Act 133 of 2016, which took effect January 2, 2017, amended the Municipal Code and Ordinance Compliance Act (MCOCA), originally enacted as Act 99 of 2000. This act prohibits municipalities from denying use and occupancy certificates based on the results of a point of sale inspection.
Some municipalities were inappropriately withholding or impeding U&O certificates, leading to some real estate transactions being postponed or cancelled due to minor property maintenance violations. Act 133 is a tremendous legislative victory for PAR. Members sent more than 13,000 emails to state legislators, urging them to vote to amend the Municipal Code and Ordinance Compliance Act.
More detailed information is available below. If you experience what you believe is a violation of Act 133, please contact your local government affairs director or field representative.
The amendments in Act 133 clarify the rights and responsibilities of both municipalities and property owners so these issues don't occur in the future. Municipalities are not required by the act to inspect existing homes that are being sold. However, municipalities that do require such inspections must issue a certificate prior to the date of purchase, in the following manner:
Click on each question to see the answer. rev. 12/22/2016
Are municipalities required to perform U&O inspections?
Does this process affect inspections for new construction or renovations?
Does MCOCA establish rules for how municipalities must perform inspections?
What sorts of things is the municipality looking for in this inspection?
What happens if there are problems discovered during the inspection?
What are the different kinds of violations, and what do they mean?
What does it mean to be unfit for human habitation?
What are the different certificates and how are they issued?
Can a municipality require that any of these violations be repaired before issuing a permit?
Can a municipality require that estimated repair funds be escrowed before issuing a certificate?
How long does a buyer have to do repairs?
How does a temporary certificate get converted to a full U&O certificate?
What if the repairs aren't completed in time, or the re-inspection shows repairs weren't up to code?
Can the buyer and seller negotiate over repairs even though the municipality can't require them?
Are there municipal fees or costs that apply to this process?
How do these rules apply to code/ordinance violations that were cited through some other process?
My municipality issues a move-in permit instead of a use and occupancy certificate. Is this covered by the law?
My municipality has point-of-sale requirements that aren't tied to a comprehensive inspection, but that can still hold up issuance of a certificate. Is this process covered by the law?
What do I do if a client is denied a certificate, or I think a municipality is violating the statute some other way?