City of Vineland, NJ
Cumberland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Vineland as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Department of Licenses and Inspections — See Ch. 92.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 300.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 372.
Land use — See Ch. 425.
Effect of delinquent property taxes on permits — See Ch. 437, Art. I.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 537.
[Adopted 1-28-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1[2]]
[1]
Editor's Note: The title of this article was changed from "Registration, Licensing and Occupancy Permits for Residential Buildings" to "Registration and Occupancy Permits for Residential Buildings" 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41.
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 485, Occupancy Permits, Art. I, Residential Buildings, adopted 5-27-1980 by Ord. No. 1214, as amended; see § 485-10.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGENT
The individual or individuals designated by the owner as the person or persons authorized by the owner to perform any duty imposed upon the owner by this article. The agent or owner shall be a resident of the City of Vineland or Cumberland County.
APARTMENT
Shall include that portion of a dwelling unit rented or offered for rent, for living and dwelling purposes, to one individual or family unit together with all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property.
APARTMENT COMPLEX
Two or more apartments which are located within close proximity of each other and are owned by the same owner.
CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION
The certificate of registration issued by the Director of Licenses and Inspections or his/her designee attesting that the rental unit has been properly registered and meets the minimum standards as provided in accordance with the City's Land Use Ordinance, and all state and local laws and ordinances, including, but not limited to, Chapter 537 of the Code of the City of Vineland.
[Added 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41[1]]
IMMEDIATE FAMILY
As utilized herein, shall refer to the owner's or his/her spouse's mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, children, grandchildren, brothers and/or sisters and the spouses of the immediate family member. Should the owner be a corporation, LLC or partnership, owner shall refer to the stockholder, partner or member with a legal ownership interest of 50% or greater therein.
[Added 1-16-2018 by Ord. No. 2017-96]
OWNER
Any person or group of persons, firm, corporation, LLC, partnership, association or trust who owns, operates, exercises control over or is in charge of the rental facility.
OWNER OCCUPIED
The primary residential living unit of the owner.
RENTAL FACILITY
Every building, group of buildings or a portion thereof which is kept, used, maintained, advertised or held out to be a place where living accommodations are supplied, whether furnished or unfurnished, for pay or other consideration, to one or more individuals and is meant to include apartments and apartment complexes.
RENTAL UNIT
Shall include that portion of a dwelling, building or structure available for lease or rental for living and dwelling purposes to individuals or family units.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed the former definition of "license," which immediately followed.
A. 
With the exception of owner-occupied units, all rental units shall be registered with the Director of Licenses and Inspections or his/her designee prior to and at all times a person occupies said rental unit. Each rental unit shall be subject to a new certificate of registration and inspection with each change of occupancy. All registrations shall be on the form provided by the Director of Licenses and Inspections, and shall be on file with that department. Copies are to be provided to the Chief of Police, Construction Official, Chief of the Fire Department, and Fire Official. The information contained therein is subject to the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47: 1A-1 et seq.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
B. 
Registration shall be made during the period of September 1 through December 31 for the next ensuing calendar year.
C. 
Without in any way intending to infringe upon the requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28, all rental units shall be registered and licensed as provided herein. Every owner shall file with the Director of Licenses and Inspections or his/her designee a registration form for each unit contained within a building or structure which shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name and address of the record owner or owners of the premises and the record owner or owners of the rental business if not the same persons. In the case of a partnership, the names and addresses of all general partners shall be provided together with the telephone numbers for each of such individuals, indicating where such individual may be reached both during the day and evening hours. If the record owner is a corporation, the name and address of the registered agent and corporate officers of said corporation shall be provided together with the telephone numbers for each of such individuals, indicating where such individual may be reached both during the day and evening hours.
(2) 
If the address of any record owner is not located in Vineland or in Cumberland County, the name and address of a person who resides in Cumberland County and who is authorized to accept notices from a tenant or the City of Vineland and to issue receipts therefor and to accept services or process on behalf of the record owner shall be provided.
(3) 
The name and address of the agent of the premises, if any.
(4) 
The name and address, including the dwelling unit number, of the superintendent, janitor, custodian or other individual employed by the owner or agent to provide regular maintenance services, if any.
(5) 
The name, address and telephone number of an individual representative of the owner or agent who may be reached or contacted at any time in the event of an emergency affecting the premises or any unit of dwelling space therein, including such emergencies as the future of any essential service or system, and who has the authority to make emergency decisions concerning the building and any repair thereto or expenditure in connection therewith.
(6) 
The name and address of every holder of a recorded mortgage on the premises.
(7) 
If fuel oil is used to heat the building and the landlord furnishes the heat in the building, the name and address of the fuel oil dealer servicing the building and the grade of fuel used.
(8) 
As to each rental unit, a specification of the exact number of sleeping rooms contained in the rental unit. In order to satisfy the requirements of this provision, an owner shall submit a floor plan which shall become part of the application and which shall be attached to the registration form when filed by the Director of Licenses and Inspections.
(9) 
The number of adults and children occupying each rental unit.
(10) 
Such other information as may be prescribed by the City of Vineland.
D. 
Registration form; amendments; filing. Every person required to file a registration form pursuant to this article shall file an amended registration form within 20 days after any change in the information required to be included thereon. No fee shall be required for the filing of an amendment where the ownership of the premises is changed.
E. 
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, should the residential unit be occupied by a member of the owner's immediate family as defined herein, no rental registration fee or inspection shall be required, provided the owner of the residential unit provides proof of percentage of ownership, provides proof of familial relationship of occupant to owner in the form of governmental records and provides all information required in accordance with § 485-2C(4), (5), (7), (8) and (9) to the Department of License and Inspections on forms provided thereby.
[Added 1-16-2018 by Ord. No. 2017-96]
A. 
Each rental unit shall be inspected at least once every twelve-month period.
B. 
Such inspections shall be performed by such person, persons or agency duly authorized and appointed by the City of Vineland, Director of Licenses and Inspections.
C. 
Such inspection shall be for the purpose of determining Zoning Ordinance compliance,[1] and, to the extent applicable, to determine if the property complies with Chapter 537 of the Code of the City of Vineland, Property Maintenance, Chapter 300 of the Code of the City of Vineland, Uniform Construction Codes, the BOCA Maintenance Code, and/or the Uniform Fire Safety Act.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 425, Land Use, Art. XV, Zoning.
D. 
In the event that the inspection of the rental unit does not result in a satisfactory inspection, such rental unit shall not hereafter be registered, nor shall a certificate of registration be issued, and the owner of the rental unit, or his/her agent, shall not lease or rent such rental unit, nor shall any tenant occupy the rental unit, until the necessary corrections have been made so as to bring the rental unit into compliance with the applicable code, and the rental unit is thereafter subsequently inspected, registered and a certificate of registration issued. In the event that the rental unit is occupied when such conditions are discovered, all such corrections shall be made within 30 days and, if not made within that time period, the owner shall be deemed in violation of this article, and every day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct violation. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, should any violation be deemed an imminent hazard, all repairs shall be performed immediately and in a manner so as to protect the health, safety and welfare of the occupants.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
E. 
Should the rental unit which is the subject of an inspection or reinspection not meet the requirements of this section and results in an in satisfactory inspection, the inspector shall provide the owner or his/her agent/employee with a checklist of violations to be corrected. Upon submission of the checklist executed by the owner or the owner's agent/employee certifying that the violations have been abated, a reinspection shall be scheduled and completed within 45 days of the receipt of said certifications. Excepting any violation deemed an imminent hazard, any unit not inspected within 45 days of receipt of said certification shall be deemed to have passed and a certificate of registration issued provided all fees required in accordance with the chapter have been paid in full.
[Added 2-26-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-12]
A. 
The inspection officers are hereby authorized to make inspections to determine the condition of rental facilities and rental units in order that they may promote the purposes of this article to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants of rental facilities, rental units and of the general public. For the purposes of making such inspections, the inspecting officers are hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey rental facilities and rental units at all reasonable times. The owner or occupant of every rental facility and rental unit shall give the inspecting officer free access to the rental facility and rental unit at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspections, examinations and surveys.
B. 
Every occupant shall give the owner of the rental facility and rental unit access to any part of such rental facility and rental unit at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this article or any lawful order issued pursuant thereto.
C. 
Within 10 days of receipt of a complaint alleging a reported violation of this article, an inspecting officer shall conduct an inspection as hereinbefore provided.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
A. 
Upon the filing of a completed registration form and payment of the prescribed fee as set forth herein, and a satisfactory inspection, the owner shall be entitled to the issuance of a certificate of registration, commencing on the date of issuance and expiring on the same day of the next calendar year. A registration form, inspection and certificate of registration shall be required for each rental unit.
B. 
In the event the owner or his/her agent has completed the registration form and has paid the registration and inspection fee as required under § 485-8, and the City of Vineland has failed to perform an inspection prior to the expiration of the previous year's license, the owner shall receive a provisional certificate of registration until an inspection is complete. This section shall only relate to rental units which have been registered in the previous year. The City of Vineland shall endeavor to perform all inspections within 30 days of completion of the registration and payment of all fees, dependent upon ability to provide such services.
A. 
In addition to any other penalty prescribed herein, an owner may be subject to the revocation or suspension of the certificate of registration issued hereunder upon the happening of one or more of the following:
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
(1) 
Conviction of a violation of this article in the Municipal Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) 
Determination of a violation of this article at a hearing held pursuant to § 485-6B herein.
(3) 
Continuously renting the unit or units to a tenant or tenants who are convicted of a violation of the Noise Ordinance of the City of Vineland.[1] Three convictions or more in a ninety-day period shall be considered a continuous event.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 469, Noise.
(4) 
Continuously permitting the rental unit to be occupied by more than the maximum number of occupants permitted. Three written notices of violations within a ninety-day period, 30 days apart, shall be considered a continuous event.
(5) 
Maintaining the rental unit or units or the property in which the rental unit is a part in a dangerous condition likely to result in injury to person or property.
(6) 
A false, misleading or fraudulent statement made in connection with the registration or inspection of a rental unit or units under this chapter.
(7) 
A pattern of conduct which results in creating, maintaining, permitting or suffering the existence of any of the following conditions at or about the rental unit:
(a) 
Disorderly conduct on the part of tenants or occupants or their guests. "Disorderly conduct" shall be as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2; provided, however, that a conviction of such person or persons under that statute shall not be required in order for the City to take action under this section;
(b) 
A nuisance, as that term is defined by N.J.S.A. 2C.33-12; provided, however, that a conviction of such person or persons under that statute shall not be required in order for the City to take action under this section;
(c) 
The failure to comply with any directive of the City concerning the abatement of conduct prohibited by Subsection A(7)(a) or (b) hereof;
(d) 
The public manifestation by tenants, occupants or guests of being under the influence of alcohol or controlled dangerous substances; provided, however, that a conviction of such individuals for such violation(s) shall not be required in order for the City to take action under this section; and
(e) 
The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors.
(8) 
Whenever the Police Department shall have made an arrest of or issued a summons to a tenant, occupant or guest or owner on three or more occasions during any thirty-day period for an offense related to or arising out of the use and occupancy of the same rental unit(s), the same shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of § 485-6 of this chapter, provided that the owner and/or managing agent shall have had written notice of the existence of such circumstances or conditions.
(9) 
It shall be a defense to any proceeding for the revocation, suspension, or other disciplinary action involving a certificate of registration by demonstrating that the owner has taken appropriate action and has made a good faith effort to abate the conditions or circumstances giving rise to the revocation proceeding, including but not limited to the institution of legal action against the tenants, occupants or guests for recovery of the premises, eviction of the tenants or otherwise.
B. 
Procedure; written complaint; notice; hearing.
(1) 
A complaint seeking the revocation or suspension of a certificate of registration may be filed by any one or more of the following: Director of Public Safety, Chief of Police, Construction Code Official, Housing Inspector, Zoning Officer or any other persons or office authorized to file such complaint. Such complaint shall be in writing and filed with the Director of Licenses and Inspections or his/her designee. The complaint shall be specific and shall be sufficient to apprise the owner of the charges so as to permit the owner to present a defense. The individual(s) filing the complaint may do so on the basis of information and belief, and need not rely on personal information.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
(2) 
Upon the filing of such written complaint, the Director of Licenses and Inspections or his/her designee shall immediately schedule a date for a hearing, which shall not be sooner than 10 nor more than 30 days thereafter. The Director of Licenses and Inspections, or his/her designee, shall forward a copy of the complaint and a notice as to the date of the hearing to the owner and the agent, if any, at the address indicated on the registration form. Service upon the agent shall be sufficient.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
(3) 
The hearing required by this section shall be held before the Director of Licenses and Inspections unless, in his or her discretion, he or she determines that the matter should be heard by a hearings officer, who shall be appointed by the Business Administrator. If the matter is referred to a hearings officer, such officer shall transmit his or her findings of fact and conclusions of law to the Director of Licenses and Inspections within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. The Director of Licenses and Inspections shall then review the matter and may accept, reject, or modify the recommendations of the hearings officer based on the record before such hearings officer. In the event that the matter is not referred to a hearings officer and is heard by the Director of Licenses and Inspections, then he or she shall render a decision within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. Following the hearing, a decision shall be rendered, dismissing the complaint, revoking or suspending the certificate of registration or determining that the certificate of registration shall not be renewed or reissued for one or more subsequent registration years.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
(4) 
A stenographic transcript shall be made of the hearing. All witnesses shall be sworn prior to testifying. The strict rules of evidence shall not apply, and the evidential rules and burden of proof shall be that which generally controls administrative hearings.
(5) 
The City Solicitor or his/her designee shall appear and prosecute on behalf of the complainant in all hearings conducted pursuant to this section.
C. 
Defenses.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
(1) 
It shall be a defense to any proceeding for the revocation, suspension, or other disciplinary action involving a certificate of registration by demonstrating that the owner has taken appropriate action and has made a good faith effort to abate the conditions or circumstances giving rise to the revocation proceeding, including but not limited to the institution of legal action against the tenants, occupants or guests for recovery of the premises, eviction of the tenants or otherwise.
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the City of Vineland or such other court having jurisdiction, be liable to a fine not less than $200 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third and subsequent offense. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation subject to the penalty provisions of this article.
[Amended 10-28-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-48; 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
A. 
The annual certificate of registration/renewal fee shall be $75 per annum, commencing for the registration period of 2015 if issued to prior to January 1. However, there shall be a ten-day grace period afforded for the payment of the annual certificate of registration/renewal fee so that should the fee be paid prior to January 11, no additional fee shall be due. Subsequent to January 1, or any grace period, the certificate of registration/renewal fee shall be $125.
B. 
In the event of an unsatisfactory inspection requiring subsequent inspections in accordance with § 485-3D herein, the subsequent inspection shall be $75 for each such inspection.
C. 
No rental unit shall be registered and no certificate of registration shall be issued for a rental unit unless all municipal taxes for land and improvements upon which the rental unit is located, water, sewer, electric in the name of the owner or agent and any other municipal assessments arc paid on a current basis or reasonable arrangements for payment are accepted by the City of Vineland.
No person shall occupy any rental unit, nor shall the owner permit occupancy of any rental unit within the City of Vineland which is not registered and licensed in accordance with this article.
[Amended 9-22-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-41]
This article shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law, at which time the terms and conditions contained herein shall be enforceable. Any ordinance, or portions thereof, which are inconsistent with the provisions of this article will be repealed and superseded. In the event that any portions of this article that are deemed by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unenforceable, the balance of this article not so deemed to be unenforceable shall remain in full force and effect.