Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO)
The TCO is not a final inspection, but it does allow occupancy of the building. Only portions of the building (like one room) can be occupied during the TCO if the TCO is for part of a whole or multi-unit building.
The TCO would also give you time to get other inspections, like electrical and plumbing. A TCO usually lasts 6 months. The TCO would cover structural, mechanical, and energy inspections since they are needed to get your certificate of occupancy. If one inspection is delayed then all inspections are delayed because there was only one TCO issued to cover all inspections.
A TCO cannot be issued until after the final inspection has been passed. There should always be every 30 days while getting permits and inspections.
TCO definition: A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is an occupancy permit that is issued to allow a building or portion of a building to be occupied before it has passed all final inspections. The TCO generally lasts for six months, but may be shorter or longer depending on the specific situation. The TCO allows for the full use of the building, including all fixtures and finishes, which are typically not allowed with a stop-work order.
The TCO would cover things like the following:
Any other inspection that is required in order to get your certificate of occupancy (like site plan review, sign permit, etc).
A TCO is issued because the TCO will allow you to have full use of your building so that you can fix/repair the TCO items noted on the TCO inspection report before moving in.
You can get a TCO even if something doesn’t pass final. This way, if there are modifications needed then they would need to be done before getting your certificate of occupancy. TCO’s also give you time after the final inspection has been passed but before you have received your certificate of occupancy to go back and get other inspections that were not originally required for your TCO (like energy).
The TCO must be taken care of quickly (within 2 months) because after two months it expires. If you do not take care of the TCO items you will be issued a stop-work order until all TCO items are fixed.