Certificate of Occupancy Checklist: Understanding the Basics | Winston-Salem Property Management - Article Banner

In North Carolina, a building cannot be legally occupied until a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is provided. The CO is issued when all inspections have been completed and passed. There may be a temporary CO provided to a building that is safe but still has issues that need to be resolved. Those will need to be addressed and the inspection passed within 30 days. 

What does this mean for your residential building in Winston-Salem? 

Our experience in residential property management can help you stay organized and compliant. Here’s a checklist that covers the basics of your Certificate of Occupancy.

Schedule Your Winston-Salem Rental Property Inspection 

When you’re applying for a CO for your single-family home or multi-family rental property, you’ll need to submit an application that includes the results of your inspection. Your first checklist item is to schedule that inspection.

The inspection is a visual check to ensure habitability and safety standards have been met. Here is a brief overview of what the inspector will be looking for: 

  • Functioning electrical, plumbing, and gas systems.
  • Smoke detectors on all levels of the home.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors outside sleeping areas.
  • Properly installed and functioning appliances.
  • Handrails on stairs that have three or more steps.
  • Rails around landings and porches.
  • Certification of health for septic systems and wells.
  • Structurally sound walls, doors, roofs, ceilings, and floors.
  • Windows can easily open.
  • Basements are free from water and dampness.
  • Wood stoves and fireplaces are properly installed.
  • The home must be free of insects and pests.
  • Sidewalks and driveways are free from trip hazards.
  • The roof is sound and waterproof.

The inspector is unlikely to turn on every appliance and test every outlet. This is a visual inspection only. You want to make sure the home is maintained and clean. If you noticed anything that needed to be repaired, make sure it’s repaired before the CO inspection. You don’t want to have windows that are cracked, walls with excessive peeling paint, or cracked or loose plaster. 

Submit Your Application Online 

In Forsyth County and in most other municipalities in and around Winston-Salem, the entire application process is done online. Fill out all of the required information, pay the fee, and include your inspection report as well as any other documentation that can help you prove your property is habitable and ready for occupancy. If the inspector noted anything was amiss, you’ll have 30 days to make the necessary repairs. 

The CO will be sent to you via email for printing. 

Property Management Services in Winston-Salem

House InspectionWorking around inspections and inspectors can feel challenging for landlords and property owners. If you’d like some help navigating the process of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy, reach out to property managers who have been through this process countless times before. We know what the inspection will entail and we understand the process of getting the necessary permits and certificates to effectively and legally rent out your property. 

The goal is to get a tenant placed quickly and rent coming in right away. We can help facilitate that. Please contact us at Capstone Realty Consultants for more information.