PLI RESIDENTIAL OCCUPANCY PERMIT

Residential Occupancy Permit

What is a Certificate of Occupancy?

A Certificate of Occupancy is required to legally use and occupy a building or structure (or portion thereof), except for existing single family dwellings. When a Certificate of Occupancy is issued, it certifies that the building/structure or portion thereof conforms with the Zoning Code and the applicable Building Codes enforced at the time the Certificate is issued.

An Occupancy Permit is required for:

  • New buildings/structures.
  • Additions to existing buildings/structures, this includes vertical additions, or other modifications to the building volume, such as dormers.
  • Two family dwellings.
  • Exterior accessory equipment/structures, such as fences, decks, sheds, condensing units, and generators.
  • Other elements, such as parking pads, as required by the Zoning Code.

Things to know:

  • Please be aware that a Building Permit may also be required in addition to an Occupancy Permit. Please refer to Work Not Requiring a Building Permit.
  • In order for the City of Pittsburgh to issue a new Certificate of Occupancy, conformance must be shown per current codes.
  • If a new Certificate of Occupancy is required/desired, an Occupancy Permit must first be obtained before the new Certificate can issued.

PLI's Certificate of Occupancy Search

PLI welcomes everyone to search through all Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections Certificates of Occupancy through this link. Once on the page, you can search by using Permit Number, Address, Parcel ID, the Ward Number or a combination of the four search keywords.  

How to Obtain an Occupancy Permit

The Occupancy Permit application process is two-fold.

  1. The first component is review and approval by the Zoning Department for the land use as regulated by the Zoning Code.
  2. The second component is review and approval by PLI for life safety as regulated by the current Building Codes.

Zoning Review

The property owner, or authorized agent, will need to first apply in person at the Zoning Counter located at 200 Ross Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. After the work is approved by the Zoning Department, PLI's Application Counter, both located on the 3rd floor of 200 Ross St. Please visit the Zoning website to review requirements. Any questions should be directed to zoning@pittsburghpa.gov or by calling 412-255-2246.

PLI Review

For the PLI review, the following will be required:

  • Completed Application Form.
  • If a Building Permit is also required, drawings prepared and sealed by a Pennsylvania licensed Architect/Engineer may be required.
  • For two-family dwellings, drawings prepared and sealed by a Pennsylvania licensed Architect/Engineer may be required.
  • A check/money order to pay the permit fee, due when permit is issued. We accept credit card payments at the counter. There will be a 2% + $0.25 convienence fee in addition to the permit fee.

Generally, Occupancy Permits not requiring a Building Permit are reviewed over the counter. If a Building Permit is also required, it will be logged in and reviewed in the order in which they were reviewed. Review times vary and can take up to 15 business days. After the Plans Examining Engineer has reviewed the drawing, they will contact the Architect/Engineer with any revisions or notify the applicant that the permit is ready for pick up.

Inspection

After the permit has been issued, the applicant must contact the building inspector indicated on the permit to schedule an inspection.

After all required inspections are completed, including special inspections and thrid party inspections, the building inspector will sign off on the completed permit. Once completed, it may take up to a week to recieve the final Certificate of Occupancy via mail unless the applicant elects to pick it up in person.

Certificate of Occupancy Issuance

After all required inspections are completed, including special inspections and thrid party inspections, the building inspector will sign off on the completed permit. Once completed, it may take up to a week to recieve the final Certificate of Occupancy via mail unless the applicant elects to pick it up in person.