Township of Robbinsville, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Derived from Ch. BH:3 of the 2001 Code of the Township of Washington (now Township of Robbinsville). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unfit buildings — See Ch. 85.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 187.

§ 274-1 Designation of enforcing officers.

[Amended 2-12-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-7]
The Housing Inspector of the Township is hereby designated as the officer to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter.

§ 274-2 Statutory authority; standards adopted by reference; copies on file.

[Amended 2-12-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-7]
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1 et seq., the International Property Maintenance Code 2006, as published by The International Code Council, is hereby accepted, adopted and established as a standard to be used as a guide in determining whether dwellings in this municipality are safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation and rental. Each and all of the regulations of the International Property Maintenance Code 2006 are hereby referred to, adopted and made part hereof, as if more full set out in the chapter. Three copies of the International Property Maintenance Code 2006 have been placed on file in the office of the Municipal Clerk of the Township of Robbinsville, Mercer County, New Jersey, and are available to all persons desiring to use and examine the same.

§ 274-3 Inspections; right of access.

The Housing Inspector is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises located within the Township in order that he/she may perform his/her duty of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public. For the purpose of making such inspections, the Housing Inspector is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises. The owner or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit and rooming unit, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the Housing Inspector free access to such dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit and its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey. Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall give the owner thereof, or his/her agent or employee, access to any part of such dwelling or dwelling unit, or its premises, at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 274-4 Notification of violations; hearings; emergency action.

[Amended 2-12-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-7]
A. 
Whenever the Housing Inspector determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he/she shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall:
(1) 
Be put in writing.
(2) 
Include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued.
(3) 
Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires.
(4) 
Be served upon the owner of his/her agent or the occupant, as the case may require, provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent or upon such occupant if a copy thereof is served upon him/her personally or if a copy thereof is sent by registered mail to his/her last known address or if a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice or if he/she is served with such notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this State. Such notice may contain an outline of remedial action, which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
B. 
Any person affected by any notice which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Construction Official, provided that such person shall file, in the office of the Construction Official, a written petition requesting such hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within 10 days after the day the notice was served. Upon receipt of such petition, the Construction Official shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. At such hearing the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why such notice should be modified or withdrawn. The hearing shall be commenced not later than 10 days after the day on which the petition was filed, provided that, upon application of the petitioner, the Construction Official may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond such ten-day period if, in his/her judgment, the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for such postponement.
C. 
After such hearing the Construction Official shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice, depending upon his/her findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with. If the Construction Official sustains or modifies such notice, it shall be deemed to be an order. Any notice served pursuant to this chapter shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the Construction Official within 10 days after such notice is served.
D. 
The proceedings at such hearings, including the findings and decision of the Construction Official, shall be summarized, reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Construction Official. Such record shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter.
E. 
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Construction Official may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by laws of the state.
F. 
Whenever the Housing Inspector finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health or safety, he/she may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he/she deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person, to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately but upon petition to the Construction Official, shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon his/her findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Construction Official shall continue such order in effect or modify it or revoke it.

§ 274-5 Conformance to standards.

[Amended 2-12-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-7]
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or rent to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not conform to the provisions of the International Property Maintenance Code 2006, as adopted by this chapter, established hereby as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.

§ 274-6 Certificate required prior to new occupancy; exceptions.

[Amended 2-12-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-7]
A. 
Certificate required prior to new occupation. No owner of any dwelling, dwelling unit, hotel, motel, rooming house, rooming unit, boardinghouse or premises on which a building is located and is used or intended to be used for human habitation shall sell, transfer, grant, mortgage with right of occupancy, lease, rent, let or otherwise dispose of such property to another until a certificate shall first have been obtained from the Division of Housing stating that the building and premises complies with the requirements of this chapter. The certificate shall be valid for 60 days from the date of its issuance. Any person occupying such premises or contracting with the owner for occupancy of premises by another shall be bound by the provisions of this section and the penalties imposed for its violation. The requirements of this section shall be binding upon any owner and/or person with right of occupancy who proposes to grant permission to occupy the premises to another or who proposes to change the occupants of the premises, whether there is a formal sale or lease or not. The certificate described above shall be required in all cases where the occupancy of the dwelling unit is changed. This section is binding upon the new occupant, as well as the party granting the right of occupancy to a new occupant, and upon the owner equally.
B. 
Exceptions. In cases of applications for Housing Code certificates in connection with a bona fide sale of property wherein the purchaser is the intended occupant of all dwelling units on the property being sold and where the purchaser executes a statement so certifying that he/she will occupy the property and agrees in the same writing to accomplish the repair of any and all minor violations listed by the Housing Code Inspector from a prior inspection, the Housing Inspector may, at his/her discretion, permit the transfer of title to the property and/or permit the purchaser to occupy the property upon the purchaser's written promise to accomplish repairs and have them inspected at the purchaser's expense within such reasonable period of time as the Housing Inspector may require. If such certificate is issued, the burden of complying with this section shall be that of the purchaser. In issuing such a conditional Housing Code certificate, the Housing Inspector may, in his/her discretion, determine whether or not the conditional certificate simply permits the sale of the premises or, in addition, permits occupancy by the purchaser during the time period when repairs are being made by the purchaser. No such occupancy shall be permitted under a conditional Housing Code certificate if violations exist which render the premises dangerous, from a health and accident point of view, for occupancy. In no event may such conditional certificate of occupancy be issued unless the purchaser certifies in writing to the Housing Inspector that he/she and his/her family will be the occupants of the residential unit, at least until all repairs are made, inspected and approved and an unconditional Housing Code certificate is issued.

§ 274-7 Water tests.

A. 
Owners of properties which are not served by a public water system owned and operated by the Township, the Township of Robbinsville Utilities Department or a private water supplier approved to conduct business in the Township, shall sample and analyze the potable water source and provide to the Housing Inspector the written results of tests performed by a certified laboratory, certified in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7-18 for the specific analytical method used, of the water tests.
[Amended 10-11-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-50]
B. 
The parameters tested shall include coliform bacteria, nitrates, pH, iron, and manganese and/or any additional parameters deemed necessary by the Housing Inspector.
C. 
The water sample shall be obtained from the water source of the dwelling in question within 60 days prior to the date of submission of the results to the Housing Inspector.
D. 
The water supply shall meet the maximum contaminant levels as specified in N.J.A.C. 7:10.
E. 
Water tests as described in Subsections A, B, C and D above will be required whenever a certificate of new occupancy is required by the Housing Inspector or when deemed necessary by the Health Officer or his/her designee.

§ 274-8 Compliance with lower-income housing regulations required for issuance of certificate.

[Amended 2-12-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-7]
The Housing Inspector shall not issue any Housing Code certificate or certificate of occupancy upon the sale or any change in occupancy of any low/moderate unit unless he/she first ascertains that the Township’s designated administrative agent for affordable housing has approved the proposed transaction in writing.

§ 274-9 Fees.

There shall be paid to the Housing Inspector at the time of application for inspection which is requested in order to obtain a certificate of new occupation as stipulated in § 274-6A, the fees provided in Chapter 109, Fees.

§ 274-10 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 3-15-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-8]
A. 
Any person who violates any provision of or order promulgated under this chapter or International Property Maintenance Code 2006 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by one or more of the following: a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 90 days or to a period of community service not exceeding 90 days at the discretion of the Judge of the Municipal Court. Any person convicted under this chapter, and subject to a fine in an amount greater than $1,250, shall be entitled to:
[Amended 2-12-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-7]
(1) 
Cure or abate the condition within 30 days of conviction; and
(2) 
A hearing before any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by law.
B. 
Subsequent to the thirty-day period, a fine greater than $1,250 may be imposed if a court has not determined otherwise or, upon reinspection of the property, it is determined that the abatement has not been substantially completed.