Village of Haverstraw, NY
Rockland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Haverstraw as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Property maintenance — See Ch. 169.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 200.
Dangerous and unsafe structures — See Ch. 205.
Zoning — See Ch. 245.
2-2-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2010

§ 171-1 Purpose.

The Village Board of the Village of Haverstraw does hereby establish a program for the enactment, enforcement and administration of a rental permit requirement for all rental units within the Village of Haverstraw and for the periodic registration of all landlords and rental property owners for the purpose of regulating rental property conditions.

§ 171-2 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
ABSENTEE LANDLORD
Any landlord who resides outside the designated boundaries of the Village of Haverstraw.
BUILDING INSPECTOR
The duly appointed Building Inspector of the Village of Haverstraw and such other person or persons duly designated by him or the Village Board for the purposes set forth herein.
HOUSING OR DWELLING UNIT
Any single unit which is capable of housing one separate household, whether a detached single-family structure or building or part of a multihousehold structure or building.
IMMEDIATE FAMILY
The "immediate family" of the owner of a housing unit consists of the owner's spouse, children, parents, grandparents or grandchildren.
LANDLORD
Any property owner or designated agent who offers a housing unit for occupancy to persons other than members of his immediate family in exchange for a fee or compensation, whether monetary or otherwise.
RENTAL PERMIT
A permit issued by the Village of Haverstraw stating that the referenced structure or unit conforms to the standards of this article and that occupancy of that structure or unit is permitted for residential use. Any special circumstances or conditions under which occupancy is permitted may be specified on that permit.
RENTAL PROPERTY
Any housing unit or units which are occupied by persons other than the owner or his immediate family or for which a fee or compensation, monetary or otherwise, is received by the owner in exchange for such occupation.
RESIDENT AGENT
A representative of a property owner or landlord who resides within the designated boundaries of the Towns of Haverstraw and Stony Point and will respond in the event of problems at the rental property.
SUBSTANDARD
Any deficiency in a structure or housing unit as defined by this article.

§ 171-3 General requirements.

A. 
All landlords of rental property must register such property with the Village of Haverstraw on or before 30 days of the date notice to register shall be given, by mail, by the Village. Such notice shall be deemed given when mailed by the Village. It is the responsibility of the property owner to register any rental property or properties and failure to do so constitutes a violation of these regulations and is subject to the penalties set forth herein.
B. 
All absentee landlords must have a designated resident agent for each rental unit.
C. 
No housing unit shall be let, rented or occupied by someone other than the owner or his immediate family until a rental permit has been obtained for that unit.

§ 171-4 Registration of landlords.

A. 
All property owners shall be given notice, by mail, of obligation to register any rental properties they may own.
B. 
The owner of a property constituting a rental property shall register the same with the Building Department on a form prescribed by the Building Inspector showing the address of the rental unit, the name and address, and phone numbers of the owner and his resident agent and the full name of the tenant in possession of the unit as of the effective date of this article. Each application shall be accompanied by a plot or sketch showing the size and location of the premises (survey preferred), all buildings and structures and the floor plan of each dwelling unit and accommodation, and 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. No permit shall be issued under any application unless all the provisions of the Code of the Village of Haverstraw, the laws and sanitary and housing regulations of the County of Rockland and the laws of the State of New York, including the New York State Building Code, have been complied with.
C. 
The fee for registration of landlords will be $50 per separate property as maybe amended by resolution of the Village Board of Trustees.
D. 
Absentee landlords must designate a resident agent who resides within the boundaries of the Town of Haverstraw for service of process. If that agent's residence should be removed from the Town during the yearly registration period, another agent must be designated for the duration of that period.
E. 
It shall be unlawful for any property owner to offer any unit for rent or to allow any rental unit to be occupied without having first registered as a landlord as required herein within the time prescribed for such registration.
F. 
Failure to receive notice of the registration deadline will not excuse failure to register rental units. It is the landlord's responsibility to fulfill registration requirements.

§ 171-5 Inspections.

A. 
Authorization for inspections. The Building Inspector of the Village of Haverstraw or his designated representative is authorized to make or cause to be made inspections to determine the condition of dwellings and to safeguard the health, safety, morals and welfare of the public. The Building Inspector or his designated representative is authorized to enter, upon the consent of the owner, any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit or premises at any reasonable time during daylight hours or at such other time as may be necessary in an emergency, without consent of the owner, for the purpose of performing his duties under this article.
B. 
Search warrant applications. The Building Inspector of the Village of Haverstraw or his designated representative 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 article where the owner refuses or fails to allow an inspection of its rental premises and where there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this article has occurred. The application for a search warrant shall in all respects comply with the applicable laws of the State of New York.
C. 
Nothing in this article, except for provisions concerning emergency inspections, shall be deemed to authorize the Building Inspector of the Village of Haverstraw or his authorized representative to conduct an inspection of any premises subject to this article without the consent of the owner of the premises or without a warrant duly issued by an appropriate court.

§ 171-6 Rental permit requirements.

A. 
No rental unit may be occupied without a valid rental permit.
B. 
A rental permit shall be valid for a period of two years from the date it is issued.
C. 
The owner of a rental unit may request a rental permit even though the unit is exempted under the provisions of this article.
D. 
Landlords or their agents must present the previous rental permit when applying for a new permit. Date of the last inspection will be verified from the previous permit.
E. 
The fee for a rental permit shall initially be $25 or as changed by the Village Board by resolution from time to time. Said fee shall include the cost of inspection, where same is requested or otherwise required in connection with an application for a rental permit. In the event that an additional inspection or inspections necessitated by the failure of a property to pass any inspection, or by the landlord's failure to appear or otherwise to make the premises available for inspection at the time of a scheduled appointment, there shall be a further fee for the first reinspection in an amount of $50 and $100 for each subsequent reinspection before a rental permit shall be issued. The Village Board may change these fees by Board resolution.
F. 
Unless the landlord of any rental unit shall request an inspection of the rental unit in connection with an application for a rental permit, the issuance of a rental permit shall not constitute a determination by the Village that the said rental unit, or the premises of which they are a part, conforms to the Village Code.

§ 171-7 Enforcement

A. 
With the consent of the landlord, or otherwise as required or authorized by law, the Building Inspector or his designated agent shall have the authority to conduct inspections of rental units. Inspections of rental units shall be conducted to determine compliance with this article; Chapter 169, Property Maintenance; Chapter 205, Structures, Dangerous and Unsafe; Chapter 245, Zoning; and other pertinent chapters of the Village Code.
B. 
The Building Inspector will be responsible for arranging for the inspection of rental units and for initiating any other appropriate action under these regulations. Such officials shall give consideration to any request that inspections be conducted during nonbusiness hours for the convenience of the tenant(s). In the absence of such a request, the inspections will be conducted during normal business.

§ 171-8 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 9-4-2012 by L.L. No. 8-2012]
Violations of this article shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 and/or incarceration of not more than 15 days in jail. The penalties in this section may only apply to Article I of Chapter 171.
[Adopted 9-4-2012 by L.L. No. 8-2012]

§ 171-9 Changes to or use of premises for illegal occupancies.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, alter or otherwise to make any change or improvement to any real property within the Village of Haverstraw where:
(1) 
Such change, alteration or conversion results in a residential use, or a number of residential dwelling units on the property, that is not permitted in the zoning district in which the property is located; or
(2) 
The change, alteration or conversion is effectuated without all required approvals and/or permits having first been obtained; or
(3) 
The change, alteration or conversion is otherwise in violation of the Village Zoning Law[1] or the provisions of the New York State Building or Fire Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 245, Zoning.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to occupy or, as owner, landlord or property manager, to rent or otherwise to permit or suffer the occupancy of any property within the Village where the number of dwelling units located in or on such property exceeds the number of dwelling units lawfully permitted in or on such property.

§ 171-10 Prosecution.

A. 
In all civil and criminal prosecutions brought for the enforcement of the provisions of this Code's provisions with respect to the illegal use of any building for residential purposes or the illegal residential occupancy of any dwelling or dwelling unit by more families than the number of families permitted for such dwelling or dwelling unit under this Code, the following rebuttable presumptions shall apply:
(1) 
That any detached dwelling or dwelling unit which maintains more than one mailbox or mail receptacle, more than one gas meter, more than one electric meter, more than one water meter, and/or more than one satellite dish for TV service is being used as the residence of two or more families.
(2) 
That any detached dwelling or dwelling unit which maintains more than two mailboxes or mail receptacles, more than two gas meters, more than two electric meters, more than two water meters and/or more than two satellite dishes for TV service is being used as the residence of three or more families.
(3) 
That any detached dwelling or dwelling unit which maintains any entrance or entrances thereto, which entrance or entrances have not been set forth on any plans approved by and on file with the Village Building Department, is being used as the residence of two or more families.
(4) 
That any detached dwelling or dwelling unit which maintains any third or additional entrances thereto, which entrance or entrances have not been set forth on any plans approved by and on file with the Village Building Department, is being used as the residence of three or more families.
(5) 
That any building which has been advertised in any newspapers, magazines, or advertising publications as being available for sale or rent for residential purposes, in whole or in part, which advertisement expressly or implicitly provides that such building or the dwelling or dwelling units therein contain rooms for rent, contain more than one separate dwelling living unit, or may be occupied by more than one separate family, is being used as a dwelling containing the number of rooms for rent, dwelling units, or families stated or implied in such advertisement.
(6) 
That any dwelling or dwelling unit which maintains two or more doorbells is being used as a dwelling for the same number of families as there are doorbells.
(7) 
That any single-family dwelling or dwelling unit at which there are the following is being used for two or more families:
(a) 
Permanent partitions or internal doors which have not been set forth on any plans approved by and on file with the Village Building Department, which may serve to bar access between segregated portions of the dwelling, including but not limited to bedrooms, or the inability of any occupant or person in possession thereof to have unimpeded and/or lawful access to all parts of the dwelling unit; and/or
(b) 
Two or more kitchens which have not been set forth on any plans approved by and on file with the Village Building Department, each containing one or more of the following: a range, oven, microwave, or other similar device customarily used for cooking or preparation of foods.
(8) 
That any two-family dwelling unit at which there are the following is being used for three or more families:
(a) 
Permanent partitions or internal doors which have not been set forth on any plans approved by and on file with the Village Building Department, which may serve to bar access between three or more segregated portions of the dwelling, including but not limited to bedrooms; and/or
(b) 
Three or more kitchens which have not been set forth on any plans approved by and on file with the Village Building Department, each containing one or more of the following: a range, oven, microwave, or other similar device customarily used for cooking or preparation of foods.
B. 
The rebuttal of the aforesaid presumptions shall be an affirmative defense by the owner and/or occupant that in any proceeding filed for a violation of this article (or the use provisions of the Chapter 250 of this Code),[1] not withstanding the existence of such conditions, the subject building is not being used as a dwelling or the subject dwelling is not being used for more families than permitted under this Code.[2]
[1]
Editor's Note: For use regulations, see Ch. 245, Zoning.
[2]
Editor's Note: Section 4 of this ordinance stated that the intent of § 171-10B is, pursuant to the authority granted to villages by Municipal Home Rule Law § 10, Subdivision 1(ii)e(3), to supersede Subdivisions 5 and 6 of § 80.05 of the Penal Law, to the extent necessary, to define "persons" to include corporations, partnerships, limited-liability companies, and all other legal entities.
C. 
A person charged with a violation of this article, as described herein, may demand an inspection by the Village Building Department of the subject building or dwelling to rebut such presumption(s). Such demand shall be in writing addressed to the Village Building Department. The Building Inspector, or his designated representative, shall prepare a report of findings of the inspection together with photographs, if appropriate.

§ 171-11 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any person, association, firm or corporation which violates any provision of this article, or assists in the violation of any provision of this article, shall be punishable as follows:
(1) 
By a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a first offense.
(2) 
By a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a second offense, provided that the first and second offenses were committed within a period of five years of each other.
(3) 
By a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of the third or subsequent offense or a series of offenses, all of which are committed within a period of five years.
B. 
Alternative sentence. If a person, including any corporation, partnership, limited-liability company, or any other legal entity, has gained money or property through the commission of any violation involving an illegal residential occupancy or an illegal over-occupancy of a dwelling, then, upon conviction thereof, the court, in lieu of imposing the fine authorized for the offense under this Code, may sentence the defendant to pay an amount, fixed by the court, not exceeding double the amount of the defendant's gain from the commission of the offense, as such gain is reasonably determined by the court.
C. 
Each month that a violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.

§ 171-12 Collection of rent.

A. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, or otherwise, no owner, landlord or other person exercising dominion and control over property determined to be occupied in violation of this article may recover any rent or other sum for the use and occupancy of such property in the Village, unless the landlord shall establish:
(1) 
That the use of the premises was permitted to be used, during the period for which rent or use and occupancy is sought to be recovered, for the use being made of the premises;
(2) 
That the landlord delivered to the tenant a written receipt in exchange for any rent payment received by the landlord in cash, as evidenced by a copy thereof maintained by the landlord bearing the signature of the tenant.
B. 
The issuance of a rental permit from the Village shall constitute prima facie evidence in any proceeding to collect rent or charge for use and occupancy that the premises are legal for rent or occupancy to the extent reflected in such permit.

§ 171-13 Severability.

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this article shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidated the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in said judgment.