occupancy?

In order to have a certificate of occupancy for a new construction that will be sold immediately after being built, you must wait at least 3 weeks after the final inspection for final approvals.

Such approvals will be issued by the zoning and engineering departments prior to issuance of the certificate. 

Are you a property seller? Do you already know exactly how to sell a house in New Jersey? In our blog you can find detailed information on this topic. 

How Long Is A Certificate Of Occupancy Valid In New Jersey?

A certificate of occupancy in New Jersey is valid for 90 days from the date it is issued. 

What Is The Purpose Of Having A Certificate Of Occupancy?

Certificates of Occupancy address 4 important purposes, such as:

  • The use of the structure. This certificate specifies the class of the property, since by specifying them, a certificate of occupancy prevents unintentional use of the property.
  • Compliance with building codes and zoning provisions. A certificate of occupancy serves as evidence that the property has met all required building and zoning codes.
  • Release of final construction loan installment. Construction loans are repaid in phases as the builder completes certain processes. The final process gives rise to the certificate, unlocking the rest of the loan.
  • Suitability for occupancy. When a property receives the certificate of occupancy, people will be able to occupy it. Occupants may be residential tenants, commercial tenants, employees, or customers of stores.

Requirements To Obtain The Certificate Of Occupancy In New Jersey

Before a homeowner or renter can occupy or change title to a home, they must meet the following requirements:

obtaining a certificate of occupancy

General Requirements

  • Application for Inspection and Assurance of occupancy certificate.
  • Landlord registration form.
  • Sixty day conditional CO.
  • Termite report.
  • Residential Occupancy Certificate Checklist.

Requirements For New Construction

  • ADA compliance.
  • Final approval from planning director and zoning officer.
  • Building, plumbing, elevator, and electrical subcode approvals.
  • Resolution compliance.
  • Sewer connection fee.
  • T&M approval (township engineer).
  • Affordable housing fee.
  • All utility connections.
  • Study of the location of the foundations.
  • Freehold soil approval.
  • Final survey of the location.
  • Additional approvals by the Department of State (if applicable).

Tenants Or Residents 

  • Zoning officer approval.
  • Layout drawing by a New Jersey licensed architect.
  • Complete applications for building, plumbing, fire and electrical subcodes.
  • Complete construction application.

How Much Does A Certificate Of Occupancy Cost In New Jersey?

The fees vary depending on the location since each municipality has its own rates and also depends on how long the certificate of occupancy is required. In general, a certificate of occupancy can range from $70 to more than $150.

Typically, there will be a survey fee and additional fees for each inspection performed.

It is important to note that if an inspection fails, another re-inspection fee may be due. As well as arrangements you need to make for your approval.

The costs when it comes to buying a property can be high. You may be thinking about getting a home loan. To do this, we invite you to learn about the different types of mortgage loans in the United States.

Find The Best Guidance For Certificates Of Occupancy In New Jersey With Curbelo Law

The Curbelo Law team has extensive experience in Garden State real estate. With more than 10 years of experience in real estate matters, they will be able to proactively support and advise any individual in these cases.

The firm understands the importance of protecting its clients’ investments and helping them grow. If you need an experienced and reliable New Jersey real estate attorney today, our expert Carolina T. Curbelo at your service.