Rentals & Resales


Rentals/Resale  Certificate of Occupancy for an Existing Structure

As required by Stafford Code Chapter 81, all buildings, structures, and units thereof that are leased or rented, regardless of the term, in the  Township of Stafford shall be inspected by the Code Official on every initial occupancy or change of occupancy, but there shall not be more than 1 such inspection of each leased or rented building, structure or units thereof in any calendar year. Upon completion of an inspection of the premises and the same being determined by the Code Official to comply with this article, a continuing certificate of occupancy shall be issued.


Please fill out:   Application for Existing Structure Certificate of Occupancy

Complete the sections: “Identification and Action”

  1. Complete section: “Special Instructions” (optional). In this section, you can indicate specific information on how we will gain entrance to the residence. Example: Key provided, Lock Box Number, Owner Home or Key is hidden in a specific area.

The “Heat Certification” form (PDF) is also needed before a C.C.O. can be issued. This is a notarized statement by the seller, or his agent, verifying the condition of the heating systems and fireplaces (free-standing stoves, wood burning stoves or any solid fuel burners) were inspected by a professional. Our Clerical Staff would be glad to notarize this form at the counter.

Additional Form Requirements

All Commercial units require a Zoning permit before an application for a Certificate of filed. 

Please provide Stafford Municipal Utility Authority letter of confirmation stating water and sewer are supplied through the S.M.U.A.

Existing well water must be tested by a licensed well driller or tester and approved by Ocean County Health Department; to contact them call 732 341-9700.

Inspection Requirements

Inspection by the housing official consists of a visual review only. It is not a thorough, in depth structural investigation of the dwelling. A complete overview of the property can be obtained from a registered home inspection agency.

The following is a list of the most common violations:


  • General condition of lot and exterior of structure, such as roofing and siding, chipped and/or severely weathered paint
  • House numbers affixed to structure. Numerals to be 3” for residential and 6” in size for commercial
  • Chimney caps mandatory on all chimneys for fireplaces prohibiting animal entry

Electrical System

  • no exposed connections, for instance, missing outlet and switch plates, junction boxes and/or wiring not terminated in proper box
  • All fixtures to be secure and globes on exterior light fixtures and in all clothes closets
  • no open spaces in electrical panel box
  • Extension cords are not to be substituted for permanent wiring. All permanent fixtures and/or appliances require approved wiring. Electrical permit is required for installing wires.
  • Ceiling fans to be permanently wired or removed
  • Electrical service equipment such as cable, meter socket panel and service mast to be properly supported and in a safeguarded condition
  • Certification by a New Jersey licensed electrical contractor may be required if electrical system has excessive violations

Plumbing System

  • Proper venting of exhaust and combustion supply of heating equipment
  • Safety relief valves on hot water heaters and boilers are required to be piped downward to within 6” of the floor. no plastic piping unless approved by manufacturer
  • Cold water on right and hot water on left side of all faucets and valves
  • Leaking pipes must be repaired
  • All dryer exhaust vents to be metallic flexible or rigid pipe, not thin foil or plastic


  • Smoke detectors are mandatory within 10 feet of any sleeping area; minimum of 1 detector on each floor level (including basement). Homes built prior to January 1977:  Battery operated smoke detector on each level including the basement.  Where there are bedrooms, the detector shall be installed within 10 feet of all bedroom doors.  Ten-year sealed battery-powered single station smoke alarms shall be installed where no smoke alarms or detection devices exist or when replacing similar battery-powered single station smoke alarms.  However, A/C-powered single or multiple-station smoke alarm installed as part of the original construction or rehabilitation project shall not be replaced with battery-powered smoke alarms.
  • If installed, bathroom exhaust fans need to be functioning properly.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors are mandatory in one and two-family homes with fuel burning appliances or with an attached garage. They must be located within 10 feet of any sleeping area and can battery-operated, hard-wired or of the plug-in type
  • Fire extinguishers: At least 1 portable fire extinguisher shall be installed in all 1 and 2 family dwellings (except seasonal rental units) upon change of occupancy
    • The extinguisher shall be listed, labeled, charged, and operable
    • The size shall be no smaller than 2A:10B:C, rated for residential use and weighs no more than 10 lbs.
    • The hangers or brackets supplied by the manufacturer must be used
    • The extinguisher must be located within 10 feet of the kitchen
    • The top of the extinguisher must not be more than 5 feet above the floor
    • The extinguisher must be visible and in a readily accessible location, free from being blocked by furniture, storage, or other items
    • The extinguisher must be near a room exit or travel path that provides an escape route to the exterior
    • The extinguisher must be accompanied by an owner’s manual or written information regarding the operation, inspection, and maintenance of the extinguisher; and
    • Lastly, the extinguisher must be installed with operating instruction clearly visible
    • New fire extinguishers are not required to be service and tagged, as long as the seller or agent can provide proof of purchase or receipt
  • Porch, decks and stairs to be secure. Handrails are required on stairways consisting of more than 3 risers. Guardrails are required on all open sides of decks and stairways 30” or more above grade
  • General condition of the interior of the structure must be satisfactory and any and all holes repaired and painted