JoAnna and Gail's Real Estate Blog


Manalapan, NJ - Certificate of Continued Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy ("C of O") or A Certificate of Continued Occupancy ("CCO") is a document issued by the local government that certifies a home's compliance with local building codes.  Certificates of occupancy demonstrate that a home or building is in livable condition.   A licensed inspector that works for the local government will inspect the home and provide a certificate of occupancy to give homebuyers, and mortgage lenders, assurance that the home is in a safe and livable condition.

Each township has their own guidelines as to what is required to receive the Certificate and those requirements can vary greatly from one town to another.  Some townships don't require a Certificate of Occupancy at all!  Below is specific information on getting a Certificate of Occupancy in Manalapan Township.  Please contact me if you would like information on C of O requirements in your town.

In Manalapan Township, a CCO, Certificate of Continued Occupancy, is required when selling or renting a home and is the responsibility of the seller.    The CCO is comprised of a home inspection and a smoke/fire inspection.

Currently, the cost to apply for a CCO is $155.00.  No checks!  Acceptable methods of payment are cash or two separate money orders.  One for $110 for the CCO and one for $45 for the Smoke Detector/Carbon Monoxide Certificate.  You can find the application online (Manalapan Township CCO Application) or pick one up at the Municipal Building located at 120 Route 522, across from the Manalapan Recreation Center.

A CCO is good for 90 days from the date of issuance. The Smoke Detector Certification expires after six months from the date of issuance.  You can extend the CCO once for another 90 days for $25.


Manalapan Township Inspector

Prior to your CCO inspection, it is necessary to “close out” all existing open permits.  Do not think that just maybe the inspector won’t notice you finished your basement or that you installed a new hot water heater. Trust me, he will be looking for these  items!  Saying “it was here when we bought the house” won’t get you too far either!

Common items requiring permits include:




In addition, be sure to review the checklist of items the Housing Inspector will be checking.  This most current checklist can be obtained from the Township website (Manalapan Township CCO Checklist) or by visiting the Construction Office at the Municipal Building. 

 Manalapan Township Certificate of Occupancy Checklist (as of July 2011):


Must be posted on front of the house and visible from the street, written words are not acceptable.


Open portion of a stair, landing or balcony which is more than 30” (thirty inches) above the floor or grade shall have guardrails. Stairs must be in sound and good condition.


Handrails and guard shall be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally imposed loads and shall be maintained in good condition.


All must have screens, no broken or cracked glazing. They shall be capable of being easily opened, held in position by window hardware and locked.


Must discharge into a drainage system, not on the ground or into a sump pump. Dryer must be vented to the exterior with a metal pipe or foil flex from the machine.


All interior doors must be operational with hardware. Front door must have a thumb latch lock from the interior, keyed cylinders from the interior are not allowed.


Must be operational and connected to a thermostat. Area around furnace must be free and clear of storage and/or debris.


No extension cords on door opener. Door from house to the garage must be maintained in operative condition and be fire rated.


No leaks, no missing shingles, no excessive curling.


Must be operational with knobs and hardware. NO SECOND STOVES/RANGE ALLOWED!


Smooth and free of tripping hazards.


Fixtures shall be properly installed, connected and maintained in working order.


All receptacles (outlets), switches and junction boxes must be properly covered. Extension cords are not permitted. A clear and unobstructed path to the panel box, open slots must be properly blocked.


Clean and free of debris, lawns and landscaping maintained.


Walls, ceiling, trim, paint, siding, and fences must be in good and sound condition.


Original system built with the house must be maintained (e.g. interconnected cannot be replaced with a standalone battery operated one). Operating detectors must be installed on each level/floor of the house (basement and crawl spaces included) and within 10’ (ten feet) of any sleeping room.


Homeowners are required to install a detector(s) as per manufacturer installation of the brand they choose. However, a minimum of one (1) must be installed in the vicinity of all sleeping areas. If bedrooms are on more than one floor level, additional detectors are required to protect each area. Instruction booklet/directors should be left for future homeowner.  Homes with electric heat do not require Carbon Monoxide detectors (Covered Bridge).


All residential units must have a fire extinguisher. It must be rated for residential use consisting of an 2A-10BC type and weigh no more than 10 lbs. We suggest placing it under the kitchen sink cabinet or mounted within 10 feet of the kitchen.


It is very important to address these items before the inspector arrives!  Failing for these items will lead to delays, as well as the need for a re-inspection.   Not to mention, it makes for a cranky inspector if the checklist is ignored!

2A 10BC Fire Extinguisher


No question, in my experience, the number one reason homeowners fail their CCO inspections is because they buy the wrong fire extinguisher!  It is required that all residential units have a “2A 10BC” type fire extinguisher, no larger than 10 lbs.  Usually in stock at Lowe’s and Home Depot and will cost between $30 - $40.  Place the fire extinguisher in the kitchen cabinet, below the sink (out of the box), or mounted within 10 feet of the kitchen.  Also, if you believe you already have the proper extinguisher, make sure it is still charged by checking the gauge on top! 

All homes with well and septic systems must have approval from the Health Department in order for a CCO to be issued.  You must provide proof of your septic system being pumped within the last 2 years.  Well water needs to be tested and the results submitted for Health Department review.

There's no avoiding the C of O process, so best to tackle it as soon as you list your home for sale.  Better to address any issues in a stress-free environment than to try to rush the process 2 weeks before closing!



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JoAnna Siminerio, Weichert Realtors

JoAnna Siminerio
Weichert Realtors - Marlboro / Manalapan
732-598-6823 cell
732-536-4400 x116 (office)

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Comment balloon 3 commentsGail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio • July 25 2011 09:26AM
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