When a building is constructed or remodeled, permits are required. The permit process provides oversight by an unbiased, third party professional that includes inspection and plan review for code compliance.
A Certificate of Occupancy is issued after the builder has requested a series of inspections and has corrected any deficiencies discovered during the construction process. The oversight helps to ensure that minimum life-safety and protection features have been properly addressed. This adds to the long term value of the property.
Inspections and plan reviews are funded through the purchase of a building permit by the builder or applicant. In turn, this cost is passed on to the consumer.
The end user should demand a Certificate of Occupancy from the owner or contractors as they have paid for the service. When a project is completed without a Certificate of Occupancy it becomes increasingly difficult to obtain one.