[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of East Rochester 2-13-1995 by L.L. No. 3-1995 (Ch. 144 of the 1983 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Trustees has determined that there exists in the Town/Village of East Rochester serious conditions arising from the rental of dwelling units that are substandard or in violation of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and other codes and ordinances of the town/village, that are inadequate in size, overcrowded and dangerous, that pose hazards to life, limb and property of residents of the town/village and others, that tend to promote or encourage deterioration of the housing stock of the town/village, create blight, excessive vehicle traffic and parking problems and that tend to overburden municipal services. The Board finds that current Code provisions are inadequate to halt the proliferation of such conditions and that the public health, safety, welfare, good order and governance of the town/village will be enhanced by enactment of the regulations set forth in this chapter, which regulations are remedial in nature and effect.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BUILDING CODE
- The New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Building Inspector, Fire Marshal or Fire Inspector of the Village of East Rochester or his or her delegates or assistants.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A structure or building or part thereof or an area, room or rooms therein, occupied or to be occupied by one or more persons as a home or residence.
- The owner or any other person having the right to control the possession of a dwelling unit.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE VIOLATION
- A violation of the New York state law or this code as follows: East Rochester Code: [add local code provisions]; New York Penal Law Article 20: assault and related offenses; §§ 165.40 to 165.65, criminal possession of stolen property; Article 220: controlled substances offenses; Article 2: offenses involving marihuana; Article 240: offenses against public order; §§ 260.20 and 260.21: unlawfully dealing with a child; New York Alcohol Beverage Control Law (Section 90: kinds of permits; § 100-alcoholic beverages generally); provided, however, that the grounds for determining a substantial risk to public safety or a repeated public nuisance violation for the purposes of § 144-13A(4) or (5) of this Code does not include any request for police protection or any police intervention in the face of a threat or a perceived threat to person or property, or any request for the assistance of the police to enforce a court order, including, but not limited to, circumstances in which the conviction, request for assistance or other police intervention arises from an incident relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking against any person at or near the premises. [Added 11-9-2009 by L.L. No. 2-2010]
- A return, in money, property or other valuable consideration (including payment in kind or for services of other thing of value), for use and occupancy or the right to use and occupancy of a dwelling unit, whether or not a legal relationship of landlord and tenant exists between the owner and the occupant or occupants thereof.
- RENTAL OCCUPANCY
- The occupancy or use of a dwelling unit by one or more persons as a home or residence under an arrangement whereby the occupant or occupants thereof pay rent for such occupancy and use.
Scope. This chapter shall apply to all rental dwelling units located within the town/village other than one located at premises where such owner resides and bearing the same tax account number, whether or not the use and occupancy thereof shall be permitted under the currently applicable use regulations for the zoning district in which such rental dwelling unit is located, as in this chapter provided.
Applicability. The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to supplement applicable state and local laws, ordinances, codes or regulations, and nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to abolish, impair, supersede or replace existing remedies of the town/village, county or state or existing requirements of any other applicable state or local laws, ordinances, codes or regulations. In case of conflict between any provision of this chapter and any applicable state or local laws, ordinances, codes or regulations, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person who owns a dwelling unit in the town/village, other than one located at premises where such owner resides and bearing the same tax account number, to establish, maintain, use, let, lease, rent or suffer or permit the occupancy and use thereof as a rental occupancy without having first obtained a permit for such rental occupancy from the Building Department of the village as hereinafter provided.
Application for a rental occupancy permit for a rental dwelling unit shall be made, in writing, to the Building Department on a form provided by the Building Department for that purpose.
Such application shall be filed, in duplicate, and shall contain:
The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the dwelling unit intended for rental occupancy.
The street address and tax account number of the premises intended for rental occupancy or the premises in which the rental dwelling units intended for occupancy are located.
The number of rooms in the structure and in each proposed rental dwelling unit therein and a description of the present use or uses thereof.
A description of each dwelling unit intended to be established, used or occupied for rental occupancy in the premises, including the number of dwelling units and the number of persons intended to be accommodated by and to reside in each such dwelling unit.
The name, address and telephone number, if any, of the managing agent or operator of each such intended rental dwelling unit.
Such application shall be signed by the owner of the premises or his designee and shall be affirmed or verified under oath.
Such application shall be accompanied by the following:
A property survey or tape location map or other drawing acceptable to the Code Enforcement Officer.
If not shown on the survey, a site plan, which may be hand drawn approximately to scale, showing all buildings, structures, walks, drives and other physical features of the premises and the number, location and access of existing and proposed on-site vehicle parking facilities.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall review each application for completeness and accuracy and shall make an on-site inspection of the proposed rental dwelling unit or units. If satisfied that the proposed rental dwelling unit or units, as well as the premises in which the same are located, comply substantially with all applicable laws of the state and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations of the county and the town/village and that such rental dwelling unit or units would not create an unsafe or dangerous condition or create an unsafe or substandard structure as defined in the Building Code or create a nuisance to adjoining or nearby property, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue the permit or permits applied for.
All permits issued pursuant to this chapter shall continue to be valid unless revoked or terminated.
It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer to maintain a register of permits issued pursuant to this chapter.
On-site parking. The premises shall provide a minimum of one on-site parking space for the structure in which the rental dwelling units are to be located and one additional on-site parking space for each proposed rental dwelling unit therein. Such parking spaces shall be paved with asphalt, concrete, stone or other similar materials. The applicant for a rental dwelling unit permit may be excused from complying with the requirement to provide such minimum number of on-site parking spaces to the extent that compliance therewith shall not be possible due to the size, configuration, topography or structure coverage of the plot on which such building or structure is located. However, where partial compliance with such on-site parking requirements shall be possible, the applicant shall make such partial compliance with such on-site parking requirements as is possible, given the size, configuration, topography or structure coverage of the plot.
No rental permit shall be issued for a rental dwelling unit consisting of one room only unless such room shall provide a minimum clear floor area of 100 square feet.
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to make or cause to be made inspections, from time to time, to determine the condition of rental dwelling units and to safeguard the health, safety, morals and welfare of the public. The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to enter, upon consent of the owner or occupant and upon notice to the owner, any rental dwelling unit and the premises in which the same is located, for the purpose of performing his duties under this chapter, at any reasonable time during daylight hours or at such other time as may be necessary in an emergency and only for the purposes of that emergency without the consent of the owner or occupant. It shall be a condition of each rental occupancy permit, expressly stated therein, that the Code Enforcement Officer shall have the right to inspect each permitted rental dwelling unit during the term of the permit, in accordance herewith, for the purpose of performing his duties under this chapter.
No rental permit shall be issued or continued where an inspection discloses that the dwelling is unfit for human habitation or where conditions exist therein which are dangerous to the health, safety or welfare of the occupant thereof or of the residents of the municipality. Such conditions may include but are not limited to those which create a fire hazard, danger of accident or casualty, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of light or sanitary facilities, dilapidation, disrepair or structural defects, uncleanliness and the like.
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized, on sworn affidavit stating the factual bases therefor, to make application to the Court of the Town of East Rochester or to such other court as may be deemed appropriate for the issuance of a search warrant to be executed by a police officer, in order to conduct an inspection of any premises covered by this chapter where the owner or occupant refuses or fails, after due notice by certified mail, to allow an inspection of the rental dwelling unit or premises and where there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this chapter or a violation of the Multiple Residence Law, the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code or the Code of the Town/Village of East Rochester exists. The application for a search warrant shall, in all respects, comply with applicable laws of the State of New York.
[Amended 3-11-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996; 12-12-2005 by L.L. No. 5-2005; 11-13-2006 by L.L. No. 2-2006; 11-9-2009 by L.L. No. 2-2010]
The Code Enforcement Officer may revoke a rental dwelling permit upon the following grounds and subject to the following safeguards:
Current violations of applicable codes. The rental dwelling permit may be revoked when the permit holder has caused, permitted, suffered or allowed to exist and remain upon the premises for which such permit has been issued, for a period of 10 days or more after written notice to the permit holder or the managing agent of such rental dwelling unit, a health or safety violation of the Multiple Residence Law, New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code or the Code of the Town/Village of East Rochester;
Refusal to permit authorized entry. The rental dwelling permit may be revoked when the permit holder has refused permission to the Code Enforcement Officer, after written request, to make an inspection, at a reasonable time, or in an emergency at any time, of the premises in which such rental dwelling unit has been permitted, in order to determine the condition of the same or otherwise to discharge the duties of such Code Enforcement Officer under this chapter; provided, however, that, absent an emergency, no occupant demanding production of a judicial warrant requiring the inspection of the premises shall be required to grant permission for a Code Enforcement Officer to enter the premises without such warrant;
Fire, electrical, and heating hazards. The rental dwelling permit may be revoked when the permit holder has failed to correct a serious fire hazard or electrical violation or failed to provide heat for an apartment unit in accordance with code requirements following reasonable notice and an adequate opportunity to correct the same;
Substantial risks to public safety. The rental dwelling permit may be revoked when the permit holder has been found pursuant to an adjudication by the Town Court or other court of competent jurisdiction to have caused, permitted, suffered or allowed to exist and remain upon the premises conditions or behavior that constitutes a substantial risk to public safety or the safety of individuals, including, but not limited to, the use or attempted use of weapons; the use, possession, manufacture, sale or distribution of controlled substances; criminal activity. An action in court seeking revocation pursuant to this subsection shall be based upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police, and no such action shall be maintained against any person who has been the victim or target of the alleged violence or other unlawful or threatening behavior or pursuant to the definition of "public nuisance violation" contained in § 144-2.
Repeated public nuisance violations. The rental dwelling permit may be revoked when:
The permit holder has been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to have committed a "repeated public nuisance violation," as described in this paragraph, which shall be a civil violation of this Code. A repeated public nuisance violation exists when an owner has caused, permitted, suffered or allowed to exist and remain upon the premises conditions or circumstances such that any police agency has, or combination of police agencies have, responded to the premises for a matter involving an alleged public nuisance violation, as defined in § 144-2, three times or more within a twelve-month period with at least one of those public nuisance violations having resulted in a conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction.
No rental dwelling permit shall be revoked by the Code Enforcement Officer under this Subsection A(5) unless recommended by the Chief of Police of East Rochester.
In order for any matter to be considered as a public nuisance violation for the purposes of establishing a repeated public nuisance violation under this Subsection A(5), the Code Enforcement Officer must have first provided a written notice of intent to the occupant(s) and the permit holder(s) regarding each such matter advising of the possible consequences of a determination of a repeated public nuisance violation as defined in Subsection A(5)(a) including the possible revocation of the rental permit as provided for in this section.
No rental dwelling permit shall be revoked by the Code Enforcement Officer under this Subsection A(5) unless the opportunity has been provided for informal reviews or appeals as follows:
Informal review. When an incident has occurred in which the police were summoned to the premises for a matter possibly constituting an public nuisance violation, and which the Code Enforcement Officer intends to consider in connection with any future determination as to the existence of grounds for the possible withdrawal of a rental dwelling permit, the Code Enforcement Officer shall send a notice of intent to the occupants of the premises. The notice of intent shall advise the occupant and permit holder of the right to request an informal review of the proposed action and that such request shall be submitted within 15 days of the receipt of the notice of intent and sent directly to the Code Enforcement Officer. Within 15 days of the receipt of that request, and after investigation of all pertinent facts, the Code Enforcement Officer shall respond in writing to the occupant or permit holder either confirming that he or she believes there is a sufficient basis to proceed or, alternatively, withdrawing the notice of intent.
Appeal to Board. In the event the Code Enforcement Officer confirms that there is sufficient basis to believe that a public nuisance violation or violations have occurred, the occupant(s) and/or permit holder(s) shall have the right to file a request for a formal review of the alleged public nuisance violation(s) to the Board of Trustees by submitting a written request to the Board within 15 days of receipt of the determination of the informal review by the Code Enforcement Officer. The Board shall review the matter within 30 days at a duly convened meeting of the Board at which the occupant(s) and/or permit holder(s) shall have a right to explain the events or any mitigating circumstances surrounding the alleged violation(s), and if necessary, to call witnesses, and submit any documents or additional evidence for the Board's consideration. Within 30 days of the Board's review, the Board shall issue a written decision determining whether, for the purposes of the further consideration of the revocation of the rental dwelling permit, a public nuisance violation or violations have occurred.
Prior to the revocation of a rental dwelling permit under this section, the town shall bring an enforcement action in the Town Court or other court of competent jurisdiction to determine whether the conduct complained of constitutes a violation sufficient to serve as the basis for such revocation. All nonowner occupants who would be affected by the revocation of the rental dwelling permit shall be given notice and the opportunity to appear in such action. In the event the court determines that a sufficient violation of this section has occurred, the Code Enforcement officer shall revoke the rental permit for the unit(s) in question and the owner shall be required to remove the residents as provided for in Subsection D.
Notwithstanding the determination of a court of competent jurisdiction that a violation of this Code has occurred authorizing the revocation of the rental dwelling permit by the Code Enforcement Officer, the Board of Trustees, for good cause shown, may stay or vacate the enforcement of any revocation for such period as it deems appropriate, or permit the occupants to continue to reside on the premises upon such terms and conditions as the Board deems just.
In the event of a revocation of a permit under this section, within 30 days the owner shall institute a legal action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking the removal of the occupant(s) from the premises and, in the event the court orders the removal of the occupant(s), shall be prohibited from renting the premises or any other apartment within the dwelling or on the premises to the occupants so removed. In the event the court determines not to order the removal of the occupants, the town shall take no further action to encourage or require the owner to terminate the tenancy or vacate the premises, and the Town shall take no further action to require those occupants to vacate the premises based upon the incidents reviewed by that court.
Subsequent to any rental unit having been vacated based on revocation of a rental dwelling permit, such unit shall not be reoccupied until the unit has been inspected and a new permit has been issued.
[Amended 11-9-2009 by L.L. No. 2-2010]
Any permit holder, whether a person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs and continues.