City of Sunbury, PA
Northumberland County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Sunbury 8-13-2012.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing Authority — See Ch. 15.
Licensed residential structures — See Ch. 107.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 130.
Nuisance property — See Ch. 131.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 134, Rental Property, adopted 11-10-1997.

§ 134-1 Designation of manager.

A. 
Every owner who is not a full-time resident of the City of Sunbury, and/or who does not live within 25 miles of the boundaries of the City of Sunbury, shall designate a manager who shall reside in an area that is within 25 miles from the City of Sunbury. If the owner is a corporation, a manager shall be required if an officer of the corporation does not reside within the above-referenced area. The officer shall perform the same function as a manager. If the owner is a partnership, a manager shall be required if a partner does not reside within the above-referenced area. Said partner shall perform the same function as a manager. The manager shall be the agent of the owner for service of process and receiving of notices and demands, as well as for performing the obligations of the owner under this chapter and under rental agreements with occupants. The identity, address and telephone number(s) of a person who is designated as manager hereunder shall be provided by the owner or manager to the City and such information shall be kept current and updated as it changes.
B. 
The owner or manager shall not allow anyone not included on the lease to permanently live in the rental unit.

§ 134-2 Information required/tenant information.

A. 
Each owner or manager in the City shall submit a list on a form provided by the City of Sunbury to the Sunbury Code Enforcement Office at the time of requesting an occupancy permit which sets forth the following information:
(1) 
Owner name, address, telephone number.
(2) 
Local manager name, address, telephone number (an emergency contact person).
(3) 
Property address and number of units.
(4) 
Maximum occupancy per unit.
(5) 
Emergency telephone number.
(6) 
Actual number of occupants.
(7) 
Names and addresses of current tenants, including copy of driver's license or nondriver's identification, or other government-issued photo identification card, if age 18 or over, or other government-issued photo identification.
B. 
The owner or manager shall record the name of the tenant, the landlord's name, the date of registration, the address of the leased property and the type of identifying information presented (e.g., driver's license or other government-issued photo identification such as nondriver's photo identification, passport, birth certificate) and shall have the tenant attest in writing that the information provided is true and correct subject to the penalties provided for unsworn falsification to authorities.
C. 
Each time an owner or manager and tenant enters into a new lease, the owner or manager shall register with the City of Sunbury within 10 days of entering into the landlord-tenant relationship and/or occupying the premises and provide the information referenced above.
D. 
The owner or manager is required to maintain the rental permit for inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer and provide upon demand the following:
(1) 
The current permit and current inspection report issued by the Code Enforcement Office of the City of Sunbury.
(2) 
The addendum to the license application required by this chapter showing the names of the authorized occupants of the residential rental unit.
(3) 
The total number of persons who may occupy the residential rental unit or units and any common areas located within the rental unit.
E. 
In the event this information is not received by the City of Sunbury before issuance of yearly rental permits for that property, the permit shall not be issued until the information is submitted.
F. 
It is required that all landlords incorporate this chapter into their lease agreement.

§ 134-3 Dispersal of information.

The Sunbury Code Enforcement Office shall share this information with the office of the City Treasurer, Sunbury Police Department and Sunbury Fire Department.

§ 134-4 Issuance of occupancy permit.

An occupancy permit will only be issued if the owner is in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 134-5 Maintenance of premises.

The owner shall maintain the premises in compliance with the applicable code of the City of Sunbury and shall regularly perform or have performed all routine maintenance, including lawn mowing and ice and snow removal and shall promptly make any and all repairs necessary to fulfill this obligation.
A. 
The owner and occupant may agree that the occupant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations or remodeling. In such case, the agreement between the owner and occupant must be in writing. Such an agreement may be entered into between the owner and occupant only if:
(1) 
The agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the owner or occupant.
(2) 
The agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the owner to the other occupants in the premises.
B. 
In no case shall the existence of any agreement between owner and occupant relieve an owner of any responsibility under this chapter or other ordinances or code for maintenance of the premises.
C. 
Inspections. The owner shall permit inspections of any premises by the Code Enforcement Officer at reasonable times upon reasonable notice. The inspections shall be completed as follows:
(1) 
The Code Enforcement Officer of the City of Sunbury shall inspect all units at least once every three years and report the inspection on a written inspection report to the owner or manager. The inspection report shall be signed and dated by the owner or manager of the residential rental unit. Inspections may be made by the Code Officer anytime within the said year.
D. 
Noncompliance. Any parcel of real estate containing a residential rental unit which has been found to be in noncompliance with this chapter shall be subject to reinspection by the Code Enforcement Officer as follows:
(1) 
Each residential rental unit referred to above shall be inspected at least one time every three years. A particular residential unit which contains a violation of this chapter shall be reinspected as set forth.
(2) 
In the event of a violation, a residential rental unit cannot be occupied unless and until the unit is approved as meeting the criteria of this chapter and any other applicable Code of the City of Sunbury as determined by the Code Enforcement Officer.
(3) 
For the purpose of enforcing this chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer may seek to obtain a search warrant issued by a competent authority for the purpose of compelling an inspection or otherwise enforcing the terms and conditions of this chapter.
(4) 
The Code Enforcement Officer may reinspect any property subject to a notice of violation upon expiration of the time to accomplish repairs or upon notice from the owner that the violations have been rectified.
(5) 
The owner or manager of any property containing or upon which is erected a residential rental unit shall pay a fee of $25 for each and every reinspection after the first reinspection to cover the cost of a reinspection each time a reinspection is required under the terms of this chapter or each time a reinspection is requested by the Code Enforcement Officer to determine compliance with this chapter or any other applicable ordinances of the City of Sunbury. The fee set forth herein may be increased or decreased by resolution of Sunbury City Council.

§ 134-6 Enforcement.

A. 
Within 10 days after receipt of written notice from the Code Enforcement Officer that an occupant of a residential rental unit has violated a provision of this chapter, the owner or manager shall take immediate steps to remedy the violation and take steps to assure that there is not a reoccurrence of the violation.
B. 
Within 20 days after receipt of a notice of violation, the owner or manager shall file with the Code Enforcement Officer a report, on a form provided by the City, setting forth what action the owner has taken to remedy the violation and what steps he or she has taken to prevent a reoccurrence of the violation. The report shall also set forth a plan as to steps the owner or manager will take in the future if the violation reoccurs.
C. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall review the report and, if adequate steps have been taken and the plan is adequate to address future violations, shall approve the plan. The owner or manager shall, on his or her initiative, enforce the plan and failure to do so shall be a violation of this chapter.
D. 
In the event that a second violation occurs within a license year involving the same occupant or occupants, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a citation to the owner of the premises for violation of this chapter. All tenants who have been evicted if asked shall advise their new landlord that they have been evicted from a residence for violating the terms and conditions of this chapter.

§ 134-7 City can make repairs.

In case the owner of premises shall neglect, fail or refuse to comply with any notice from the City or its Code Enforcement Officer to correct a violation relating to quality of life at the premises under any code in effect in the City of Sunbury within the period of time stated in such notice, the City may cause the violation to be corrected. There shall be imposed upon the owner a charge of the actual costs involved, plus 10% of said costs for each time the City shall cause a violation to be corrected and the owner of the premises shall be billed after same has been completed. Any such bill which remains unpaid and outstanding after the time specified therein for payment shall be grounds for the imposition of a municipal lien upon the premises as provided by law. Such a lien may be reduced to judgment and enforced and collected as provided by law, together with interest at the legal rate and court costs. The remedies provided by this subsection are not exclusive and the City and its Code Enforcement Officer may invoke such other remedies available under this chapter or the applicable codes, ordinances or statutes, including, where appropriate, condemnation proceedings or declaration of premises as unfit for habitation; or suspension, revocation or nonrenewal of the license issued hereunder.

§ 134-8 Health and safety regulations.

A. 
The number of persons occupying a dwelling unit shall not create conditions that, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, endanger the life, health, safety or welfare of the occupants.
B. 
The occupant shall deposit all rubbish, garbage and other waste from his or her rental unit into container(s) provided by the owner or manager or tenant in a clean and safe manner and shall separate and place for collection all recyclable materials, in compliance with the recycling plan submitted by the owner to the City of Sunbury or, if there is no recycling plan for the premises, then in compliance with City of Sunbury's Recycling Ordinance[1] and all other applicable ordinances, laws and regulations.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 133, Recycling.

§ 134-9 Illegal activities.

An individual convicted of any prohibited act under Pennsylvania's Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq., where the offense is graded as a felony under § 780-113 of that Act, upon conviction and expiration of any applicable appeal period, shall not be eligible to be listed on an occupancy permit. A convicted illegal substance distributor shall not be eligible to be listed on an annual permit and shall be considered in violation of this City ordinance. Seven years after an individual's conviction and the expiration of any applicable appeal period, that individual shall be eligible to be placed back on a rental permit, provided that the individual has no additional felony convictions under 35 P.S. § 780-113 during that seven-year period. Failure of the property owner to remove said convicted individual from the occupancy permit shall result in nonrenewal of the rental permit.

§ 134-10 Grounds for nonrenewal, suspension or revocation of license.

A. 
General. The Code Enforcement Officer may initiate disciplinary action against an owner that may result in a formal warning, nonrenewal, suspension or revocation of the owner's license, for violating any provision of this chapter that imposes a duty upon the owner and/or for failing to regulate the breach by occupants as provided for herein.
B. 
Definition of options.
(1) 
Formal warning: formal written notification of at least one violation of this chapter. Upon satisfactory compliance with this chapter and any conditions imposed by the Code Enforcement Officer and/or the Council of the City of Sunbury, the formal warning shall be removed when the owner applies for license renewal at a time set by the Code Enforcement Officer or by the Council of the City of Sunbury.
(2) 
Nonrenewal: the denial of the privilege to apply for license renewal after expiration of the license term. The City will permit the owner to maintain occupants in the premises until the end of the license term but will not accept applications for renewal of the license until a time set by the Code Enforcement Officer or by the Council of the City of Sunbury.
(3) 
Suspension: the immediate loss of the privilege to rent residential rental units for a period of time set by the Code Enforcement Officer or City Council. The owner, after the expiration of the suspension period, may apply for license renewal without the need to show cause why the owner's privilege to apply for a license should be reinstated. Upon suspension, the owner shall take immediate steps to evict the occupants.
(4) 
Revocation: the immediate loss of the privilege to rent residential rental units for a period of time set by the Code Enforcement Officer or the City Council and the loss of the privilege to apply for renewal of the license at the expiration of the time period. Upon the loss of the privilege to rent, the owner shall take immediate steps to evict the occupants.

§ 134-11 Violations and penalties.

A. 
The Sunbury Code Administration Office shall revoke any and all housing permits if they are found to be in violation of any part of Chapter 134.
B. 
Property owners shall be notified and given 30 days to comply.
C. 
Any property owner who violates the regulations herein shall, for each offense, upon conviction, pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, together with the costs of prosecution.
D. 
A property owner may appeal to Sunbury City Council the revocation or nonrenewal of a rental permit within 30 days of the revocation or nonrenewal of the permit.