In the previous article, we defined a certificate of occupancy and when it is required for short-term rental owners.
As a review, the certificate of occupancy is the document issued to the property owner by the city/county that certifies an individual's rights to occupy the property for their intended use. The city code defines that the certificate of occupancy is required for the property's intended use.
In this article, we will answer more questions about getting a certificate of occupancy for short-term rentals.
What Are the Primary Requirements for Obtaining an Occupancy Certificate?
1. Several Inspections
You must first have several inspections done on your property, such as:
Structural Inspection - This is to certify that your property is structurally sound. A structural engineer can do this.
Fire Prevention Code - This certifies that your property meets the fire codes and guidelines. A fire prevention engineer can also do this.
Electrical Code - This attestation confirms that your property's wiring is safe and up to code. An electrical engineer is also capable of performing this function.
Plumbing Code- This ensures that your property's plumbing is up to code and safe. A plumbing engineer can also perform this function.
2. Where Applicable, a Building Permit
Building permits are required for additions to the property and some repairs. If the property is older, a building permit will likely be needed.
3. The Deed
The property deed is required for the city to verify that it is appropriately deeded for short-term rental.
How to Get a Certificate of Occupancy in Major Cities in the United States?
1. Getting a Certificate of Occupancy in Los Angeles
Los Angeles requires all property owners to register their short-term rental property with the city. In Los Angeles, you can apply for a certificate of occupancy by visiting the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) website.
2. Getting a Certificate of Occupancy in NYC
The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is the agency that issues certificates of occupancy within the state. You can apply for a certificate of occupancy by visiting the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) website.
However, you need to note that getting a certificate of occupancy for your short-term rental property in New York City is different from getting an occupancy certificate for your primary residence. Keep this in mind to check if you have all the documentation you need.
3. Getting a Certificate of Occupancy in D.C.
In D.C., if you want to operate a short-term rental property for less than 60 days, you are not required to get a certificate. You can apply for a permit with the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs by renting a hotel or a room in a private house.
However, if you want to extend your guests' stay beyond 60 days, you need to apply for a long-term certificate. You can contact the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for this.
Although the certificate of occupancy is not required for short-term rentals in some major cities in the United States, such as Miami, it is still essential to obtain one because you are dealing with city officials.
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