Town of Haverstraw, NY
Rockland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Haverstraw 11-14-2011 by L.L. No. 7-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Property maintenance — See Ch. 127.

§ 128-1 Illegal residential occupancies and over-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 Town 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 Town Zoning Law or the provisions of the New York State Building or Fire Codes.
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 Town 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.

§ 128-2 Prosecutions for illegal residential occupancies and over-occupancies.

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, and/or more than one water meter 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 and/or more than two water meters 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 Town 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 Town 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 dwellings 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 Town 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 Town 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 Town 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 Town 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 chapter (or the Use provisions of Chapter 167 of this Code), notwithstanding 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.
C. 
A person charged with a violation of this chapter, as described herein, may demand an inspection by the Town Building Department of the subject building or dwelling to rebut such presumption(s). Such demand shell be in writing addressed to the Town Building Department. The Building Inspector, or his designated representative, shall prepare a report of the findings of the inspection together with photographs, if appropriate.

§ 128-3 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
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 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 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 were 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.

§ 128-4 Collection of rent.

A. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, or otherwise, no owner, landlord or other person exercising dominion and control over property determined to be occupied in violation of this chapter may recover any rent or other sum for the use and occupancy of such property in the Town, unless the landlord shall establish:
(1) 
That the use of the premises were 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 Town shall constitute prima facie evidence in any proceeding to collect rent or charges for use and occupancy that the premises are legal for rent or occupancy to the extent reflected in such permit.

§ 128-5 Severability.

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

§ 128-6 When effective.

This chapter shall become effective upon filing with the Secretary of State.