Borough of Bristol, PA
Bucks County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 11-101 Purposes.

[Ord. 1193, 11/8/2004]
This Part is enacted to provide for the uniform and equitable distribution of the tax levies in the Borough of Bristol and upon the inhabitants thereof and to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Borough of Bristol.

§ 11-102 Definitions and Interpretation.

[Ord. 1193, 11/8/2004]
As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms used for living and sleeping purposes arranged for occupancy by one family or by one or more persons.
LANDLORD
A lessor, or person who acts as agent for the lessor, of any parcel of real estate located in the Borough of Bristol, or a lessor, or person who acts as agent for the lessor, of any improvements on real estate or any building located in the Borough of Bristol.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, association, firm or corporation.
TENANT
A person who has the use, either by himself or with others, of a dwelling unit owned by a person other than himself, for a period exceeding 30 days.

§ 11-103 Reports by Landlords.

[Ord. 1193, 11/8/2004]
1. 
Within 30 days from the effective date of this Part, each landlord shall submit to the Building Code Official, a report form supplied by the Building Code Official, which includes the following information:
A. 
List of the dwelling units owned by the landlord, located within the Borough of Bristol limits, whether occupied or not occupied.
B. 
Address of each dwelling unit.
C. 
Brief description of each dwelling unit including the square footage of each unit.
D. 
Whether or not said dwelling unit is inhabited or utilized by tenants.
E. 
Names of the tenant or tenants utilizing the aforementioned dwelling unit, if any.

§ 11-104 Reports by Persons Upon Becoming Landlords.

[Ord. 1193, 11/8/2004]
After the effective date of this Part, any person who becomes a landlord of any parcel of real estate or any improvement on real estate or building located in the Borough of Bristol by agreement of sale, by deed, or by any other means, shall, within 30 days thereafter, report to the Building Code Official the information and data set forth in § 11-103 above, and on forms to be provided by the Building Code Official.

§ 11-105 Reports of Changes in Use or Occupancy.

[Ord. 1193, 11/8/2004]
After the effective date of this Part, each and every landlord of property within the Borough of Bristol shall report to the Building Code Official on a report form to be supplied by the Building Code Official, any change in the use or occupancy of any dwelling unit owned by such landlord. The reported change shall include the name or names of new tenants of such dwelling unit, the date when such change was effected, and the forwarding address of the old tenant or tenants if known. A landlord of a hotel, or inn house shall not be required to report a person as a "tenant." In the event that a dwelling unit was used or utilized by a tenant and then becomes vacant, this change shall also be reported to the Building Code Official. All reports required by this section shall be made within 10 days after a landlord has knowledge that such a unit has had a change in occupancy or has become vacant.

§ 11-106 Duties of the Building Code Official.

[Ord. 1193, 11/8/2004]
1. 
The Building Code Official, under the authority of this Part, shall:
A. 
Maintain on file at the Borough of Bristol office, the names of the landlords owning dwelling units in the Borough of Bristol, said list to include the names of the current tenants of said dwelling units.
B. 
Maintain a supply of forms for landlords to use in making reports to the Building Code Official as required by §§ 11-103, 11-104 and 11-105 of this Part.
C. 
Notify the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief of the Borough of Bristol of the address and description of any dwelling unit that is vacant, unoccupied, and not in use.

§ 11-107 Biennial and Annual Inspection of Dwelling.

[Ord. 1193, 11/8/2004; as amended by Ord. 1234, 3/12/2007; and by Ord. 1295, 9/9/2013]
The Building Code Official or a duly authorized inspector shall conduct a biennial inspection of each dwelling unit in order to determine if each such unit complies with the building and fire ordinances of the Borough of Bristol. However, in the case of a single building containing more than 10 dwelling units, the authorized inspector shall conduct an annual inspection. Upon completion of the required report and inspection, the Building Code Official shall issue a certificate of registration and inspection for all units meeting ordinance requirements. The landlord shall accompany the report required by § 11-103 of this Part with the payment of a registration and inspection fee for each unit in an amount as established, from time to time, by resolution of Borough Council.

§ 11-108 Interim Inspection of Dwelling.

[Ord. 1193, 11/8/2004; as amended by Ord. 1203, 5/9/2005; and by Ord. 1221, 5/15/2006]
1. 
If a change or occupancy of a dwelling or dwelling unit occurs more than 90 days of the date of the annual inspection required by § 11-107 of this Part, an additional inspection of the unit shall be required to determine compliance with the requirements of the ICC International Property Maintenance Code and all other codes and ordinances of the Borough of Bristol regulating and governing matters of health, sanitation, and use of any structure for human occupancy and associated uses.
2. 
The interim inspections upon change of occupancy shall be accomplished within five days of the receipt by the Borough of a completed application by the landlord. The Building Code Official shall list any violations of any codes or ordinances of the Borough of Bristol which shall be set forth as separate items in a written report submitted to the landlord.
3. 
Violations of the applicable codes and ordinances which pose a clear, positive, and serious threat to the health, safety or welfare of any occupant shall be set forth in the inspection report and all such violations shall be corrected prior to any change in occupancy of the dwelling or dwelling unit. A re-inspection of the unit to be done shall be completed prior to occupancy.

§ 11-109 Penalties.

[Ord. 1193, 11/8/2004; as amended by Ord. 1295, 9/9/2013; and by Ord. 1305, 11/10/2014]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs, or a minimum of $100 plus costs, and in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 11-201 Responsibility of Owner of Dwelling Units.

[Ord. 1245, 12/10/2007]
It shall be the owner's responsibility to assure that the tenants, the tenants' family members and guests of any tenant or tenant family members not engage in disorderly behavior in the rental dwelling unit. For the purposes of this Part, "rental dwelling unit" shall include the rental unit and common areas in the building where the rental dwelling unit is located.

§ 11-202 Definitions of Disorderly Behavior.

[Ord. 1245, 12/10/2007; as amended by Ord. 1273, 5/10/2010; and by Ord. 1295, 9/9/2013]
1. 
For the purposes of this section, disorderly behavior may include, but is not limited to, the following:
A. 
Drug-related illegal activity in the rental dwelling unit "drug-related illegal activity" means the illegal possession, manufacture, sale, distribution, purchase, use or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute a controlled substance (as defined in the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. § 802) or possession of drug paraphernalia as defined by Pennsylvania statute. A tenant shall be deemed to be in possession of a controlled substance if any amount is located in the tenant's rental dwelling unit even if the tenant claims not to know the controlled substance was present unless the tenant provides a sworn statement by a person, other than another tenant or tenant's family member, that the controlled substance was theirs and the tenant had no knowledge of the controlled substance.
B. 
Acts of violence or threats of violence, including, but not limited to, discharge of firearms, prostitution, intimidation, or any other act that otherwise jeopardizes the health, safety or welfare of the licensee, his agents or tenants.
(1) 
Violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5503(a)(1), (2), (3) and (4) (Disorderly Conduct).
(2) 
Violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6504 (Public Nuisances).
(3) 
Violation of Pennsylvania Statutes, Title 18, Chapter 61 (Firearms and Other Dangerous Articles).
(4) 
Violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5101 (Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function).
(5) 
Violation of Bristol Borough Ord. 1200, adopted by Borough Council on February 14, 2005, which is known as the Property Maintenance Code [Chapter 5, Part 2].
(6) 
Violation of Bristol Borough Ordinance No. 829 (adopted 4-8-1974), Ordinance No. 1005 (adopted 7-14-1986) and Ordinance No. 1061 (adopted 2-11-1991), at Chapter 6, Part 3, §§ 6-301 through 6-302 (Disorderly Conduct), and Part 4, §§ 6-401 through 6-402 (Criminal Mischief).
[Added by Ord. 1297, 11/11/2013]

§ 11-203 Finding of Disorderly Activity.

[Ord. 1245, 12/10/2007]
1. 
Upon determination that a rental dwelling unit was the location of disorderly behavior, the Building Official shall notify by first class mail the owner and tenant of the violation and direct the owner to take steps to prevent further violations.
2. 
If a second instance of disorderly behavior occurs at a rental dwelling unit within six months of the time a notice was sent for previous disorderly behavior at the same unit, the Building Official shall notify by first class mail the owner and the tenant of the violation and direct the owner to submit, within 10 days of the date of the notice, a written report of all actions taken by the licensee since the first violation notice and actions the owner intends to take to prevent further disorderly behavior.
3. 
If a third instance of disorderly behavior occurs at a rental dwelling unit within six months after the first of two previous notices of disorderly behavior at the same unit, the rental dwelling unit registration may be revoked, suspended or not renewed by the Borough Manager upon the recommendation of the Building Official. The Building Official shall make his/her decision to recommend revocation, suspension or nonrenewal of the registration and submit his/her recommendation to the Borough Manager within 10 days of the third instance of disorderly behavior.
4. 
For purposes of this section, second and third instances of disorderly behavior shall be those which:
A. 
Occur at the same rental dwelling unit.
B. 
Involve tenants at the same rental dwelling unit.
C. 
Involve guests or invitees at the same rental dwelling unit.
D. 
Involve guests or invitees of the same tenant.
E. 
Involve the same tenant.

§ 11-204 Pending Eviction Proceedings.

[Ord. 1245, 12/10/2007]
No adverse license action shall be imposed where the instance of disorderly behavior occurred during pending eviction proceedings or within 30 days of notice given by the owner to a tenant to vacate the rental dwelling unit. However, adverse license action may proceed when the owner fails to diligently pursue the eviction process. Further, an action to deny, revoke, suspend, or not renew a registration based upon violations of this section may be postponed or discontinued at anytime if the owner has taken appropriate measures which will prevent further instances of disorderly behavior, which may include a failed eviction.

§ 11-205 Right to Hearing Prior to Any Termination of Registration.

[Ord. 1245, 12/10/2007]
1. 
The Building Official shall notify the owner or the owner's agent in writing of the basis for the revocation, suspension, denial or non-renewal and the date upon which the Manager shall review the request to revoke, suspend, deny, or not renew the registration. The notice required by this section shall be served upon the owner or the owner's agent at least 10 days before the hearing. Service shall be deemed the sufficient if the notice is sent to the owner or the owner's agent by first class mail at the address provided in the registration application. It shall be the responsibility of the owner or the owner's agent to notify the tenant in writing of the hearing date, time and place.
2. 
The owner or the owner's agent and the Building Official shall be given an opportunity to be heard. The Manager shall hear all relevant evidence and arguments and shall review all testimony, documents, and other evidence submitted. The Manager shall record the hearing and keep a record of documentary evidence submitted.
3. 
The Manager shall make findings based on the evidence and shall make a decision on the recommendation to revoke, suspend, deny, or non-renew a registration based on the findings. The Manager shall issue a written decision regarding the recommendation of the Building Official within 30 days following the date of the hearing and shall notify the appellant of the decision by first class mail, with a duplicate copy to the Building Official. The decision shall specify the rental dwelling unit or units to which it applies. Thereafter, and until a registration is reissued or reinstated, no rental dwelling units that have had their rental registration revoked, suspended, denied, or non-renewed may be rented or occupied. Revocation, suspension, denial, or non-renewal of a registration shall not excuse the owner from compliance with all terms of this section for as long as any rental dwelling units in the building are occupied.

§ 11-206 Revocation of Registration.

[Ord. 1245, 12/10/2007]
After the Borough's Manager revokes, suspends, denies or declines to renew a license, no license will be issued for the affected rental dwelling unit(s) until the Building Official determines that the applicant/licensee has remedied the conditions identified by the Borough Manager as the basis for its action. An application to obtain a registration for a rental dwelling unit after the Borough Manager has revoked, suspended, denied or declined to renew a registration for the same rental dwelling unit(s) must be accompanied by all fees required by the Borough.

§ 11-207 Penalties.

[Ord. 1245, 12/10/2007; as amended by Ord. 1295, 9/9/2013; and by Ord. 1305, 11/10/2014]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs, or a minimum of $100 plus costs, and in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.