Inspection Options for all Construction and Development Projects

In response to the current COVID-19 concerns, and in the interest of protecting our clients and our inspectors, effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020 until further notice, the following inspection options are available. The Client may select the most suitable option for their project, subject to the guidelines described below. Please direct any questions to the Development Services Team at 813-274-3100.

  • Inspections can be scheduled following the normal process, through Accela.
  • Upon request, a two-hour time window will be provided when a contact name, number, and inspection option are included in the inspection request comment area.
  • Once contact is made with the client, the inspection option will be confirmed with the client.

Option 1 – Virtual Inspection (video or digital images)

  • A virtual inspection may be done for most finished conditions for any project type.
  • The finished condition can be captured using a phone or tablet device to either upload or transmit to an inspector live or recorded video or digital images.
  • Some finished conditions may be too complex to effectively depict virtually in which case the Inspector may require use of a different method to complete the inspection.    
  • The inspector may direct the installer, contractor, or owner what images or video to capture to ensure an adequate review of the finished condition.
  • Once completed and approved, the Inspector will ‘result’ the inspection in the Accela system.

Option 2 - Inspection by Affidavit

  • COVID Inspections by Affidavit (pdf, 123 kb)
  • An inspection may be conducted by a licensed architect or engineer who will affirm completion of the finished condition and compliance with the approved plans and all applicable codes and requirements.
  • This option only applies to inspection for compliance with the Florida Building Code.
  • The requirement to obtain prior approval for ‘inspection by affidavit’ from the Building Official is temporarily rescinded.
  • An affidavit and photos that sufficiently represent the inspected condition(s) must be uploaded to the permit record. The Department reserves the right to request more or different images to sufficiently view the finished condition(s).
  • Once uploaded, the inspection should be scheduled with the comments indicating: ‘inspection completed by affidavit’.
  • If acceptable, the Inspector will result the inspection appropriately.
  • These ‘inspections’ are subject to random audit by the City for up to 90 days following the return to normal inspection conditions.

Option 3 - Inspection by City of Tampa Inspectors

For projects where Option 1 or Option 2 are not feasible, a City Inspector can perform the inspection under the following conditions:

  • All CDC COVID-19 recommended safety precautions are being followed, including the separation of individuals on the site by at least 6 feet and separation between the Inspector and any other individual by at least 6 feet. See CDC guidance
  • Threshold Projects must follow all CDC safety recommendations, as well as the City of Tampa’s “Threshold Building Guidelines for COVID19 protections” as soon as they are made effective.
  • The Inspector may request the following added protections:
    • That materials on or around the inspection site be appropriately sanitized prior to conducting the Inspection.     
    • That the floor level or area being inspected be cleared of all site personnel prior to the inspection.
    • That buck hoists and elevators be limited to only the operator, foreman, and inspector.

Option 4 – Third Party Inspectors

  • Inspections may be completed using Private Providers.
  • Clients who opt to use Private Providers must adhere to all City of Tampa requirements set forth here: https://www.tampagov.net/planning-and-development/private-providers.
  • The requirement for advance notice to the building official (per F.S. 553.791 (5)) is temporarily suspended during the COVID crisis. All other requirements remain in effect.
  •  If no City inspection has occurred on the project, and private provider is utilized for the balance of inspections, the fee discount will apply. If City inspections have already commenced, then no fee discount can be provided.

Option 5 – Deferred Inspection

  • Defer the inspection until a date when a City Inspector can conduct a conventional on-site inspection.
  • Permits may be extended for a time period equivalent to the delay, at no additional fee.

 We recognize the concerns of our citizens and our employees and are aware of the inconvenience this is causing. These options provide the public and our employees a safer work environment while continuing to provide a vital service. We appreciate your cooperation during this time.

Please direct any questions to 813-274-3100.