Starting your own short-term rental is one of the most effective ways of profiting from real estate. However, you need to go through a rigorous process of getting documents to legitimize your business model. While obtaining a certificate of occupancy may appear complicated, the process does not have to be overly complex.
The requirements vary slightly depending on the property's location, so it's critical to confirm your next steps with your local government. This article will define a certificate of occupancy and when it is required for short-term rental owners.
What Exactly Is an Occupancy Certificate?
An occupancy certificate is an essential legal document that provides evidence that a specific building meets local building and safety codes. It is issued by a county or city official that oversees construction and building projects.
While the occupancy certificate requires that the building complies with local building codes, the certificate does not address health or safety concerns. It does not specify how the building should be furnished and maintained or what operating rules should be in place for the installation.
Is a Certificate of Occupancy Required for Short-Term Rentals?
Yes! Whether you are renting the property for a week, a few months, or several years, a certificate of occupancy is required. You may get a temporary certificate of occupancy valid for a few months. But to have the building classified as a legal residence, you will need to obtain a full certificate.
Moreover, if you plan to invest in a condo or other property, you will need to obtain an occupancy permit. You will need to ensure that the property meets all local health, fire, and building codes.
When Is an Occupancy Certificate Required?
1. When There Are Additions to Existing Structures
If you consider purchasing a property that needs repairs and remodeling, you will need an occupancy permit.
Even if you are only planning to make minor repairs, you should still obtain an occupancy certificate. In most jurisdictions, a certificate of occupancy is required whenever there is an addition or alteration to an existing structure.
2. When There Is a Change in the Building's Use
You may need to obtain an occupancy certificate if you plan to change how the building is used. For example, you may need to get an occupancy permit to turn a two-family home into a single-family home.
3. When There Is a Construction of a New Property
If you plan to build a new property, you will need to obtain a permit and one full certificate of occupancy for the new structure. This ensures that the new building is safe for its intended purpose. And that it complies with all of the laws and ordinances.
4. When There Is a Change in Ownership
If you are purchasing a building that has been previously occupied, you will need to get an occupancy permit. The permit will allow you to do any required repairs and remodeling.
A certificate of occupancy grants the owner a legal document that allows the building to be used as a house. Getting this is the first step to launching your short-term rental’s success. After this, though, you still need to go through other processes and procedures.
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