Building departments provide property owners with information about certificates of occupancy and construction codes. They also manage land use and help create zoning laws. General contractors work with these departments to get permits for construction projects. Local building departments conduct inspections to ensure that occupancy limits, safety rules, and building codes are met.
They monitor building code violations and help enforce building-related laws. When building departments become involved in enforcing safety regulations, the cited residential or commercial property owners are required to make the mandated changes to their properties. Building departments help improve property values through better planning of real estate developments. They keep and regularly update property maps that show neighborhoods as well as commercial and residential development zones. They're also responsible for reviewing, approving or denying all permits for building additions and new construction.