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Certificate of Occupancy

Certificate of Occupancy Process.pdf


A Certificate of Occupancy & Compliance (C of O) indicates that a building meets all city codes and is safe to occupy.

You may not LEGALLY occupy or use a building without a C of O. The C of O is issued upon request of the customer by the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSE&ED) after verification that all the required division approvals (electrical, plumbing, mechanical and building) have been obtained.

There are no fees associated with Certificates of Occupancy other than any outstanding inspection fees that must be paid before a C of O is issued.

When the Building Construction or alteration is complete or substantially complete such that all necessary inspections have been successfully conducted:

STEP 1: Customer requests a Certificate of Occupancy at the Permit Information Center, where an
application is completed and attached to the Building permit for routing purposes.

STEP 2: Customer takes a seat and waits for name to be called

STEP 3: Licenses & Permit Clerk notifies customer of approval or denial.

STEP 4: If all approvals are on file, the Certificate of Occupancy is issued.

STEP 5: If all approvals are not on file, you will be told which ones need to be obtained below.


A Certificate of Occupancy is issued as required by the Michigan Building Code where a building permit has been issued and completed in compliance with current codes. This department does not issue Certificates of Occupancy for legally existing structures because of periodic building changes. It is infeasible to expect that a building that was completely constructed under a previous building code must conform to current codes each time a change is adopted.

For this reason, the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department, does not require a Certificate of Occupancy on an annual basis. However, since the adoption of the Blight Ordinance, most commercial buildings in the city are required to obtain an annual safety inspection. This is to determine that structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are intact and operational. Upon certification of these systems, a Certificate of Compliance is issued to the property owner for posting upon the premises.


Where alterations are made to an existing building under building permit, inspections have been
completed and the work is found to comply with current codes, the department will issue a Certificate of Acceptance of that work.