Permit Search

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 a different way.  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 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 your closing. If these open permits are found after closing, the costs incurred will become the new owner’s responsibility. Let get the open permits out in the open.

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. Additionally we will file and OPRA Request.  Once the OPRA information is received from the municipality, we will send you a supplemental report that includes the OPRA response. If the information is not available electronically, one of our permit experts will file an OPRA with your municipality, complete any additional forms and submit for processing. Once the municipality provides the required information, we will assemble your report and email it to you, generally within 5 – 7 business days from the date your order was received.

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