In Detroit, the certificate of occupancy is called the Certificate of Occupancy & Compliance (C of O). This certificate indicates that a building meets all city codes and is safe to occupy. You may not LEGALLY occupy or use a building without a certificate of occupancy. The Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSE&ED) of Detroit City Government issues C of O on the request of the customer. The department verifies that all the required division approvals (electrical, plumbing, mechanical and building) have been obtained. 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.
What are the fees for Certificate of Occupancy?
There are no fees for Certificates of Occupancy. However any outstanding inspection fees must be paid before a certificate is issued.
How to get Certificate of Occupancy?
Before requesting certificate of occupancy, please be certain that inspections in ALL disciplines have been approved. The building inspections are valid for up to one year, otherwise a re-inspection may be required. Request for certificate of occupancy can be submitted via email, fax or in person in Room 408. (Applications are available on line or in Room 408.)
- STEP 1: Customer visits Permit Information Center and requests a Certificate of Occupancy. 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.
Certificate of Acceptance
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.
Certificate of Approval
A Certificate of Approval is issued by the City of Detroit’s Building, Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department upon confirmation that all cited conditions in the Pre-Sale Inspection Report (or Notice of Deficiencies Inspection Report) have been corrected, required inspection permits have been completed and all inspection fees have been paid. All properties purchased through the DLBA auction will require a Certificate of Approval.
Zoning Verification Letters
Often it is necessary for an owner to establish that a building is being used for a legally recognized purpose that, in event it should suffer damages, it can legally be rebuilt and reoccupied with the established use. This department will provide upon request the current legal use of a specific property, certifying that this use is permitted to remain, until a permit to change or alter the structure has been obtained. This service is offered in the form of a Zoning Verification Letter. Contact the BSE&ED Administrative Division at (313) 224-33251 for this service.