[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Burlington by Ord. No. 8-1997 (Ch. 3.12 of the 1996 Municipal Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention — See Ch. 162.
No insurer issuing or receiving fire insurance policies after the adoption of this chapter and the filing of the ordinance with the State Commissioner of Insurance shall pay any claims for fire damages in excess of $2,500 on real property located within the City unless or until the insured person submits an official certificate of search for municipal liens pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-12, certifying:
That all taxes, assessments or other municipal liens or charges, levied and assessed and due and payable against such property have been paid;
Written certification by the Construction Code Official that demolition is not required or that the cost of demolition has been paid; or
Any request, pursuant to this section, for an official certificate of search for municipal liens shall specify in capital letters the following: "THE SEARCH CONCERNS FIRE-DAMAGED PROPERTY."
The official certificate of search may, from time to time, be altered by the bonded official responsible for preparing such certificates, in order to correct any errors or omissions or to add any municipal liens or related charges due and payable subsequent to the preparation of the official certificate.
If the demolition has not yet occurred on the date of receipt by the City of a request for execution of the certificate required herein, the insured shall provide on that certificate an estimate of the anticipated costs of demolition. The insurer, on notice to the insured, shall pay the anticipated cost of demolition to the City, which shall hold the funds in an interest-bearing account in a state or federally chartered bank, savings bank or savings and loan association in this state.
Unless a resolution is received in accordance with § 154-5 by an insurance company writing insurance policies in the City, such insurance company is authorized and required, prior to the payment of any claims for fire damages in excess of $2,500, to pay the amount of any anticipated demolition costs to the City in the manner set forth in § 154-2 and to pay to the City the amount of the liens appearing on the official certificate of search and such other recorded liens or related charges as may be certified to the insurance company.
If an appeal is taken on the amount of any lien or charge, other than an appeal on the assessed valuation of real property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:3-21, the insurance company shall issue a draft payable to the court of record, to be held by the court in an interest-bearing escrow account in a state or federally chartered bank, savings bank or savings and loan association in the state, in an amount totaling 75% of the full amount of the lien or charge being contested by but not to exceed the proceeds payable under its insurance policy, and the insurance company shall issue a draft payable to the City for the remaining 25% of the lien or charge being contested, with the full amount paid by the insurance company to the court and the municipality not to exceed the proceeds payable under its insurance policy. Upon the termination of all proceedings, such money, and all interest accruing thereon, shall be disbursed in accordance with the final order or judgment of the court.
The Common Council may enter into agreement with the owner of any fire-damaged property to pay in full all delinquent taxes, assessed costs or other municipal liens by installments, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-19, for the redemption of the tax sale lien by installment payments pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-65 et seq.; or for the payment in full of any anticipated costs of demolition by installment, if the Common Council is satisfied that the claim for damages is to be used to restore or improve the fire-damaged property. An insurance company receiving a certified copy of a resolution of agreement from the Common Council is authorized to make full payment on the claim to the insured person.
The City's claim is subject to the priority of claims mandated by N.J.S.A. 17:36-12.
This chapter shall not:
Obligate an insurance company for any amount in excess of the proceeds payable under its fire insurance policy;
Except as provided in the case of appeals pursuant to § 154-4, obligate the insurance company for any liens not appearing on the official certificate or any certified charges submitted by the bonded official;
Affect the City's authority to enforce a municipal lien under any other law;
Obligate an insurance company for the payment of demolition costs or anticipated costs, as the case may be, if those costs did not appear on an official certificate or a certified charge submitted by the bonded official.
Upon adoption of this chapter, the Municipal Clerk shall cause the ordinance to be filed with the State Commissioner of Insurance, who shall cause notice to be published in the New Jersey Register.