City of New Rochelle, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of New Rochelle 6-16-1987 by Ord. No. 174-1987. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 81.
Building construction — See Ch. 111.
Fees — See Ch. 133.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 147.
Fumigation and extermination — See Ch. 154.
Multiple dwellings — See Ch. 209.
Plumbing and drainage — See Ch. 242.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 250.
Abandoned vehicles and property — See Ch. 309.

§ 174-1 Title; scope.

[Amended 3-18-2003 by Ord. No. 63-2003]
This chapter shall be known as the "New Rochelle Housing Code." It shall incorporate the standards found in the Property Maintenance Code of New York State, which shall be referred to in this chapter as the "State Code."

§ 174-2 Purpose.

It is hereby declared that the purpose of this chapter is to protect, preserve and promote the physical and mental health and social well-being of the people, to minimize the incidence of communicable disease, to regulate privately and publicly owned dwellings for the purpose of maintaining adequate sanitation and public health and to protect the safety of the people and to promote the general welfare by regulations which shall be applicable to all dwellings now in existence or hereafter constructed. It is hereby further declared that the purpose of this chapter is to ensure that the quality of housing is adequate for the protection of public health, safety and general welfare. The achievement of this purpose includes the establishment of minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities for healthful living, such as adequate water, waste disposal, bathroom facilities, light, ventilation, heating and cooling, for safety from fire and accidents, for the use and location and amount of space for human occupancy and for an adequate level of maintenance, setting forth the responsibilities for owners, operators and occupants of dwellings and establishing the necessary provisions for administration and enforcement.

§ 174-3 Code enforcement officer.

[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
The Building Official is hereby designated as the code enforcement officer and shall be responsible for enforcement of the Housing Code. A code enforcement officer may act as the Building Official's agent in his or her absence. All code enforcement officers of the New Rochelle Building Bureau may perform inspections, issue orders for the correction of violations and investigate complaints.

§ 174-4 Service and effect of orders.

[Amended 5-20-1997 by Ord. No. 101-1997]
A. 
The service of orders for the correction of violations of this code or of any notices provided for in this code or required herein shall be made upon the owner of the premises involved, unless the premises is owned by one person and occupied by another, and, in such case, upon the owner and the occupant or tenant thereof or the managing agent of the premises. Service may be made upon such person personally or by registered mail directed to the last known address or, in the case of an owner, to the mailing address given in the records of the tax office of the City of New Rochelle to which tax bills relating to the property involved are mailed.
B. 
If buildings or other premises are owned by one person and occupied by another under lease or otherwise, the orders issued in connection with the enforcement of the Fire Prevention Code shall apply to the occupant thereof and the owner.
C. 
The owner of a premises who does not reside in Westchester County shall designate a local representative in Westchester County to receive service of orders made under this chapter.

§ 174-5 Right to inspect: access for repairs or alterations.

A. 
The Building Official and any other person authorized by him or her to do so may, without fee or hindrance, make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming houses, rooming units and the premises on which they are located in order to fulfill the purpose of this chapter.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
B. 
For the purpose of making such inspections, the inspector is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming houses, rooming units and the premises on which they are located. Except for emergencies or where authorized by other law or for the convenience of the occupant or owner, such inspections shall be made between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
C. 
The owner, the operator and the occupant shall give the inspector free access to the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit and the premises on which they are located for the purpose of such an inspection.
D. 
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall give the owner thereof, or his agent or employees, 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.

§ 174-6 Inspections.

[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
A. 
It shall be the duty of the Building Official to inspect or cause to be inspected by the Building Bureau all buildings and premises, as often as may be necessary for the purpose of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any violations of the provisions or intent of this code.
B. 
The Building Official, upon complaint of any person or whenever he or she shall deem it necessary, shall inspect any buildings and premises within his or her jurisdiction.

§ 174-7 Records.

[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
The Building Official shall keep a record of all activities, including but not limited to inspections, permits, permit fees, licenses, license fees and complaints.

§ 174-8 Compliance required prior to occupancy or lease.

No person shall occupy or let to any other person any dwelling, dwelling unit or room unless the same and the premises are in compliance with the requirements of this chapter and all applicable laws.

§ 174-9 Fees. [1]

[Amended 1-16-1996 by Ord. No. 16-1996; 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
A. 
A fee shall be charged for all requested inspections and reinspections of dwelling units for violations under the provisions of this chapter, in conjunction with the leasing of such dwelling units. A request for inspection shall be made by the owner of the premises on a form approved by the Building Official. The fee for such requests shall be as set forth in Chapter 133, Fees.
B. 
A fee shall be charged for the inspection and reinspection of existing buildings to determine or remove violations. The fee for such inspection shall be payable to the Building Bureau and as set forth in Chapter 133, Fees.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended during codification; see Ch. 1, General Provisions.

§ 174-10 Rooming house permit.

A. 
No person shall operate a rooming house unless he or she holds a valid rooming house permit issued by the Building Official in the name of the operator and for the specific dwelling or dwelling unit. The fee for such permit shall be as set forth in Chapter 133, Fees.[1]
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended during codification; see Ch. 1, General Provisions.
B. 
The operator must be a fit and proper person to operate a rooming house, and the rooming house which he intends to operate must be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
This permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the rooming house at all times.
D. 
No such permit shall be transferable. Every person holding such permit shall give notice, in writing, to the Building Official within 24 hours after having sold, transferred, given away or otherwise disposed of ownership of, interest in or control of any rooming house. Such notice shall include the name and address of the person succeeding to the ownership or control of such rooming house.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
E. 
Every rooming house permit shall expire on December 31 of the year of issuance unless sooner suspended or revoked as hereinafter provided.
F. 
Modification, suspension or revocation.
(1) 
The permit to operate a rooming house may be modified, suspended or revoked by the Building Official or his or her designee. Such action may be taken because of:
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
(a) 
Failure to comply with one or more of the provisions of this chapter.
(b) 
Refusal to permit inspection.
(c) 
Mistake in the issuance of the permit.
(d) 
False statements on the application for the permit.
(e) 
The permittee's conviction of a crime.
(f) 
Any act or conduct of the permittee which indicates his unfitness to operate a rooming house.
(g) 
Any activity which affects the safety or tranquility of the surrounding community.
(h) 
Any other good reason.
(2) 
Before a permit may be modified, suspended or revoked, the permittee shall have the opportunity to be heard, except that a permit may be temporarily suspended pending a hearing.

§ 174-11 Heating requirements.

A. 
It shall be the duty of every person who has contracted to furnish heat or who is required by any contract, agreement, lease or other arrangement or by law to heat or furnish heat to any building or part thereof occupied as a place of habitation or occupied as a business establishment or for public or governmental purposes where one or more persons are employed to furnish heat to every occupied room in such building or part thereof so as to maintain temperature as follows:
(1) 
Not less than 68º F. between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. whenever the temperature outside of the building shall fall below 55º F.
(2) 
Not less than 60º F. between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. whenever the temperature outside the building shall fall below 50º F.
B. 
For the purposes of this section, the temperature within a place of habitation shall be that obtained at a distance of five feet above the average floor level of the room in which such temperature is obtained.

§ 174-12 Abatement of nuisances.

[Amended 2-16-1993 by Ord. No. 44-1993; 2-16-1999 by Ord. No. 47-1999; 4-20-1999 by Ord. No. 102-1999; 3-18-2003 by Ord. No. 63-2003]
The term "nuisance" shall be held to embrace whatever is dangerous to human life or detrimental to health and shall include but not be limited to a public nuisance known at common law, statutory law and in equity jurisprudence and a dwelling as defined in the State Code that, in violation of this chapter or of any other state or local law, ordinance or regulation, does not have adequate egress, safeguards against fire, adequate electrical service, installation and wiring, structural support, ventilation, plumbing, sewerage or drainage facilities or water, is overcrowded or inadequately cleaned or lighted, is inadequately heated under the standards provided in § 174-11 of this chapter or is unoccupied for a period in excess of 180 continuous days or appears to be abandoned and the condition constituting such violation is dangerous to human life or detrimental to health. All such nuisances are hereby declared to be unlawful.
A. 
Notice of nuisance.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
(1) 
Whenever the Building Official shall declare that a dwelling or any portion thereof is a nuisance, he or she shall serve a notice personally or by posting the same in a conspicuous place upon the premises affected, and a copy thereof shall be mailed, on the same day it is posted, to the owner at the address filed by him or her in the Bureau of Buildings, and if his or her address is not so filed in the Bureau of Buildings, then in such cases such notice shall be sent by registered mail to his or her last known address or place of residence or, if such address or place of residence is not known, then to the address shown upon the records of the Department of Finance, Tax Department, for the mailing of tax bills. In the case of a corporate landlord, the notice shall be sent by registered mail to the agent or principal of the corporation as specified in the records of the Bureau of Buildings or upon the records of the Department of Finance, or, if none is listed, the notice shall be posted on the premises in question and mailed to the Secretary of State, agent of said corporation. Such service shall be deemed sufficient.
(2) 
Such notice shall recite the facts constituting such nuisance, specifying in what respect the dwelling is dangerous to human life or detrimental to health, and require the owner to remove such nuisance within five days or, where an emergency exists creating a situation imminently dangerous to human life or detrimental to health as may be determined by the Building Official, within 48 hours or such lesser period of time as the Building Official may determine. Irrespective of any other remediation which may be required, if the dwelling has not been occupied for 180 continuous days or is abandoned, then the Building Official may require the owner to:
(a) 
Secure the premises from all unauthorized entry;
(b) 
Install and maintain smoke, fire and intrusion detectors connected directly to the City's central dispatch facility; or
(c) 
In lieu of Subsection A(2)(a) and (b) above, have a watchman present on the premises at all times.
(3) 
Such notice shall provide that if the owner fails to remove such nuisance within such period of compliance so prescribed, the Building Bureau may remove or cause the removal of such nuisance by cleansing, repairing, providing fuel or water, vacating or demolishing the dwelling or by taking such other corrective action deemed necessary and shall notify the owner of his or her right to a hearing hereinafter provided.
(4) 
Wherever such notice is given, it shall specify that the owner may request a hearing before the City Manager or the City Manager's designee by written request filed, prior to the time set for compliance, with the Building Official, and a hearing shall be given such owner prior to expiration of the period for compliance so prescribed.
(5) 
Any such notice shall automatically become a final order of the Building Official if a written request for a hearing is not filed in the office of the Building Official prior to the expiration of the period for compliance prescribed in such notice.
B. 
Procedure if nuisance not removed by owner.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
(1) 
If such nuisance is not removed by the owner within the time heretofore prescribed, or work commenced therefor and diligently prosecuted, after service of such notice, where request for a hearing is not made, or within such further period of time not to exceed five days after a hearing held pursuant to request as provided in Subsection A, then the Building Official shall proceed with the removal of such nuisance forthwith as provided in the notice or order.
(2) 
If the owner refuses to permit the Building Official to remove or cause the removal of such nuisance by taking such corrective action as may be necessary or interferes in any way with the Building Bureau or causes the delay to the taking of corrective action, the Building Official may cause such dwelling, in whole or in part, to be vacated and sealed up or vacated and demolished, but in such case the Building Bureau shall commence a special proceeding in the Supreme Court for such relief. During the pendency of a proceeding to vacate, seal up or demolish, the Building Bureau may obtain a temporary order for the immediate vacating of such dwelling, upon proof of a present danger to human life or detriment to health. In addition to the owner, all tenants, mortgagees and lienors of record shall be necessary parties to such special proceeding.
C. 
Costs; additional remedies.
(1) 
Any costs and expenses incurred by the City in connection with proceedings to abate the nuisance, including the actual costs of remediation, shall be assessed against the land on which the dwelling is located, pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 200(d) of the City Charter. The Building Bureau shall keep a record of notices and orders issued by the court, together with the items of cost incurred.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
(2) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing and in addition to any remedy available, the Department may maintain an action against the owner to recover the cost of executing such notice or order or orders.
D. 
No owner or operator or occupant shall cause any service, facility, equipment or utility which is required by the provisions of this chapter to be removed from, shut off from or discontinued for any occupied dwelling unit, except for necessary repairs, alterations or emergencies. In the event of any such removal, shutoff or discontinuance, the remedies provided above shall be applicable.

§ 174-13 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 174-13, Modifications to state standards, was repealed 3-18-2003 by Ord. No. 63-2003.

§ 174-14 Space requirements.

[Added 7-21-1987 by Ord. No. 216-1987]
A. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain at least 150 square feet of floor space for the first occupant thereof and at least 100 additional square feet of floor space for every additional occupant thereof, the floor space to be calculated on the basis of total habitable room area.
B. 
In every dwelling unit of two or more rooms, every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain at least 50 square feet of floor space for each occupant thereof.

§ 174-15 Penalties for offenses.

[Added 7-21-1987 by Ord. No. 215-1987; amended 1-16-1996 by Ord. No. 15-1996; 3-18-2003 by Ord. No. 63-2003; 10-16-2007 by Ord. No. 238-2007]
Any person found guilty of an offense against this chapter or the State Code shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,500 for a first offense and not more than $5,000 for a second or subsequent offense within three years of a first or other offense of this chapter, or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. Each and every day a violation continues shall be considered a separate and additional violation.

§ 174-16 Window guards.

[Added 6-21-1988 by Ord. No. 187-1988]
A. 
Installation and maintenance required. Every person who owns, manages or controls a multifamily dwelling as hereinafter defined ("dwelling") shall provide, install and maintain a window guard of a type acceptable to the Building Bureau of the City of New Rochelle on all windows in each apartment where a child or children 10 years of age or under resides and on all windows in the common public halls. It shall be the duty of each person required to provide, install and maintain a window guard to ascertain whether such children reside therein. Installation shall be made in accordance with specifications provided by the Building Bureau. This section shall not apply to windows that are a required means of egress from the dwelling.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
[Amended 10-18-1994 by Ord. No. 234-1994]
MULTIFAMILY DWELLING
A building or portion thereof containing three or more dwelling units.
STORY
That portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above it. If there is no floor above it, then it shall be the space between the floor and ceiling next above it. A cellar shall not be counted as a "story" in determining building height.
C. 
Obstruction and interference. No one shall obstruct or interfere with the installation of the window guards required by Subsection A, nor shall any person remove such window guards.
D. 
Installation and maintenance upon request or order.
(1) 
Every person who owns, manages or controls a dwelling, as defined herein, is required to provide, install and maintain window guards when requested to, even when a child in the protected category does not reside in the subject apartment, within 30 days of a written request to do so.
(2) 
Whenever a violation is found to exist, the Building Bureau may order any person required to provide, install and maintain window guards to do so. In the event that such order is not complied with within five days after service thereof, the Building Bureau may issue appearance tickets to enforce compliance with this section.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
E. 
Notification to tenants.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
(1) 
All leases offered to tenants of a dwelling must contain a notice, conspicuously set forth therein, which advises them of their rights to have window guards installed in their apartments and that a copy of this section is contained in the office of the Building Official of the City of New Rochelle.
(2) 
Every person required to provide, install and maintain window guards must cause to be delivered to each apartment within the dwelling a notice advising the occupants of their rights to have window guards installed in their apartments and that a copy of this section is contained in the office of the Building Official of the City of New Rochelle.
F. 
Rules and regulations. The Building Bureau shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary for there to be compliance with the provisions of this section.
[Amended 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 80-2007]
G. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Any offense against the provisions of this section shall be punishable as provided in § 174-15 of this chapter. Any person who neglects, refuses or fails to comply with any order or notice issued hereunder shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional offense or violation.
[Amended 3-18-2003 by Ord. No. 63-2003]
(2) 
Nothing in this section shall be construed as depriving the City of New Rochelle of any other remedy available to it in cases where there is a violation of this section.