Cert of Occupancy Inspections

A Certificate of Occupancy inspection is required for all tenant improvements to existing buildings, and may be required when a new business is moving into an existing building.  This inspection is required to verify that the building and use are in compliance with the provisions of the current state codes, and The City of Huntington Beach Municipal Code.

If a Certificate of Occupancy is required for a new business moving in, the inspector will review the last approved plans and permit history to determine if significant alterations have occurred without permits or inspection approvals. 

Prospective tenants, leasing agents, brokers, sellers and potential buyers may request a Building Code Compliance Report which is the city’s proactive approach to correct any existing deficiencies with the building prior to occupancy, which in turn will help the new tenant avoid unexpected costs for code corrections.

Following are examples of our Certificate of Occupancy Inspection Checklist and are not to be construed as a complete list of requirements:

Address Visible:

  • See City of Huntington Beach Specification HBFC 901.4.4

  • Non-permitted mezzanines or storage areas above offices or rooms.  A correction will be written stating plans and permits will be required.
Offices or Rooms:

  • Non-permitted office or rooms.  A correction will be written stating plans and permits will be required.
Exterior Accessory Structures:

  • Exterior accessory structures will be checked for permits.
Changes in use to a more hazardous use may require:

  • A building analysis (fire life safety issues; exiting, occupancy requirements, exit signage, etc…)
Fire sprinklers per City of Huntington Beach Municipal Code.

  • HBMC 17.56.050, CFC 1003
  • HBMC 17.56.055, CFC 1003.2.2
  • HBMC 17.56.060, CFC 1003.4
Automobile repair garages:

  • Automobile lifts require an electrical permit and inspection approval.  The permitted automobile lift is to be listed per state code.  If there are existing auto lifts that have no prior permit approval, a correction will be issued to provide permits and inspections approvals.
Nail salons:

  • All spa chairs will be required to be permitted and provide inspection approvals.  The spa chairs are to be listed per state code..
  • All neon and skeleton lighting require permits and inspection approvals.  The neon and skeleton lighting are to be a listed per state code.

  • Any new or existing (that has a change in ownership) food service establishment (per HBMC 14.56.010) requires a grease interceptor or clarifier for grease collection.
  • RPP devices must be on all soda machines.
Retail Business:

  • Verify exiting requirements.
  • Handicap accessibility requirements at entrance, counter, restrooms and throughout store will be inspected.

  • Storage racks.
    • Storage racks taller than 5’9” require a plan, permit and must be secured.
    • Storage racks taller than 8’ require plans and permit and structural calculations.
    • Storage racks taller than 12’ will require the above mentioned and a high pile permit from the fire department.

  • If occupancy is greater than 2,500 square feet, fire sprinklers are required.
  • A dust collection system or a daily maintenance plan is required.
  • Occupancy separation issues.
  • All equipment and machinery are to have electrical plans, permits and inspection approval.  All equipment and machinery are to be listed per state code.