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There has never been a better time to get your Certificate of Occupancy in Lakewood, OH. A recently updated (effective immediately!!) policy from the City of Lakewood has stated that CoC inspections, or Point of Sale inspections, will no longer be required by the city for residential rental and commercial retail properties unless a change in the tenants “constitutes a change of use or occupancy under state building code.”

Why the change?

The premise behind this shift in legislation is to avoid unnecessary or gratuitous searches that encroach on the privacy rights of both owners and renters. Inspections will still be available on a voluntary basis should there be any questions about the soundness of the property. In the event that a property changes hands, there will still be the expectation that any code violations will be resolved before the close of the sale. This new stance from the City of Lakewood is a healthy adjustment in light of the history of the Fourth Amendment in the United States Constitution and its Right to Privacy.

Do it! Just do it!

Having said that, what are you waiting for?! If you have been contemplating an investment property in Lakewood or on the West Side, either as a dwelling or as a business, now is the time to do it. The city offers a cheat sheet for nailing down your CoC in Lakewood which covers the major points regarding building use, cosmetic and functional changes, and fire code. Since this is your baby we’re talking about (because your investment or your business are your baby, right?), let Cleveland Home Title walk you through some variables in the points the city makes that will doubly ensure a successful and pitfall-free process. This includes three offices to call:

The Lakewood Planning and Development Office

It’s essential that you make sure that the property you are thinking of is eligible for the use you have in mind. Ideally, this will be something you take care of before you sign a tenant, or as a tenant, before you sign a lease. The big danger lies in not doing this early enough in the process: while city governments typically try to be accommodating as possible, inspectors wield an unusual amount of influence (something they are aware of) in ascertaining the appropriate use for a property. Please don’t get caught waiting on this until late in the game, scrambling to file an appeal with the city if things don’t go favorably. Become best friends with these folks.

The Lakewood Building Department

If you have zeroed in on a property and you have not yet signed a lease or have yet to close on a contract, the building department will be your next stop. While these use of your premises may not seem directly linked to these questions, you will be required to give a full account of the points of exit, the accessibility for those with disabilities, and the question of adequate parking. As a city, Lakewood is exceptional about maintaining an inclusive family atmosphere. Make sure you are part of upholding that tradition by putting special thought into pathways for those with special needs. Many families with disabled loved ones become devoted to establishments where they feel noticed and cared for.

The Lakewood Fire Marshall

The crowded, full-to-bursting joint is the hot place to be in town, but a tremendous amount of thought goes into making it safe. While fire marshalls are often viewed as the naysayers of creative possibility in a space, it’s vital to comply with their guidance. You never know what danger it might avoid.

Wrapping It Up

As an investor or a business in Lakewood, you are part of the fabric of a beautifully unique area. What you do continues the tradition of many generations and decades of entrepreneurship that make Cleveland the rich, history-saturated place that it is, whether in facilitating a home or a business. Cleveland Home Title salutes you!

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