[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of East Rochester 2-9-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983 as Ch. 111 of the 1983 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby declared that there exist in the Town/Village of East Rochester, Monroe County, New York, dilapidated, substandard and insanitary dwellings, a number of which are unfit and unsafe for human habitation; that such dwellings, if permitted to continue, will lead to the creation of slums and constitute a nuisance and a menace to the safety, health, comfort and general welfare of the inhabitants of the town/village; that the preservation of the safety, health, comfort and general welfare of the inhabitants of the town/village requires the taking of such steps as are necessary to eliminate dilapidated, substandard and insanitary dwellings and provide for the repair or demolition of the same; and that the preservation of the safety, health, comfort and general welfare of said inhabitants requires that the Village Health Officer, or such other person as may be designated by the Board of Trustees, inspect structures, dwellings, dwelling units, yards and courts within the town/village for the purpose of determining whether or not conditions exist which are detrimental to the health, safety, comfort and general welfare of the inhabitants. He shall thereupon make such report to the Board of Trustees as he deems advisable in order that the Board of Trustees may take such action to remedy or remove such condition in the manner and form hereinafter set forth.
Every dwelling and/or structure within the confines of the town/village shall at all times be kept in good condition and repair by the owner of the same. The standards to be used in determining good condition and repair shall be as follows:
Any and all dwellings and places inhabited by human beings shall be at all times fit and proper for human habitation as may be determined by an examination thereof by the Public Health Officer of the village or such others as may be designated by the Board of Trustees and shall conform to and be maintained at all times in accordance with the Public Health Law of the State of New York and the ordinances of the Village of East Rochester.
The exterior surface of all dwellings and other structures shall be sufficiently protected from damage by the elements and from decay, by the application of paint or such other protective covering as is necessary to accomplish this purpose.
All buildings within the town/village shall be of sound construction and shall at all times be so maintained as to be free from visible evidence of decay or deterioration, both on the interior and on the exterior.
The surface of all roofs on all structures shall be at all times so maintained as to prevent the entry into said structures of rain, snow, moisture or other products of the elements.
Except for detached garages, all roof water or condensation from the atmosphere and the elements shall be collected in approved metal tight eave troughs and delivered to or below the ground level by means of approved metal or other containers commonly known as "conductor pipes," which conductor pipes shall be kept in suitable and proper repair at all times.
[Amended 3-8-1999 by L.L. No. 1-1999]
All water heaters and furnaces must be vented at all times to the outside of the building.
When used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following respective meanings:
- Any building which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for use for living or sleeping by human occupants.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.
- HABITABLE ROOM
- A room which is designed or may be used for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Storerooms, bathrooms, toilets, closets, halls or spaces in attics or basements are not habitable rooms, except as permitted in Regulation 4, entitled "Basement dwelling units," as set forth in § 111-8D.
- The owner of record or any other person, persons, firm, corporation
or entity in actual possession of or otherwise having charge, care
or control of any property within the Town/Village, including, but
not limited to, executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, heir,
distributee or agent.[Added 7-9-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
- ROOMING UNIT
- Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes.
Every dwelling and every part thereof shall be kept clean and free from any accumulation of dirt, debris, filth, trash, rubbish, garbage or other similar matter and shall be kept free from vermin or rodent infestation. All yards, lawns and courts shall be similarly kept clean and free from rodent infestation. It shall be the duty of each occupant of a dwelling unit to keep in a clean condition that portion of the property which he occupies or over which he has exclusive control. If the occupant shall fail to keep his portion of the property clean, the Health Officer may send a written notice to the occupant to abate such nuisance within the time specified in said notice; provided, however, that when in the opinion of the Health Officer such nuisance constitutes an immediate and serious menace to health, he shall proceed forthwith to cause such nuisance to be abated. Failure of the occupant to comply with such notice shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, and upon conviction, the occupant shall be subject to the penalty or penalties herein provided.
Cooking of food prohibited in sleeping rooms. When more than two persons occupy any dwelling unit, food shall not be prepared or cooked in any room used for sleeping purposes.
In every dwelling consisting of not more than four dwelling units and in semidetached houses and garden court apartments, unless authorized incineration facilities are provided, it shall be the duty of each occupant to provide receptacles to contain garbage adequately wrapped in paper, ashes and rubbish, as may be necessary, and all such receptacles shall at all times be maintained in good order and repair. All receptacles shall be of an approved type, watertight and provided with tight covers.
It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit any material in any toilet, bathtub, sink or other plumbing fixture which may result in the obstruction of any sanitary sewer. This liability on the part of the occupant shall not relieve the owner of the responsibility of remedying any resultant chokage or stoppage, nor of any other liability otherwise imposed upon him by law, but shall subject the occupant to the penalties of this chapter upon proper proof of such act.
Every dwelling and every part thereon shall be maintained in good repair by the owner or agent and shall be fit for human habitation. Windows and doors shall fit properly, and all exterior surfaces shall be protected from the elements and decay by painting or other approved protective covering. The roof shall be maintained so as not to leak, and all the rainwater shall be drained and conveyed therefrom so as not to cause dampness in the walls or ceilings.
Whenever any person or persons shall be in actual possession of or have charge, care or control of any property within the town/village as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian or agent, such person shall be deemed and taken to be the owner or owners of such property within the true intent and meaning of this chapter and shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter and to the same extent as the record owner; and notice to any such person of any order or decision of the Health Officer shall be deemed and taken to be a good and sufficient notice, as if such person or persons were actually the record owner or owners of such property.
It shall be unlawful for any owner or any person deemed to be the owner as herein defined to permit any dwelling or dwelling unit to be used or occupied as a place of human habitation unless the same complies with the following rules and regulations hereby promulgated as follows:
Regulation 1: Basements or cellars. The basement or cellar of any dwelling shall be dry and ventilated and shall be kept free from rubbish accumulation and rodent infestation.
Regulation 2: Heating. Every dwelling and every dwelling unit shall be weatherproof and capable of being adequately heated, and the heating equipment and chimney in every dwelling or dwelling unit shall be maintained in good order and repair.
Regulation 3: Lighting and ventilation. Every habitable room in a dwelling or dwelling unit shall contain a window or windows opening directly to the outside air. All window sashes shall be glazed and provided with suitable hardware and shall be made to open.
Regulation 4: Basement dwelling units. No room in any basement or cellar shall be occupied as a habitable room unless it meets the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
[Amended 3-8-1999 by L.L. No. 1-1999]
Regulation 5: Overcrowding. The occupancy of any dwelling unit having more than one habitable room shall not exceed an average of 1 1/2 persons per habitable room. For the purpose of this regulation, any child under one year of age shall not be counted and any child more than one year old but under 12 years of age shall be deemed to be 1/2 person.
Regulation 6: Water supplies and sinks. In every dwelling unit there shall be running water connected to public water service and at least one sink connected to the public sewer or an approved sewage disposal system.
Regulation 7: Toilet and bathroom facilities. There shall be at least one water closet and bathtub or shower for every dwelling unit and for each eight persons or fraction thereof occupying a dwelling unit, which facilities shall be within the dwelling unit and accessible from within.
Regulation 8: Plumbing. All plumbing, water closets and other plumbing fixtures in every dwelling or dwelling unit shall be maintained in good order and repair and in accordance with the requirements of the village plumbing code and regulations.
Regulation 9: Lighting and ventilation of toilets and bathrooms. Every toilet and every bathroom in a dwelling shall be provided with adequate light and ventilation.
Regulation 10: Garbage, rubbish and ash receptacles. Every dwelling, except semidetached houses and garden court apartments, consisting of three or more dwelling units, and every dwelling unit therein, shall be provided by the occupant with approved receptacles to contain garbage, adequately wrapped in paper, also ashes and rubbish, and said receptacles shall be maintained at all times by the occupant in good order and repair. All receptacles shall be made of an approved type, watertight and provided with tight covers.
Regulation 11: Drainage. All courts, yards or other areas on the premises of every dwelling shall be properly graded and drained.
Regulation 12: Exits.
Safe, continuous and unobstructed exits shall be provided from the interior of the building to the exterior at street or grade level.
Exits shall be arranged, constructed and proportioned so that occupants may escape safely from the building in case of emergency.
In one- and two-family dwellings, in addition to a primary exit from the building, there shall be provided a secondary exit or, in lieu thereof, one or more exit openings for emergency use.
In multiple dwellings, approved exits shall be provided.
All dwellings, dwelling units, yards and courts which are in violation of this chapter are hereby declared to be nuisances and shall be abated by being corrected, made sanitary, repaired or vacated in accordance with the order of the Health Officer.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to modify or otherwise affect or otherwise impair any provision of any other chapter of the Code of the Town/Village of East Rochester, but shall be in addition thereto.
It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector to administer this Housing Code and secure compliance therewith. He shall be empowered to adopt rules and regulations necessary for securing such compliance, provided that such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with this code.
He shall be authorized to conduct surveys of housing in any area of the municipality to determine the condition of premises, extent of deterioration, lack of facilities, inadequate maintenance, unsafe and unsanitary conditions, extent of overcrowding, land use and other relative factors.
It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector to:
Cause an investigation of all complaints of alleged housing violations or other unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Order, in writing, the remedying of all conditions found to exist in or on any premises in violation of the housing standards or of rules and regulations adopted by him, to state in the violation order a reasonable time limit for compliance therewith and, where necessary, to order the vacation of premises found unfit for human occupation.
To request the Board of Trustees of the municipality to take appropriate legal action in the name of the village upon failure of the responsible party to comply with such violation order within the time specified therein.
Where violations of the this chapter exist and pose an immediate hazard or danger to the health, safety or welfare of building occupants or the public, the Building Inspector may issue an order citing the violation and directing such action by such municipal agency as is necessary to remove or abate the immediate hazard or danger.
The Building Inspector shall be authorized and have the right in performance of his duty to enter any premises during reasonable hours and in emergencies whenever necessary to protect the public interest. Owners, agents, operators and occupants shall be responsible for providing access to all parts of the premises within their control to the Building Inspector or his authorized agent, acting in performance of their duties.
Should the Board of Trustees determine after investigation that there is a failure of the responsible party to comply with any violation order within the time specified herein, the Board will then set a date for a public hearing, the hearing to be held within 15 days following the expiration of the time specified in the violation order. The owner and/or occupant of said premises or his duly authorized agent shall be given at least 10 days' notice of the proposed hearing, said notice to be served either by registered or certified mail at his last known address or by any other method of service as provided for in the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
If it shall be determined by the Board of Trustees after such public hearing that there is a failure of a responsible party to comply with any violation order within the time specified herein and that the property continues to exist and is being maintained in violation of this chapter, the Board shall make a finding to that effect, and the minutes of the meeting and a copy of the findings shall be made by the Village Clerk-Treasurer and transmitted by registered or certified mail, or by any other method of service as provided for in the Civil Practice Law and Rules, to said property owner and to the occupants of said premises. Said determination shall contain the steps that will be taken by the Board of Trustees to discontinue and remedy said violation.
In the event that it shall appear that the order to repair, alter, demolish or otherwise put in good condition and repair is not complied with, as herein provided and within the time designated, the Board of Trustees shall then cause this order so made as aforesaid to be enforced by causing the repair, alteration or demolition to be had; and the expense of such repairs, alteration, demolition or putting in good condition shall be assessed on the next assessment roll of the village against said real property and added to the village tax bill next thereafterwards rendered by the village concerning said property.
At least five days prior to the enforcement of the order by the village, a registered or certified letter shall be transmitted to the owner of said premises and the mortgagee, if any, if his name is known to the Village Clerk-Treasurer or can be ascertained by reasonable inquiry, advising that the order is to be enforced and carried out as above set forth; and within said period, a notice of intention shall be posted on the structure proceeded against. Notice by any other method of service as provided for in the Civil Practice Law and Rules, in lieu of a registered or certified letter as above stated, shall also be permitted.
If at such hearing so held by the Board of Trustees as hereinabove set forth it is determined that the dwelling or structure being occupied by human beings continues unfit for human habitation or dangerous to life or health because of its condition, the Board shall then, upon making such determination, require that the dwelling or structure be vacated within 10 days after the service of a notice to vacate the premises upon the persons occupying the same and upon the owner of said property if the owner can be located within the county. If not, then notice shall be made by registered or certified mail to the last known address of said owner or by any other method of service as provided for in the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
The dwelling so ordered to be vacated shall not again be occupied until a written certificate shall have been secured from the Health Officer showing that the dwelling or its occupation has been made to comply with this chapter or any other existing law.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter or any lawful order by the Health Officer or the Village Board pursuant to this chapter shall be punishable, upon conviction, by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both, and each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense.