Borough of Norristown, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Norristown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Change of use or occupancy — See Ch. 128.
Housing discrimination — See Ch. 188.
Noise — See Ch. 215.
Numbering of houses and property — See Ch. 219.
Overcrowding of dwelling units — See Ch. 222.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 229.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 239.
Real Estate Registry — See Ch. 242.
Rodent control — See Ch. 247.
[Adopted 6-3-2008 by Ord. No. 08-12[1]]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 245, Rental Property, consisting of Art. I, Rental License Permits, adopted 1-4-2005 by Ord. No. 05-02, as amended. This ordinance further provided that it shall become effective October 1, 2008.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
Any number of individuals living together on a nontransient basis as a single housekeeping unit and doing their cooking on the premises. The definition shall not apply to the occupants of a club, fraternity house, lodge or residential club. Notwithstanding the aforesaid definition, a family shall include any number of mentally or physically handicapped persons occupying a dwelling unit as a single, nonprofit housekeeping unit, if such occupants are handicapped persons as defined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988. Such unrelated individuals shall have the right to occupy a dwelling unit in the same manner and to the same extent as any family unit as defined previously.
A detached residential building containing three or more dwelling units. Units may be arranged entirely in vertical rows (like townhouses) and are generally located entirely above or below one another. Units may share outside access and/or internal hallways, lobbies and similar facilities. The dwelling units cannot be individually lotted, but instead share the lot or tract on which the building containing them is located. The development is usually under one operating unit, as a rental or condominium development. This dwelling type includes but is not limited to low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise apartments and multifamily conversions as defined below.
An apartment building not exceeding three stories and 36 feet in height, also known as a "garden apartment."
MID-RISE APARTMENT—An apartment building exceeding three stories and 36 feet in height but not exceeding six stones and 72 feet in height.
HIGH-RISE APARTMENT—An apartment building exceeding six stories and 72 feet in height but not exceeding 10 stories and 120 feet in height.
A multifamily dwelling, containing not more than four units, that results from the conversion of a single-family or two-family dwelling, also known as a "converted apartment building."
A dwelling unit having its own independent outside access, with no other dwelling units located directly and totally above or below it, and having party walls in common with at least one but not more than three adjacent similar dwelling units and located in a building comprised of at least three dwelling units. Each dwelling unit may be individually lotted or owned as a condominium. This dwelling type shall include but not be limited to dwelling units commonly known as "townhouses," "row houses," "triplexes," "quadruplexes," and "multiplexes."
A dwelling designed for and occupied exclusively as a residence for only one family and not attached to any other building or dwelling units.
A two-family building with dwelling units placed side-by-side and joined to each other by a vertical, common party wall but otherwise surrounded by yard areas. When lotted, each dwelling unit may be on a separate lot, with the common boundary between the two lots running along the common party wall. Separate ingress and egress is provided to each unit.
A single-family attached dwelling in a row of at least three units, with one dwelling unit from ground to roof, with individual outside access. Although these units are in rows, their design should deemphasize a lined-up appearance.
A residential building containing two dwelling units and which is not attached to any other building. A two-family building counts as two dwelling units for density purposes.
A two-family building with one dwelling unit placed above the other so that they share a common horizontal partition. When lotted, a duplex shall be entirely on one lot. Separate ingress and egress is provided to each unit.
All owners of single-family detached dwellings, two-family buildings, single-family semidetached dwellings, two-family detached dwellings, single-family attached dwellings, townhouses, multifamily dwellings, and apartments houses (hereinafter "rental dwellings") intending to rent their rental dwelling or a portion of their rental dwelling in the Municipality of Norristown to nonfamily members shall make application to Code Enforcement of the Municipality of Norristown for licensing on an annual basis. Forms shall be available for inspection at the Municipality of Norristown Code Department.
At the time of application, the owner making application shall provide to Code Enforcement a list of current or proposed tenants for the calendar year. That tenant list shall include the tenant's full legal name and any known aliases, address, employment title and address of employer. If a tenant vacates the owner's property and is replaced by a new tenant, the owner is obligated to notify Norristown Code Enforcement in writing within 60 days and provide the information required in the aforesaid tenant list about the new tenant(s) to Norristown Code Enforcement.
At the time of application, the owner making application must have satisfied all permit fees owed to the Municipality of Norristown, with the exception of any taxes and or fees regulated by the statutory authority of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This satisfaction of the aforesaid permit fees applies not only to the property(ies) that the owner is applying for currently but to all properties that the owner possesses title to within the Municipality of Norristown. The term "appropriate and applicable fees" is meant to extend to those property(ies) which may not be in the name of the owner but which the owner has partnership, shareholder, or equivalent status therein. The satisfaction of appropriate and applicable fees is meant to be liberally construed. Any and all disputes arising out if its interpretation shall be determined first by the Codes Manager and if that is not satisfactory to the owner by the Municipal Administrator of Norristown.
At the time of application if the owner has had his license suspended or revoked in the previous 365 days, the Municipal Administrator reserves the right to deny issuance of the rental license for the following year.
At the time of application, each owner for a license to operate a rental dwelling shall pay a license fee on an annual basis set by a resolution of Municipal Council.
At the time of application, the owner shall complete a certification subject to the provisions of 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 4904 which states that the owner is aware of and intends to comply with the Norristown Property Maintenance Code, the Uniform Construction Code, the Municipality's Recycling Ordinance, and the Municipality's stand-alone ordinances regulating weeds, litter, and snow removal.
Beginning in 2015, and continuing each year thereafter, the Municipality shall mail rental license applications to all registered rental property owners by no later than July 15. Nonregistered rental property owners who wish to rent their properties pursuant to this chapter must register with the Municipality, obtain an application for a rental license, and file it in accordance with the provisions of this Subsection G. Rental license applications must be completed and returned to the Municipality by no later than September 15. Upon review of the application(s), the Municipality will mail invoices to all applicants by no later than October 15, and all applicants must pay their invoice by no later than November 15. Rental license permits will be mailed by the Municipality when full payment is received. Notwithstanding any other provisions in this chapter to the contrary, if a person to whom the provisions of this chapter apply fails to obtain a rental license, the Municipality may impose a late fee penalty, which shall be established by resolution of the Municipal Council and may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Municipal Council. The Municipality shall not impose a late fee penalty for failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter until after December 31.
[Amended 10-7-2008 by Ord. No. 08-22; 7-21-2015 by Ord. No. 15-06]
Upon the application of the owner for a rental license or renewal thereof, the Code Department may conduct an inspection of the property to determine and ensure that the residential rental property and each unit contained therein is not a public nuisance or substandard and meets all the zoning, health and safety requirements of the Municipality as well as general applicable law. All inspections shall conform to the protections guaranteed property owner(s) and/or individuals in the Constitution(s) of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Editor's Note: Former § 245-3, Landlords responsible for certain behavior of tenants, added 12-4-2012 by Ord. No. 12-15, was repealed 8-6-2014 by Ord. No. 14-09.
[Amended 10-7-2008 by Ord. No. 08-22; 2-7-2012 by Ord. No. 12-03; 12-4-2012 by Ord. No. 12-15]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter other than § 245-3 shall be issued a citation and, upon conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 per nonlicensed dwelling unit, plus any and all court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Municipality of Norristown to enforce this chapter. Each day that a person is in violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.