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Township of West Goshen, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Goshen as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 2-14-1995 by Ord. No. 2-1995]
This article is enacted to provide for the uniform and equitable collection of earned income taxes levied within West Goshen Township.
It shall be the duty of the owner of every rental unit located within West Goshen Township to prepare and file an annual report with the Township Secretary which shall contain the complete name and address of each person eighteen years of age and older who is currently residing or who during the preceding calendar year resided in each rental unit owned by the person required to file the report.
The report, which shall be filed on a township-designated reporting form, shall be filed not later than 60 days following the effective date of this article and annually thereafter within 60 days of the end of each calendar year.
As used in this article, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed below:
OWNER
The person(s) in whose name(s) the property on which the rental unit is located is recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Chester County, as reflected on the Tax Duplicate issued by the Chester County Assessor.
PERSON
An individual, corporation, partnership, trust, estate, association or other legal entity capable of holding title to real estate.
PROPERTY
A parcel of real estate located in West Goshen Township to which a Chester County tax parcel number has been assigned by the Chester County Assessor.
RENTAL UNIT
Any space used for human occupancy located within a building used for residential use and occupancy that is rented for human occupancy under either a written or oral lease or other rental agreement, regardless of the term of the rental or lease, but excluding units within a motel or hotel rented by the day for transient occupancy.
Any person who shall violate § 75-2 or 75-3 of this article by failing or refusing to timely file the required report within 10 days of the due date thereof shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice having jurisdiction, be subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $600, together with the costs of prosecution, and, upon default in the timely payment of the fine and costs, shall be subject to a period of imprisonment in the county prison not exceeding 30 days. Each day that a violation shall continue following the initial notice by the Township Secretary to such person that such person is in violation of this article shall constitute a single and separate offense, punishable by a separate fine.
[Adopted 8-21-2018 by Ord. No. 5-2018]
When used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
LANDLORD
A lessor, owner, or person who acts as agent for a lessor or owner who leases or otherwise allows a tenant to live and/or sleep in a rental unit.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, association, firm, or other corporate entity.
RENTAL UNIT
Any space used for human occupancy located within a building used for residential use and occupancy, including but not limited to apartment units, that is rented for human occupancy under either a written or oral lease or other rental agreement, regardless of the term of the rental or lease, but excluding units within a motel or hotel rented by the day for transient occupancy.
TENANT
A person or persons who have the use, either separately or with others, of a rental unit.
On or before December 30 of each year, every landlord must apply for and receive a rental license for each rental unit for the following year. Applications shall be filed with the West Goshen Township Codes Department and shall contain, at a minimum, the name, address and contact information for the landlord and the names, addresses and contact information for all tenants. Landlords shall file updated rental license applications within 10 days of any change in ownership of a rental unit and within 10 days of any change in tenant(s).
Each application for a rental license shall be accompanied by a fee established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. The fee may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. The fee shall cover an initial inspection and one follow-up inspection, if necessary, of each rental unit. Additional inspections beyond the follow-up inspection, if necessary, shall require the payment of an additional fee to be established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, which may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
A. 
Following the submission of an application for a rental license, and prior to the issuance of a rental license, the West Goshen Codes Department shall inspect each rental unit. The landlord shall provide access to the rental unit for inspection in a timely manner during regular business hours. The inspection requirement may be waived in the sole discretion of the Codes Department if an inspection has been conducted within the preceding 90 days. The inspection shall confirm compliance with all applicable statutes and ordinances, including, but not limited to, the International Property Maintenance Code and the following requirements:
(1) 
Each dwelling unit has the required smoke detectors in proper working order on each floor and in every bedroom and outside of the bedroom area, and that all multiple-dwelling units have properly marked fire exit routes, fire exit signs, and emergency lighting.
(2) 
All windows operate properly with no broken, cracked, or missing glass, have appropriate insect screening installed and are in satisfactory condition. All windows, other than fixed windows, shall be easily openable and able to be held in position by window hardware.
(3) 
All stairways, both interior and exterior, are unobstructed and clear of all trash and debris and that all stairways with three or more risers have appropriate handrails installed. Any landing 30 inches above a floor or grade shall have a properly installed guard.
(4) 
All doors, including garage doors, are in proper working order, shall close smoothly, and egress door locks shall comply with Section 702.3 of the Property Maintenance Code, as may be amended.
(5) 
All elevators are in operating condition and display a current certificate of inspection and capacity.
(6) 
All porches, balconies, and decks are in safe condition, in good repair, and have appropriate railings installed.
(7) 
Each dwelling unit complies with the applicable parking requirements of the current Zoning Ordinance,[1] except if the unit was functioning in its current use prior to the requirements of the current or prior Zoning Ordinance.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 84, Zoning.
(8) 
All parking lots, driveways, and parking spaces are in good paved condition and free of all debris.
(9) 
No cars, trucks, motorcycles, motorbikes, or other motor vehicles are on the property with expired tags and/or inspection and/or emission stickers and that no fuel-driven motors of any type are stored inside any dwelling unit.
(10) 
Curbs, sidewalks, steps, stairways, and walkways are in good condition and repair and free from any trip hazards.
(11) 
Gutters and downspouts are in good condition and repair and that neither they nor any sump pump is connected to the sanitary sewer.
(12) 
All central heating devices, hot-water heating devices, and plumbing fixtures are in safe and proper working order. Water levels in toilets shall not be above the fill line so that the fixture is not losing water. Water heater relief valves must have a drop pipe installed six inches from the floor.
(13) 
All fencing is in good repair.
(14) 
All lawn areas are trimmed so that the height does not exceed six inches and that all trees, hedges, and bushes are properly trimmed.
(15) 
The property is clear of all debris.
(16) 
The property is being used in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance.
(17) 
The property is clearly identified on the building and on the mailbox as required by the Property Maintenance Code.
(18) 
All vegetation shall be at least three feet from the roadway and not less that 15 feet above the roadway. No signs shall be obstructed by vegetation.
(19) 
Working carbon monoxide detectors are required for all homes built under the 2009 Building Code. It is recommended that all homes built prior to the 2009 Building Code that burn fossil fuel or have an attached garage install a carbon monoxide detector outside of the sleeping rooms.
(20) 
Ground fault circuit interrupters shall be installed within six feet of the edge of any sink, tub, or laundry tub.
(21) 
Knockout bushings shall be installed in all openings within the main service panel.
(22) 
If a swimming pool or hot tub is installed, all specifications for barriers and gates under Section 303 of the Property Maintenance Code, as may be amended, must be followed.
(23) 
If the property is not connected to the public water system, a well test must be completed to show that the water is bacteria free.
(24) 
Sanitary sewer vents and cleanouts shall be installed above grade and must be properly capped. Nothing may cover these vents, including landscaping and mulch.
(25) 
Properties served by a private sewer system must provide documentation with the date of the last pump out.
B. 
If any of the above-referenced requirements are not in compliance with the applicable code, the Codes Department shall notify the landlord accordingly, and no rental license will be issued for the noncomplying rental units until they are brought into compliance with the provisions of the applicable code. A follow-up inspection shall be scheduled once the appropriate repairs have been made.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this Article II, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000, plus costs and attorneys' fees expended by the Township in prosecuting such case and, in default of payment of said fine, costs, and fees, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Article II continues or each provision of this Article II which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.