Based on this thread, I'm now REALLY sure that NJ is a good place to
be "from". :)
Having been "from" NJ for nearly 50 years!
Even the People's Republic of Kalifornia is less intrusive (but not by
much), who woulda thunk?
I have had inspectors in my NJ house any number of times and
they never even blinked at any things I had done without permits.
I think the permit inspection thing is overstated. Just my experience
in my town.
New air conditioner, new furnace, new water heater ... the company
who does that stuff for me always files permits.
Personally, I think if you have work done by licensed professionals,
you shouldn't need an inspection, but hey, who doesn't love hanging
around all day for someone to look at a wire and walk off.
It is stated on the permit that the inspector will look for smoke and
CO detectors while they are there, but they never do.
Also, they aren't NJ inspectors, they are my town's inspectors.
Ooops, I forgot to mention, I handled the sale of 2 homes and purchase
of 1 for my inlaws, that is where the CofOs came in. All they looked
for were safety issues, not what work was done with or without
permits. This was in 2 other municipalities.
.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all
I've heard from business owners that NJ can be a real pain, much like
NYS--real revenue raisers.
But what you describe is reasonable.
When I filed for a tax reduction here in Yonkers (and got it!), they sent
someone over, whose primary concern was ferreting out illegal
I pointed out that not only were none illegal, but also that none of them
I suspect--sheeeit, I KNOW-- that the next New Wave of Paper Terrorism,
which is now pretty much limited to our effing driver's licenses/insurance
and tax returns, will be extended to our homes, with profound intrusion,
looking for violations, un-filed work, anything at all to generate boucou
revenue via hefty fines.
This paragraph of the NWPT bill is called the Municipal Home Invasion Act.
Basically they will extend their inspection policy of multiple
dwellings/apt. buildings to private homes.
NYC generated hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue from landlords via
housing code violations in apt. buildings.
You are already being held hostage via the absolute and likely corrupt whim
of the tax assessor/officials.
Oh, we need new luxury county offices, and I need a top floor corner office
with a private elevator--no problem, let's raise taxes....
Your tax bill may already be more than your effing mortgage.
Your Home Invasion Bill will be another $100K over 10 years, guaranteed.
You will never ever ever be able to retire.
Some here have reported that some counties require permits for
*wallpapering* yer house, or for *any* work over $1000.
It is increasingly common that municipalities require filings for a changed
water heater, or even a sink!
Get ready. Itsa comin.
See my sig.
Mr. P.V.\'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
Well, I got curious again and did do (actually repeated because I
discovered pretty quickly my previous search _had_ been NJ as I thought
I recalled) a fairly long search of NJ statute and what I could find of
real estate buy/sell advice. I found _NO_ indication of any state law
requiring a jurisdictionally sponsored or required inspection other than
the seller disclosure form nor any other indication that any of these
restrictions are actually law, at least at the State level. In perusing
this, I found several sites of NJ-licensed inspectors and all of them
indicated their services were optional to the buyer except possibly by
the lending institutions, etc., as we all know.
My conclusion is still that many/most/(all?) of the hoops Art has jumped
through are either very local (and I found several sections in NJ
statute Sect. 46 that mentioned they overrode the localities' ability to
write their own regulations altho I can't swear in such a quick review
those cover all possible items) or a case of a realtor/broker/agent
handling the transaction and masking the actual legal _minimum_
requirements by handling it at a "higher level" if you will.
I'll be interested to see what additional info Art actually has as it
would be interesting to see just how bad it has gotten in some
localities if it is indeed that bad...
Well, I've been away on business and unable to follow up. I did a quick
search for paperwork relating to my previous home sales, and didn't find
But I did find something useful ... here is the relevant section of the
Code of Hamilton Twp., Mercer County:
Sec. 66-63. Inspection prior to change in occupancy; certificate of approval.
(a) Prior to any change in occupancy of any house, hotel, dwelling,
dwelling unit, roominghouse, rooming unit, boardinghouse, motel,
apartment unit or premises which is used, partially used or intended to
be used for human occupancy, a certificate of approval shall first have
been obtained from the office of the superintendent of inspections,
stating that the building and premises comply with the requirements of
the township ordinances. In the case of a hotel or motel, this section
shall only apply in those cases involving permanent, rather than
(b) An inspection shall be obtained either by the owner or the owner's
agent prior to a change in occupancy and shall be performed by the
office of the superintendent of inspections for the purpose of
determining if a certificate of approval may be issued.
(c) Inspections pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be
conducted using the following criteria:
(1) All violations of township ordinances shall be reflected in the
inspection report in order to provide notice to the owner or prospective
owner or occupant of such violations.
(2) A violation of the plumbing code which poses a positive or obvious
major threat to the health, safety or welfare of any potential
occupancy, a violation of the electrical code which poses a positive or
obvious major threat to the health, safety or welfare of any potential
occupancy, or any other condition which poses a positive or obvious
threat to the health, safety or welfare of any potential occupancy shall
be deemed a major violation of the housing code and shall be designated
to the owner, potential owner or occupant separately on the inspection
(d) Violations of the kind described in subsection (c)(2) of this
section must be corrected by the owner of the unit before the issuance
of a certificate of approval. The responsibility for correction of a
violation of the housing code which is not a major violation may, except
in the case of a rental, be assumed by the buyer, with the written
notification and approval of the seller, buyer and superintendent of
inspections. At the time of such assumption of responsibility, a
conditional certificate of approvalmay be issued, and the violations
shall be corrected by the buyer within 30 days of the date of issuance
of the conditional certificate of approval. The director of engineering,
planning and inspections may grant an extension not exceeding 30 days
for just cause.
(e) An unconditional certificate of approval shall be issued by the
office of the superintendent of inspections at such time as the
superintendent is satisfied that all violations have been corrected.
(f) The completed certificate of approval shall contain the names of
both the seller or landlord and the buyer or tenant. One copy of the
completed certificate of approval as provided by the township shall
remain each with the seller or landlord and the buyer or tenant.
(g) In the case of a rental, the landlord shall ensure that the tenant
shall sign a tenant's receipt as provided by the township upon receiving
the tenant's copy of the certificate of approval. The landlord shall
then, within ten days, upon securing the tenant's signature, forward the
signed tenant's receipt to the superintendent of inspections.
(h) A certificate of approval is valid for the authorization of
occupancy for a period of 90 days after issuance. The director of
engineering, planning and inspections may authorize extensions of 30
days only upon presentment of sufficient proof that the extension is
necessary due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond the control of
(i) The purpose of this section is to continue to ensure compliance
with the various township ordinances and the housing code in order to
maintain high standards of housing both for homeowners and apartment
dwellers within the township. However, the township, by this section, is
not acting as a guarantor of any property insofar as any potential owner
or occupant is concerned, nor shall the township be considered to be
involved in any manner in the contractual relationships between the
...snip code for brevity...
OK, that is TWP, not state as I surmised must be local.
While somewhat onerous and, imo, somewhat overbearing, it doesn't
actually prohibit transfer of title and there is the "out" clause of a
conditional COA and the lesser of buyer-accepted qualification.
One would presume they couldn't enforce it for the sale of a currently
unoccupied residence, either to prohibit the transfer of title, only
that they can prevent actually occupancy until serious deficiencies are
But still, makes one glad to not be in NJ... :)
Wow, that is a very restrictive set of rules. Thanks for posting it so I
never move to the Socialist Republic of Hamilton Township.
The way I read this, if your tenant bails on you in six months, you have to
go through the same inspection BS again. And again when he moves.
For comparison sake, the city of Hartford is supposed to annually inspect
commercial buildings for fire safety. Some have not been inspected in 20
years due to lack of funding. I cannot image the budget and work force
needed to do every home or apartment when it changes occupants.
No, not here where I am in CT or where I was in PA. A CO is issued when
the house if first built. Some work does require a permit of course. Some
of our towns still do not have zoning or land use rules and the locals are
adamantly against it.
I always figured it was up to me to decide if I want a house or not, to
inspect it or not. Permits, codes, building inspections have a place.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.