Borough of New Hope, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of New Hope as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 112.
Discrimination in employment, housing and places of public accommodation — See Ch. 129.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 150.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 207.
Zoning — See Ch. 275.
Fee Schedule — See Ch. A280.
[Adopted 7-12-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-08]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Rental of Dwelling Units."
A. 
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purposes of this article, have the meanings indicated herein. All words stated in the present tense include the future; words stated in the masculine include the feminine and neuter; and the singular number includes the plural and the plural the singular. The word "shall" is mandatory.
B. 
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADULT TENANT
A person over the age of 18 years not previously occupying a dwelling unit.
BUILDING
Any building or structure, or part thereof, used for human habitation, use, or occupancy and includes any accessory buildings and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Any person authorized by this article to issue permits and licenses, to conduct inspections, to issue violation notices or summonses, to enforce compliance with this article, to investigate and/or inspect complaints and possible unsafe conditions, and to otherwise implement and carry out the provisions of this article. Code Enforcement Officer shall include, but shall not be limited to, the Zoning Officer, Fire Marshal, Construction Code Official, and any police officer of New Hope Borough.
DWELLING
A building or structure or part thereof containing one or more dwelling units, which are to be leased or rented to a person other than the owner or provided to any occupant as compensation for services rendered to the landlord or any third party. A dwelling shall not include a state-licensed group home operated by a nonprofit corporation or public entity.
DWELLING STANDARDS TO BE APPLIED
For all dwellings in New Hope Borough, the following standards are adopted by reference: New Hope Borough Ordinance No. 2004-09,[1] as amended, adopting the International Property Maintenance Code, 2003 Edition, as published by the International Code Council, is hereby adopted as the standard governing supplied utilities, facilities and other physical things and conditions to make buildings and dwellings, both residential and nonresidential, safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation, occupancy or use.
DWELLING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms or any part thereof located within a building containing habitable space and forming a single housekeeping unit with facilities which are used or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, and eating for a single family or the functional equivalent thereof.
HABITABLE SPACE
The space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, storage or utility space in similar areas is not considered habitable space.
LANDLORD
The owner or owners of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, a mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee or other person, or their duly authorized agents, firm or corporation in control of a building, dwelling, apartment house or habitable space of premises.
OCCUPANT
Any natural person, including minors, who resides or intends to reside in a dwelling unit.
TENANT
Any natural person, including minors, who resides in a dwelling unit on a continual basis.
VACANT DWELLING UNIT
A dwelling unit where the previous tenants have vacated.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 207, Property Maintenance.
A. 
Within 90 days of the effective date of this article, every landlord in New Hope Borough shall file with the Code Enforcement Officer a landlord registration statement for every building containing one or more dwelling units occupied by one or more tenants.
B. 
Every landlord must renew the landlord registration statement annually by March 1.
C. 
Upon approval of the landlord registration statement by the Code Enforcement Officer, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a license from New Hope Borough authorizing the landlord to lease or rent a dwelling unit. The landlord registration statement shall be the base information upon which the license is issued.
D. 
Every landlord in New Hope Borough shall maintain a current license from New Hope Borough for every building containing a dwelling unit. Each license shall be valid for a twelve-month period. Each license can be renewed for additional twelve-month periods upon compliance with the provisions of this article.
E. 
Every person applying for a license under this article shall supply information as New Hope Borough requires and shall pay an annual license fee as set forth in the New Hope Borough Fee Schedule.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A280, Fee Schedule.
A. 
A landlord registration statement form shall be available at the New Hope Borough Hall and shall not be deemed complete unless the landlord provides the following for each building containing one or more dwelling units owned by the landlord and located in the Borough rented to one or more tenants:
(1) 
Name, address and phone number of the landlord.
(2) 
Address of building and dwelling unit number or other identifying information for the dwelling unit.
(3) 
Number of dwelling units in the building.
(4) 
For each dwelling unit in the building:
(a) 
Identify the unit number or other identifying information.
(b) 
Provide the gross floor area in square feet of each room occupied for sleeping purposes.
(c) 
Provide the total gross floor area in square feet of habitable rooms.
(d) 
Provide the total number of tenants permitted in the dwelling unit.
(e) 
Provide the names of all tenants, including minors, who are residing in the dwelling unit.
(f) 
List the total number of occupants who are to reside in the dwelling unit.
(g) 
Identify the date tenancy commenced or will commence.
(5) 
Proof of current payment of property taxes, assessments against property, sewer and water charges, or other municipal charges or assessments.
(6) 
Payment of all fees.
(7) 
A certification made under penalties of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904 (as amended) from the landlord that:
(a) 
The dwelling unit to be rented complies with this article; and
(b) 
He/she will not authorize more than the maximum permitted tenants to occupy the dwelling unit.
(8) 
A certification made under penalties of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904 (as amended) from each tenant who has signed the lease, or who entered into an oral lease, that the tenant will not permit more than the permitted number of tenants to occupy the dwelling unit.
(9) 
A certification made under penalties of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904 (as amended) that all information provided in the landlord registration statement is true and correct.
(10) 
A fully executed copy of each lease agreement executed by all adult persons who are tenants of the dwelling unit; provided, however, that this provision shall not be construed to require that the property owner enter into a written lease agreement. If there is no written lease, the applicant shall so certify and must provide names and permanent addresses of all persons who are occupying the premises.
B. 
In the event of a change in landlord of the dwelling unit, a new landlord registration statement shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer within 30 days of the change.
A. 
No landlord shall permit a tenant to occupy, let or sublet to a tenant, nor shall any person or persons lease or occupy any vacant dwelling unit, without:
(1) 
Submitting a landlord registration certifying that the dwelling unit complies with the provisions of this article and any other applicable laws and regulations; and
(2) 
Obtaining a license from the Code Enforcement Officer.
B. 
A landlord shall not engage in the lease of a dwelling unit except after having the tenant execute a lease which contains the following provisions; or in the event of no written lease, having the tenant sign an acknowledgment of the foregoing: "Tenant hereby agrees to be bound by all the terms and conditions contained in landlord registration statement and license issued by New Hope Borough pursuant to the Ordinances of New Hope Borough as the same shall apply to the dwelling unit rented under this lease."
A. 
Every landlord shall monitor any increase in the number of adult tenants in each dwelling unit and prevent any increase in tenants that exceeds the number of tenants permitted in the landlord registration statement and license. In addition, the landlord shall have the obligation to notify in writing the Code Enforcement Officer within 10 days of any increase in the number of tenants in a dwelling unit above that permitted in the approved landlord registration statement and license and provide the names of the new tenants.
B. 
Every tenant shall have the obligation to notify the landlord of any increase in the number of tenants within 10 days of the arrival of a new tenant.
C. 
Neither the tenant nor the landlord shall permit more tenants to occupy the dwelling unit than the maximum number of tenants set forth in the approved landlord registration statement and license.
A. 
The maximum number of persons that may inhabit a dwelling unit shall be computed as set forth in Chapter 4, Section 404, Occupancy Limitations, of the International Property Maintenance Code, 2003 Edition, as amended and as adopted by New Hope Borough, and certified in the landlord registration statement and license.
B. 
Dwelling units shall not be occupied by more occupants than permitted by Chapter 4, Section 404, of the International Property Maintenance, 2003 Edition, as amended and as adopted by New Hope Borough. The maximum number of tenants inhabiting a building rented for residential purposes shall be stated in the approved landlord registration statement and license.
A. 
It shall be unlawful and in violation of this article for a landlord, owner or a tenant of a dwelling unit to allow a greater number of people than the permitted maximum number of tenants listed in the landlord registration statement and license issued under this article to rent or occupy any dwelling unit.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to issue notices of violations of this article to any owner, landlord or tenant found to be in violation of this article. The Code Enforcement Officer, or his duly authorized representative, shall have the power to initiate any proceeding at law or in equity necessary for the enforcement of this article.
C. 
Inspections. The Code Enforcement Officer or his agents or designee may make inspections to determine the condition of buildings containing a dwelling unit to be rented to a tenant prior to the issuance of an approved landlord registration statement and license. For the purpose of making inspections, the Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to enter and examine any building, dwelling unit, or premises at such reasonable hours as the circumstances of the case permit with the permission of an occupant, tenant, owner or landlord. In the event entry is denied, then, upon advice of the Borough Solicitor, recourse to a court of competent jurisdiction shall be pursued to secure entry.
It shall be unlawful and in violation of this article for a landlord or owner of a dwelling unit or tenant of a dwelling unit or apartment:
A. 
To permit or allow people to reside in a dwelling unit in a number in excess of the number of people for which sleeping accommodations are provided in accordance with this article.
B. 
To lease or rent a dwelling unit where the number of tenants exceeds the total number of sleeping accommodations as set forth in this article.
C. 
To knowingly permit a number of people, greater than the maximum number of occupants or tenants permitted, to occupy a dwelling unit.
D. 
For the landlord to fail to file with the Code Enforcement Officer a landlord registration statement as required by this article for each building owned by him/her in the Borough of New Hope containing a dwelling unit.
E. 
To violate any provision or condition of the license issued pursuant to this article.
F. 
To violate any other provisions of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, as amended, as adopted by New Hope Borough.
G. 
To enter into a lease agreement without at least one tenant being an adult, and without requiring all adult tenants to sign the lease.
H. 
To violate any section of this article.
A. 
It shall be the legal duty of each holder of a license to immediately report any breaches of the peace or violations of this article which he or she may know or believes to have occurred in or on a specific dwelling unit, which report shall be made to the Code Enforcement Officer or the Police Department of the Borough of New Hope by the most expedient means.
B. 
Failure to report such violations within 10 days after having actual or constructive knowledge of the occurrence of the violation shall constitute a violation of this article.
A. 
Any person who is found to have submitted false information, documentation or identification in connection with a landlord's registration statement or an application for a license shall pay a minimum fine of $300 plus court costs for the first offense, a minimum fine of $600 plus court costs for a second offense, and a minimum fine of $1,000 plus court costs for a third offense.
B. 
Any person who submits a false certification or document shall be subject to criminal prosecution, in addition to the penalties contained herein. In addition to the foregoing, a certificate of use and occupancy that is issued on the basis of information or documents that are knowingly false or fraudulent when made shall be subject to revocation pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions herein.
The one-time fee for a landlord registration statement and the annual license fee for each building containing one or more dwelling units shall be set from time to time by resolution of the New Hope Borough Council.
Any tenant renting a dwelling unit in New Hope Borough who occupies the dwelling unit prior to an approved landlord registration statement and license being issued for the building containing the dwelling unit shall be subject to immediate removal from the dwelling unit. Any costs associated with the removal and subsequent relocation of tenants that are incurred by New Hope Borough shall be the responsibility of the landlord and/or tenant.
In addition to the penalties set forth in § 175-11 of this article (relating to false information), any owner or agent, landlord, tenant, and any person or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this article or fail to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof shall be liable to a fine of not more than $1,000, community service or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or a fine, community service and imprisonment. Each and every day such violation continues shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation. Each violation of this article shall be a separate and distinct violation.