Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Use and Occupancy (U&O)


Use and Occupancy (U&O), in a financial context, refers to a type of insurance that covers loss of business income due to the inability to use and occupy a property after a disaster. This can include situations where damage to physical premises prevents a business from operating. It is typically part of a comprehensive business interruption insurance policy.


U&O is phonetically pronounced as follows: You And Oh (in American English)Use – /juːz/and – /ænd/Occupancy – /ˈɑːkjəpənsi/These words are pronounced as they usually are in English.

Key Takeaways


Definition of Use and Occupancy (U&O):

U&O refers to a certification granted by a local government or governing body, ensuring a building conforms to regulations and codes and is suitable for occupancy. It’s usually needed before commercial or residential property is sold, leased, or financed, often as part of the closing process.2.

Importance of a U&O Certificate:

The U&O certificate is crucial as it ensures the building’s health and safety standards. If a building doesn’t have UI&O, it may mean that the property does not meet required health, zoning, or safety codes, which can put residents or users at risk.3.

Penalties for Non-compliance:

If a property is found to be out of compliance with U&O requirements, penalties can include fines, legal action, and even forced evacuation of the building until the necessary changes are made and the premises pass inspection. Therefore, obtaining the U&O certificate is fundamental in avoiding any potential legal trouble and ensuring a good investment.


The term “Use and Occupancy (U&O)” is important in the business/finance domain, particularly real estate, because it involves provisions that determine how a buyer or a lessee can occupy or use a property. Typically found in commercial leases or during property sales, U&O agreements specify certain conditions and obligations for the parties involved. For instance, during the period between closing a sale and the buyer taking possession of a property, a U&O agreement safeguards the interests of both parties. The buyer or tenant can use the property during the stipulated time frame without gaining ownership rights, while the seller or landlord can validate insurance obligations, cover additional expenses, or address maintenance issues. Hence, U&O is a crucial concept ensuring smooth transactions and minimizing potential conflicts in property dealings.


The purpose of Use and Occupancy (U&O), primarily in the context of real estate and insurance, is to safeguard the interests of both parties involved during a property transaction or when a property suffers damages due to unforeseen circumstances. In the field of real estate, U&O refers to an agreement that allows a buyer to use and occupy a property before the final settlement, or it could permit a seller to continue staying in the property after the sale is completed. The key objective is to provide a legal framework that ensures a smooth, hassle-free transition, especially during situations where immediate switching of the property isn’t feasible.On the other hand, in insurance, U&O refers specifically to Use and Occupancy Insurance, envisioned to protect businesses from potential income loss due to unanticipated damages or challenges that make their premises unusable temporarily. This coverage helps businesses recover the profits they would have earned had the disaster not occurred. It can play a crucial role in ensuring business continuity after a disrupting event, covering fixed costs and aiding businesses financially while necessary repairs are made, or until the business can be relocated and operate normally. Hence, U&O serves as a protective tool and a risk management strategy in business operations.


1. Commercial Real Estate Businesses: This is one of the most common areas where Use and Occupancy (U&O) applies. Suppose an organization rents a commercial building to set up their office. They are not the owners, but they hold the rights to use and occupy the premises under a legally binding lease agreement. Fees paid in return for rights to use and occupy the property are typically called U&O charges in the commercial real estate world.2. Home Seller and Buyer Scenario: When a house is sold, the owner is often required to move out on the day of closing, or sometimes earlier. However, in some instances, the seller might need more time to move out after the sale is completed. To facilitate this, a U&O agreement may be established. Under this agreement, the seller pays the new owner a pre-agreed amount to continue occupying the house for a specified period after the sale.3. Insurance Coverage: Use and Occupancy insurance, often associated with business interruption insurance, is a key risk management solution. For example, a manufacturing facility might have to shut down because of a covered peril, such as a fire. During this period, the company would lose its income stream even though it has to continue obligations such as employee salaries and loan payments. A U&O insurance policy would cover this loss in income due to temporary halt in business operations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does Use and Occupancy (U&O) mean in finance and business?

Use and Occupancy, often abbreviated to U&O, refers to a type of agreement where a buyer is allowed to use and occupy a property before the closing of the sale, or a seller can continue to live in the property after the closing of the sale.

Under what circumstances is a U&O agreement used?

A U&O agreement is typically used when there is a delay with the closing process and the buyer and seller need to occupy the property before or after the official transfer of ownership.

How is a U&O agreement different from a lease agreement?

A U&O agreement is temporary and doesn’t grant the same rights as a lease agreement. The U&O agreement is not intended to establish a landlord-tenant relationship, but rather to define a temporary period of use and occupation.

Who pays for the utilities during the U&O period?

Typically, the person occupying the property is responsible for paying for the utilities during the U&O period. This should be specified in the U&O agreement.

Is there any cost associated with a U&O agreement?

There can be costs or fees associated with a U&O agreement. The person occupying the property may be required to pay a daily or monthly fee, often referred to as rent in the agreement. This should also be outlined in the agreement.

Is rental insurance required during the U&O period?

It is advisable for the occupier to have rental insurance during the U&O period. The property owner’s homeowner insurance may not cover someone who is not the owner.

What possible complications can arise with a U&O agreement?

Potential complications can include property damage, unexpected costs, or disputes over responsibility for repairs. It’s essential for both parties to clarify all responsibilities and cover all scenarios in writing before entering into a U&O agreement.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More