Occupancy Certificates

Certificate of Occupancy

Newly constructed, relocated, or altered areas of a building require a certificate of occupancy (CofO). A new CofO is also required if the occupancy classification of a building, or portion of a building, is changed.

Any building that has been legally occupied, without a change of occupancy as defined by the building or land use codes, is assumed to have a CofO for the current use. A Zoning Compliance review is still required for any change in Tenancy. This review may result in a Zoning Compliance Certificate instead of a new Certificate of Occupancy. For questions about Certificates of Occupancy please contact Juan Garcia, Assistant Building Official at Juan.Garcia@tucsonaz.govor the Zoning Section at Zone1Desk@tucsonaz.gov.

A new CofO can only be issued following the issuance of a building permit and performance of inspections to assure compliance with the current codes governing the proposed occupancy. The process to obtain a certificate of occupancy varies depending on the building or structure in question.

To apply for a new Certificate of Occupancy for any space that does not have a recent building permit, whether or not work is occurring, please apply for a Commercial Building Permit through our submittal portal. This option includes change of use, remodel of an existing space, adult care homes, CofO to meet state requirements for space where no remodel work has occurred, etc.

To close out a recent building permit and receive either a Letter of Completion or Certificate of Occupancy, please apply using the appropriate selection on our “Contact PDSD” page.

Temporary Certificate of Occupancy

If occupancy is needed prior to the full completion of a project, recommendations will be necessary from each inspection team. These inspection teams are based on the scope of work included in the permit but usually include Building, Site, and Fire. Businesses that include food service will also need Pima County Health Department authorization. No civilian activities are allowed in the building until occupancy has been granted including furniture movers and network specialists. Only those persons covered by the general contractor of record are permitted to work on-site prior to occupancy.

A temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) may be issued for various limitations, including stocking of products, staff training, or even full business operations. The extent of occupancy granted will be based on individual site conditions. A TCO will expire after 30 days and must be renewed if a permanent certificate has not been obtained. Please follow these steps to obtain a TCO:

  1. Ensure all life safety elements are complete including a fully functional fire protection system (when applicable)
  2. Ensure any remaining construction activities on the site are separated from civilian activities
  3. Schedule final inspections from each inspection group and request occupancy from the inspectors
  4. Provide special inspection reports, water supply sterilization reports, and air balance reports (when applicable)
  5. Submit a TCO application to Planning & Development Services for review
  6. After the application has been approved, pay the nonrefundable fee of $500 + $82.50 for each outstanding inspection group