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See a list of possible violations (PDF). However, other violations may be cited.
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Yes, Fire Extinguishers are required to pass the certification of occupancy (CO). Below are the regulations:
Exception: Portable fire extinguishers shall not be required for seasonal summer units. For purposes of applying this exception, "seasonal summer unit" shall mean a dwelling unit rented for a term of not more than 125 consecutive days for residential purposes by a person having a permanent residence elsewhere, but shall not include use or rental of living quarters by migrant, temporary, or season workers in connections with any work or place where work is being performed.
All major violations shall be corrected. Buyers may sign for minor violations and all outside work shall be corrected within nine months of signing for the violations.
In a case of a rental property, all violations shall be corrected prior to issuance of any Certificate of Approval.
Only the property owner, the owner's realtor, the owner's attorney, or the owner's power of attorney can apply for and schedule the certificate of occupancy inspection. Certificate of Occupancy is not required to close; only to occupy the house. This includes moving in personal effects. If the certificate of occupancy is not obtained prior to the closing, then the new owner can apply and schedule after the closing and before moving in.
The buyer can hire a private company to perform a housing inspection prior to taking ownership. However, this is separate from the certificate of occupancy inspection for approval to occupy the dwelling, including moving in personal effects.
No, you do not need a certificate of occupancy to close.
A certificate of occupancy is only needed to occupy a dwelling. Occupy includes moving in personal belongings even if you are not physically moving in. However, there may be instances, depending on the violation(s) found in the initial inspection, where the Housing Office would approve moving in personal belongings.
However, the mortgage company and/or the buyer may choose not to close without the certificate of occupancy.
No, a complete certificate of occupancy (COO) is not needed if the ownership is changing but the occupancy is not.
If the property is a rental property and the owner/landlord is selling to a new owner/landlord and the same tenants will remain, the current owner/landlord must provide the new owner/landlord with the current COO showing it was inspected and complete. Before closing, the new owner/landlord must register as a landlord.
If the current owner/landlord sells to the current tenants and the tenants will continue to occupy the house, a smoke and carbon inspection only is needed. The cost of this is $100.
If a parent sells to a child who currently lives in the house, only a smoke and carbon inspection is needed ($100). You must show proof of residency that the child currently lives in the house.
If a parent sells to a child who does not currently live in the house, this requires a complete COO inspection.
A house does not have to have a bath tub. It can just have a shower.
The township does not test for radon as part of the certificate of occupancy inspection. This can be done by the home inspector that the buyer hires to perform a separate inspection outside of the certificate of occupancy inspection. Radon kits can also be purchased at Home Depot and Lowes.
A Certificate of Approval is required when there is a change of occupancy of any residential property for sale or re-rental. Prior to issuing any Certificate of Approval, the residential property shall be inspected by the Office of Housing Inspections.
The application (PDF) shall be submitted by the owner who is selling the property or his real estate agent. These application forms are available on the website or in the Office of Housing Inspections. Access through the township portal to apply.
Bring the application (PDF) and fee ($200) to the Inspection Office located on the 3rd floor of the Municipal Building. At that time the inspection will be scheduled.
Upon completion of an inspection, the owner or agent will be notified in writing if any violations are found on the property.
Please follow the following instructions to access the township portal to apply and schedule online.
Steps to schedule an online Sale or Rental Certificate of Occupancy:
You may also access paper documents to print out on the 'Housing Inspection and Landlord Compliance' page. They are listed under "Related Documents." You can access the following documents:
All major violations shall be corrected. Buyers may sign for minor violations and all outside work shall be corrected within nine months of signing for the violations. In a case of a rental property, all violations shall be corrected prior to issuance of any Certificate of Approval.
Note: It is important to note that the inspection by the Township of Hamilton is only a preventive maintenance type of inspection, and it does not take the place of a more detailed inspection that the owner or prospective buyer may wish to have performed by a private inspection company.
Once you come in and apply for a certificate of occupancy and pay the $200 fee and schedule the inspection, the inspection is good for nine months from the date of the initial inspection. If after nine months, the house is not sold, the application and inspection process must start all over again.
Once the certificate of occupancy is written and issued, it is good for 90 days. The certificate of occupancy is only written and issued with a buyer's name.
A certificate of occupancy is not required as long as there is no change in the business type.
If the building is going to be used for a different type of business, then a certificate of occupancy is required.
Smoke detectors must be placed on every level, including the basement, of the home. If the attic is a finished living space or someone is sleeping in that room, a smoke detector must be installed.
Carbon Monoxide detectors must be placed within 10 feet of all bedroom doors.
Both are required to pass a housing inspection. Both can be either plug-in or battery operated.
Change of occupancy 66-64
We do not send certificate of occupancy reports to anyone except the seller of the property. The seller's realtor can file an Open Pubic Records Act (OPRA) request to get a copy if they cannot get it from the seller. Buyers and buyer's realtor are not permitted to get a copy from the housing office.