Toms River recently introduced an ordinance that would require sellers to obtain a “continuing certificate of occupancy” (CCO) prior to selling the home. In addition to the present requirement that sellers comply with fire codes, the new ordinance would require a physical inspection and would include searches to ensure that the property was in compliance with applicable codes. The seller would have to apply for the CCO at least 21 days prior to the anticipated closing date, and the town would then have a week to do the inspection and an additional week to provide the report and/or grant the CCO. The cost would be $100.
Of course, Toms River would require the seller to fix any violations prior to selling the property. Yesterday, however, the city council tabled the ordinance over objections from some residents (although many residents had already voiced support for the ordinance).
According to the Asbury Park Press, the council is already planning some changes to make it more palatable. For example, there are still many homes in the area that are damaged or abandoned and in disrepair. A requirement that the owner (many times, the bank) make the repairs prior to sale often means that the homes sit, as the owner cannot afford to make the repairs (or in the bank’s case, will not make the repairs on each home in its foreclosure inventory).
To remedy that problem, the council will likely propose that uninhabitable homes, at least, will be exempt from the CCO to complete the transaction. However, like many towns, Toms River would prevent the new owner from moving in until the repairs are made and the CCO is granted. This allows investors and other buyers to purchase the property and revitalize it, rather than leaving the property to continue deteriorating.
As of now, there have been no final changes to the existing Certificate of Occupancy requirements in Toms River.