[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope 6-24-1963 as Ord. No. 1963-6. Sections 95-2 and 95-8 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 2-22-1965 by Ord. No. 1965-2; 10-30-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-22]
The Sanitary Inspector of the Borough of Stanhope, hereinafter referred to as the "sanitarian," be and is hereby designated as the officer to exercise the powers prescribed by the provisions of this chapter, except § 95-9. Section 95-9 shall be enforced by, and the full power and authority therefor be and hereby vested in, the borough's Housing Officer.
[Amended 5-31-1978 by Ord. No. 1978-9; 8-27-1985 by Ord. No. 1985-13]
Pursuant to the provisions of P.L. 1946, c. 21 (N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1 et seq.), the New Jersey State Housing Code (1980 revision), as approved by the Departments of Health and Conservation and Economic Development and filed in the Secretary of State's office, 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. Three copies of the New Jersey State Housing Code (1980 revision) have been placed on file in the office of the Borough Clerk and are available to all persons desiring to use and examine the same.
The officer is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises located within the Borough of Stanhope in order that he may perform his 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 officer or his agent 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 or rooming unit, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the officer and his agents 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 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.
Whenever the officer 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 shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall be put in writing, include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued, allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires and be served upon the owner or his agent or upon 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 personally, or if a copy thereof is sent by registered mail to his 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 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.
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 Building Committee of the Borough Council, provided that such person shall file in the office of the officer 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 said Building Committee 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 said Building Committee may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond such ten-day period if, in their judgment, the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for such postponement.
After such hearing, the said Building Committee shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice, depending upon their findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with. If the said Building Committee 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 officer within 10 days after such notice is served. The proceedings at such hearing, including the findings and decision of the Building Committee, shall be summarized, reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the officer. Such record shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Building Committee may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of this state.
Whenever the officer finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health or safety, he may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he 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 officer, shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon their findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Building Committee shall continue such order in effect or modify or revoke it.
The officer is hereby authorized and empowered to make and adopt such written rules and regulations as he may deem necessary for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this chapter nor in anywise alter, amend or supersede any of the provisions thereof.
The officer shall file in a certified copy of all rules and regulations which he may adopt in his office and in the office of the Clerk of the Borough of Stanhope.
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 New Jersey State Housing Code established hereby as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.
[Amended 5-31-1978 by Ord. No. 1978-9; 6-30-1998 by Ord. No. 1998-8]
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof. Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day that such offense shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
[Added 10-31-1989 by Ord. No. 1989-22]
The Housing Officer is hereby authorized and empowered to exercise such powers as may be necessary to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of § 95-9 and may utilize the services of other authorized personnel to perform inspections relating to matters within their respective jurisdictions.
Resale properties. No existing building or part thereof shall be occupied by a new owner or new renter until such time as a certificate of habitability shall have been issued under the terms of this chapter by the Housing Officer.
It shall be the obligation of the seller to furnish the certificate of liability to the purchaser; provided, however, that the proposed purchaser of any existing building may submit a sworn statement to the Housing Officer that he waives this provision that requires the seller to provide him with a certificate of habitability and that said purchaser shall be solely responsible to secure said certificate of habitability before occupancy of said building.
It shall be the obligation of the owner of the building to furnish the certificate of habitability to the person renting or leasing the home or building.
Upon the application for a tax search, the Tax Search Officer of Stanhope shall notify a prospective real estate purchaser of the provisions of this chapter, and such notification shall accompany the completed tax search.
Rental properties. No building or part thereof shall now or hereafter be leased or rented to any tenant or lessee unless the owner of said premises shall first have obtained a certificate of habitability from the Housing Officer. Thereafter, the owner of any such property shall only be required to secure a new certificate annually. A completed application for the same must be submitted no later than February 1 of each year.
[Amended 10-30-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-22]
An application consisting of all of the following elements shall be deemed complete:
A statement on a form supplied by the Housing Officer containing the following information:
The block and lot, the address and a description of the building and part thereof which is to be rented.
The name, address and telephone number of the owner.
The name of the person or persons to whom it is being rented.
The number of persons to occupy the area being rented.
The name, address and telephone number of the agent, if any.
A preprinted paragraph, initialed by the owner, as follows:
All applications for certificate of habitability that omit any of the foregoing items shall be deemed incomplete. Any such application not made complete prior to the February 1 filing deadline shall be deemed late and subject to a penalty as hereinafter provided.
Owners of more than one rental property shall file separate applications for each.
Owners who file after February 1 of whose applications are otherwise deemed late shall pay a penalty of $5 per month per application that the same is late. Any applicant who files and/or whose application is still incomplete after June 1 may be subjected to a fine or imprisonment as provided in § 95-8 of this chapter.
The Housing Officer shall conduct inspections for applications filed on time no later than June 1 of the same year. Inspections for late applications shall be conducted after all other inspections have been completed, but no later than four months after receipt thereof.
Each rental property in violation of this section shall be considered separately relative to § 95-8 of this chapter.
If the owner of the property resides outside Sussex, Warren and Morris Counties, he must appoint an agent to act in his behalf and be responsible for complying with this chapter.
Application requirements and fees. All applications for certificates of habitability shall be made in writing to the Housing Officer and shall state or include:
The name, address and telephone number of the owner.
A description of the location of the building by street number, tax lot and block number and other information as will enable the borough enforcing officials to easily locate same.
The name and address of an agent, person, firm or corporation, if any, appointed by said owner for the management of same.
The name and address of the person or persons to whom it is being rented or sold.
The number of persons who will occupy the area being rented or sold.
As soon as practical, but in no event more than 20 days within the receipt of an application for the issuance of a certificate of habitability pursuant to Subsection A of this section, the Housing Officer or his designee shall cause an inspection to be made of the building. Any applicant for a certificate of habitability under either Subsection B or C of this section who cancels a scheduled inspection shall pay a penalty of $5 for each cancellation thereafter for which he is responsible unless it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Housing Officer that said additional cancellations were due to circumstances beyond the applicant's control.
[Amended 10-30-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-22]
The certificate of habitability shall state the Borough of Stanhope has not inspected any unexposed structural, electrical or plumbing facilities and said certificate of habitability shall not be deemed approval of said facilities.
The Housing Officer may determine that a building or dwelling unit is unsatisfactory for human habitation, occupancy or use if he finds that conditions exist in such building or dwelling unit which violate the provisions of this chapter and/or which are dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of such building or dwelling unit, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of the Borough of Stanhope; such conditions may include, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accidents or other calamities, lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, dilapidation, disrepair, structural defects and uncleanliness.
Notification of violation or compliance. Upon the discovery of any violation of the provisions as set forth herein, the Housing Officer shall forthwith notify the applicant, in writing, specifying the nature of said violation and advising that said violation must be corrected and that no certificate of habitability shall be issued until such time as the corrections are made and approved by the Housing Officer. If no violation is discovered, then the Housing Officer shall forthwith issue a certificate of habitability.