That is the question in a recent lawsuit filed in Rockland County Supreme Court.
Most real estate attorneys would say that closing with out a certificate of occupancy on a newly constructed house is not a good idea, even a departure from accepted standards.
A certificate of occupancy is the legal notice by the municipality that the house is habitable and constructed in accordance with the building permit. Accordingly, when purchasing a residential piece of real property to be occupied as a dwelling, the attorney should recommend a certificate of occupancy. The failure to have a c/o means that occupancy of the premises “illegal,” and the failure to have that document means that any occupancy violates the law.