Borough of Norristown, PA
Montgomery County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Norristown 6-17-2008 by Ord. No. 08-17. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building permits — See Ch. 120.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 132.
Property transfer and sewer lateral inspections — See Ch. 241.
Rental property — See Ch. 245.
Building contractors — See Ch. 251.
Zoning — See Ch. 320.
[Amended 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued by the Municipality stipulating that the property meets all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the Municipality of Norristown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Property Maintenance Code, and may be used or occupied as intended.
SUBSTANTIAL VIOLATION
A violation of an adopted building, housing, property maintenance or fire code or maintenance, health or safety nuisance ordinance that makes a building, structure or any part thereof unfit for human habitation and is discovered during the course of Municipality inspection of a property and disclosed to the record owner or prospective purchaser of the property through issuance of a Municipality report.
TEMPORARY ACCESS CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued by the Municipality as a result of the inspection of the property by the Municipality incident to the resale of the property that identifies at least one substantial violation, and the purpose of the certificate is to authorize the purchaser to access the property for the purpose of correcting substantial violations pursuant to all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the Municipality of Norristown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Property Maintenance Code. No person may occupy a property during the term of a temporary access certificate, but the owner shall be permitted to store personal items that are related to the proposed use or occupancy of the property or are needed to repair the substantial violations during the time of the temporary access certificate.
TEMPORARY OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued by the Municipality as a result of the Municipality inspection of a property incident to the resale of the property that reveals a violation but no substantial violation, and the purpose of the certificate is to authorize the purchaser to fully utilize or reside in the property while correcting violations pursuant to all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the Municipality of Norristown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Property Maintenance Code.
No property or building subject to a change of use or change in occupancy shall be occupied or used for any purpose and no certificate of occupancy, building permit, demolition permit or similar permit and no site improvements shall be commenced until the Zoning Officer of the Municipality has issued zoning permits and confirmed compliance with all validly enacted laws of the Municipality of Norristown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[Amended 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
From and after the effective date of this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to change the occupancy of any residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building within the Municipality of Norristown or permit such a change without first obtaining an occupancy certificate or temporary occupancy certificate.
[Added 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to occupy any residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building within the Municipality of Norristown when an occupancy certificate or temporary occupancy certificate is required by this chapter, without first obtaining such a certificate, or continue to occupy any such unit or building with an expired certificate.
[Added 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
Occupancy certificates issued for non-owner-occupied residential dwelling units shall expire three years after the date of issuance or when there is an occupancy change, whichever occurs first. An application for a new occupancy certificate shall be made prior to the expiration of an occupancy certificate, in compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
[Added 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to sell any residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building within the Municipality of Norristown without first obtaining an occupancy certificate, temporary occupancy certificate, or temporary access certificate, regardless of whether or not there is a change in occupancy at the time of such sale. This requirement shall not apply to real estate transfers to any bank, savings association, credit union, mortgage lender, or any similar financial institution or subsidiary thereof, which take title to the property for the purpose of holding the property for sale to offset losses incurred on a loan or other obligation in default secured by a mortgage, deed of trust or other lien on the property.
[Amended 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
Applications for occupancy certificates shall be made to the Municipality of Norristown on forms provided for that purpose.
[Amended 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
Upon receipt of a properly completed application for an occupancy certificate and payment of the required fee, the Municipality of Norristown shall promptly inspect the residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building which is the subject of the application to determine if the building conforms to all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the Municipality of Norristown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Property Maintenance Code. See Chapter 239 of the Norristown Municipal Code.
[Added 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
If, upon inspection, the Municipality shall determine that the residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building is in compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations, then the Municipality shall forthwith issue an occupancy certificate to the applicant.
[Added 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
A. 
If, upon inspection, the Municipality of Norristown shall determine that the residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building is not in compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations, then the Municipality shall refuse to issue an occupancy certificate and shall promptly notify the applicant, in writing, of the refusal and the specific reasons therefor with citations of the specific sections and subsections of the laws, ordinances, and regulations being violated. Upon notification by the applicant that the residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building has been brought into compliance, the Municipality shall conduct a reinspection and, upon a determination that the unit or building is in compliance, shall issue an occupancy certificate to the applicant.
B. 
If Municipal inspection of a property incident to the resale of the property reveals a violation but no substantial violation(s), the Municipality shall refuse to issue an occupancy certificate, and instead issue a temporary occupancy certificate and shall promptly notify the applicant, in writing, of the refusal and the specific reasons therefor with citations of the specific sections and subsections of the laws, ordinances, and regulations being violated.
C. 
If Municipal inspection of a property incident to the resale of the property reveals at least one substantial violation, the Municipality shall issue a temporary access certificate and shall promptly notify the applicant, in writing, of the refusal and the specific reasons therefor, with citations of the specific sections and subsections of the law, ordinances and regulations being violated.
[Added 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
A. 
Any purchaser of property with a known violation of any applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations must either bring the property into compliance or demolish the building or structure in accordance with the law within 12 months of the date of purchase. At the request of the property owner, the Municipality may, at its discretion, negotiate for a longer period of time for maintenance and repair of the structure under a temporary certificate.
B. 
At the expiration of the twelve-month period, or before that time if requested by the property owner, the Municipality shall reinspect the property for the purpose of determining compliance with the cited violations. If a temporary access certificate has been issued and reinspection indicates that the noted substantial violations have been corrected but other cited violations remain, the Municipality shall issue a temporary occupancy certificate to be valid for the time remaining on the original temporary access certificate. If reinspection indicates that all noted violations have been corrected, the Municipality shall issue an occupancy certificate for the property.
[Added 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
The Council of the Municipality of Norristown, shall, from time to time, establish by resolution such fee as it deems reasonable and proper to be charged for the issuance of an occupancy certificate, temporary occupancy certificate and temporary access certificate pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
[Added 10-17-2017 by Ord. No. 17-13]
A. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Failure to comply with §§ 128-2 through 128-10 of this chapter shall result in:
(a) 
Revocation of the temporary certificate;
(b) 
The purchaser being subject to any existing laws, ordinances, and regulations relating to the occupation of a property without an occupancy certificate; and
(c) 
The purchaser being personally liable for the costs of maintenance, repairs or demolition sufficient to correct the cited violations, and a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000.
(2) 
This section shall not apply to a violation of a Municipal code or ordinance for which a fine, other penalty or a judgment to abate or correct was imposed by a magisterial district judge or Municipal court, or a judgment at law or in equity was imposed by a court of common pleas prior to purchase, or where the Municipality denies the certificate pursuant to 53 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 61 (relating to neighborhood blight reclamation and revitalization).
B. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the other provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $250 and costs of prosecution, and in default thereof, to imprisonment in the Montgomery County Prison for not more than 10 days.