Every county or municipality will have different rules for determining what is necessary to allow the new homeowner to get an occupancy permit. Some localities require no inspections whatsoever, while others require a host of government inspections.
Some of the government inspections that may be needed include:
- Electrical systems;
- HVAC systems;
- Plumbing systems or fixtures;
- Aesthetics of the home, such as external paint, shingle and driveway condition;
- Fire safety – in some localities this is a separate inspection that is conducted by the local fire district;
- General safety/code compliance, such as rails for stairwells.
The local government office that issues occupancy permits can provide information on what inspections are necessary, what they cost, and how to schedule them.
If you are working with a real estate agent, in our experience they can also be very helpful in either scheduling these government inspections or making sure the inspectors have access to the home.
Once the inspections have been completed, any issues that require repair or replacement should be discussed with your attorney immediately so that the Inspection Notice can be properly worded. (For more information on Inspection Notices, please read this previous post.)
It should be noted that even though the Buyer may need passing local inspection reports to get an occupancy permit, in many places, it is the responsibility of the Seller to order, pay for and facilitate these inspections.