How It Works

You could research the home’s permit history yourself, but you have enough to do.

Buying and selling a home has a lot of moving parts. Everything from cleaning and packing to paying fees and filing paperwork can be overwhelming and stressful. So the last thing you would want are any surprises at closing – surprises like finding open permits.

What We Offer

PermitSearch Searches Permits So You Don’t Have To.

PermitSearch does this in 2 ways:
The filing is made within 24 hours of the order placement.

PermitSearch instantly searches digitized databases for permit information.

PermitSearch Makes This Easy.

PermitSearch files OPRA Requests for municipal public records and manages that process

PermitSearch Makes This Easy.

View A Sample Report Now!

Click the button below to view a sample report 

F. A. Q's

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions from our buyers, sellers, inspectors and real estate agents.

Permits are generally required for any building, structural, electric, HVAC, and plumbing projects. However, not all work requires a permit. If you have questions about whether work performed required a permit, those questions should be directed to your local municipality.

If you have a potentially open permit, don’t panic. A potentially open permit is a permit which has been issued by a municipal building department but has not been formally “Closed”. Generally, a permit is “Open” until the work is completed and passes inspection (if required). When deemed appropriate, the permit is “Closed” and assigned a closing date.

No permits listed on your report means there is no recorded history of either open or closed permits.

If open permits exist and are not closed prior to closing, these permits become the responsibility of the new homeowner. The new owner may be responsible for paying all fees and/or fines and will be forced to complete the pending work.

For you to close a permit, you should contact your local municipality. The municipality may need to send out a building inspector to ascertain whether the work done at the property not only matched the work described in the open permit but complied with municipal building-code requirements.

The term OPRA (“Open Permit Records Act”) refers to the statute that provides the public the right to access certain public records including permit information, as well as the process by which that right may be exercised.

Each municipality handles permit data in different ways.  Some municipalities fully digitize their permit data where it can be accessed by services like PermitSearch. Non-digitized municipalities keep paper records that can be accessed by an OPRA request.

A surprise discovery of any open permits can derail and/or delay the sale of a property. For example, some municipalities will not issue a Certificate of Occupancy (required in order to sell a home) if there is an open permit. Open permits can also be grounds for the title company or lender to delay a closing. If these open permits are found after closing, the costs incurred will become the new owner’s responsibility. 

After you place an order with PermitSearch, a permit expert on our team will initiate the permit search process. If information is available electronically for your municipality, we will assemble into a permit history report and email you within 1 – 2 business days once an OPRA request has been filed and received. 

Once the PermitSearch team has completed your report, it will be emailed to the email address you provided during the checkout process.

If you receive a letter indicating an open permit, it’s important to address it promptly as it can affect the sale, renovation, or legality of your property. Start by reviewing the details of the permit provided in the letter. Contact the local building department or authority that issued the permit to understand the specific concerns and requirements needed to close the permit. If necessary, you may need to hire a professional, such as a contractor or inspector, to complete any outstanding work or inspections.

Before work begins, ask the contractor to provide proof of the required permits. Additionally, you can verify that these permits are valid and cover the scope of the work being done by contacting your local building authority or using online services like to check permit statuses. It’s crucial to ensure that all permits are closed properly upon completion of the work to avoid any legal or safety issues.

To verify that a contractor has completed the job according to local building codes and regulations, request a final inspection from your local building department. This inspection should confirm that the work complies with the necessary standards and that all associated permits have been closed properly. For added assurance, consider hiring an independent inspector to review the work.

Undertaking a renovation project without the required permits can lead to several risks, including fines, legal action, and the need to redo non-compliant work. Additionally, unpermitted work can cause problems when selling the property, as potential buyers may require proof of permits and inspections. To avoid these issues, always ensure that all necessary permits are obtained and properly closed.