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Certificate of Occupancy

C of O


The City's renewable Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) program stabilizes and enhances neighborhoods by conducting regularly scheduled property maintenance inspections for structures with residential rental units. These inspections, based on local, state, and federal code standards, ensure the preservation of property and the protection of life. The focus is to diminish blight and provide quality housing. 


Certificate of Occupancy

Monday - Friday

9- 4pm

Renewal process

  1. Renewal Letter

    • On a monthly basis, renewal letters and application are generated and mailed to property owners for those properties with expiring C of Os.
  2. Generation of a Case

    • A case is generated and assigned to the area Inspector.
  3. Application Submitted

    • Once a completed application has been submitted to the Permit Office along with the associated fees and after it is approved by Zoning, an appointment is scheduled and the owner is notified by mail of the date and time.  If the date or time is not convenient, the owner can call and request it to be changed.
    • If an application is not submitted prior to the due date, the area Inspector is dispatched to the location and an exterior inspection is conducted from the right of way. Any exterior related violations, including failure to obtain a C of O, are cited. A Notice and Order is mailed the next day to the property owner.
  4. Initial Inspection

    • The assigned Inspector meets the owner or their representative at the location and an inspection of the structure and premises is conducted.  Any code violations found on the inspection are captured in a Notice and Order, including whether or not a lead dust wipe test is necessary, and the order is mailed the next day to the property owner.
  5. Final Inspection

    1. Once violations have been corrected or no violations are identified, the assigned Inspector will approve the issuance of the C of 
  6. Certificate Issuance

    • The pending C of O is placed in a queue for processing (10 business days).

Exception processes


Property owners who occupy a one or two-family dwelling are exempt from the C of O requirement. Owners whose spouse, parent, child, or sibling occupies a one or two-family dwelling may complete the exemption application and provide proof of relationship and residency. Exemptions must be renewed every three years. If the residency situation changes, the owner will be required to obtain a C of O.

Exemption application


Owners of one or two family homes occupied by tenants using Section 8 vouchers and subject to an annual Rochester Housing Authority inspection, may apply for a waiver from the interior inspection of the unit during the C of O process. To secure the waiver, the owner must complete an application and submit a passing RHA inspection report which indicates no interior deteriorated paint.  The report must be dated within one year of the date of submission.

Waiver application