[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Norristown 6-17-2008 by Ord. No. 08-10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter and the policy of the Municipality of Norristown shall be to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens and to establish the rights and obligations of owners of real property with respect to the transfer of real property.
The following words and phrases, as used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless the context indicates a different meaning. Where a term is not defined in this section, such term shall receive its ordinarily accepted meaning as interpreted by the Code Enforcement Officer of the Municipality of Norristown by use of definitions provided for in the codes and standards of the Codified Ordinances of the Municipality of Norristown.
- A person who shall have charge, care or control of real property as owner, or acting on behalf of or in the capacity of the owner, or as executor, executrix, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner. Any such person representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the provision of this chapter to the same extent as if that person was the owner.
- The owner, agent or any other person with the authority and responsibility for the transfer of real property.
- NEW CONSTRUCTION
- The initial structure or other improvement built on previously
undeveloped real property, which, when complete, has been inspected
by the Municipality of Norristown for compliance with all applicable
codes and ordinances, and which has been issued its first certificate
of occupancy.[Added 12-1-2015 by Ord. No. 15-09]
- PROPERTY TRANSFER
- A sale, foreclosure, sheriff's sales, tax sale or other legal action resulting in the transfer of ownership of real property.
- REAL PROPERTY
- Any structure, building, or vacant land, being privately
or publicly owned, except "new construction," as defined in this section.[Amended 12-1-2015 by Ord. No. 15-09]
- SEWER LATERAL or BUILDING SEWER
- The pipe or conduit which extends from the end of the building or structure to the curbline or right-of-way and generally includes the cleanout and sewer vent and connects to the publicly owned sanitary sewer system.
- SEWER LATERAL INSPECTION
- The video recording of the sewer lateral by closed-circuit television (CCTV) or the use of other acceptable methods, as deemed appropriate by the Norristown Municipal Waste Authority (NMWA), for the purpose of determining the integrity of the sewer lateral or building sewer.
No owner or agent shall transfer ownership of any real property without first applying for and undergoing a property transfer inspection and a sewer lateral inspection and obtaining a use and occupancy certificate or temporary use and occupancy certificate. The aforesaid property transfer inspection shall comply with all protections guaranteed by the Pennsylvania and United States Constitution(s).
The owner or agent shall complete the required application form for the properly transfer inspection, which shall be available at the Code Department Office, and pay the required fee for the property transfer inspection to the Code Department Office, which shall be set by resolution of Municipal Council.
The owner or agent shall complete the required application form for the sewer lateral inspection, which shall be available at the offices of the NMWA, and pay the required fee for the sewer lateral inspection to the NMWA.
The application form for the property transfer inspection shall require the owner or agent to provide, at a minimum, the following information with respect to the real property subject to a property transfer:
The name(s), address(es) and telephone or cell-phone number(s) of any and all owners:
Forwarding address(es) of all owners;
The name, local address and telephone or cell-phone number of the realtor or agent representing the owner;
The address of the real property;
A description of the real property:
The proposed use of the real property following the transfer; and
Authorization for the Municipality of Norristown to perform the required property transfer inspection.
The application form for the property transfer inspection must be submitted to the Code Enforcement Department at least 30 days prior to the date scheduled for the property transfer.
Following receipt by the Code Enforcement Department of the completed application form for the property transfer inspection and payment of the required fees, the owner or agent shall schedule the property transfer inspection with the Code Enforcement Department. Property transfer inspections shall be scheduled no earlier than 48 hours from the time the request for a property transfer inspection is made to the Code Enforcement Department.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall not enter upon any real property for the purpose of conducting a property transfer inspection unless accompanied by the owner or agent.
All interior and exterior areas of the real property shall be inspected for conformance with the Municipality of Norristown Property Maintenance Code, the Municipality of Norristown Building and Zoning Code, and any and all other relevant ordinances of the Municipality of Norristown, including but not limited to § 258-26 of the Municipal Code.
The application form for the sewer lateral inspection should be submitted to the NMWA, along with the required fee to be determined by and paid to the NMWA, contemporaneously with the owner or agent's submission of the application firm for the property transfer inspection, as required in § 241-3 of this chapter, to the Code Enforcement Department.
Upon completion of the property transfer inspection, the Code Enforcement Officer shall record the identified code violations, if any, on a form designated for such a purpose, and provide a copy of the form to the owner or agent. Code violations shall be corrected within the time frame set by the Code Enforcement Officer.
Upon completion of the sewer lateral inspection, the NMWA shall review the results and note any deficiencies or defects with the sewer lateral that could permit inflow and infiltration, or any other prohibited substance, from entering into the sanitary sewer, in violation of the General Code of the Municipality of Norristown, or the rules and regulations of the NMWA, or the requirements and specifications of the NMWA. Any deficiencies or defects will be recorded on a form designated for such a purpose and a copy of the form will be provided to the owner or agent.
It will be the responsibility of the owner or agent of the real property to repair and/or replace all or a portion of the sewer lateral that was found to be deficient or defective, in compliance with the requirements and specifications of the NMWA and within the time frame set by the NMWA, and in compliance with the General Code of the Municipality of Norristown.
If repairs to the sewer lateral are required, the NMWA will perform a subsequent sewer lateral inspection to determine if the sewer lateral is in compliance with the requirements and specifications of the NMWA and the General Code of the Municipality of Norristown. Reinspection of the sewer lateral shall be at the discretion of the NMWA.
A sewer lateral certification will be issued by the NMWA after the sewer lateral has passed inspection.
The sewer lateral inspection shall not be required of real property subject to a property transfer, if a sewer lateral certification has been issued in the three-year period immediately following the proposed property transfer or if the real property subject to a property transfer is a condominium unit which is situated in a building with other condominium units and not directly connected to the sewer lateral.
No real property subject to this chapter shall proceed to settlement, nor shall a property transfer be effectuated, unless a use and occupancy certificate or temporary use and occupancy certificate has been issued to the owner or agent by the Code Enforcement Department.
A final certificate of occupancy shall be issued, provided the following conditions have been met:
The real property is free and clear of any and all code violations, if any, noted on the inspection form by the Code Enforcement Officer.
The sewer lateral connected to the real property is found to be in conformity with the specifications of the Municipality of Norristown, the NMWA, and not in violation of the Municipal Code, and a sewer lateral certification has been provided by the NMWA.
A use and occupancy certificate may be issued, at the sole discretion of the Municipality of Norristown in consultation with the NMWA as appropriate, in circumstances in which curing the code and/or sewer lateral inspection violations cannot be accomplished prior to the date of the property transfer. The temporary property transfer permit shall indicate the party (buyer or seller of the real property) who shall take responsibility for curing the violations and provide for a time frame for remediation, not to exceed 180 days. In the case of a temporary use and occupancy certificate issued due to a sewer lateral inspection violation, the NMWA, at its sole discretion, may require the seller to retain in an escrow account sufficient funds to cover the cost of any repair or replacement of the sewer lateral or building sewer, as identified by the NMWA, plus an additional amount equal to 25% of such cost as estimated by the NMWA for said repair or replacement. The owner or agent shall schedule a follow-up property transfer inspection with the Code Enforcement Department and/or a follow-up sewer lateral inspection with the NMWA, as appropriate, to confirm the necessary repairs have been made.
In no circumstances shall a temporary use and occupancy certificate be issued if any of the code violations render the property unfit for habitation.
Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to waive any and all other remedies available to the Municipality of Norristown or the NMWA, at law or in equity, relating to violations of the Municipality of Norristown Property Maintenance Code, the Municipality of Norristown Building and Zoning Code, and any and all other relevant ordinances of the Municipality of Norristown, all of which remedies are expressly retained by the Municipality of Norristown and/or the NMWA.
This chapter shall become effective upon passage of an enabling resolution by Municipal Council. After this is completed, enactment shall be effective in accordance with the Home Rule Charter of the Municipality of Norristown.