Certificate of Occupancy

Occupancy Inspections - HPWCODE1106
Houston Public Works
Occupancy Inspections

Physical Address:

1002 Washington Ave., 1st Floor
Houston, TX 77002

Mailing Address:

PO Box 2688
Houston, TX 77252-2688

832.394.8880 (main)
8 am to 4:30 pm
Plan Review
Not Required
Not Required
$83.00 - $474.31 (See Conditions & Exceptions)
Admin fee
Valid Period
No Expiration (See Conditions & Exceptions)
Processing Time
15 Minutes


A Certificate of Occupancy must be obtained before a commercial building or an individual lease space within a commercial building may be occupied, or if changes to an existing occupancy classification are made. The certificate must be valid for the use of the building, space or portion thereof. The certificate is normally issued at the time of construction or when a remodel or change of use occurs.

A Certificate of Occupancy is not required for single-family residences, duplexes, and townhouses less than four stories, except for live-work units.

After Approval

The original Certificate of Occupancy must be posted in a clear, visible place on the premises.

A certificate will only be issued to the original applicant or the applicant's designated agent along with a letter on company letterhead stating that the agent can pick up the certificate. The letter must include the project number, the address, the name of the designated agents, and the name and signature of the applicant.

Once you receive your final approval for your project, email: [email protected] to request the printing certificate. When the certificate is printed an appointment time and date will be emailed to you. If you have not received a response withing 48 hours after  requesting it, email: [email protected] or cal: 832.394.8880.

Conditions & Exceptions

Valid period

A Certificate of Occupancy remains valid unless there is an increase/decrease of square footage, occupant load, and/or change of occupancy use. A new certificate is required after these types of changes.



Fees vary based on square footage, number of floors, occupancy classification, and type of building.

  • Certificate of Compliance: $474.31
    • additional floors: $118.58 per floor
  • Residential multi-family building per contiguous project (up to 30 units): $474.31
    • Additional dwelling units: $11.85 each
  • Duplicate certificate: $83.00
  • Certificate name change only: $83.00
  • Individual retail or office space (less than 3,000 square feet) in multi-tenant building: $237.16
  • Certificate in connection with building core inspection: $83.00
  • Investigation fee (if warranted): $294.43


Additional Resources
Statutory Authority
What You Need
  • Certificate of Occupancy application (form CE-1045) and deed restriction declaration form 
  • Lease agreement, if applicable
  • For apartments, condominiums and townhouses:
    • Current site map of all the buildings
    • Smoke alarm letter

Apply Online
  1. Submit a completed application Certificate of Occupancy application (form CE-1045) via email to [email protected]
  2. Once the application is received and processed, an email with a link and instructions on how to pay online via iPermits system is sent to the applicant.
  3. Once payment is confirmed, an email with an inspection date, RQ code, and guidelines is sent to the applicant.
Conditions & Exceptions

Business must be set up with power for proposed use for an existing building. No active or inactive permits from another sections.

What You Need
  1. Business must be set up with power for proposed use for an existing building on the pre scheduled inspection date.
  2. The job card/receipt on the premises.
  3. An approved ladder of adequate height.
  4. Access to all areas of the space, the attic space, above the ceiling, and roof with equipment.
Schedule Online
  1. Enter the appropriate project number into the field and click the Submit button.
  2. Select the type of inspection and click the Submit button.

Please have your project number and scheduling PIN readily available.


Schedule by Phone

A re-inspection or final inspection may be scheduled by phone at 832-394-8880; however, applicable inspection fee must be paid, prior to inspection.

Conditions & Exceptions

Inspection date will be given to customer prior to leaving the Occupancy section. If an inspection is scheduled and no one is there to accompany the inspector(s), a re-inspection fee of $112.64 will be required.

Payment must be made the day application is processed. If payment is not made, the inspection will be cancelled.

An inspection may be scheduled via email at [email protected].