Certificate of Occupancy in City of Phoenix, Arizona

Any building or structure, or portion thereof need a certificate of occupancy for the owner to move in. The certificate is issued after all the provisions of the code or other ordinances of the city of Phoenix are met.

Which buildings need a Certificate of Occupancy?

We can classify buildings or structures into following types:-

  •  Non-occupiable – These are buildings or structures or portions thereof  are with incomplete life/safety and accessibility systems. These types of structures or buildings lack utility services with absence of restrooms, partial or incomplete fire suppression systems and/or smoke control systems. These are roofed structures that may not be occupied. Certificate of Occupancy is NOT issued for such types of building or structures.
  • Occupiable in part – These are buildings or structures with complete life/safety systems that have a portion of their area completed. These buildings are in compliance with all applicable codes and ordinances. If the all requirements are met for the completed portion, it can be granted Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Occupiable – The buildings or structures that have been completed in all aspects and are in compliance with the codes. These buildings can be issues  a Certificate of Occupancy  for which the occupancy has been applied.

The certificate of occupancy is required for the following projects:

  • New commercial and residential buildings
  • Tenant improvement of a newly occupied space
  • Tenant improvement or remodel that involves a change in the occupancy type
  • Other projects as determined

Certificate of Occupancy Checklist

The following is a list of issues that, if outstanding, could prevent the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. All such issues should be completely resolved to the Building Official’s satisfaction. This list is not inclusive:

  • Finalization of all on-site permits (Fire, Site, Civil, Building)
  • Completion of all off-site improvements – includes removal of and repairs to street lights and street signs
  • Resolution of all project holds
  • Submittal and acceptance by Water Services Department of as-builts for water and sewer, including testing
    reports
  • Completion and submittal of required Maricopa County Health Department forms
  • Completion and submittal of required sewer certificates
  • Acceptance of well/septic system

Download Checklist for Existing Buildings

Certificate of Occupancy Application

An application will be submitted A building inspector will perform all required inspections on the building. When required inspections are made on a project the inspector will indicate whether the inspection has passed or failed. When all required inspections have passed and the information is documented, a certificate of occupancy will be automatically generated if the project requires one. A green tag signifying compliance with certain code requirements will be given to projects that do not require a new certificate of occupancy.

If the Building Official finds that no substantial hazard will result from occupancy of any building before completion, or portion thereof, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy may be issued. This includes such uses as storage (stocking) or inventory (of non-construction related material, such as furniture) for the proposed occupancy.

Temporary Certificate of Occupancy

If the Building Official finds that no substantial hazard will result from occupancy of any building before completion, or portion thereof, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy may be issued. This includes such uses as storage (stocking) or inventory (of non-construction related material, such as furniture) for the proposed occupancy. A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is valid as long as the permit is active.

Requirements for issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy

The following is a list of minimum requirements for issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. The list is not all-inclusive

  • A written request from the owner or owner’s agent for the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (inspections clearance is required for any application for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy).
  • Fire Department clearance
  • No overhead lifting above floor(s) of occupancy
  • Building must be enclosed at all levels
  • Associated Site and Civil requirements must be met except when the use is for stocking only.
  • Code-required fire and life/safety systems, i.e., sprinklers, fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire rated floor systems, duct, shafts, and penetrations, elevators, exit illumination, exists and exit stairways, must be in place and functional on the level of occupancy considered, one story above and to grade level.
  • Accessibility requirements must be in complete compliance to, throughout, and from the area under
    consideration except for stocking only.
  • Parking, including accessible spaces, must be available for the occupancy of the area under consideration except for stocking only.
  • Sprinklers and standpipes must be functional on floors under construction – proper design pressures and
    required on the floor of occupancy, the adjacent floor above and to grade
  • Other issues pursuant to field conditions

Issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy shall not be construed as a dismissal of a violation of any city
of Phoenix code or ordinance provisions.

Although Site and Civil improvements are not required for stocking only, all disciplines must sign off for all
temporary certificates of occupancy.

More information on Certificate of Occupancy