[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Pennsburg as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-7-2004 by Ord. No. 4-04]
Editor's Note: This article was originally adopted as Ch. 17 and renumbered to reflect the organization of this codification.
This article shall apply to the record owner (the "seller") of a vacant subdivided residential lot or a newly constructed home within the Borough ("new residential property") who is selling such new residential property to a member(s) of the general public (the "buyer"). This article is not intended to duplicate any information required to be included in disclosures made under the Pennsylvania Uniform Planned Community Act, the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act and/or the Pennsylvania Real Estate Seller Disclosure Act. To the extent there is any conflict between this article or any provisions hereof and any of the foregoing Acts, or any other state or any federal law, the foregoing Acts or any other state law or any federal law, shall take precedence.
The requirements of this article are imposed with an intention to inform the buyer of important information pertaining to the new residential property that the buyer should consider obtaining and to inform the buyer as to where to obtain such information, including but not limited to the general nature of the subdivision and/or land development project in which the new residential property is located (the "project") and limitations, easements and restrictions relating to the new residential property. The notices and/or disclosures required under this article are not intended to constitute an exhaustive recitation of items which may be of importance in any particular transaction involving new residential property, but instead are intended to alert buyers as to potential issues of importance.
Before signing a sales agreement for any new residential property, the seller shall provide a notice/disclosure statement to the buyer which conforms with the requirements of this article (the "disclosure statement") and shall obtain from the buyer a signed disclosure statement that verifies that the seller has provided the information that is required by this article.
The seller of any new residential property shall display the final, municipally approved record subdivision or land development plan for the project (the "plan") in the location where property sales are transacted by the seller or shall otherwise make the plan available for review by the buyer(s). A copy of the plan must also be made available for purchase by buyer(s) at no greater than the cost to seller to duplicate the plan or, alternatively, may be provided by seller to the buyer(s) at no cost to the buyer(s). The seller shall also make the full set of the approved plans for the project available for review by the buyer. Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, in the event an agreement of sale is entered into before final approval for the project has been received from the Borough, the seller shall only be obligated under this subsection to 1) make the latest version of the full set of plans for the project available for review by the buyer prior to the execution of the agreement of sale; 2) inform the buyer that the buyer should review the final plans before completing settlement; and 3) make the plan and the full set of final, approved plans available for the buyer's review and make the plan available for the buyer's purchase after the plans have been approved by the Borough.
Seller shall provide the buyer with the condominium or homeowner's association documents (including declaration, plats and plans and bylaws) or, in the event the project is not subject to either the Pennsylvania Uniform Planned Community Act or the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act, the declaration of restrictions or similar document applicable to the project, if any. The foregoing documents shall be provided to the buyer before an agreement of sale for new residential property is fully executed.
The seller shall provide the buyer with a list of all utility easements and other easements executed or to be executed by seller in connection with the project which will ultimately be but have not yet been recorded, if any. The foregoing list shall be provided to the buyer before an agreement of sale for new residential property is fully executed.
The seller shall provide the buyer with a list of any permits and/or approvals which are required to develop the project and the new residential property as shown on the plan and shall inform the buyer that the buyer can contact the applicable permitting or approving agencies to determine the status of such permits or approvals. The foregoing list shall be provided to the buyer before an agreement of sale for the new residential property is fully executed.
In addition to the above items, the seller shall provide the following information to a buyer prior to the execution of an agreement of sale for new residential property by both the buyer and the seller:
The seller shall inform the buyer that the plan and/or the full set of approved subdivision/land development plans for the project should be reviewed by the buyer for purposes of identifying, among other things:
Common areas, such as parklands, streets, open space, bike paths, walking trails (for pedestrians as well as for animals) and recreational facilities which are part of the project and which may be near or adjacent to the new residential property that the buyer is purchasing (the "new residential property");
The lot lines or other boundaries of the new residential property the buyer is purchasing and of lots or units adjacent thereto and any applicable dimensional requirements relating to such lots or units, including setback requirements and building coverage, impervious coverage and height limitations.
Stormwater management facilities and drainage areas, including detention/retention basins and easements;
Sanitary sewer facilities and easements;
Utility easement areas;
The zoning classification of the new residential property at the time the subdivision/land development of which the new residential property is a part was approved by the Borough.
The existence of any environmentally sensitive areas on the new residential property being purchased or with the project, including steep slopes, wetlands and floodplains, and the fact that governmental laws, rules, regulations and ordinances may limit the use and development of these areas;
Restrictions on the project imposed by the Borough; and
The existence and location of on-site water and/or on-site sanitary sewage facilities or systems.
The seller shall inform the buyer that the buyer should review the current Zoning Map and Zoning Ordinance of the Borough to determine the zoning classification of the property within the project as well as of properties surrounding the project for the purpose of determining permitted principal and accessory uses and any applicable dimensional requirements, such as building size, setback requirements, building and impervious coverage limitations, and height limitations. The seller shall further inform the buyer that the current Zoning, Subdivision and Land Development Ordinances of the Borough are available for review and purchase at the Borough office, and that such Ordinances are subject to change.
The seller shall inform the buyer that the buyer should review approved and proposed (filed) subdivision and land development plans and the zoning classification of properties surrounding the project for the purpose of identifying conditions and permitted principal uses and permitted accessory uses on surrounding properties which may impact the project generally or the new residential property specifically. The seller shall further inform the buyer that such approved plans are available for review at the Borough office and that the recorded portions of such plans are available at the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds office. The seller shall further inform the buyer that such zoning information is available in the current Borough Zoning Code and Zoning Map, and that the current Zoning, Subdivision and Land Development Ordinances and Zoning Map of the Borough are available for review and purchase at the Borough office, and that such ordinances are subject to change.
The seller shall inform the buyer that the buyer should obtain a title report for the new residential property from a reputable title insurer and obtain copies of all plans, documents, easements and restrictions listed therein to determine what easements, restrictions or other limitations affect, may affect or may be imposed on the new residential property.
The seller shall inform the buyer that the buyer should review any declarations, deed restrictions, homeowners' association documents or other documents relating to the new residential property for the purpose of determining, among other things, what obligations the buyer shall have after purchasing the new residential property with respect to maintenance, repair and replacement of the new residential property, any common areas or any other areas; a description of the real estate the buyer will be purchasing; obligations or potential obligations of the buyer with respect to any homeowners association and common areas; the ownership of common areas; what future development can take place within the project; and restrictions on the use of the property within the project.
If applicable, the seller shall inform the buyer that local authorities may require connection to public water and/or sewer systems in the future and that tapping/connecting fees may be imposed.
The seller shall inform the buyer of the existence, location and record owner of any natural gas or petroleum transmission line located within 100 yards of the new residential property being purchased by the buyer.
The seller shall inform the buyer that the buyer should consider contacting the Borough to determine the status of dedication of any roads, common areas, sewer facilities or other areas in the project.
The seller shall inform the buyer that the buyer should consider retaining the services of an attorney, real estate professional, professional surveyor, professional engineer and/or other professional to assist the buyer in obtaining and evaluating information relevant to buyer's new residential property purchase.
The buyer shall review and sign the notice/disclosure statement prior to the signing of an agreement of sale for new residential property. The seller will be obligated to provide a copy of the signed disclosure statement to the Code Enforcement Officer prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or use and occupancy certificate for the new residential property, unless the new residential property is first occupied by seller or a party to whom seller leases the new residential property, in which event the issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be conditioned upon receipt of a signed disclosure statement. The disclosure statement required to be provided to buyers hereunder shall be in substantially the following form:
Should a seller be found guilty of violating this article in a summary proceeding before a District Justice in accordance with law, a fine of not more than $1,000 for each offense may be levied against the seller. Each new residential property transaction in which the provisions hereof are violated shall be considered a separate offense. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Borough may seek enforcement of this article by means of a request for injunctive relief or such other equitable remedies in a court of competent jurisdiction as may be provided by law.
[Adopted 1-2-2019 by Ord. No. 1-2019.]
For the purpose of this article, the following definitions shall apply, unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Code Enforcement Officer appointed pursuant to Article II, Code Enforcement Office/Officer, of Chapter 36, as amended, of the Pennsburg Borough Code of Ordinances.
Any individual, partnership, corporation, governmental authority, company, association, trust, joint venture, unincorporated association, or other entity which owns a dwelling unit situate within the Borough and who or which desires to sell said dwelling unit shall first obtain a certificate of occupancy from the Code Enforcement Officer and provide a copy of such certificate to the buyer at settlement; provided, however, that this section shall have no application to a valid agreement of sale entered into and dated prior to the effective date of this article.
Applications for issuance of a use and occupancy permit shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer by the seller, buyer, or agent for the seller or buyer of the property, but in any event no later than 30 business days prior to settlement between the buyer and seller. Applications shall contain such information as the Code Enforcement Officer may require.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall, when appropriate, pursuant to § 84-10 hereof, issue a certificate of use and occupancy which shall contain the following certifications:
A description of the Township zoning district classification applicable to the property;
A statement by the Code Enforcement Officer that the uses currently existing on the property, as described by the owner, comply with all provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance; and
A statement by the Code Enforcement Officer that there are no uncorrected violations of record of any Borough ordinances, codes or regulations on the property.
Upon receipt of a completed application, the Code Enforcement Officer shall, within 15 business days, conduct an inspection of the property in order to determine compliance with all applicable minimum standards and requirements as follows:
Each dwelling unit must have a smoke detector installed on each floor level and in the bedroom area(s);
An existing acceptable 60-ampere service, or a minimum 100-ampere three-wire electric service, must be installed for the dwelling unit;
All kitchen countertop receptacles and bathroom receptacles must be ground-fault circuit-interrupter-protected;
All sidewalks and curbs must be in good repair, free of large cracks and crevices, missing bricks and tripping hazards;
All properties must be supplied with numbers outside the property, in clear view of the street, designating the street number of the property;
The property must be in compliance with all other aspects of the International Property Maintenance Code adopted by the Borough.
A fee may be charged for each property inspected or reinspected, and said fee must accompany the application form when it is submitted. A fee schedule shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
All hazardous building, safety, fire, plumbing and electrical violations cited at the time of inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer shall be corrected in the time specified by the Code Enforcement Officer.
Upon correction of all violations, the property owner shall notify the Borough, in writing, and request a follow-up inspection, which shall be conducted within 15 business days from notification. If, following the follow-up inspection, the property is determined to be in compliance with the standards, a use and occupancy permit will be issued to the applicant. If additional follow-up inspections are required due to the fact that the property owner did not comply with the violation report, the property owner will be charged an additional reinspection fee as established by resolution of the Borough Council from time to time.
If the initial inspection completed prior to the sale of a dwelling unit discloses minor compliance violations, in the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer, the buyer and seller may enter into a written agreement with the Borough for the completion of the work required to bring the property into compliance, and a conditional use and occupancy permit may be issued to the applicant, and transfer of title may proceed upon advance payment of the reinspection fee. Such agreement shall provide that all of the outstanding compliance items shall be completed to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer within 90 days after the execution of the agreement, the buyers shall be liable for any deficiency, and noncompliance will result in revocation of the conditional use and occupancy permit and penalties provided in § 84-13.
The validity of the use and occupancy permit is contingent upon compliance with applicable Borough ordinances, and it is revocable upon violation of those ordinances.
The use and occupancy permit does not warrant or guarantee on the part of the Borough, or any officer, agent or employee of the Borough, the soundness, fitness, safety or adequacy of the facilities inspected. The use and occupancy permit shall not be deemed to give rise to any liability on the part of the Borough or any officer, agent, employee or designee thereof. All such liability, and any remedy therefor, shall remain that of the seller or transferor or lessor of any structure covered hereby.
Any individual, partnership, corporation, governmental authority, company, association, trust, joint venture, unincorporated association, or other entity subject hereto who or which shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay not less than $100, but not more than $1,000, and costs of prosecution or, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days, provided that each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense and notice to the offender shall not be necessary in order to constitute an offense.
The Borough may seek an injunction to delay settlement and/or transfer of ownership of property until an inspection occurs and violations are remedied to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer where there has been a failure to file an application pursuant to § 84-8 at least 30 days prior to settlement and/or transfer of ownership.
The provisions of this article are severable; and if any section, sentence, clause, part or provision hereof shall be held illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision of the court shall not affect or impair the remaining sections, sentences, clauses, parts, or provisions of the article. It is hereby declared to be the intent of this Council that the article would have been adopted as if such illegal, invalid or unconstitutional section, sentence, clause, part or provision had not been included.