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Certificates of Occupancy

When you purchase a property, you want to make sure that the structures and improvements that have been made to the property were done with all necessary permits and inspections that the city, town, or village requires.

The standard New York Contract of Sale for residential transactions contains the following language (or language to this effect):

The delivery by Seller to Purchaser of a valid and subsisting Certificate of Occupancy or other required certificate of compliance, or evidence that none was required, covering the building(s) and all of the other improvements located on the property authorizing their use as a one family dwelling at the date of Closing (or multi-family dwelling if that is the case on a particular transaction).

This is a simple but important provision and is put in to protect the buyer from taking a property that has improvements or additions made without getting the necessary paperwork from the municipality.  It is common for Purchasers to run municipal searches on the title report as well as to do a physical inspection for any improvements and to request Certificates of Occupancy (C of O’s) or Certificates of Compliance for all such structures and improvements that do not have such certificates filed with the city, town or village.

The bottom line is this: If you are purchasing a property, work with an attorney that will ensure that you are not buying a property that will require you to legalize certain improvements or bring certain structures up to code later.  If you are selling a property, it is a good idea to make sure that you have sign-off from the city, town, or village regarding any improvements that exist.  This should help to avoid delays and cancellations due these issues.

Please call Danziger Legal PLLC and speak to a real estate attorney today.

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