Village of Owego, NY
Tioga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Owego as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing Standards Agency — See Ch. 28.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 98.
Fair housing — See Ch. 114.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 159.
[Adopted 3-2-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Village of Owego and to assist in enforcing the Village of Owego Code by the Village of Owego by requiring the registration of rental units within the Village of Owego by certain owners/lessors as set forth herewith. This chapter is adopted pursuant to § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as to relieve any person or entity from complying with the provisions of any other applicable law, rule, or regulation established by the Village Board of Trustees.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
RENTAL UNIT
Shall include, but not be limited to, one- and two-family and multiple-family dwellings, whether or not used for residential purposes, garden apartments, all other complexes, mobile homes, shopping centers, supermarkets, retail stores, warehouses, storage plants, factories, gasoline service stations, public garages or buildings used for other business purposes and accessory structures of all of the foregoing that are leased by an owner/lessor.
A. 
Owners and lessors, or their respective agents, of rental units who do not reside or maintain a principal place of business within Tioga County, New York, or an adjoining county of New York State shall, within one year after the effective date of this chapter or within 90 days from the date of mailing of forms by the Village of Owego Code Enforcement Office, whichever occurs first, register with the Village of Owego Code Enforcement Office each rental unit they own or operate in the Village of Owego. The following information shall be provided:
(1) 
The name and address of the owner and/or lessor, and of their respective property manager, agent or other persons responsible for the maintenance of the leased premises.
(2) 
The name, address and phone number(s) of a property manager or other person responsible for the maintenance of the leased premises located within Tioga County, New York, or within a contiguous county in the State of New York, who can be reached 24 hours per day, seven days per week and upon whom violation orders for any relevant provisions under the Village of Owego Code may be served within the County of Tioga, State of New York, or within any contiguous counties in the State of New York.
(3) 
Such other appropriate information as may be requested or as may be required under any and all relevant provisions of the Village of Owego Code, including, but not limited to, number of units, number and type of rooms, number of stories and type of heating system, sprinkler system and fire alarm controls, and the location of such.
B. 
It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to maintain all information provided to the Village of Owego Code Enforcement Office pursuant to this section, and such owners must inform the Village of Owego Code Enforcement Office in writing, of any change in the information provided within 10 days of the change. Failure to maintain the information provided to the Village of Owego Code Enforcement Office pursuant to this section shall subject the owner to the penalties provided for in § 162-4 of this chapter.
C. 
The Village of Owego Code Enforcement Office shall maintain, for public review, a database of rental units registered pursuant to this section. That database shall list the name of the owner or lessor and the owners address. It shall also include the name, local address, and phone number of the property manager, agent or persons otherwise responsible for the maintenance of the building.
Any person or entity violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as follows:
A. 
Upon the first conviction, by a fine of not less than $250 but not exceeding $500 and/or 15 days in jail.
B. 
Upon a second such conviction within a twelve-month period, by a fine of not less than $500 but not exceeding $2,500 and/or 15 days in jail.
[Adopted 6-21-2010 by L.L. No. 4-2010]
The purpose and scope of this article is to provide the uniform maintenance of rental housing stock and to provide uniform administration and compliance with rental inspections of parties concerned therewith in an effort to help protect and safeguard the rights, health, safety and welfare of landlords and tenants within the Village of Owego.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGENT
A representative of a property owner legally authorized and identified to the Village of Owego to act in the owner's behalf in matters regarding respective residential rental units. "Agent" shall include a landlord.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The officer who is charged with the administration and enforcement of this code or any duly authorized representative.
DWELLING UNIT
A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
LANDLORD
Any property owner or designated agent who offers a residential rental unit for occupancy to anyone other than the owner.
OWNER
Any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property, as recorded in the official records of the state, county or municipality as holding title to the property, or otherwise having control of the property, including but not limited to the guardian of the estate of any such person, the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of real property by a court, a mortgage holder in possession of a residential rental unit, or the holder of a land contract. "Owner" shall include a landlord.
RENTAL PROPERTY
Any residential rental unit(s) occupied by persons other than the owner.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT
Any dwelling unit(s) occupied by persons other than an owner-occupied, single-family dwelling unit.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT OCCUPANCY PERMIT
A permit issued by the Village of Owego stating that the rental property and/or residential rental unit conforms to the standards of the Property Maintenance Code and Fire Code of New York State and the Village of Owego Code and that the rental unit is permitted for residential rental use. Any special circumstances or conditions under which occupancy is permitted may be specified on such permit.
TENANT
A person, corporation, partnership or group, occupying a residential rental unit.
UNFIT RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT
When a residential rental unit(s) is found to be unsafe or unfit for human occupancy or is found unlawful pursuant to applicable laws, rules or regulations.
A. 
All residential rental units shall be inspected and certified by the Code Enforcement Officer of the Village of Owego, who shall determine compliance with and administer and enforce all applicable provisions of this article. On and after the effective date of this article, residential rental unit occupancy permits shall be valid for 30 months from the date of issuance. The vacancy of any residential rental unit or change in ownership of any rental property shall invalidate said permit even if said vacancy shall occur within said 30 months.
B. 
Except as otherwise provided herein, it shall be unlawful and a violation of this article to rent, lease, or otherwise allow the occupancy of any residential rental unit without the inspection and certification as required herein. This provision shall include but not be limited to written or unwritten residential rental leases, agreements or licenses or pursuant to a recorded or unrecorded agreement or contract for the sale of residential rental units.
C. 
Upon inspection, said residential rental units shall comply with all applicable provisions of this article, including but not limited to the following minimum requirements:
(1) 
Adequate heating units capable of maintaining 68 degrees from September 15 to May 30 of each year; nonvented heaters, such as any fuel-fired units (i.e., kerosene, propane or natural gas), shall not be the primary source of heat.
(2) 
Adequate supply of hot and cold water. All plumbing fixtures shall be in good working order.
(3) 
Electrical equipment, wiring and appliances shall be installed and maintained in a safe and approved manner. Extension cords shall not be used in place of permanent wiring. Electrical wiring and equipment shall be protected against excessive current by properly rated over-current devices. Disconnect panel(s) must be labeled. Electrical outlets and switches shall be properly mounted, covered and in good working order.
(4) 
Mechanical appliances including, but not limited to, stoves and furnaces shall be in safe and working condition. Gas service shall have black iron pipe supply lines through floor penetrations.
(5) 
Smoke detectors shall be installed, operational and properly placed, to include one smoke alarm in each bedroom, one smoke alarm in hallway outside of bedrooms (if two-story) and on each story including basement. Recommended placement is on the ceiling. If smoke detectors must be on a wall, they shall be no closer than four inches from ceiling or no further than 12 inches from ceiling. One carbon monoxide detector shall be installed, operational and properly placed at each level of occupancy. In the event of new construction, all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors shall be hardwired.
D. 
The specific reasons for noncompliance shall be specified in writing in a notice and order from the Code Enforcement Officer. The notice and order shall be provided to the owner or landlord or the owner's agent. Occupants or proposed occupants of residential rental units shall have the right to inspect the residential rental unit occupancy permit in which they have an interest at no cost.
(1) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the right to inspect all or any part of the residential rental unit(s) as required herein and/or upon complaint, except that the owner or owner's agent or occupant thereof shall have the right to insist upon the procurement of a search warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction by the Code Enforcement Officer or his or her designee, in order to enable such inspection. The officials charged with conducting the inspection shall be required to obtain a search warrant whenever an owner, owner's agent or occupant refuses to permit a warrantless inspection of the premises after having been advised that he or she has a constitutional right to refuse entry of the officials without a search warrant.
(2) 
The Code Enforcement Officer charged with conducting the inspections shall make such inspection, access and circumstances permitting, within 10 business days of receipt of a request from the owner, agent or occupant.
(3) 
An owner or owner's agent shall file with the Code Enforcement Officer a request for such inspection and the issuance of a residential rental unit occupancy permit by regular mail or in person at the office of the Code Enforcement Officer within 60 days of the effective date of this law or within 60 days of any change in ownership. In the event a residential rental unit becomes vacant, an owner or owner's agent shall file with the Code Enforcement Officer a request for inspection and issuance of a residential rental unit occupancy permit within 30 days of such vacancy.
(4) 
Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the right of the Code Enforcement Officer to inspect any property at any time. If, after issuing a residential rental unit occupancy permit, the Code Enforcement Officer receives a complaint alleging a violation of this article, other than a violation that creates an imminent hazard to the public health or to the physical or mental health of the occupants of the rental property, the Code Enforcement Officer shall make a good faith effort to notify the owner or owner's agent of the complaint by either telephone or regular mail before conducting an inspection under this article, and shall provide to the owner or owner's agent one working day to explain what steps the owner or owner's agent is taking to correct the violation. The Code Enforcement Officer may take steps necessary, by inspection or other means, to assure that the violation is corrected.
(5) 
No residential rental unit occupancy permit shall be issued unless the residential rental unit is an authorized use pursuant to zoning and until all other applicable provisions and requirement of the Code of the Village of Owego and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations are complied with and met.
(6) 
No owner or owner's agent shall collect rents during any period of noncompliance with the provisions of this part which would otherwise be due and owing for the rental of premises unless and until he or she shall have complied with the provisions herein. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent an owner or owner's agent, upon receipt of a residential rental unit occupancy permit, from receiving the equitable value of the occupancy of the premises from the earliest date of occupancy, but in no event shall any recovery of rents be in excess of the agreed rent.
(7) 
These provisions shall not apply to owner-occupied single-family dwellings and dwellings designed and used exclusively for occupancy as hotels, motels, transient homes or establishments of like nature.
The Code Enforcement Officer may cause to be issued, at his/her discretion, a temporary residential rental unit occupancy permit following an initial inspection, and compliance with the minimum standards as set forth in § 162-7C herein, which temporary residential rental unit occupancy permit shall be subject to review and shall be revocable at the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer. No temporary residential rental unit occupancy permit may be issued in cases where fire safety is involved, such as defective electrical wiring, the absence of either an operating smoke detector or a carbon monoxide detector where required or improper or inadequate means of egress, and other conditions of like nature.
A. 
As a precondition to the issuance of any residential rental unit occupancy permit, the landlord, owner or agent of said rental property must supply the Village of Owego with a property insurance binder and/or certificate of insurance indicating that there is fire and liability insurance coverage for the property, which is subject to the residential rental unit occupancy permit. Said insurance binder and/or certificate of insurance shall list the Village of Owego as a certificate holder for notice of cancellation purposes. If, during the term of a rental agreement, said insurance is cancelled and not renewed, then the residential rental unit occupancy permit for said property shall be deemed null and void for the purpose of this section of the article.
B. 
Prior to the issuance of any residential rental unit occupancy permit within the Village of Owego, any and all landlords/property owners must designate an agent of at least 21 years of age, who resides in the Village of Owego, to accept legal service on behalf of the property owner/landlord. Prior to the issuance of any residential rental unit occupancy permit, the property owner/landlord must provide such information to the Code Enforcement Officer. Said information must include the name, address and telephone number of such designated agent. All service of process in the event that said property owner/landlord needs to be served or given notice by the Village of Owego shall be deemed sufficient service for the purpose of the Village of Owego Code if the Village of Owego serves the landlord/property owner or his or her designated agent.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall, in his or her discretion, determine the severity of any code violations following an inspection. If a property owner is cited with a code violation, the Code Enforcement Officer will notify the owner, landlord or designated agent of the violation and provide the landlord with a reasonable amount of time in which to make repairs. This provision does not apply to emergency situations or code infractions deemed to be imminent hazards to the public health, safety and welfare. If the violations are not corrected by the reinspection date, an appearance ticket may be issued, and a court appearance will be required.
Whenever a notice of violation as provided in § 162-10 has not been complied with, or the determination has been made that a rental property or residential rental unit(s) is unsafe, unfit for human occupancy, unlawful or an imminent hazard, the Code Enforcement Officer may order the rental property or residential rental unit(s) to be vacated within such reasonable time as the Code Enforcement Officer shall direct.
No such rental property or residential rental unit(s) previously ordered to be vacated shall be used again for human occupation until written approval and a residential rental unit occupancy permit is secured from the Code Enforcement Officer.
The Village of Owego reserves the right to revoke or suspend any residential rental unit occupancy permit at any time due to violations of any other codes, laws, rules and regulations of New York State and the Village of Owego.
Any person, firm or corporation who violates, disobeys, neglects or refuses to comply with the provisions of § 162-7 and/or § 162-9 of this article shall be guilty of a violation and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000. Each week a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
All fines and penalties shall be paid prior to the issuance of any residential rental unit occupancy permit.
The Village of Owego Board of Trustees may periodically amend administrative rules, procedures and other provisions of this article.