Certificate of Occupancy Law and Legal Definition

A Certificate of occupancy is a document indicating that a building complies with zoning and building laws. This certificate is often required before title can be transferred and the building occupied. In the U.S., certificate of occupancy is required when a new building is constructed, a building built for one use is to be used for another and when occupancy of a commercial or industrial building changes, or ownership of a commercial, industrial, or multiple-family residential building changes. Certificate of occupancy is usually issued by a local government agency or building department of a government. The purpose of issuing this certificate is to certify the building is in a livable condition.