[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Indiana as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 7-2-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-03; amended in its entirety 6-2-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-03]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes, but shall not be limited to, any building, house, apartment, duplex, housing development, mobile home, dormitory, fraternity house, sorority house, or similar facility used for commercial, industrial, or residential purposes.
- COMMERCIAL and INDUSTRIAL
- Encompass those uses or businesses listed under §§ 460-16A, 460-17A, and 460-18A of Chapter 460, Zoning, of the Code of the Borough of Indiana Borough, as amended.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Includes a room or rooms in a building for the use of one family or one or more persons, with or without cooking facilities, and having the availability or use of bathroom facilities.
- FUNCTIONAL FAMILY
- Either an individual, or a group of people plus their offspring, having a relationship which is functionally equivalent to a family. The relationship must be of a permanent and distinct character with a demonstrable and recognizable bond characteristic of a cohesive unit. Functional family does not include any society, club, fraternity, sorority, association, lodge, organization or students where the common living arrangement or basis for the establishment of the housekeeping unit is temporary.
- Includes an individual, individuals, group of individuals, tenants, and students.
- LOCAL AGENT
- A representative of the person owning the building governed by this article. The local agent is required to have a primary residence in Indiana County. The local agent should regularly be available for personal contact in Indiana County. The local agent shall be the contact person for inquiries regarding compliance with this article.
- NONOWNER-OCCUPIED BUILDING
- A. A single-family dwelling that is not the residence of the owner;
- B. All those portions of a dormitory, personal care home, duplex, multiple-family, or mixed-use building, except the dwelling unit in which the owner resides.
- C. All those portions of a building that is used for commercial or industrial purposes not occupied for business purposes by the owner.
- OCCUPANCY, FOR DWELLING UNITS
- That an individual lives in a dwelling unit or building.
- OCCUPANCY, IN THE CASE OF A COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL BUILDING
- That the building is being used regularly for a commercial or industrial use on an on-going basis.
- More than one individual living in a dwelling unit or building.
- Any person who owns the building.
- Includes any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity.
The following fees for an occupancy license for a nonowner-occupied building shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council:
For a single-family home, providing that a family shall be considered one occupant;
For dormitories, personal care homes, multiple-dwelling units, duplexes, or similar facilities having dwelling units;
For commercial and industrial buildings;
For commercial and industrial buildings also having dwelling units.
Borough Council may from time to time change the cost of the occupancy license by resolution of Borough Council.
The owner of every nonowner-occupied building shall be required at all times to have a valid occupancy license issued by the Borough of Indiana. The occupancy license shall be valid for a one-year period from the date of issuance. Applications for occupancy licenses shall be made on a form approved by the Borough and shall include, but not be limited to, the name, address, and telephone number of the owner.
The occupancy license, when issued for a building containing dwelling units, shall state the maximum number of individuals who may reside in each individual dwelling unit. A copy of the occupancy license shall be displayed in an area in the building that is reasonably protected from the effects of weather and vandals and is accessible to the Indiana Borough Manager or his designee. It shall be the responsibility of the building owner to maintain the license so that it is legible at all times. In the event that there are multiple dwelling units within a building, the Borough Manager or his designee shall determine the location and number of occupancy licenses to be posted.
The original occupancy license shall be kept on file in a safe place. In the event that an occupancy license is lost or destroyed, another occupancy license shall be issued to replace it within five days. The costs for reissuance of a valid occupancy license shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
All persons owning buildings containing dwelling units shall place in each lease for the building or dwelling unit the following information:
A statement of the number of occupants legally permitted in each dwelling unit.
A statement advising the occupants of the trash and recycle collection schedule, when trash and recycling containers may be placed at the curb for pickup and when the containers must be removed from curbside.
A statement of what material must be recycled.
A statement advising occupants where and in what manner trash is permitted to be stored.
A statement advising the occupants of a building of the person responsible for removing snow and ice from the sidewalk and maintaining grass to a length of less than six inches.
A statement advising the occupants that unless the property is located in a U-1 Zone District and has been approved by the Zoning Hearing Board as a fraternity or sorority, it shall be illegal to host, hold, or participate in any fraternity or sorority function in the building.
Each person, firm, partnership or corporation owning, operating, or managing any nonowner-occupied building shall provide to the Borough Manager or his designee, annually on or before September 15 of each year, an application which will be made available by the Borough. In the event that there is a change in occupancy, ownership or management after it is initially filed for each respective year, a subsequent application shall be promptly filed to notify the Borough of any changes.
An application form shall be made available by the Borough of Indiana which will include, but not be limited, to the following required information:
Address of building;
Designation of dwelling units;
Number of residents in each unit;
Designation of persons residing in the dwelling units as unrelated individuals or members of a functional family;
Name, address, and telephone number of the person owning the property and, if there is a manager, the name, address, and telephone number of the manager of the property.
In the event that the owner of the building covered by this article does not have a primary residence in Indiana County, the owner shall designate a local agent. If the owner of the building is a corporate entity, no local agent shall be required if a corporate officer has a primary residence in Indiana County. If the owner of the building is a partnership, no local agent shall be required if one of the partner's primary residence is in Indiana County.
Within 10 days from the change of ownership, management, or local agent of any building covered by this article, the Borough shall be notified, in writing, of the name of the new owner or local agent.
All owners and local agents shall be required to promptly disclose to the Borough Manager, his designee, and Code Enforcement Officers, upon request, the names of tenants in a nonowner-occupied building if the tenants are suspected of violating any Borough ordinances or codes. This subsection of this article shall remain in full force and effect until August 31, 2010.
The Borough Manager or his designee shall have the right to inspect any nonowner-occupied building, including any dwelling units not occupied by the owner for the purpose of making certain that the building and dwelling units comply with all applicable Indiana Borough ordinances and codes, including, but not limited to, Chapter 460, Zoning; International Building Codes; International Residential Codes; International Plumbing Codes; International Mechanical Codes; International Fire Protection Code; National Electric Code; Chapter 327, Property Maintenance; § 460-24, Development on lands subject to flooding; Chapter 360, Sewers; Chapter 388, Solid Waste; Chapter 400, Streets and Sidewalks; snow and ice removal ordinances; Chapter 234, Grass, Weeds and Other Vegetation; as well as any other applicable ordinance that may affect the fitness for habitation, construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, or use of building or dwelling units in the Borough of Indiana.
In response to an emergency, complaint, or other concern for public safety, the Borough Manager or his designee shall have the right to inspect any nonowner-occupied building or dwelling unit in the Borough of Indiana between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., providing that the Borough Manager or his designee must identify himself or herself and provide proper Borough identification at the time the inspection is requested. For scheduled inspections as part of the registration and inspection program, the Borough shall notify the landlord of the time and date of the inspection.
The following inspection fees for any nonowner-occupied building or dwelling unit that is inspected pursuant to this article shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council:
Dormitories, personal care homes, multiple-dwelling units, duplexes, or similar facilities having dwelling units that do not include both cooking facilities and bathroom facilities specifically for the unit; for buildings having dwelling units that include cooking facilities and bathroom facilities for each dwelling unit;
Commercial and industrial buildings; and
Commercial and industrial buildings containing dwelling units.
Payment of inspection fees shall be made within 15 days after the inspection.
Property inspections shall not normally be conducted more often than every three years, unless a complaint is made or the Borough has reason to believe that conditions warrant reinspection. In the event that the Borough Manager or his designee needs to reinspect any building as a result of deficiencies identified during the initial inspection, the owner shall be charged a fee, set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council, for the building if there is no dwelling unit and a fee, set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council, per dwelling unit that needs to be reinspected.
None of the provisions of this article shall be construed to apply to any building operated or occupied by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and that is owned by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the State System of Higher Education, the Department of General Services, the General State Authority, or any other agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Any person, including an occupant, who permits any dwelling unit to be occupied by more persons than are provided for on the occupancy license shall be in violation of this article.
Any person who fails to obtain an occupancy license or to maintain a valid occupancy license shall be in violation of this article.
Any person who files an application for an occupancy license or provides false information that is materially inaccurate shall be in violation of this article.
Any person violating this article shall pay a fine of not less than $100, nor more than $500, together with costs for each violation, upon conviction before a Magisterial District Judge; and, in default in payment of the fine and costs, to undergo imprisonment in the Indiana County Jail for a period not to exceed 10 days.
Each violation of this article shall constitute a separate offense and each day the violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.
No person shall be issued an occupancy license pursuant to this article if that person is in violation of this article for that property or any other property, has failed to make timely repairs pursuant to any order or citation issued by the Borough Manager or his designee for this property or any other property, or has failed to pay any fee, fine, taxes or utilities to the Borough of Indiana for this property or any other property.
In addition to any other fines for violations pursuant to this article, any person who owns a building that is inspected and is found to be in violation of the Borough of Indiana International Building Codes, International Fire Code, National Electric Code; Chapter 327, Property Maintenance; and Chapter 360, Sewers, shall be subject to an administrative fine of not less than $10 nor more than $300 plus late fees each day for any violations that are not remedied within the time prescribed on the notice of violation.