Do you know OPRA?
No, not the talk show host…but something way more important.
An OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request is a request for public records made under state law. It allows individuals to request and access public records from government agencies, including records related to property ownership and transactions.
For homeowners, it is recommended to check for any public records (or, at a minimum, just open permits) related to their property before selling it. Open permits can delay your home sale and closing them out at the last minute might incur additional fees.
Typical Home Improvements that may require a building permit
- Replacing Hot Water Heater
- Replacing HVAC equipment
- Remodels of kitchen/bathroom that includes moving of plumbing and electrical
- Window replacements (changing window sizes)
- Home Additions
Most times, the contractor/company doing the work will open the permits for you, but it may be the homeowner’s responsibility to close them out after the work is completed.
How do you close out open permits on your property?
- Determine which permits are open: Contact your local building department to find out if there are any open permits on your property
- Complete any outstanding requirements: Depending on when the work was completed, you may need to pay additional fees for inspections and update any work to meet current building codes.
- Schedule a final inspection: One or more inspectors may need to come to your property for a final inspection. Their job is to ensure that all work has been completed according to all applicable building codes and regulations.
- Receive approval: You will receive final approval once the inspections are completed and pass. It usually takes 1-2 business days for the building department to update the records and close out the permits.
What is a CO/CCO, and why is it needed for a home sale?
Certificate of Occupancy (CO) – New Construction
Continued Certificate of Occupancy (CCO) – Resale or Rentals
The CO/CCO are municipal requirements to ensure a home is habitable and safe before new homeowners are allowed to live in the home. The inspection process makes sure the home meets current building & safety codes.
Each town has a different application process to get a CO/CCO. The process is time sensitive and will require application fees and one or more inspections. Failing to get a CO/CCO prior to closing can result in large fines to the seller and/or buyer.
Special exceptions can be made for conditional COs and Transfer of Title.
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