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What is a Certificate of Occupancy and do you need one?

What is a Certificate of Occupancy?

A certificate of occupancy or CO in theory is very simple. It is the approval from the local jurisdiction that allows anyone other than construction workers, engineers, etc. to occupy the structure, with some exceptions that this article does not address, such as for industrial structures and projects. This sounds simple enough, but in order to receive a CO, the structure is typically required to be nearly finished, but not necessarily completely finished. It is often times the point at which substantial completion occurs, but case law is clear that they are not necessarily the same and in fact, receiving a CO is certainly strong evidence that substantial completion has occurred, but not necessarily the only evidence needed. For further information about substantial completion, visit my blog on substantial completion.

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