North Brunswick Township recently adopted a new inspection requirement for all residential homes sales and transfers.
The obligation for sellers to secure a Certificate of Continued Occupancy (CCO) takes effect Jan. 1.
This inspection process is limited to address three distinct areas: there are no open building or zoning permits for the property; there has been no work done with the absence of a construction permit or zoning permit where one is required; and there are no identifiable unsafe structures or unsafe conditions as evidenced by a general inspection of the property, according to Michael Hritz, director of Community Development.
If discovered, all open permits must be fully satisfied with all associated fees and inspections as required before the CCO will be issued. If work has been done without a permit, the property owner must file the proper applications, pay all associated permits, fees and secure the inspections necessary to satisfy the permits before the CCO will be issued.
This program was adopted to address two growing areas of concern for the municipality, Hritz said. First, many property owners have been unresponsive to a large inventory of open permits, which have not been fully satisfied. Secondly, work done without proper permits is frequently discovered, which regularly include finished basements, new roofs, and water heater and furnace replacements.
The fee for a CCO for detached residential dwellings — including one-, two-, three- and four-family dwellings — is $150. The fee for a CCO for attached multi-family dwellings, commonly referred to as townhomes or condominiums, is $125.
The construction office will call the designated contact to schedule the inspection once the application has been processed with the appropriate payment, and the necessary zoning approval and permit search have been accomplished.
CCO inspections will require access to the home with the expected inspection time to be an average of 15 minutes. Once a property has been properly inspected and approved for sale, the associated CCO shall generally be issued the next business day, Hritz said.
This new CCO requirement is in addition to the longstanding home sale inspection required by the fire marshal, who verifies the presence and good working order of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and a fire extinguisher.
Information about the CCO program, along with a copy of the single-page application and the fully detailed adopted ordinance are available at www.northbrunswicknj.gov.