§ 61-5Administration; penalties for offenses.
§ 61-6Appeals; hearing.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Fair Housing Code of the Town of Potsdam, New York."
It is hereby declared that the purpose of this chapter is to provide a mechanism for enforcing the state and federal housing laws as they apply to discrimination on a local level.
Each realtor, owner, corporation or landlord is responsible for seeing that he/she follows the requirements of this chapter in renting, leasing or selling any dwelling within the Town of Potsdam.
In renting, leasing or selling a dwelling within the Town of Potsdam, no person or persons will be refused as a renter, lessee or buyer due to his/her/their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, familial status or national origin.
All applicable state and federal laws regarding fair and/or open housing shall be complied with when renting, leasing or selling a dwelling.
This chapter shall be enforced by the local Fair Housing Officer, who will be appointed by the Town Board.
The Fair Housing Officer shall have the authority to make, adopt and promulgate such written rules, regulations and forms as he/she may deem necessary for the proper enforcement and administration of this chapter and to secure the intent thereof. Such rules, regulations and forms shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this chapter, any other local ordinance or the New York State Fair Housing Code. Said rules, regulations and forms shall be on file and available for public view.
If any realtor, landlord or homeowner is reported to be violating or to have violated the conditions set forth in this chapter or in the rules and regulations of the Fair Housing Office, that person or persons shall be investigated. A fine shall be imposed on any person or organization found in violation of this chapter, not to exceed $100 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense and $500 for a third or subsequent offense. The minimum fine for violations of the law shall be $100 for a first offense and $150 for each additional offense. Each and every violation of this chapter shall be deemed a separate offense for the purpose of imposing the appropriate fine.
The Town Board is hereby designated to hear and decide any appeals or review any order, requirement, determination or decision made by the Fair Housing Officer.
Any person aggrieved by a determination or action of the Fair Housing Officer may file a request for review to the Town Board but must do so within 30 days of the determination or decision. Upon receiving a request for review, the Town Board will schedule a hearing on the appeal and notify all parties thereof. The Town Board shall make a decision on the appeal within 35 days of the hearing. The Town Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, or may modify any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Fair Housing Officer.