If you are buying in Howell here's a few links you might want to check out regarding fire inspection for the fire certificate....
In most instances of a short sale, a seller will decline to pursue a C/O, or severely limit their financial limit for repairs in pursuing certificates. When speaking of certificates, I am referring to both the fire inspection cert and the Certificate of Continued Occupancy (sometimes just called Certificate of Occupancy.)
If the seller for your property has placed this responsibility on your shoulders, and your lender is not requiring it in order to close, you can perform these inspections after closing.........as long as you (nor anyone else) moves into the property.
If you need to move into the property immediately at closing, then you will need to do this prior to closing. If the township requires any repairs for a CO or you have to purchase smoke detectors/CO2 detectors, fire extinguishers, etc., for fire cert, then you will find yourself making these purchases, along with any necessary repairs to obtain the certs, prior to closing.
If you do wait til post closing, I do recommend that you not risk moving into a property prior to receiving the proper certificates as the fines can be hefty. Also, do note that not all fire extinguishers meet the fire code. Make sure that you have direct info from the township on the specs and take that info with you when you go to Lowe's or Home Depot or your local hardware store.
There are specific requirements. and some towns inspections are a lot more extensive. So call the town, or log on to the website and see the requirements.
There is a fee. Some towns charge a second fee if you don't get it right the first time, so be ready.
I have been sellers agent for several short sales. Have your agent (if you are using one) find out from the township what they require. You are responsible for making sure the CO2/smoke detectors and fire extinguisher are installed in the proper places for the fire certificate.
Also find out from the township, if they require a C of O, if they will issue temporary C of O, because some towns MAY require repairs prior to issuing the C of O, but may let you defer them for a specific time frame after closing so you don't have to lay money out of pocket before you take possession of the house.
Just to clarify, there is a difference between a FIRE compliance certificate and a Certificate of Occupancy (or a C of O).
Fire certificates are required in just all municipalites in one way or another. Some towns do not have a C of O requirement.
If you are selling the house, it's your responsibility to obtain whatever your municipality requires (unless you stated in the listing it's the buyers responsibility).
If you are buying the home, the sellers are responsible to obtain the necessary certificates and provide them to you prior to closing to make sure the house meets the township requirements.
Gloria Nilson Realtors
MOST municipalities require a fire certificate for CO2, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers prior to occupying a home, and they are usually furnished by the seller to the buyer prior to closing.
How you obtain it may vary from town to town. Most send an inspector, others just have you fill out an affidavit that there are smoke/CO2 detectors and a fire extinguisher in the proper locations (called Certification In Lieu of Inspection for Certificate of Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm and Fire Extinguisher Compliance.)
If you are working with an agent, he/she should know the local rules for the compliance certificate. If not, you can always call the fire department in the particular town and find out their rules and procedures.