Township of Mine Hill, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Mine Hill as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 3-16-2006 by Ord. No. 01-06]

§ 405-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APARTMENT
Includes that portion of a dwelling unit rented or offered for rent, for living and dwelling purposes, to one individual or family unit, together with all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property.
AVAILABLE FOR RENT TO TENANT
Fit for habitation as defined by the statutes of the State of New Jersey, codes and ordinances of the Township of Mine Hill.
INDIVIDUAL CONDOMINIUM UNITS
Treated as separate and individual rental properties.
MAINTENANCE or PROPERTY MAINTENANCE
The cleanliness and proper working order and upkeep of all areas and facilities of the complex used by the tenants and the public.
OCCUPANTS OF RENTAL UNITS or TENANTS
Those persons who have rented a rental unit from the owner regardless of the type of tenancy under which they occupy the rental unit.
OWNER
Any person who owns any legally cognizable interest in any rental property, including but not limited to outright ownership, ownership through a partnership, corporation or limited-liability company.
OWNER OCCUPIED
The primary residential living unit of the owner.
RENT
Includes tenancies of all types, including rental or lease agreements, whether written or verbal, or day-to-day, week-to-week or month-to-month occupancies, agreements, or arrangements pursuant to which any person(s) other than the owner occupy a rental unit.
RENTAL PROPERTY
Includes any building or structure that contains one or more rental units which are rented or offered for rent to one or more tenants or family units.
RENTAL UNIT
Includes that portion of a dwelling, building or structure rented or offered for rent for living and dwelling purposes to individuals or family units.
RESIDE
To live or dwell permanently or to continuously occupy a place as one's domicile for 10 or more days.

§ 405-2 Licensing requirements.

A. 
License required. No person(s), corporation or business entity shall rent, lease or let or offer to rent, lease or let any rental unit in any rental property to any person or persons without first obtaining a license pursuant to this article.
B. 
Application information. The applicant shall provide the information required on the application form.
C. 
License fee.
[Amended 12-6-2012 by Ord. No. 30-12]
(1) 
The annual license fee shall be as set forth in Chapter 235, Fees, provided that in the past year the licensee has not been convicted of any violation of this article or any other Township ordinance, statute or regulation concerning rental property. In the event of any such conviction, the annual fee shall be as set forth in Chapter 235, Fees. The annual fee shall not decrease unless the landlord and all units in the rental property have been violation-free for a period of one year.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(2) 
In the event the rental property is a multiple dwelling requiring an annual renewal of the certificate of occupancy, the cost for the annual certificate of occupancy shall be included in this license fee unless the annual certificate of occupancy fee would be greater than the license fee, in which case the greater fee shall be charged. This shall not apply to any certificate of occupancy required by change of tenant or owner, for which the normal fee shall be charged.
(3) 
In the event ownership of the property is transferred during the license year, the new owner shall apply for a license within 10 days of transfer and the fee shall be prorated accordingly.
D. 
Revocation of license. In the event conviction(s) for violations of this or any other Township ordinance, statute or regulation concerning rental property in the Township of Mine Hill are received by a licensee of rental property, the Mayor and Council may revoke the license after notice is given and an opportunity for a hearing is had. A license shall not be revoked until five days' prior notice of the grounds therefor is served on the licensee and a reasonable opportunity is given to the licensee to be heard thereon.

§ 405-3 Rental property registration.

A. 
The owner of every rental property, with the exception of exempt owner-occupied properties, in the Township of Mine Hill shall file a rental property registration statement with the Township Clerk, the form of which is on file with the Township Clerk. The Township Clerk shall provide a copy of same to the Police Chief, the Construction Official/local enforcing agency, the Fire Chief and to the local school board. When providing a copy of same to any other person or entity requesting same, the Clerk, Code Office, Fire and Police Department and school board shall redact the names and addresses, age and gender of the tenants.
B. 
The rental property registration statement shall be filed on an annual basis on or before February 1 of each year.
[Amended 8-13-2015 by Ord. No. 23-15]
C. 
The rental property registration statement shall include:
(1) 
The name and address of all record owners of the rental property, building or of the rental business (including all general partners in the case of a partnership and all members in the case of a limited-liability company and all shareholders in the case of a corporation).
(2) 
The name and address of a person who resides in Morris County and is authorized to accept notices from a tenant or a municipality, to issue receipts for these notices and to accept service of process on behalf of the owner.
(3) 
The name and address of the managing agent, and, if applicable, the name, address and telephone number of the superintendent, janitor, custodian or other person employed to provide regular maintenance services, and the name, address and telephone number of an individual representative of the record owner or managing agent who may be reached or contacted at any time in the event of an emergency affecting the rental property or any rental unit, including such emergencies as the failure of any essential service or system, and who has authority to make emergency decisions concerning the building or unit, including the making of repairs.
(4) 
The name, age and gender of each and every tenant in each rental unit, including children. The information contained in the rental property registration statement must set forth information for each rental unit within the rental property and must include all tenants in each unit.
(5) 
The name and address of all holders of recorded mortgages on the rental property.
(6) 
If fuel oil is used to heat the rental property or rental unit and the landlord furnishes heat, the name and address of the fuel oil dealer servicing the rental property and the grade of oil used.
(7) 
As to each rental property and rental unit, the owner shall provide a floor plan which shall depict the number, dimensions and location of each room in the unit. No space shall be used for sleeping purposes which has not been so designated as a sleeping area on the sketch provided by the owner and approved by the Construction Official/local enforcing agency which shall be on file with the Construction Official/local enforcing agency.
(8) 
Such other information as may be required by the Township.
D. 
In the event the tenancy changes during the year, the landlord, owner or managing agent shall, within 30 days of the change in tenancy, provide an updated rental property registration statement for every unit in which a change in tenant has occurred. This shall be in addition to the requirements for obtaining a certificate of occupancy for the change of tenancy. A change in tenancy shall mean the addition of any person not included in the annual statement, or deletion of any person on the annual statement.

§ 405-4 Exemptions.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to public housing authorities, not-for-profit housing corporations, rental property legally restricted to senior housing or housing for the developmentally disabled, or to owner-occupied properties consisting of four units or less, inclusive of the owner-occupied unit.

§ 405-5 Inspections.

A. 
Prior to and as a condition of the issuance of a license hereunder, all rental properties and rental units shall be inspected by persons or agencies duly authorized by the Township for inspections for purposes of determining compliance with Chapter 310, Part 6, Zoning, of this Code and to determine if the rental property, unit or complex complies with all laws, including but not limited to the Property Maintenance Code, Uniform Construction Code, Health Code, Housing Code and Fire Code.
B. 
In the event that the inspection(s) of a rental unit does not result in a satisfactory inspection, the owner or agent shall cause all necessary repairs or corrections to be made within the time prescribed by the applicable official or code, and if not made within that time period, the owner shall be deemed in violation of this article, and every day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct violation subject to the penalty provisions herein.
C. 
All rental units subject to this article shall be subject to inspections to determine their condition in order to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of such rental units and of the general public and to determine compliance with this article. The owner, operator, agent and occupant shall make the units available for such inspections and are required to provide the necessary arrangements to facilitate such inspections. Inspections shall be made with the consent of the occupant, who is of legal age to grant such consent, or, absent consent, with an administrative search warrant, unless there is reason to believe that a violation exists which poses an immediate threat to health or safety, requiring inspection and abatement without delay. Reasonable attempts shall be made to obtain the consent of the occupant.
D. 
In the event of a refusal of entry for inspection, the inspection officer may, upon affidavit, apply to the Judge of the Municipal Court for a search warrant setting forth the reasonable basis for believing that a nuisance or violation of this article exists.

§ 405-6 Occupancy restrictions.

A. 
No person shall occupy any rental unit, nor shall the owner permit occupancy of any rental unit unless the unit is registered and licensed in accordance with this article.
B. 
Pursuant to Article II, Occupancy Limitations, of this chapter, the license shall set forth and the owner shall post in a conspicuous area within each rental unit a notice setting forth the maximum number of occupants of the rental unit and each permitted sleeping room within the rental unit. It shall be unlawful for any person, including the owner, agent or tenant, to allow a greater number of persons than the posted maximum number of occupants to reside in the rental unit. Said notice shall be in the form provided by the Township and shall cite the applicable ordinances, potential penalties, and shall be posted in English and Spanish.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
C. 
Only those persons whose names are on file as required in this article may reside in the registered premises. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article for any other person to reside in the premises. This provision may be enforced against the landlord and tenant and/or other person residing in the premises.
D. 
No rental property or unit shall be conducted or maintained in a manner to constitute a nuisance.
E. 
In every written lease for each rental unit, the landlord shall include the following:
(1) 
A statement setting forth the maximum number of residents permitted in the unit and the location and permitted occupancy of designated and permitted sleeping areas.
(2) 
A provision that the tenant agrees to reasonable inspections of the demised premises by Township officials upon reasonable notice to tenant. Notice shall be given to the landlord at the same time as notice to the tenant.

§ 405-7 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Failure to comply with the provisions of this article shall be punishable as provided in § 1-3, General penalty, of the Code of the Township of Mine Hill.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
It shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation, subject to the penalty provisions of this article, for each and every day that such violation continues and for each and every rental property and/or rental unit for which the violation continues.
[Adopted 3-6-2014 by Ord. No. 06-14]

§ 405-8 Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
DWELLING
Any building or structure, or part thereof, used for human habitation, use, or occupancy and includes any accessory buildings and appurtenance belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
DWELLING UNIT or HOUSING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms or any part thereof located within a building and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, and eating.
HABITABLE ROOM
A room or enclosed floor space within a dwelling unit used or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, pantries, foyers or communicating corridors, closets, and storage spaces.
OCCUPANT
Any person or persons in actual possession of and living in the building or dwelling unit, including the owner.

§ 405-9 Residential housing unit occupancy limitations.

The occupancy of rental housing units in the Township of Mine Hill shall be limited by the following:
A. 
A dwelling unit shall contain not less than 150 square feet of floor space for the first occupant thereof and not less than 100 additional square feet of floor space for every additional occupant thereof, the floor space to be calculated on the base of total habitable room area.
B. 
Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain not less than 70 square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant having not less than 50 square feet of floor space for each occupant thereof.
C. 
At least 1/2 of the floor area of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of at least seven feet. The floor area of that part of any room where the ceiling is less than five feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total floor area in the room for the purpose of determining the maximum permissible occupancy thereof.
D. 
A room located in whole or in part below the level of the ground may be used for sleeping, provided that the walls and floors thereof in contact with the earth have been damp-proofed, and provided that all requirements otherwise applicable to habitable rooms generally are satisfied.

§ 405-10 Responsibility for compliance with occupancy limitations.

Any individual who owns, leases, occupies, or maintains any rental housing unit within the Township of Mine Hill in violation of the occupancy limitations set forth in § 405-9 shall be deemed to have violated this article.

§ 405-11 Designation of enforcement officer.

The Zoning Officer and Code Enforcement and Housing Officer of the Township of Mine Hill are hereby designated as the officers to exercise the powers prescribed by this article and shall serve in such capacity without any additional salary.

§ 405-12 Right of entry for inspection.

The Zoning Officer and Code Enforcement and Housing Officer are hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the occupancy conditions of rental dwellings and housing units located within the Township of Mine Hill in order that he may perform his duty of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of rental dwellings and of the general public. In the event the owner or occupant of a housing unit shall deny the Zoning Officer or the Code Enforcement and Housing Officer access to such housing unit at a reasonable time for the purpose of such inspection, examination, and survey, the officer shall have the right to apply for an appropriate search warrant if cause exists.

§ 405-13 Violations and penalties.

A. 
A violation of this article shall be punishable as provided in § 1-3, General penalty, of the Code of the Township of Mine Hill.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
Each day's failure to comply with this article shall constitute a separate violation.

§ 405-14 Relocation assistance for tenants displaced due to illegal occupancy.

A. 
Relocation Assistance Fund. The Township shall establish a Relocation Assistance Fund to be administered by the Finance Officer. The fund shall accept relocation assistance payments, as required by this article, and distribute them to eligible displaced tenants.
B. 
Eligibility for relocation assistance.
(1) 
Any tenant who receives a notice of eviction pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.2 that results from code enforcement and housing or code enforcement activity for an illegal occupancy, as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1, shall be considered a displaced person and shall be entitled to relocation assistance in an amount equal to six times the monthly rent paid by the displaced person. The owner-landlord of the structure shall be liable for the payment of the relocation assistance pursuant to this section.
(2) 
The Township shall pay relocation assistance to any displaced person who has not received the required payment from the owner-landlord of the structure at the time of eviction pursuant to Subsection B(1) of this section from the Relocation Assistance Fund. All relocation assistance costs incurred by the Township pursuant to this subsection shall be repaid by the owner-landlord of the structure to the Township in the same manner as relocation costs are billed and collected under N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.1 and N.J.S.A. 20:4-4.2. These repayments shall be deposited into the Township's revolving Relocation Assistance Fund.
(3) 
In addition to relocation reimbursement from the owner-landlord of the structure for relocation assistance paid to a displaced tenant, the owner-landlord shall pay the Township a fine for any zoning, property maintenance, or housing code violation for an illegal occupancy, in an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person.
(4) 
In addition to this penalty, the Township, after affording the owner-landlord an opportunity for a hearing on the matter, may impose upon the owner-landlord, for a second or subsequent violation for an illegal occupancy, a fine equal to the annual tuition cost of any resident of the illegally occupied unit attending public school, which fine shall be recovered in a civil action by a summary proceeding in the name of the municipality pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq. The Municipal Court and the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of proceedings for the enforcement of the penalty provided by this section. The tuition cost shall be determined in the manner prescribed for nonresident pupils pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-19, and the payment of the fine shall be remitted to the appropriate school district. For the purposes of this section, a "second or subsequent violation for an illegal occupancy" shall be limited to those violations that are new and are a result of distinct and separate code enforcement and housing or code enforcement activities and shall not include any continuing violations for which citations are issued by a code enforcement and housing or code enforcement agent during the time period required for summary dispossession proceedings to conclude if the owner has initiated eviction proceedings in a court of proper jurisdiction. For the purposes of this section, the "owner-landlord of a structure" shall exclude mortgagees in possession of a structure through foreclosure.