Borough of Ephrata, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Ephrata 8-12-1991 by Ord. No. 1211. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 253-1 Purpose.

This chapter is enacted to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Borough of Ephrata.

§ 253-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
DWELLING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities that are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.
LANDLORD
A lessor or persons who act as agent for the lessor, of any parcel of real estate located in the Borough of Ephrata, 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 Ephrata.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership association, firm or corporation.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT
A rooming unit or a dwelling unit let for rent or a residential unit occupied by any persons other than one occupied solely by the owner and members of the owner's family. Each individual townhouse dwelling, each individual apartment unit, each individual unit in a multifamily building, and each rooming unit shall be considered a separate residential rental unit. If a structure contains a rooming unit or if any portion of the structure is let for rent, it shall be considered a residential rental unit whether or not the owner or a relative of the owner also resides in the structure. A residential rental unit includes dwelling units under lease-purchase agreements or long-term (greater than six months) agreements of sale; a transient dwelling; a hotel or motel unit; a boardinghouse; a bed-and-breakfast facility.
[Added 5-11-2015 by Ord. No. 1516]
ROOMING HOUSE
Any dwelling, or part thereof, containing one or more rooming units, in which space is let by husband or wife, son or daughter, mother or father or sister or brother of the owner or operator.
TENANT
A person who has the use, either by himself or with others, of a dwelling unit or a business unit owned by a person other than himself, for a period exceeding 30 days.

§ 253-3 Permit required; term; inspection; display of permit.

A. 
No person shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit, and no person shall operate a rooming house or let to another for occupancy any room in a rooming house unless he shall first apply for and obtain annually a permit issued by the Office of Code Enforcement of the Borough of Ephrata.
B. 
Permit fees shall be in accordance with the fee schedules adopted by Borough Council from time to time.
C. 
Permits shall be required for rooms, hotels, motel units, dwelling unit or efficiency apartments utilized by "transients," which for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined as any person who occupies or is entitled to occupy, a dwelling unit for a period of less than 15 consecutive calendar days.
D. 
Permits shall be issued to be effective as of the 15th day of January (each year) and shall continue in effect for one calendar year. Upon expiration of any permit, a new permit shall be required for the further period of one year.
E. 
The Code Enforcement Office shall grant landlords or operators who are required to obtain permits under this chapter such new permits for 1/2 the prescribed fee when the permit period shall be less than six months.
F. 
No landlord or operator shall occupy or let to another for occupancy any dwelling unit until approval has been given by the Code Enforcement Officer after an inspection.
G. 
Landlords shall contact the Ephrata Borough Codes Enforcement Office to schedule required inspections. Inspections of all rooms, hotels, motel units, dwelling units or efficiency apartments for let shall be performed by the Ephrata Borough Codes Enforcement Office, through its Code’s Enforcement Officer(s) or its authorized agent prior to the occupancy or change in occupancy of any such unit and not less than once during any three-year period regardless of the term of occupancy of any tenant.
[Amended 12-10-2007 by Ord. No. 1435]
H. 
Permit or permits issued to a landlord or operator of rented dwellings or dwelling units shall be effective for the current occupants. Reinspection of dwellings or dwelling units must be completed and the permit updated prior to re-occupancy.
I. 
Every permit issued under this chapter shall be maintained upon the premises and every permit issued under this chapter pertaining to multiple-dwelling units and rooming houses shall be posted in a conspicuous place where it may be seen at all times. The same shall be nontransferable in the event of a change in ownership of the permitted premises.
J. 
The permitting provisions of this chapter shall not apply to hospitals; or transient dwelling properties (including hotels and motels) containing more than 15 residential rental units; bed-and-breakfast establishments; or those personal care homes or nursing homes that are permitted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[Added 5-11-2015 by Ord. No. 1516]

§ 253-4 Determination of number of units per permit.

For the purpose of determining the number of units or rooms to be included in a permit, the following definitions shall apply:
A. 
Efficiency apartments and rented rooms used for purposes other than sleeping shall be considered a "dwelling unit."
B. 
Any apartment unit or room occupied by the owner-operator of a multiple-dwelling unit or rooming house shall be excluded from the total number of units or rooms.
C. 
All buildings which are owned by the same individual partnership, association or corporation and are under the same roof or connected by breezeways, passageways or similar connecting facilities, or which are constructed upon contiguous sites and operated and managed as one complex of units may be combined to determine the total number of units or rooms.
D. 
When dwelling units and sleeping rooms are combined within one structure, fee schedule shall be based on the scale set up for dwelling units.

§ 253-5 Reports by persons upon becoming landlords.

After the effective date of this chapter, any person who becomes a landlord of any property in the Borough of Ephrata which is regulated by this chapter shall, within 30 days thereafter, report to the Codes Enforcement Officer the information needed to correct or amend any permit issued.

§ 253-6 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 4-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1279]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. Every day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense.