A Certificate of Occupancy (COO) is formal documentation certifying that any building, land, or structure conforms to the Zoning Regulations (DCMR Title 11) provisions of the D.C. Construction Codes and the Green Building Act.
A Certificate of Occupancy shows that any existing and upcoming building or structure in the Washington D.C. jurisdiction satisfies the underlying construction and zoning regulations of the District of Columbia. In most cases, this requirement prevents persons from using buildings and structures for purposes beyond a single-family dwelling until a valid certificate for doing so is issued.
To obtain a Washington D.C. Certificate of Occupancy, applicants submit the Certificate of Occupancy Application to the Department of Buildings.
To avoid making mistakes in the application and to hasten the submission and approval processes, many contractors, developers, and property owners often work with trusted service providers like DFM Development Services to complete their certificate applications.
Here are Six Reasons Why You Need a Certificate of Occupancy in D.C.:
1. Proves the Legal Status of a Property
The purpose of a Certificate of Occupancy is to prove the legal status of a particular property. It allows you to own a property and use it for the intended purposes defined in the certificate.
It’s a base for other certificates – water, sewer, and electricity.
Did you know that a Certificate of Occupancy (COO) is needed when applying for all the other certificates – water, sewer, and electricity? If you didn’t know, the Washington D.C. jurisdiction demands that property owners avail the Certificate of Occupancy before obtaining water, sewerage, and electricity certificates.
2. Required in a Mortgage Loan
A Certificate of Occupancy is a critical document you need when applying for a mortgage loan. That’s because the Certificate of Occupancy is legal documentation proving that a property is habitable and meets all the statutory usage and code requirements. So, always avail of the Certificate of Occupancy when applying for a mortgage loan.
3. Collateral for Loans
The Certificate of Occupancy may act as collateral for loans from financial institutions and banks. Alongside a positive credit score and proof of financial flows, a Certificate of Occupancy can help you obtain a bank loan, whether you’re working with a bank or a credit union.
4. Help Solve Land Disputes
Land ownership disputes are common scenarios, especially in public land ownership. When land ownership cases emerge, it’s possible to solve such tussles by availing a Certificate of Occupancy. The party that avails this document in a land ownership tussle proved that they obtained state permission to use the property under specific usage and code requirements – thus proof of property ownership.
5. Helps You Obtain a Certified Copy of the Deed
The Certificate of Occupancy helps property owners obtain title deeds for properties, buildings, and land. It acts as proof of ownership, thus facilitating the process of obtaining a title deed.
6. Helps During the Purchase or Sale of a Property
You must provide proof of ownership when selling properties in Greater Washington D.C. Similarly when purchasing the property, you’ll need to obtain the Certificate of Occupancy to put the property to use. So, the COO is a critical component of the transactional property exchanges between owners (sellers) and buyers.
DFM Development Services – Certificate of Occupancy Made Easier
D.C. Construction Codes provide that no person can use a building or property for purposes other than a single-family dwelling unless a COO is obtained, which is one of the major reasons why you need a Certificate of Occupancy in D.C. So, property owners, builders, and contractors constantly work with authorizing officials in the Department of Buildings to obtain the Certificate of Occupancy.
DFM Development Services believes that applying, submitting, and following up on the application process can be time-consuming and strenuous, especially when you’re stuck on project deadlines.
As real estate consultants, we take the pain out of the process, helping you apply and obtain your Certificate of Occupancy in real-time. Our collaborative approach with authorizing officials has helped us navigate the red tape of real estate development, helping us work with diverse clients successfully in meeting project deliverables.
Contact us for assistance and guidance on obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy.