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Certificates of Occupancy

Why do you Need a Certificate of Occupancy?
The Certificate of Occupancy is the Town's assurance to a prospective buyer or owner that a building or home is legally occupied and that it conforms to zoning, minimum repair and maintenance standards as of the date the Certificate of Occupancy is issued.
When do you Need a Certificate of Occupancy?

A Certificate of Occupancy is required when there is:

  1. An initial occupation of a new building.
  2. An alteration of an existing building.
  3. A change in use or occupancy.
  4. When a Building Permit has been issued.
What is a Certificate of Occupancy Inspection?

The Certificate of Occupancy inspection is a thorough inspection of the interior and exterior of the premises as applicable.

The Certificate of Occupancy permits and authorizes the use and occupancy of the land or premises as described in the permit application.

No Certificate shall be issued except upon an inspection which reveals no uncorrected deficiency or material violation of the NYS Uniform Code , Energy Code and/or Town Codes.

No building erected subject to the NYS Uniform Code, Energy Code shall be used or occupied until a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued. Similarly no building that has been altered, extended or enlarged shall be occupied or used for more than 30 days after completion unless a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.

The requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy are compliance with all applicable codes, rules, and regulations some of which are:

  • NYS Uniform Fire Prevention & Building Code
  • Town of Clarkstown Zoning Ordinance
  • All applicable Town Codes & Section 109-6
  • NYS Energy Code & Multiple Residence Law Town Of Clarkstown Fire Code
Where can you find the Requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy?

The requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy can be found in the Property Maintenance Code, Housing Code Building Code, and Zoning Ordinance, as well as in the New York State Multiple Residence Law, but are written in complex legal terms and may be somewhat confusing to most people.

To Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy
  • Certificate of Occupancy application with final electrical certificate.

  • Three copies of final survey to the Building Department for referral.

  • Certificate of structural steel.

  • Copies of all testing agency reports

  • Certification by general contractor

  • Final plumbing inspection.

Fire Inspectors Requirements

  • Application for fire alarm system connection to the Rockland County Fire Control Center (44Control)
    (Application is made "approved" fire alarm company to the Rockland County Fire Training Center).
  • Fire alarm certification.
  • Fire Sprinkler system certifications (Aboveground & Underground)
    (Completed by sprinkler company).
  • Installation of "Knox" box. (Key entry system).
    (Application is available from Fire Inspectors Office).
  • Provide the I.S.O. (or equal) stamped approved sprinkler drawings.
  • Installation of "truss" and/or"fire wall" signs. 
  • Testing and approval of the following systems
    (Tests to be witnessed by Fire Inspector).
    • Sprinkler system
    • Standpipe system
    • Fire alarm system
    • Exit and emergency lights
    • Generator test
    • Elevator test

The Building Department will gladly supply information or answer any questions regarding Certificate of Occupancy requirements.

How do you Apply for a Certificate of Occupancy?

You must have a valid Building Permit before you can apply for this Certificate.

An owner or his representative can obtain an application for Certificate of Occupancy from the Clarkstown Town Hall, Building Department, Room 101 (lower level), 10 Maple Ave., New City, NY 10956.

The owner or his representative can fill out this application with the following information:

  1. Name and address of owner to whom Certificate of Occupancy is to be issued.
  2. Date of application
  3. Number of permit Certificate of Occupancy is requested for.
  4. Map, Block, and Lot numbers of property.

This application is then filed along with a copy of the Final Electrical Certificate of approval for the electrical work, with the Building Department. Affidavits, and final as built plot plans, may be required also for some projects. This information can be obtained when application for Certificate of Occupancy is picked up from the Building Department.

If the building meets zoning approval and is found to be in compliance with applicable codes, ordinances and regulations, the Building Department will issue a Certificate of Occupancy.

For Certificates of Occupancy to be issued on permits that have expired or for existing building, built before the adoption of the zoning and building codes an additional fee is required.

Temporary Certificate of Occupancy
A temporary Certificate of Occupancy may be issued for a building in full compliance with the Zoning Ordinance and near substantial compliance with other applicable laws, ordinances and regulations if the temporary use would in no way endanger life, safety, or property. A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy expires in 90 days.
Zoning Review
All applications for Certificate of Occupancy must be reviewed and endorsed by the Building Inspector. Zoning approval for a Certificate of Occupancy certifies that the described use of a building is permitted.
Where can you get further information?
This information does not cover every possible kind of situation under which Building Permits and Certificates of Occupancy may be required. In addition, some kinds of work require special permits from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, as well as other local, state, and federal agencies.

We would suggest, therefore, that if you have questions regarding Building Permits and Certificates of Occupancy, or the fees for obtaining them, please call the Clarkstown Building Department at (845) 639-2100.