[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Downingtown 5-16-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-04. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, whenever there is a proposed change of ownership of any residential building or part thereof, such change of ownership shall not be made unless a certificate of compliance has been issued by the Borough of Downingtown Code Enforcement Officer, dated not earlier than three months prior to the change of ownership. The term "residential building," as used in this chapter, shall include single-family homes, duplexes, apartments, cooperative apartments and condominiums.
In order not to delay or impede a pending change of ownership, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue a temporary certificate of compliance if any code and/or ordinance violations existing at the time of the change of ownership are not an immediate or imminent threat to the health or safety of the owners, the tenants or the occupants of the property in question. Before a temporary certificate is issued, the former owner ("seller") and the new owner ("buyer") shall:
Provide proof that they are either jointly and severally or individually liable and responsible for correcting all code and/or ordinance violations set forth by the Code Enforcement Officer in the temporary certificate;
That all code and/or ordinance violations set forth by the Code Enforcement Officer in the temporary certificate will be corrected within the time set forth in the temporary certificate of compliance; and either
Provide for an escrow in an amount agreed to by the Code Enforcement Officer as sufficient financial security for the correction of any noncompliant conditions; or
Identify the party who shall be financially responsible for such corrections in the event they are not corrected within the time frame set forth in the temporary certificate.
A certificate of compliance shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer after an inspection of the premises discloses that the premises is compliant with Chapter 222, Property Maintenance, §§ 222-1 and 222-2, and Chapter 287, Zoning. Compliance with the provisions of said chapters shall be met if the provisions of the respective chapters in effect at the time of the inspection are met or if the provisions of the chapter or ordinances in effect at the time the original permit was issued for a particular construction or installation were met. Where there is compliance with the chapter in effect at the time a permit was issued, but there is no compliance with the current chapter and a hazardous condition endangering health or safety presently exists, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a noncompliance notice setting forth the hazardous condition.
If an inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer discloses noncompliance with the Code of the Borough of Downingtown, Chapter 222 or 287, said officer shall issue a property inspection form setting forth the areas of noncompliance and stating that the premises shall be brought into compliance within 30 days or a reasonable time thereafter. When a subsequent inspection discloses compliance, a certificate of compliance shall be issued. If there is continual noncompliance after the time limit established, no new occupancies shall be permitted.
A certificate of compliance indicates that insofar as it can be reasonably determined by a visual inspection of the premises and a review of Borough records and ordinances, the premises meets the requirements of the Code of the Borough of Downingtown Chapters 222 and 287. Neither the Borough nor the Code Enforcement Officer assumes any liability in the inspection or the issuance of a certificate of compliance and by the issuance of a certificate of compliance does not guarantee or warrant the condition of the premises inspected.
The required fee, as may be amended from time to time, shall be set by resolution of Borough Council and paid to the Borough at the time of applying for such inspection of the premises and prior to the issuance of a certificate of compliance.
The Borough of Downingtown Code Enforcement Officer shall provide the forms for:
Any owner or occupant or proposed new occupant aggrieved by the issuance of a noncompliance notice, based upon any issue other than zoning noncompliance, may appeal to the Borough's Board of Administrative Appeals within 20 days of issuance by following the procedures set forth in Chapter 4, Appeals, Board of Administrative, of the Code of the Borough of Downingtown. In the event that the noncompliance certification is based on a zoning ordinance noncompliance, the aggrieved party may appeal the decision to the Borough of Downingtown Zoning Hearing Board within 30 days of issuance by following the procedures set forth in Chapter 287, Zoning, § 287-142, Public hearing procedures.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter shall be fined not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 for each offense, and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.