REALWorld Law

Sale and purchase

Planning/zoning issues

How can a buyer ascertain the permitted uses of a parcel of real estate under the applicable zoning or planning law in this country?

United States

United States

Typically, the seller will deliver a copy of the certificate of occupancy confirming the permitted use or the title insurer or another consultant will obtain a copy of the certificate from the municipality. In some localities, certificates of occupancy are not issued or additional investigation as to permitted uses may be required and, in such cases, a zoning report should be obtained or other appropriate investigation completed to confirm the permitted use. In addition, if the buyer is planning to change the use or to perform construction at the property, further investigation of the zoning regime applicable to the property should be undertaken as part of due diligence investigations.