It's my understanding that a landlord is suppose to have this before they can rent an apartment and it is to be posted in a community area of the property. This includes a 2 family home if the landlord does not live on the property.
I am having trouble finding more information on this. What I am looking for is the law itself and what document, paragraph number, etc if that even exists.
I'm unaware of any requirement to post a certificate of occupancy in such a dwelling based on state law, and think the other attorneys have given fine answers; look to local codes and ordinances. There is however a somewhat similar state requirement to post details about the landlord, with each day of noncompliance constituting a separate violation,
M.G.L. c. 143, § 3S: http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter143/Section3S
This is made part of the state Sanitary Code under 105 CMR 410.481, "Posting of Name of Owner". The Sanitary Code also contains some requirements that apply directly to certificates of occupancy, including minimum square footage for numbers of occupants, but it doesn't directly require posting the certificate. The state scheme for mandating inspections prior to occupancy is based on delegation.
What you are looking for is likely contained in a local ordinance rather than MA state law. I would suggest that you contact your local Board of Health as they are typically the entity charged with doing home inspections to ensure compliance with applicable health and safety regulations and they are usually the ones who issue certificates of occupancy. They should be able to tell you if one is required in your town and, if so, what you need to do to obtain it. Good luck!
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.
I agree this would be a matter of local bylaw only, and that the Board of Health would be a place to start. If you question whether the property is a legal 2 family under zoning, go see the Westfield building inspector/zoning enforcement officer. However, be careful what you wish for. If it is an illegal 2 family and you alert the city, they could shut it all down and you are on the street.
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