Home Buying in Philadelphia>Question Details

Ronnie, Home Buyer in Philadelphia, PA

Certificate of Occupancy

Asked by Ronnie, Philadelphia, PA Mon Aug 25, 2008

I asked previously about a permit for some additions to a house that I put a bid on, but I believe I should be asking for a Certificate Of Occupancy. My father told me that a permit is to be given BEFORE the additions are done. Since the additions are already done, is it a requirement to have a Cert. of Occupancy for any additions, such as a new deck or new bathroom?

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Absolutely. Both projects should be inspected and approve and if correct you will receive a CofO. This covers you as a homeowner as well as provides knowledge that the work was done safely and properly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 8, 2015
To be on the safe side contact the municipal building and request a clarification of weather on not these renovations require a CO.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2008

The title company who is supplying you with your title insurance and ordering all your documents (yes, the city HAS to issue you a Certificate of Occupancy in order for you to go to settlement) should be able to answer all of your questions. Are you working with your agents affiliated title company? Or have you chosen to find one on your own?

Please email me if you have any other questions, see my website below. Sorry for your confusion, this really should be a painless process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2008
The House is Located in Northeast Philadelphia. I guess it would be considered Philadelphia County...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 26, 2008
Where is the property ? What county and township ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 25, 2008
Thank you for your answers. The way it stands, the seller had someone do the deck and the bathroom, no permits were ever sought after for either addition. My realtor tells me that the U &O is required anyway, but that (2) other Certificates of Occupancy should be given to me for these two additions. I just need to be clear on what I'm asking for. I don't think I'd be able to negotiate any lower than my bid of $165k for a house on the market at $174,900. Should I move forward with buying the house? Are they required to give me a Cert. of Occupancy or Compliance by the state? HELP!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 25, 2008
If you have placed a bid on a property with work completed, You should ask to see the permit for the work completed from the seller. The permit will let you know that the work was completed in accordance with all local and federal codes. Use and Occupancy permits are given when the sale is completed and the property is in compliance with the local codes. If the building inspector who inspects for the use and occupancy see that work has been done that requires a permit, they will investigate their records to see if a permit was applied for, if a permit was not issued they will require the owner to comply.
If the current owner cannot supply permits, or did not make the improvements, talk to the township to get a copy of permits.
If permits were not applied for, you may want to use this in your negotiations. Talk to your agent or give me call


0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 25, 2008
Philadelphia will issue a certificate of occupancy BUT they will only state that there are no outstanding violations. They do not come out and check the property you send in our check and 21 days later you get the certificate. That may not relieve you of future problems if no permits were taken out.
Web Reference: http://www.patzollo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 25, 2008
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