[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Newington 1-27-1976. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 10-22-1996 by Ord. No. 9597-3]
The following general provisions shall apply to the interpretation and enforcement of this ordinance [code].
Purposes. It is hereby declared that the purpose of this ordinance [code] is to protect, preserve and promote the physical and mental health and social well-being of the residents of this municipality; to investigate and control the incidence of communicable diseases; to regulate privately and publicly owned dwellings for the purpose of maintaining adequate sanitation and public health; and to protect the safety of the people and to promote the general welfare. This ordinance [code] shall be applicable to all dwellings now in existence or hereafter constructed within this municipality. It is hereby further declared that for all of said dwellings this ordinance [code] will:
Establish minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, heating and cooling;
Establish minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities for safety from fire and accidents;
Establish minimum standards for the use and location and amount of space for human occupancy;
Establish minimum standards for safe and sanitary maintenance. In addition, this ordinance [code] will determine the responsibilities of owners, operators and occupants of dwellings, and it will provide for the administration and enforcement of all of the aforesaid standards and responsibilities.
Legislative finding. It is hereby found that dwellings (see subsection 2.09) exist or may in the future exist within the Town of Newington, either occupied or unoccupied by human beings, which are in a deteriorated condition, and such dwellings are in said deteriorated condition because of improper management; because of faulty design or construction; because of failure to keep said dwelling in a proper state of repair; because said dwellings lack proper sanitary facilities, adequate lighting or ventilation, or adequate equipment for heating or cooling; or because of any combination of the aforesaid factors. As a result, said dwellings have become so deteriorated, dilapidated, neglected, overcrowded or unsanitary as to jeopardize or be detrimental to the health, safety, morals or welfare of the occupants of said dwellings and the people of the said municipality. It is hereby further found that such deteriorated dwellings contribute to the growth of physical, mental or social ill-health or disease, mortality, crime and juvenile delinquency within this municipality.
Citation. This ordinance [code] shall be known, and may be cited, as the housing code.
Applicability. Every portion of a building or its premises used, formerly used, or intended to be used for the purpose of dwelling, living, eating, sleeping or cooking therein or occupancy, shall comply with the provisions of this ordinance [code] and with the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto irrespective of when such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired, and irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy of the dwelling and dwelling premises or structure, for the construction or repair of the dwelling or structure or for the installation or repair of dwelling equipment prior to the effective date of this ordinance. This ordinance [code] establishes minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy of all dwellings and structures, and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair or use of buildings or the installation of building equipment.
Application of building code. Any alterations to buildings or changes of use therein, which may be caused directly or indirectly by enforcement of this code, shall be done in accordance with applicable sections of the building code of the municipality.
Application of zoning law. Nothing in this code shall permit the establishment or conversion of a multi-family dwelling in any zone except where permitted by the zoning regulations of the municipality; nor shall this code permit continuation of such nonconforming use in any zone except as provided in said zoning regulations.
[Amended 10-22-1996 by Ord. No. 9597-3]
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this ordinance [code]: Section 201.0, Connecticut State Basic Building Code, shall apply by reference.
Accessory structure shall mean a detached structure which is not used or not intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants and which is located on the same premises with a dwelling.
Approved shall mean approved by the local or state authority having such administrative authority.
Ashes shall mean the residue from the burning of combustible materials (and the noncombustible portion of refuse loaded into an incinerator).
Basement shall mean the portion of the building partly underground, but having less than half its clear height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
Cellar shall mean the portion of the building partly underground, having half or more than half of its clear height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
Central heating system shall mean a single system supplying heat to one or more than one dwelling unit(s) or more than one rooming unit.
Common area shall mean an area being used by more than one family.
Dilapidated shall mean fallen into partial ruin or decay.
Dwelling shall mean any enclosed space which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants, or for which this was the last intended use before being left unoccupied.
Dwelling unit shall mean any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.
Enforcement officer shall mean the official designated herein or otherwise charged with the responsibilities of administering this code, or his authorized representative.
Extermination shall mean the control, destruction and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborages, by removing or by making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food, and by the use of poisoning, spraying, fumigating, trapping, or any other pest elimination methods approved by the enforcing officer.
Family shall mean an adult person plus one or more persons who are legally related to said person and/or one or more persons who are assigned to the household by an official agency as foster children.
Flush water closet shall mean a toilet bowl flushed with water under pressure with a water sealed trap above the floor level.
Garbage shall mean the animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, serving and nonconsumption of food.
Gross floor area shall mean the total area of all habitable space in a building or structure.
Guest shall mean any person who shares a dwelling unit in a nonpermanent status for not more than sixty (60) days.
Habitable room shall mean a room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, furnace rooms, pantries, kitchenettes and utility rooms of less than fifty (50) square feet, foyers or communicating corridors, stairways, closets, storage space and workshops, hobby and recreation areas in unsealed or uninsulated parts of a structure below ground level or in attics.
Heated water shall mean water heated to a temperature of not less than one hundred twenty (120) degrees Fahrenheit, at the outlet.
Hotel or motel shall mean a dwelling designed to provide sleeping and lavatory facilities for travelers and residents for periods normally of less than two (2) weeks duration.
Household shall mean a family and/or one or more unrelated persons, including servants and not more than two (2) boarders, who share the same dwelling and use some or all of its cooking and eating facilities.
Infestation shall mean the presence in large numbers of insects, rodents or other pests within a dwelling, or other structure and its premises.
Kitchen or kitchenette shall mean any room containing all of the following equipment, or area of a room within three (3) feet of such equipment: Sink and/or other device for dishwashing, stove or other device for cooking, and refrigerator or other device for cool storage of food.
Kitchen sink shall mean a sink of a size and design adequate for the purpose of washing eating and drinking utensils, located in a kitchen, properly connected with a cold and hot water pipe line.
Lavatory shall mean a handwashing basin which is properly connected with both a hot and cold water pipe line and which is separate and distinct from a kitchen sink.
Lead paint shall mean any pigmented, liquid substance applied to surfaces by brush, roller or spray in which the total nonvolatile ingredient contains lead, by weight, calculated as metallic lead in excess of current ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards.
Meaning of certain words. Wherever the words "dwelling", "dwelling unit", "rooming house", "rooming unit", "premises", and "structure" are used in this ordinance [code] they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words "or any part thereof. Words used in the singular include the plural, and the plural the singular, the masculine gender includes the feminine, and the feminine the masculine.
Multiple dwelling shall mean any dwelling containing more than two (2) dwelling units.
Occupant shall mean any person, over one year of age, living, steeping, cooking or eating in, or actually having possession of, a dwelling unit or a rooming unit, except that in dwelling units a guest will not be considered an occupant.
Operator shall mean any person who has charge, care or control of a building, or part thereof, in which dwelling units or rooming units are let.
Ordinary summer conditions shall mean an out-of-doors temperature of ninety (90) degrees Fahrenheit.
Ordinary winter conditions shall mean an out-of-doors temperature of ten (10) degrees Fahrenheit.
Owner shall mean any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:
Shall have legal title to any dwelling, premises or dwelling unit, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or
Shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling, premises or dwelling unit as owner or agent of the owner, or an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner. Any such person, thus representing the actual owner, shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this ordinance [code] and of rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto to the same extent as if he were the owner.
Permissible occupancy shall mean the maximum number of persons permitted as family or household to reside in a dwelling unit or rooming unit based on the square footage per person in habitable rooms.
Person shall mean and include any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership.
Plumbing shall mean and include all of the following supplied facilities and equipment: Gas or oil pipes, gas or oil burning equipment, water pipes, garbage disposal units; waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes washing machines, catch basins, drains, vents, and any other similar supplied fixtures, together with all connections to water, sewer, septic tank system, gas or oil lines.
Potential hazardous material shall mean any material, including building material, containing lead and/or other toxic heavy metal compound in concentrations dangerous to the public health as deemed by the state department of health.
Premises shall mean a platted lot or part thereof or unplatted lot or parcel of land, or plot of land, either occupied or unoccupied by any dwelling or nondwelling structure, and includes any such building, accessory structure, or other structures thereon.
Privacy shall mean the ability of a person or persons to carry out an activity commenced without interruption or interference, either by sight or sound, by unwanted persons.
Ratproofing shall mean a form of construction which will prevent the ingress or egress of rats to or from a given space or building, allowing their access to food, water or harborage. It shall consist of the closing and keeping closed of every opening in foundations, basements, cellars and exterior and interior walls, and the removal of harborages and other attractions.
Refuse shall mean all putrescible and nonputrescible solids (except body wastes) including garbage, rubbish, ashes and dead animals. The terms shall also include paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings, and other combustible waste materials.
Rental unit shall mean a dwelling unit let by one person to another in return for a rental fee under a lease or otherwise.
Rooming unit shall mean any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes.
Rooming house shall mean any dwelling or that part of any dwelling containing one or more rooming units in which space is occupied by three (3) or more persons who are not members of a single family.
Rubbish shall mean nonputrescible solid wastes (excluding ashes) consisting of both:
Safety shall mean the condition of being free from danger and hazards which may cause accidents or disease.
Septic tank shall mean a receptacle, usually underground, to which sewage is drained and retained to effect disintegration of the organic matter by bacteria and as defined in section 19-13-B20A of the Connecticut Public Health Code.
Space heater shall mean a self-contained, vented, fuel-burning appliance of either the circulating type or the radiant type.
Supplied shall mean paid for, furnished, provided by, or under the control of the owner or operator.
Toilet shall mean a water closet, with a bowl and trap made in one piece, which is of such shape and form and which holds a sufficient quantity of water under pressure so that no fecal matter will collect on the surface of the bowl and which is equipped with flushing rims which permit the bowl to be properly flushed and scoured when water is discharged through the flushing rims.
Ventilation shall mean the process of supplying and removing air by natural or mechanical means to or from any space.
No owner or other person shall occupy, or let to another person, any vacant dwelling or dwelling unit unless said dwelling or dwelling unit and the premises are clean, sanitary and fit for human occupancy, and comply with all applicable legal requirements of the State of Connecticut and the Town of Newington.
Every owner of a dwelling containing two (2) or more dwelling units shall maintain in a clean and sanitary condition the shared or public areas of the dwelling and premises thereof.
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall maintain in a clean and sanitary condition that part or those parts of the dwelling, dwelling unit and premises thereof that he occupies and controls.
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall store and dispose of all his rubbish in a clean, sanitary and safe manner.
Every occupant of a dwelling unit shall store and discard in a clean, sanitary and safe manner all his garbage and any other organic waste which might provide food for rodents and insects. If a container is used for storage pending collection it shall be secure against entry by insects and rodents and shall be watertight.
Every owner of a dwelling containing three (3) or more dwelling units shall supply facilities or containers for the sanitary and safe storage and/or disposal of rubbish and garbage by the occupant of said dwelling unit. In the case of single-or two-family dwellings it shall be the responsibility of the occupant to furnish such facilities or containers.
The owner of a dwelling or dwelling unit or structure shall be responsible for providing and hanging all screens and double or storm doors and windows whenever the same are required under the provisions of this ordinance [code] or any rule or regulation adopted thereunder, except where a written agreement between the owner and occupant has provided otherwise. In the absence of such an agreement, maintenance or replacement of screens, storm doors and windows, once installed in any one season, become the responsibility of the occupant.
Every occupant of a dwelling containing a single dwelling unit shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests therein or on the premises. Every occupant of a dwelling unit, in a dwelling containing more than one dwelling unit, shall be responsible for such extermination whenever his dwelling unit is the only one infested. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subsection, whenever infestation is caused by failure of the owner to maintain a dwelling in a rat-proof or reasonably insect-proof condition, extermination shall be the responsibility of the owner. Whenever infestation exists in two (2) or more of the dwelling units in any dwelling, or in the shared or public parts of any dwelling containing two (2) or more dwelling units, extermination thereof shall be the responsibility of the owner.
Every occupant of a dwelling unit or structure shall keep all plumbing fixtures and facilities therein in a clean, operable and sanitary condition, and shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care in the proper use and operation thereof.
No owner or occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit or structure shall accumulate rubbish, boxes, lumber, scrap metal, or any other material in such a manner that may provide a rodent harborage or rodent food in or about any dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant, or let to another for occupancy, any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purposes of living, sleeping, cooking or eating therein, which does not comply with the requirements of this section:
Every dwelling unit shall have a room or portion of a room in which food may be prepared and/or cooked, and which shall be equipped with the following:
A kitchen sink in good working condition apart from the lavatory sink required in section 4.03. Said kitchen sink shall be properly connected to a water supply system which is approved by the appropriate authority, and at all times shall provide an adequate amount of heated and unheated running water under pressure. Said kitchen sink shall be connected to a sewer system or septic tank system which is approved by the appropriate authority.
Cabinets and/or shelves for the storage of eating and drinking and cooking equipment and utensils, and of food that does not, under ordinary maximum summer conditions, require refrigeration for safe keeping. Said cabinets and/or shelves shall be adequate for the permissible occupancy of the dwelling unit and shall be of sound construction, with surfaces that arc easily cleanable and that wilt not impart any toxic or deleterious effect to food.
A stove or similar device, for cooking food, and a refrigerator, or similar device, for the safe storage of food at temperatures less than forty-five (45) degrees Fahrenheit, but more than thirty-two (32) degrees Fahrenheit, under ordinary maximum summer conditions. Both said stove and refrigerator shall be properly installed with all necessary connections for safe, sanitary and efficient operation. It is provided, however, that such stove, refrigerator and/or similar devices, need not be installed when the dwelling unit is not occupied and when the occupant is expected to provide the same at time of occupancy. In that case a sufficient space for the safe and efficient installation and operation of said stove, refrigerator and/or similar devices shall be provided.
Within every dwelling unit there shall be a nonhabitable room, affording privacy to a person within said room. Said room shall be equipped with a flush water closet in good working condition and such flush water closet shall be equipped with easily cleanable surfaces, be connected to a water system that at all times provides an adequate amount of running water under pressure so as to cause the water closet to be operated properly and it shall also be connected to a sewer system or septic system which is approved by the appropriate authority.
Within every dwelling unit there shall be a room, affording privacy to a person, which is equipped with a lavatory sink. Said lavatory sink may be either in the same room as the flush water closet or in adjacent room. The lavatory sink shall be in good working condition and properly connected to an approved water supply system, which water supply system, which water supply system shall at all times provide an adequate amount of heated and unheated running water under pressure. Said lavatory sink shall be connected to a sewer or septic system which is approved by the appropriate authority.
Within every dwelling unit there shall be a nonhabitable room, which affords privacy to a person within said room, and which is equipped with a bathtub or shower in good working condition. Said bathtub or shower may be in the same room as the flush water closet or in another room. Said bathtub or shower shall be properly connected to a water supply system which is approved by the appropriate authority and which provides at all times an adequate amount of heated and unheated running water under pressure. Said bathtub or shower shall also be connected to a sewer system or septic tank which is approved by the appropriate authority.
Every dwelling unit shall have one or more approved means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level, as required by the law of the State of Connecticut and the Town of Newington.
Every owner of a multiple dwelling who lets dwelling unit(s) to the public shall equip every entrance or exit to said dwelling unit(s) with a positive locking device keyed [on] one side, requiring engagement after closing the door capable of being securely locked from both inside and outside; provided that no such positive locking device shall contain a bevelled latch.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant, or let to another for occupancy, any dwelling or dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the requirements of this section.
Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight facing directly to the outdoors. The minimum total window area, measured between stops, for every habitable room shall be not less than ten (10) per cent of the floor area of such room. Wherever walls or other portions of any structure face a window of any such rooms, and where such light-obstructing structure is located less than three (3) feet from the window and extends to a level above that of the ceiling of the room such window shall not be deemed to face directly to the outdoors and shall not be included as contributing to the required minimum total window area. Whenever the only window in a room is a skylight-type window in the top of such room, the total window area of such skylight shall equal at least fifteen (15) per cent of the total floor area of such room. Each window shall be not less than three (3) square feet in area.
At least one window or skylight of every habitable room shall face directly outdoors and shall be easily opened or the room shall be equipped with such device as will adequately ventilate the room. If no such ventilating device is furnished, the total of openable window area in every habitable room shall be equal to at least forty-five (45) per cent of the minimum window area size, or minimum skylight-type window size, as required in subsection 5.01 of this ordinance [code].
Every bathroom and water closet compartment shall comply with the light and ventilation requirements for habitable rooms contained in 5.01 and 5.02, except that no window or skylight shall be required in adequately ventilated bathrooms and water closet compartments equipped with a ventilation system discharging to the out-of-doors in working condition which is approved by the appropriate authority.
Where there is electric service available from power lines, which are not more than three hundred (300) feet away from a dwelling, every dwelling unit, and all public and common areas, shall be supplied with electric service, outlets and electrical fixtures for lighting, all of which shall be properly installed, shall be maintained in good and safe working condition, and shall be connected to the source of electric power in a manner prescribed by the ordinances, rules and regulations of the municipality. The minimum capacity of such service, and minimum number of outlets and lighting fixtures, shall be as follows:
Every habitable room shall have an electric service and outlets and/or lighting fixtures capable of providing at least three (3) watts per square foot of floor area.
Every habitable room and nonhabitable room used for food preparation shall have at least one floor or wall-type electric convenience outlet for each sixty (60) square feet, or fraction thereof, of floor area, and in no case less than two (2) duplex outlets.
Every water closet compartment, bathroom, kitchen or kitchenette, laundry room, furnace room, and public hall shall contain at least one supplied ceiling-type or wall-type electric light fixture.
Convenient switches for turning on one light in each room or passageway shall be located so as to permit the area ahead to be lighted.
Every public hall and stairway in and on the exterior of every multiple dwelling shall be adequately lighted by natural and/or electric light at all times so as to provide at least six (6) footcandles of light at the tread or floor level. Every public hall and stairway in and on the exterior of structures containing not more than two (2) dwelling units, may be supplied with conveniently located light switches, controlling an adequate lighting system which may be turned on when needed as an alternative to the furnishing of full time lighting.
Maintenance of exterior lighting. All exterior lighting required at the time of the approval of the plan for the building or complex within which a dwelling unit is located by the town planning and zoning commission shall be maintained at least at the level required by such plan.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant, or let to another for occupancy, any dwelling or dwelling unit, for the purposes of living therein, which does not comply with the following requirements:
Every dwelling shall have heating facilities which shall be properly installed and maintained in a safe and working condition, and which shall be capable of safely and adequately heating all of the habitable rooms, kitchen or kitchenette, bathrooms, and water closet compartments in every dwelling unit located therein. Such heating facilities shall adequately heat the room to a temperature of at least sixty-eight (68) degrees Fahrenheit with an outside temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit, the reading to be taken at a distance three (3) feet above the floor level of each such room.
Unvented flame space heaters are prohibited. Such portable electric heaters as are approved under the appropriate local or state electrical and/or fire prevention code, will be acceptable where they meet the provisions of paragraph 6.01.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant, or let to another for occupancy, any dwelling or dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the requirements of this section.
Every foundation, floor, roof, ceiling, exterior and interior wall, and accessory structure shall be reasonably draft-free, watertight, and damp-free, [and] shall be kept in sound condition and good repair, and shall be capable of affording privacy for the occupants. All exterior wood surfaces shall be protected from the elements and decay by paint or other protective covering or treatment unless they are of a type which is designed to weather naturally for aesthetic reasons. Toxic paint and materials will not be used on such exterior surfaces as [such] are readily accessible to children.
Lead paint or potentially hazardous material on the interior surfaces of any dwelling unit, rooming unit, rooming house or on any fixtures or other objects used, installed or located in or upon any exposed surface in any such facility is prohibited. Such interior surfaces include, but are not limited to: Window sills, window frames, doors, door frames, walls, ceilings, stair rails and spindles, and all other appurtenances of the interior portion of the dwelling premises.
In each instance where conditions disclose loose, flaking, chipping or falling paint, and there is reason to believe that the presence of lead paint or toxic material exists as potential hazard, the enforcing officer shall take samples in a manner prescribed by the appropriate authority and shall submit samples for analysis to said appropriate authority.
Every window, exterior door and basement hatch-way, and all similar devices shall be kept rodent-proof and reasonably watertight and weathertight and shall be kept in sound working condition and good repair at all times.
During that portion of the year when there is a need for protection against mosquitoes, flies and other flying insects, every door opening directly from a dwelling unit to outside space and used for ventilation shall be equipped with properly fitting screens having not less than a sixteen (16) mesh and shall be operated by a self-closing device; during said portion of the year every window or other device with openings to outdoor space, used or intended to be used for ventilation, shall also be supplied with such screens, except that no screens shall be required for any dwelling unit located on any floor above the fifth floor.
Every window located at or near ground level that is used or intended to be used for ventilation, and every other opening located at or near ground level which might provide an entry for rodents, shall be supplied with adequate gauge screen or such other devices as will effectively prevent their entrance.
Every window glass shall be free from breaks or cracks.
Every dwelling or accessory structure, and the premises upon which it is located, shall be rodent-proof and maintained so as to prevent the harboring of rodents. Such premises shall be graded and drained, kept free of standing water, and maintained in a clean, sanitary and safe condition. In situations or areas of heavy rat infestations, the enforcement officer may require the following standards to be applied:
All openings in the exterior walls, foundations, basements, ground or first floors, and roofs which have an opening that is one-half (1/2) inch or more by any measure shall be ratproofed in an approved manner if they are within forty-eight (48) inches of the existing exterior ground level immediately below such openings, or if such openings may be reached by rats from the ground by climbing unguarded pipes, wires, cornices, stairs, roofs and other means such as trees or lines or by burrowing.
Skirting, lattice or other nonrat-proofed enclosure that can create a harboring place for rats under a porch or under any other portions of a building shall be rat-proofed at all locations where a rat could find, burrow or gnaw an access opening.
In the event that occupancy usages would result in the stacking or piling of materials, the materials shall be so arranged as to prohibit the creation of a harbor for rats. This can be accomplished by orderly stacking and elevating such material so that there will be an eighteen (18) inch opening between the material and the ground level. No materials shall be stacked or piled against the exterior walls of the structure.
All exterior doors, including swinging, sliding and folding types, shall be constructed so that the space between the lower edge of the door and the threshold shall not exceed three-eights (3/8) inch. It is provided further that the space between sections of folding and sliding doors when closed shall not exceed three-eights (3/8) inch.
Interior floors of basements, cellars and other areas in contact with the soil shall be paved with concrete or other materials impervious to rats.
Materials used for rodent control shall be those materials that are acceptable to the appropriate authority.
All fences provided by the owner or an occupant on the premises shall be constructed of manufactured metal fencing material, wood, masonry or other inert material. Such fences shall be maintained in good condition. Wood materials shall be protected against decay by use of paint or other preservative, unless they are of a type which is designed to weather naturally for aesthetic reasons. The permissible height and other characteristics of all fences shall conform to the appropriate statutes, ordinances and regulations of the state of Connecticut and the Town of Newington. Wherever any egress from the dwelling opens into the fenced area, the fence shall include a means of egress from the premises to any public way adjacent thereto.
Accessory structures on the premises shall be structurally sound and shall be maintained in good repair and free from insects and rodents, or such structures shall be removed from the premises. The exterior of such structures shall be made weather resistant through the use of decay-resistant materials or the use of paint or other preservatives.
Every exterior door be equipped with an automatic closing device, or with a screen door that is equipped with such a device and properly fitted.
All sewers, pipes, drains, conduits, roof ventilators, chimneys, pipe vents, openings, etc., located within ten (10) feet of the ground thereby permitting accessibility to rats shall be protected against entry by grilles, hardware cloth, caps, expanded metal covers, or other rat-proof material acceptable to appropriate authority.
If the space between two (2) buildings is too small to permit inspection of the exterior walls of such building, such space shall be sealed so as to prevent the entrance of rats. Provisions shall be made in the rat-proofing in such cases that drainage is not obstructed.
Every foundation, roof, floor, exterior and interior wall, ceiling, inside stair, outside stair, porch, gutter and downspout and every appurtenance thereto, shall be safe to use and capable of supporting the loads that normal use may cause to be placed thereon, and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair. Every inside and outside stair or step shall have uniform risers and treads, and stairways shall have handrails, structurally sound, of required height and balustrades spaced as in [sub]section 7.04.01.
Porches, stairways and/or balconies located more than three (3) feet higher than the adjacent area shall have structurally sound protective handrails of the required height, and if unenclosed, balusters spaced no less than six (6) inches apart shall also be provided. Alternate systems providing at least the same degree of protection, if approved by the appropriate authority, shall be acceptable.
Every plumbing fixture, and water and waste pipe, shall be properly installed and maintained in good sanitary working condition.
Every water closet compartment shall be constructed and maintained so as to be impervious to water. Every bathroom and kitchen floor surface shall be so constructed and maintained so as to be easily kept in clean and sanitary condition.
Every plumbing fixture and pipe, every chimney, flue and smoke pipe, and every other facility, piece of equipment, utility, and heating apparatus, installed on the premises for the use of any dwelling unit or which is otherwise required under this ordinance [code], shall be constructed and installed in conformance with the applicable local or state codes, and shall be maintained in satisfactory working condition.
Neither the owner nor any occupant of any dwelling unit shall cause any service, facility, equipment or utility which is required under this ordinance [code] to be removed from, or shut off from, or discontinued for any premises containing an occupied dwelling or dwelling unit let or occupied hereunder, except for such temporary interruption as may be necessary while actual repairs or alterations are in process, or during temporary emergencies when discontinuance of service is approved by the appropriate authority. Said persons are required to notify all affected parties prior to anticipated interruption. Tenants will be informed of estimated length of interruption as soon as it can be estimated.
All construction and materials, all ways and means of egress, and all installation and use of equipment shall conform to applicable state and local laws dealing with fire protection.
No person shall allow the premises surrounding a building containing a dwelling unit or dwelling units to become unsightly or vermin infested from lack of proper maintenance. Grass, shrubbery and gardens shall be reasonably kept and litter, refuse and discarded materials shall not be allowed to accumulate.
No person shall occupy, or let to be occupied, any dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the requirements of this section.
Every dwelling unit shall contain at least one hundred fifty (150) square feet of floor space for the first occupant thereof, and at least one hundred thirty (130) square feet of floor space for every additional occupant thereof, the floor space to be calculated on the basis of total habitable room space.
In every dwelling unit of two (2) or more rooms, every room occupied for sleeping purposes shall contain at least seventy (70) square feet of floor space for the first occupant, and at least fifty (50) square feet of floor space for each additional occupant thereof.
No dwelling or dwelling unit, containing two (2) or more sleeping rooms, shall have such room arrangement that access to a bathroom or water closet compartment, intended for use by occupants of more than one sleeping room, can be had only by going through another sleeping room or a bathroom or water closet compartment. Nor shall room arrangements be such that access to a sleeping room can be had only by going through another sleeping room. A bathroom or water closet compartment shall not be used as the only passageway to any hall, basement or cellar or to the exterior of a dwelling unit.
At least seventy-five (75) per cent of the floor area of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of no less than six (6) feet six (6) inches in basement, seven (7) feet four (4) inches in the first story, and seven (7) feet four (4) inches in upper stories. The floor area of that part of any room where the ceiling height is less than five (5) feet, shall not be considered as part of the floor area of the room for the purpose of determining the maximum permissible occupance thereof. At least thirty (30) per cent of the floor area in the attic rooms shall have a ceiling height of seven (7) feet four (4) inches.
No space, located totally or partially below grade, shall be used as a habitable room or dwelling unit unless:
The floor, and those portions of the walls below grade, are of damp-proof construction.
The minimum window area, required in subsection 5.01, is located entirely above grade of the ground adjoining such window area or, if windows are located wholly or partly below grade, it shall be required that there be constructed a properly drained window well whose ground area shall be equal to, or greater than, the area of the window opening; the bottom of the window well shall be below the top of the impervious masonry construction under this window; the minimum horizontal projections of the bottom of the window well shall be equal to, or greater than, the vertical dimension (depth) of this window opening, as measured from the bottom of the masonry opening, and no part of the window well, opposite this window, shall protrude above a line projected at a forty-five (45) degree angle from the bottom of the window opening at right angles to the outer well;
The total openable window area in each room is equal to at least the minimum, as required under subsection 5.02 of this ordinance [code], except where there is supplied some other device affording adequate ventilation and approved by the appropriate authority.
There are no pipes, or other obstructions, less than six (6) feet eight (8) inches above the floor level which interfere with the normal use of the room or area.
Every dwelling unit shall have closet or storage space of at least four (4) square feet floor to ceiling height, for the personal effects of each of the permitted number of occupants of that dwelling unit. If such required closet or storage space is lacking, an amount of space, equal in square footage to the deficiency, shall be subtracted from the area of habitable room space to be used in determining the number of occupants to be permitted in the dwelling unit.
A dwelling unit shall not be occupied by more than one family plus two (2) occupants unrelated to the family, other than guests or domestic employees. A dwelling unit shall not be occupied by more than one household of unrelated occupants unless a permit for a rooming house has been granted by the appropriate authority.
Limitation of dwelling unit access to commercial uses. No habitable room, bathroom or water closet compartment which is accessory to a dwelling unit shall open directly into or shall be used in conjunction with a food store, barber or beauty shop, doctor's or dentist's examination or treatment room, or any similar room used for public purposes.
No person shall operate a rooming house, or shall occupy, or let to another for occupancy, any rooming house except in compliance with the provisions of section 3 and section 4 of this ordinance [code]. No vacant rooming unit shall be occupied or let unless it is clean, sanitary and fit for human occupancy, and shall otherwise be in compliance with all applicable requirements of the State of Connecticut and the Town of Newington.
No person shall operate a rooming house unless he holds a valid rooming house permit issued by the enforcement officer in the name of the operator and for the said dwelling or dwelling unit as specified in such permit. The operator shall apply to the enforcement officer for such permit, which shall be issued by the enforcement officer only after determining that said rooming house is in compliance with the applicable provisions of this ordinance [code] and with any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. This permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the rooming house at all times. No such permit shall be transferable. Acceptance of such permit by the operator of said rooming house shall serve as authorization by the operator for the enforcement officer to make any and all of such inspections or reinspections as the enforcement officer shall find to be necessary to determine the condition of the rooming units consistent with the enforcement of the provisions of this ordinance [code]. Such entry, examination and survey shall be between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or at such time as shall be reasonable.
At least one flush water closet, lavatory basin, and bathtub or shower that is properly connected to a public water supply or an approved well and a public sewer or an approved septic system and in good working condition, shall be supplied for each six (6) persons, or fraction thereof, residing within a rooming house, including members of the operator's family wherever they share the use of said facilities. It is further provided:
That all such facilities shall be so located within the dwelling as to be reasonably accessible from a common hall or passageway to all persons sharing such facilities;
That no such facilities shall be located in a basement, except by written approval of the enforcement officer;
That in a rooming house where rooms are let only to males, flush urinals may be substituted for not more than one-half (1/2) the required number of water closets;
That every lavatory basin and bathtub or shower shall be supplied with heated and unheated water under pressure at all times;
That cooking in a rooming unit and/or dormitory rooms shall be prohibited, unless such unit is provided with a kitchen;
That communal cooking and dining facilities in a rooming house shall be prohibited, except as approved by the health officer in writing;
That rooming unit doors shall have operating locks to insure privacy.
If linen and towels are supplied under the terms of rental, such operator of a rooming house shall change supplied bed linen and towels therein at least once each week, and prior to the letting of any room to any occupant. Such operator shall be responsible for the clean and sanitary maintenance of all supplied bedding.
Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one person shall contain at least eighty (80) square feet of floor space. Every room occupied for sleeping by more than one person shall contain at least sixty (60) square feet of floor space for each occupant thereof. Each such room shall also contain for each occupant not less than four (4) square feet of closet space with an unobstructed height of at least five (5) feet. If such closet space is lacking, an amount of space equal in square footage to the size of any deficiency in closet space shall be subtracted from the area of the habitable room by the enforcement officer in determining the number of persons by whom occupancy is permissible.
Every window of every rooming unit shall be supplied with shades, draw drapes, or other devices or material which, when properly used, will afford privacy to the occupant of the rooming unit.
Every rooming unit shall have one or more safe, unobstructed means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level, as required by the laws of the State of Connecticut and the Town of Newington.
Access to or egress from each rooming unit shall be provided without passing through any rooming unit or dwelling unit.
Every provision of this ordinance [code] which applies to rooming houses shall also apply to hotels, motels, dormitories and clubs, except to the extent that any such provisions may be found in conflict with the laws of the State of Connecticut or the Town of Newington.
The enforcement officer is hereby authorized to make inspections, by and with authorization of the owner, occupant or person in charge, to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, and premises within this Town of Newington for the purpose of determining compliance with the provision of this ordinance [code]. For the purpose of making such inspections the enforcement officer, with authorization of the owner, occupant or person in charge, is hereby empowered to enter, examine and survey all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units, and premises between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or at such other time mutually satisfactory to and agreed upon by the enforcement officer and the owner, the occupant, or the person in charge of any dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit. Such inspection, examination or survey shall not have for its purpose the harassment of such owner or occupant. Such inspection, examination and survey shall be made in a manner that will cause the least amount of inconvenience to said owner or occupant, consistent with an efficient performance of the duties of the enforcement officer. To further ensure that the policy of this ordinance [code] is to achieve compliance through cooperation of owners and occupants, and to ensure that such policy will be successfully maintained, whenever practicable the enforcement officer will provide reasonable advance notice to the owner, the person in charge, and/or the occupants of any planned blanket inspection and any inspections of a routine nature.
The owner or occupant of each dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises, or the person in charge thereof, upon presentation by the enforcement officer of proper identification and authorization, shall give the enforcement officer entry to the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, or premises and free access to every part thereof, provided that no inspection shall be conducted except during the hours designated above.
Evidence which may be discovered or obtained in the course of an inspection made pursuant to this section shall not be disclosed except as may be necessary by law or advisable in the judgment of the enforcement officer for the proper and effective administration and enforcement of the provisions of this code and rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto and any prosecution of violators of this code.
Every owner or operator of a rooming house or a building containing two (2) or more rental dwelling units shall keep, or cause to be kept, records of all requests for repair and complaints by tenants, which requests are related to the provisions of this ordinance [code] and to any applicable rules and regulations, and records of all corrections made in response to such requests and complaints. Such records shall be made available by the owner or operator to the enforcement officer for inspection and copying upon request. Such records shall be admissible in any administrative or judicial proceeding pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance [code] as prima facie evidence of the violation or the correction of violations of this ordinance [code] or of applicable rules and regulations pursuant thereto.
No owner or operator shall let to another person any dwelling unit located within a building containing two (2) or more rental units until the dwelling unit to be let has been inspected and/or approved by the enforcement officer and a new certificate of compliance has been issued by him, provided this section shall not apply to hotels, motels and rooming houses. If inspection and/or approval is not made and/or granted within five (5) working days of notification by the owner thereof, that a unit is to be relet, the approval of the enforcement officer shall be deemed to have been given.
It shall be the duty of an owner of a building containing two (2) or more rental units to post in a conspicuous place within the common area of such building a notice of the existence of this code and including such other information about the code which the enforcement officer may determine to be appropriate. Such notices shall be provided by the enforcement officer upon request.
The enforcement officer for provisions of this code shall be the building inspector of the Town of Newington unless otherwise specifically stated herein.
Whenever the enforcement officer determines that conditions exist which cause any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, or premises to fail to meet the minimum standards provided for in this ordinance [code] or regulations pursuant thereto, he shall issue a notice of violation setting forth the alleged failure or failures and requiring that such failures be corrected. The notice of violation shall be put in writing. Said notice of violation shall set forth the alleged violation or violations of this ordinance [code], or the rules and regulations pursuant thereto, and describe the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, or premises where the violation is alleged to exist or to have been committed. Said notice of violation shall provide a reasonable time for the correction of any violation alleged. Said notice of violation shall then be served upon the owner, occupant or person in charge of the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, or premises by such personal service as shall be in accordance with the laws of the State of Connecticut for the service of process. Such notice may in the alternative, however, be served on said owner, occupant or person in charge by the use of registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, with provisions that the postal service deliver to addressee only.
In the event such authorization for a reinspection is refused, and in the event that the enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of any provision of this ordinance [code] or any regulation pursuant thereto has occurred or is occurring, the enforcement officer shall apply to a court of competent jurisdiction, describing the dwelling, dwelling unit, or premises in question and stating the facts on which the enforcement officer has concluded that reasonable grounds exist to form a belief that a violation of any provision of this ordinance [code] exists for an order granting authority to enter, inspect, examine, and survey the described dwelling, dwelling unit, or premises for the purpose of determining whether there has been compliance with the notice of violation.
There is hereby created a housing code board of appeals, and the building code board of appeals is hereby designated as the housing code board of appeals in addition to such other duties as are prescribed for such building code board of appeals.
Any person aggrieved by a notice of violation addressed to such person by the enforcement officer and issued in connection with any inspection, examination or survey pursuant to this ordinance [code] shall be granted a hearing on such notice of violation before the housing code board of appeals, provided that such person shall file in the office of the housing code board of appeals a written petition bearing the petitioner's name and present address; requesting a hearing, and setting forth the grounds therefore within twenty (20) days after the notice of the enforcement officer was served upon such person. In the event that such notice of violation has been posted as hereinabove provided, however, said petition requesting a hearing must be filed within thirty (30) days after the date when such notice of violation was first posted. Within ten (10) days of the receipt of such petition, the housing code board of appeals shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. Such notice of hearing shall be by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. At the hearing, the petitioner shall have the opportunity to present such facts as shall support petitioner's contention that the notice should be modified or withdrawn. Such a hearing shall take place within reasonable time after the receipt of the petition by the housing code board of appeals.
After the conclusion of the hearing, a majority of the housing code board of appeals shall be empowered to sustain, modify or withdraw the notice of violation. Variances from the provisions of this ordinance [code] may be granted where circumstances warrant, if, in the judgment of the housing code board of appeals, no harm to the public health, welfare and safety will result from such variance.
The housing code board of appeals is hereby authorized to administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses at such hearings and to take the testimony of witnesses and receive exhibits presented in such hearings.
All proceedings at such hearings, including the findings of fact and decision, shall be reduced to writing and said findings and decision shall be certified and filed in the office of [the] town clerk.
Any person aggrieved by the final decision of the housing code board of appeals may appeal to any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of this state.
Whenever, in the judgment of the enforcement officer, an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, welfare or safety, the enforcement officer may, forthwith and without notice or hearing, cause to be issued and served an order describing the violation and reciting the existence of the emergency. The enforcement officer may then take such action under the law as the enforcement officer deems necessary to eliminate and cure the violation. Any costs related to such action shall be borne by the owner. Any aggrieved person who is served with such a notice of violation and order shall comply with its directions at once. Said aggrieved person shall, upon request, be given a hearing by the housing code board of appeals within twenty-four (24) hours of any such request.
The enforcement officer is hereby authorized to enter, inspect, examine and survey all rooming houses between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Whenever upon inspection of any rooming house, the enforcement officer finds that conditions or practices exist which are in violation of any provisions of this ordinance [code], or of any applicable rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the enforcement officer shall give a written warning to the operator of such rooming house that, unless such conditions are corrected within a period of time to be specified by the enforcement officer, the operator's permit will be suspended. Such period of time shall be of a reasonable length. At the end of said period of time the enforcement officer shall reinspect such rooming house, under the conditions of his first entry and inspection as set forth in the subsection above. If the enforcement officer determines that such conditions have not been corrected, he shall issue an order suspending the operator's permit.
Any person whose permit to operate a rooming house has been suspended by order of the enforcement officer shall be granted a hearing on the suspension order by the housing code board of appeals in the manner prescribed by section 12 on hearings. If no such petition for a hearing is received by the housing code board of appeals within ten (10) days following the day on which a permit was suspended, said permit shall be deemed revoked. At any time within said ten (10) days following the suspension order, however, the rooming house operator may upon request be granted a reinspection by the enforcement officer for the purpose of demonstrating that said rooming house has been put in compliance with this ordinance [code] and with all regulations pursuant thereto. Where such compliance is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the enforcement officer the suspension of the rooming house operator's permit shall be terminated.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this code or who shall willfully refuse or fail to obey an order of the enforcement officer or the housing code board of appeals to comply with this ordinance [code], or of any rule or regulation adopted hereunder, shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) provided each day's failure to comply with any such order shall constitute a separate violation.
The designation of dwellings or dwelling units as unfit for human habitation, and the procedure for the condemnation and placarding of such unit dwellings or dwelling units, shall be carried out in compliance with the following requirements:
Any dwelling or dwelling unit which the enforcement officer shall find to have one or more of the following defects shall be condemned as unfit for human habitation and shall be so designated and placarded by the enforcement officer:
Any dwelling or dwelling unit that is so damaged, decayed or dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe or vermin-infested that it creates a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
Any dwelling or dwelling unit that lacks illumination, ventilation or sanitation facilities adequate to protect the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
Any dwelling or dwelling unit that, because of its general condition or location, is unsanitary or otherwise dangerous to the health or safety or the occupants or of the public.
Any dwelling or dwelling unit that is condemned as unfit for human habitation, and so designated and placarded by the enforcement officer, shall be vacated forthwith by all occupants thereof.
No dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit that has been condemned and placarded as unfit for human habitation shall be used again for human habitation until written approval is secured from the enforcement officer and until such placard is removed by express permission of the enforcement officer.
No person shall willfully deface or remove the placard from any dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit which has been condemned as unfit for human habitation and placarded as such. Whoever violates this provision shall upon conviction be subject to a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00).
Any person aggrieved by any order involving the condemnation and placarding of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit shall be granted a hearing subject to the conditions specified in section 12 above upon the written request of such aggrieved person as provided therein.
In the event no corrective action is taken by the owner, occupant or person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit shall be granted a hearing subject to the conditions specified in section 12 above upon the written request of such aggrieved person as provided therein.
In the event no corrective action is taken by the owner, occupant or person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit thus condemned as unfit for human occupancy within six (6) months following the date of the condemnations hereinabove described, provided that no appeal is then pending, then the enforcement officer shall order the condemned structure to be demolished as soon as practicable and the cost thereof shall become a lien against the remaining real property. Any such lien may be foreclosed in the same manner as a tax lien.
Nothing herein contained shall be interpreted as precluding any private right of action of any person against an owner, occupant or person in charge of the condemned and placarded structure.
All subsequent transferees of the condemned dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit shall be deemed to have notice of the continuing existence of the violations alleged; and said transferees shall be liable to all penalties and procedures provided by this ordinance [code] and by applicable rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto to the same degree as was their transferrer.
In any case where a provision of this ordinance [code] is found to be in conflict with any existing code, ordinance or regulation of the Town of Newington existing on the effective date of this ordinance, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail.
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance [code] be declared invalid for any reason whatever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this ordinance [code] which shall remain in full force and effect. To this end the provisions of this ordinance [code] are hereby declared to be severable.
The enforcement officer and his assistants shall be free from personal liability for acts done in good faith in the performance of official duties. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the municipality, as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this code, shall be defended by the legal representative of the municipality until the final determination of the proceedings therein.