[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Brewster 9-20-2006 by L.L. No. 2-2006. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Village of Brewster Board of Trustees has determined that there exist in the Village of Brewster serious conditions arising from rental of dwelling units that are substandard or in violation of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, Multiple Residence Law, Village of Brewster Housing Code, Building Rehabilitation Code, Electrical Code, Fire Prevention Code, Plumbing Code and other codes and ordinances of the Village, are inadequate in size, overcrowded and dangerous, that such dwelling units pose hazards to life, limb and property of residents of the Village and others, tend to promote and encourage deterioration of the housing stock of the Village, create blight and excessive vehicle traffic and parking problems and overburden municipal services including services pertaining to potable water and wastewater disposal. The Village of Brewster Board of Trustees finds that current Code provisions are inadequate to halt the proliferation of such conditions and that the public health, safety, welfare and good order and governance of the Village will be enhanced by the enactment of the regulations set forth in this chapter, which regulations are remedial in nature and effect.
Scope. This chapter shall apply to all rental dwelling units located within the Village of Brewster, whether or not the use and occupancy thereof shall be permitted under the applicable use regulations for the zoning district in which such rental dwelling unit is located, as in this chapter provided. Any dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit or any other premises subject to this chapter shall be presumed to be rented for a fee and a charge made if said premises are not occupied by the legal owner thereof. This chapter shall apply to all rental dwelling units located within the Village of Brewster, whether or not the use and occupancy thereof shall be permitted.
Applicability. The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to supplement applicable state and local laws, ordinances, codes and regulations. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to abolish, impair, supersede or replace existing remedies of the Village, town, county or state or existing requirements of any other provision of local laws or ordinances of the Village or county or state laws and regulations. In case of conflict between any provision of this chapter and any applicable state or local law, ordinance, code or regulation, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail. The issuance of any permit or the filing of any form under this chapter does not make legal any action or condition that is otherwise illegal under any other applicable legislation.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- Building Inspector, municipally employed or appointed Code Enforcement Officer, police officer, Zoning Enforcement Officer, Sheriff or Fire Inspector of the Village of Brewster or other persons so appointed by the Village of Brewster Board of Trustees.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A structure or building, or part thereof, or an area, room or rooms therein, occupied or to be occupied by one or more persons as a home or residence.
- IMMEDIATE FAMILY
- The immediate family of the owner of a dwelling unit consists of the owner's spouse and their children, parents, grandparents or grandchildren.
- A person or entity having legal title to a dwelling unit or units.
- A return, in money, property or other valuable consideration (including payment in kind or for services or other thing of value), for use and occupancy or the right to use and occupancy of a dwelling unit, whether or not a legal relationship of landlord and tenant exists between the owner and the occupant or occupants thereof.
- RENTAL DWELLING
- A dwelling unit established, occupied, used or maintained for rental occupancy.
- RENTAL OCCUPANCY
- The occupancy or use of a dwelling unit by one or more persons as a home or residence under an arrangement whereby the occupant or occupants thereof pay rent for such occupancy and use.
All real property, whether commercial or residential and whether owner-occupied or otherwise, located within the Village of Brewster must be properly registered with the Building Department on a form provided therefor.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any person or entity who owns a dwelling unit in the Village to use, establish, maintain, operate, let, lease, rent or suffer or permit the occupancy and use thereof as a rental occupancy by someone other than the owner or his immediate family without first having obtained a valid rental occupancy permit thereof. Failure or refusal to procure a rental occupancy permit hereunder shall be deemed a violation.
Application for a rental occupancy permit for a rental dwelling unit shall be made in writing to the Building Department on a form provided therefor. Such application shall be filed and shall contain:
The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the dwelling unit intended for rental occupancy; the street address and tax map designation (section, block and lot or lots) of the premises intended for rental occupancy or the premises in which the rental dwelling units intended for occupancy are located; a description of the structure, including the number of rental dwelling units in the structure; the number of persons intended to be accommodated by, and to reside in, each such rental dwelling unit; and the number of rooms, and the dimensions and use of each room, in the structure but outside of the rental dwelling units.
The names of each person presently residing in or occupying such premises intended for rental occupancy.
For each rental dwelling unit, a description of the unit, including the number of rooms in the rental dwelling unit, and the dimensions and use of each such room shall be included. The name, address and telephone number of the managing agent or operator of each such intended rental dwelling unit shall be included. Such application shall be accompanied by the following:
Each application shall be executed by and sworn to by the owner of the premises or such person who operates such premises if other than the owner.
Notwithstanding the above, no rental occupancy permit shall be required for a residential care facility established under New York State guidelines.
A nonrefundable fee shall be paid upon filing the "registration for rental dwellings" in accordance with the Village fee schedule set from time to time by resolution of the Village of Brewster Board of Trustees.
The fee required by this section shall be waived for any applicant which demonstrates that it is a not-for-profit housing development corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York, and that it is providing housing for senior citizens or other designated special populations subject to income guidelines established by either federal or state regulation.
The Building Inspector shall review each application for completeness and accuracy and shall make an on-site inspection of the proposed rental dwelling unit or units. If satisfied that the proposed rental dwelling unit or units, as well as the premises in which the same are located, comply fully with all applicable state and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations of the county and Village, and that such rental dwelling unit or units would not create an unsafe or dangerous condition or create an unsafe and substandard structure as defined in the Village Code or create a nuisance on adjoining or nearby property, the Building Inspector shall issue the permit or permits.
All permits issued pursuant to this chapter shall be valid for a period of two years from date of issuance.
It shall be the duty of the Building Department to maintain a register of permits issued pursuant to this chapter. Such register shall be kept by the tax map number, license number, receipt number, street address showing the name and address of the permittee, the number of rental dwelling units at such street address, the number of rooms in each such rental dwelling unit and the date of expiration of the permit for such unit.
No permit shall be issued until the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the rental dwelling unit to determine that it is equipped with a functioning smoke detection device, carbon monoxide detection device as well as any other safety device required under the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to make, or cause to be made, inspections to determine the condition of rental dwelling units to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public. The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to enter, upon consent of the owner of the unit if the unit is unoccupied, or upon consent of the occupant if the unit is occupied, any rental dwelling unit and the premises in which the same is located, at any reasonable time during the daylight hours, or at such other time as may be necessary in an emergency, without consent of the owner, agent and/or tenant for the purpose of performing his duties under this chapter.
The Code Enforcement Officer of the Village of Brewster is authorized to make application to any court of competent jurisdiction for the issuance of a search warrant in order to conduct an inspection of any premises covered by this chapter where the owner refuses or fails, after due notice by certified mail, to allow an inspection of its rental premises and where there is a reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this chapter occurred. The application for a search warrant shall in all respects comply with the applicable laws of the State of New York.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall revoke a rental occupancy permit where he or she finds that the permit holder has caused, permitted, suffered or allowed to exist and remain upon the premises for which such permit has been issued, for a period of 14 business days or more after written notice has been given to the permit holder or the managing agent of such rental dwelling unit, a violation of the Multiple Residence Law, New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code or a violation of this chapter or other chapter of the Village Code. Revocation of a permit under this subsection cannot be done by a devisee or assistant of the Code Enforcement Officer.
An appeal from such revocation may be taken by the permit holder to the Village of Brewster Board of Trustees, by written request made within 30 days from the date of such revocation. The Village of Brewster Board of Trustees shall hold a public hearing on such appeal within 30 days after receipt of written notice of such appeal, and after such hearing shall make written findings, a conclusion and a decision either sustaining such permit revocation or reinstating such permit within 30 days after the close of such public hearing. Unless the Village of Brewster Board of Trustees directs otherwise in circumstances constituting serious threats to health and safety, the filing of an appeal shall stay the effectiveness of a permit revocation until the Village of Brewster Board of Trustees has considered and ruled upon the issue.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any owner to permit any tenant or other person, excluding immediate family, to take up residence by a rental occupancy in any dwelling unit without the owner's first having completed and filed with the Building Department a rental registration form approved by the Code Enforcement Officer. A new form must be filed whenever a dwelling unit or portion thereof has become vacant and the owner intends to permit a new tenant or other person to take up residence. No additional fee will be required if registering a change in tenancy only, under an existing valid permit.
Under Public Officers Law § 87, Subdivision 2(b), the information provided on rental registration forms, and that portion of the rental occupancy permit application required, shall be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law on the grounds that such disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The Building Department will institute strict policies to ensure that such information is available only to Village personnel who are engaged in the enforcement and administration of the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any broker or agent to list, show or otherwise offer for lease, rent or sale on behalf of the owner any dwelling unit for which a current rental occupancy permit has not been issued by the Building Department. It shall be the broker or agent's duty to verify the existence of a valid permit before acting on behalf of the owner. Notwithstanding the above, first-time rentals shall be granted a fourteen-business-day grace period for submission of required application paperwork and tenant registration.
Any broker or agent who has earned a commission or other compensation for renting or leasing a dwelling unit must, within five business days of earning said commission or other compensation, file with the Building Department a rental registration form, unless such form has been filed in the meantime. Failure to file shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York.
Any person, association, firm or corporation which violates any provision of this chapter or assists in the violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation, punishable:
By a penalty of not less than $250 and not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a first offense.
By a penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of the second of two offenses, both of which were committed within a period of five years.
By a penalty of not less than $2,000 nor more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of the third or subsequent offenses of a series of offenses, all of which were committed within a period of five years.
Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Code of Enforcement Officer as defined by this chapter.
This chapter shall be effective on November 1, 2006, or upon filing with the Secretary of State, whichever is later. No violation of this chapter will be charged prior to November 1, 2006, and no violation of this chapter, regarding failure to obtain a permit, will be charged against a person or entity which:
Has filed the necessary application in proper form and in good faith, with all required information and attachments, on or before November 1, 2006;
Has consented to an inspection of the premises in question; and
Has not received a final determination on the application, for reasons over which the applicant has no control.