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Certifi is the new Washington DC platform for obtaining Certificates of Occupancy.


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What is ‘Certifi?

DC's new online platform for Certificates of Occupancy

“Certifi,” the District of Columbia Department of Building’s new online platform, will process all Certificate of Occupancy permits.

You must get a Certificate of Occupancy before occupation and use of the building. Single-family homes, individual units in an apartment or condominium building and individual suites in an office building do not require Certificates of Occupancy.

All new applications for C of Os are now routed through Certifi.  On October 23, 2023, Certifi, began submission and tracking of C of O applications, and issuance of related permits.

Certifi allows users to see which documents are required for various DOB reviews, clarifies and simplifies the application process by allowing users to move through a step-by-step path based on their project’s needs, and increases transparency and efficiency of the review process for applicants and DOB reviewers.

The process is as follows:

  • Apply by searching property address, validate identity, then select application type. Complete the generated application form, upload the required documents, and select a date for required CofO inspection(s).
  • DOB reviews the application, may request additional information, or, if no additional input or changes are required, generates a draft CofO for the applicant’s approval.
  • Once the draft is approved, payment is required, then a download of the final CofO version is made available for download and the certificate must be posted onsite.
What About Pending Applications?

Applications active prior to implementation of Certifi but not completed by December 4, 2023 require submission of a new application using Certifi.

Your Washington DC Real Estate Investment Compass

Buy & Hold

A long-term investment strategy primarily focused on value appreciation. The investor purchases a property and rents it for an extended period of time, often 5-10 years.

Fits Classification:

  • All types
House Hack

Generate income from your personal residence. Live in one portion and rent the rest, either short-term or long-term.  Ideally, tenants cover the mortgage, owner builds equity.

Fits Classifications:

  • One Family Rental
  • Shared One Family
  • 2 Family Rental
  • 3+ Family Rental
Fix & Flip

Purchase below-market priced property requiring updates, renovation or remodeling. Do the work and resell at market rate.

Fits Classifications:

  • All types

Multifamily properties such as apartment buildings, 2-4 unit boutique rental properties, or duplexes offer multiple spaces for rent and thereby boost net operating income and cash flow. These properties can also realize outstanding equity build, if properly maintained and managed.

Fits Classification:

  • Multifamily
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