City of Clifton, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Clifton 9-19-1995 by Ord. No. 5767-95; amended in its entirety 8-20-1996 by Ord. No. 5832-96. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Apartment rental businesses — See Ch. 145.
Certificates of continued occupancy — See Ch. 195.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 197.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 233.
Housing standards — See Ch. 273.
Rent control — See Ch. 363.
Protected tenancies — See Ch. 417.
Zoning — See Ch. 461.

§ 210-1 Definitions.

As used herein, the following words shall have the following meanings:
BASEMENT
A story partly underground and having more than 1/2 of its clear height below the finished grade. A basement shall not be considered a story for purposes of height measurement in determining the permissible number of stories when used solely for incidental or accessory storage or for the housing of mechanical equipment, to include a hot-water heater and furnace, for a washer, dryer, recreation room and a bathroom, either partial or full. A basement may not be used for sleeping purposes. A bathroom shall not be permitted in the basement unless the only access to same is through an existing dwelling unit.
[Added 5-18-2004 by Ord. No. 6408-04]
BATHROOM (FULL)
Any enclosed space which contains a bathtub or shower, a lavatory and a sink or fixtures serving similar purposes.
[Added 5-18-2004 by Ord. No. 6408-04]
BATHROOM (PARTIAL)
Any enclosed space which contains a lavatory and a sink or fixtures serving a similar purpose.
[Added 5-18-2004 by Ord. No. 6408-04]
DWELLING CERTIFICATE
A certificate filed with the City of Clifton certifying the occupants and location of a dwelling unit.
DWELLING INSPECTION
An inspection conducted to determine compliance with Chapter 233, Art. III, of the Code of the City of Clifton (Smoke Detectors) and Chapter 273 of the Code of the City of Clifton (Housing Standards).
DWELLING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms located within a building forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used, designed or arranged to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitary facilities. A dwelling unit shall only be permitted to have one kitchen. If the dwelling unit contains a basement, a full bathroom shall not be permitted in the basement. A partial bathroom shall be permitted (a sink and lavatory), provided the only access to same is through an existing dwelling unit. If the dwelling unit contains an attic, a bathroom, either partial or full, shall not be permitted in the attic.
[Amended 7-20-1999 by Ord. No. 6072-99; 1-15-2002 by Ord. No. 6256-02; 5-18-2004 by Ord. No. 6408-04]
KITCHEN
Any space containing plumbing fixtures in conjunction with other facilities for the storage and preparation of food.
[Added 7-20-1999 by Ord. No. 6072-99]

§ 210-2 Dwelling certificate required; filing and contents.

Every owner and/or tenant of a dwelling unit within the City of Clifton owned, leased, rented or otherwise occupied shall file with the City of Clifton a dwelling certificate on a form prescribed by the City of Clifton at the times set forth in this chapter. The owner and the tenant of the dwelling unit shall both certify as to the truthfulness of the information submitted.
A. 
Every owner and/or tenant shall file a dwelling certificate on or before September 1, 1996.
B. 
Every owner and/or tenant shall file a dwelling certificate not more than 60 days prior to any change of occupancy or creation of the first occupancy in any newly constructed or reconstructed building.
C. 
Every owner and/or tenant shall file a dwelling certificate not more than 60 days prior to any conveyance of title to any dwelling unit(s).
[Amended 7-5-2000 by Ord. No. 6145-00]
D. 
Upon the written request of any owner of a dwelling unit, any tenant of said dwelling unit shall provide to the landlord the identities of all occupants and ages of all children and shall, additionally, certify to the truthfulness of the information submitted by signing the dwelling certificate; and in the event of the refusal of any such tenant to provide such information and/or to certify to its truthfulness, the owner shall file the dwelling certificate with the City, together with a written statement that the tenant refused to so comply.

§ 210-3 Dwelling inspection required.

[Amended 7-5-2000 by Ord. No. 6145-00]
Upon filing of a dwelling certificate, except in the case of a dwelling certificate filed pursuant to § 210-2A hereof, an inspection of the dwelling unit shall be required upon any change of occupancy, whether by change of ownership or as a result of a new lease, rental or other occupancy, unless the property owner had previously filed a dwelling certificate for the dwelling unit and a dwelling inspection was conducted within six months of the new occupancy and/or sale.
A. 
An inspection as a result of a change of ownership shall take place prior to the transfer of title to the new owner.
B. 
An inspection required as the result of a change of occupancy for a rental or lease may take place either prior to or subsequent to the change of occupancy, provided that a dwelling certificate has been filed with the City of Clifton setting forth the location of the dwelling unit and the identity of the new occupants.
C. 
The owner and/or tenant shall provide access to the premises, common areas, the basement and/or cellar and the attic, at a time designated by the City of Clifton in order to conduct the inspection required in accordance with this chapter.
D. 
Upon completion of the inspection required as set forth herein, a certificate shall be issued by the City of Clifton setting forth the permitted use of the dwelling.

§ 210-4 Fees.

[Amended 3-4-2003 by Ord. No. 6337-03; 6-15-2004 by Ord. No. 6425-04]
A. 
The fees for a dwelling certificate shall be as follows:
[Amended 2-22-2006 by Ord. No. 6553-06]
(1) 
The fee for the filing of a dwelling certificate shall be $5 per dwelling unit if no dwelling inspection is required.
(2) 
The fee shall be $75 per dwelling unit for a change of occupancy or the creation of the first occupancy in any newly constructed or reconstructed building, which shall include the fee for the smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher certification.
[Amended 1-5-2010 by Ord. No. 6857-09]
(3) 
The fee shall be $125 per dwelling unit in a building for a conveyance of title if an inspection is required, which shall include the fee for the smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguisher certification, provided the request is made more than 20 business days before the certificate is required.
(4) 
The fee shall be $200 per dwelling unit for a conveyance of title if an inspection is required, which shall include the fee for the smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguisher certification, provided the request is made between four to 20 business days before the certificate is required.
(5) 
The fee shall be $300 per dwelling unit for a conveyance of title if an inspection is required, which shall include the fee for the smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguisher certification, provided the request is made four or less business days before the certificate is required.
B. 
In the event that the owner and/or tenant does not provide access to the premises as set forth in § 210-3 above and it is necessary for another inspection to take place, an additional fee in the amount as set forth above shall be payable.

§ 210-5 Compliance required.

[Amended 7-5-2000 by Ord. No. 6145-00]
A transfer of title of any dwelling unit(s) shall not take place unless a dwelling inspection has been conducted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 210-6 Tax search requests.

The Tax Search Official of the City of Clifton shall provide to each person requesting a tax search from his office a statement calling attention to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 210-7 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person, partnership, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by one or more of the following:
(1) 
A fine not exceeding $1,250;
[Amended 6-15-2004 by Ord. No. 6425-04]
(2) 
Confinement in the municipal jail or in the county jail for a period not exceeding 90 days; or
(3) 
A period of community service not exceeding 90 days.
B. 
Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day the same is violated shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.
C. 
The minimum penalty or fine for the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be $100.
D. 
In addition to the foregoing fines or penalties, any person, partnership, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter within one year of the date of a previous violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to be sentenced to an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine shall not be less than the minimum nor exceed the maximum fine as set forth above and shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for a violation of the provisions of this chapter.
E. 
In addition, any person, partnership, firm or corporation who rents, leases or causes to be rented, leased or otherwise occupied any dwelling unit in violation of any provision of this chapter and/or Chapter 273, Housing Standards, or any other chapters of the Code of the City of Clifton which results in the displacement of tenants shall be responsible for all relocation costs as set forth in N.J.S.A. 20:4-5 et seq.
F. 
The imposition of a penalty for a violation of this Chapter or any other chapter of the Code of the City of Clifton shall not excuse the violation, shall not prevent the enforced removal of any prohibited condition, and each day the prohibited condition continues shall constitute a separate offense.