Town of Denton, MD
Caroline County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Denton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-1-2009 by Ord. No. 576]
The purpose of this article is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Town residents and to prevent deterioration of the housing stock in the Town.
[Amended 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 627]
Unless specifically defined in this article or unless context clearly requires a different meaning, terms used in this article have the meanings given to them by the currently adopted edition of the International Property Maintenance Code. For the purposes of this article, certain words and phrases used in this article are defined as follows:
CODE OFFICIAL
The official who is charged with the administration and enforcement of this chapter or code, or any duly authorized representative. The Property Maintenance Inspector in accordance with the Denton Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 94, is designated the Code Official.
[Added 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
Prostitution; gambling; maintaining or conducting a disorderly house; unlawful possession; transportation; sale or use of a weapon; domestic assault; delinquency of a minor; criminal street gang activity; threatening; intimidating or assaultive behavior; the unlawful discharge of firearms; or any other criminal activity on or near the premises that jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of the landlord, his agent, other resident, neighbor or other third party, or involving imminent or actual serious property damage.
[Added 11-2-2017 by Ord. No. 689]
DEPARTMENT
The Department of Planning and Codes.
[Added 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
DEPARTMENT, DIRECTOR OR ADMINISTRATOR OF
The Director or Senior Code Official in charge of administration of the Department of Property Maintenance.
[Added 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
DPMC
Denton Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 94, and any amendments.
[Added 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
DRUG-RELATED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
The illegal manufacture, sale, distribution, use or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, distribute, or use of a controlled substance or any substance represented to be drugs (as defined in § 102 of the Controlled Substance Act [21 U.S.C. 802]).
[Added 11-2-2017 by Ord. No. 689]
PERSON, OWNER
Any individual, proprietorship, partnership, authorized agent, corporation, association, or other legal entity having a vested interest in a residential rental property.
[Amended 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL DWELLING UNIT
Any building or portion of a building in which a person resides in which consideration of money or other goods or services are paid or provided to the owner of such building, or the owner's authorized representative or other tenant. This definition shall include the letting or rental of the following structures as defined in the Denton Zoning Ordinance:[1] any single-family residential dwelling unit, multifamily residential dwelling unit, two-family residences, boardinghouse, rooming house, lodging house, group home of any type, intermediate care home or institution, or handicapped or infirm home. This definition does not include owner-occupied single-family residences in which no more than two rooms are let, provided the rooms do not have separate kitchen and bath facilities.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 128, Zoning.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to let any residential rental dwelling unit within the Town without first having obtained a license for said unit as hereinafter provided.
B. 
Within 60 days after the effective date of this section, the legal owner of record shall make written application to the Town for a rental unit license, upon such form or forms as the Town shall from time to time designate. Such application shall be submitted together with a nonrefundable rental license fee, as approved and authorized by the Town Council. The legal owner shall also submit a form of lease or rental agreement which shall be used for all residential leases and which, at a minimum, shall contain the following, or substantially comparable, crime free/drug free and disorderly use language:
[Amended 11-2-2017 by Ord. No. 689]
(1) 
Crime free/drug free.
(a) 
The resident, any members of the resident's household, or a guest or other person affiliated with the resident shall not engage in criminal activity, including drug-related criminal activity, on or near the premises.
(b) 
The resident, any member of the resident's household, or a guest or other person affiliated with the resident shall not engage in any act intended to facilitate criminal activity, including drug-related criminal activity, on or near the premises.
(c) 
The resident or members of the household will not permit the dwelling unit to be used for or to facilitate criminal activity, including drug-related criminal activity, regardless of whether the individual engaging in such activity is a member of the household or a guest.
(d) 
The resident, any member of the resident's household, or a guest or other person affiliated with the resident shall not engage in the unlawful manufacturing, selling, using, storing, keeping, or giving of a controlled substance at any locations, whether on or near the premises or otherwise.
(e) 
Violation of any one of the above provisions shall be a material and irreparable violation of the lease and good cause for immediate termination of tenancy.
(2) 
Disorderly use.
(a) 
The resident, members of the resident's household, guests, or other persons under the resident's control shall not engage in the following disorderly use activities:
[1] 
Violations of state law relating to alcoholic beverages, trespassing or disorderly conduct; and
[2] 
Violations of the City Code relating to prohibited noise.
(b) 
Three disorderly use violations involving the same tenancy within a continuous twelve-month period shall be a substantial and material violation of the lease and good cause for termination of the tenancy.
C. 
The holder of the residential rental license shall be the owner of the rental housing unit. If applicable, all owners shall certify to the Town of Denton the name, address, and telephone number of an authorized agent qualified to accept notice or authorize repairs on behalf of the owner. The application shall contain a consent to inspection during reasonable hours for the entire term of the license.
[Added 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 627]
D. 
The Town of Denton shall issue or deny a rental housing license. The Town of Denton Department of Planning and Codes shall receive all applications and coordinate a review process involving the Building Official, Fire Marshal, and other appropriate Town of Denton, county or state agencies. The issuance of a license is not to be construed as proof or acknowledgment of the Town of Denton that the subject property complies with codes pending determination by an inspection. A denial shall be in writing, setting forth the code violation(s) and reason(s) for such denial.
[Added 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 627]
[Amended 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 627; 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
A. 
All residential rental properties shall be subject to periodic inspections by the Code Official charged with the enforcement of this code and any applicable regulations and laws of the Denton Town Code.
B. 
Inspections shall be performed pursuant to the laws and regulations as established in Chapter 94, Denton Property Maintenance Code ("DPMC"), of the Denton Town Code and any provisions and regulations of the Denton Town Code that may apply.
C. 
If an inspection reveals a violation of the provisions of this code or any applicable regulations of the Denton Town Code, in effect in the Town of Denton, the Code Official shall prosecute the violation(s) in accordance with DPMC Section 106 and provide notification pursuant to DPMC Section 107. Fines shall be imposed in accordance with DPMC Section 106.4 and abatement of violation in accordance with DPMC Section 106.5.
D. 
Any person affected by the decision of the Code Official may appeal such decision and fines thereof, in accordance with DPMC Section 111.1(a) and Section 111.1(b).
E. 
The Code Official may grant a waiver of inspection for certain federal or state residential rental housing programs, such as the Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") Section 8, or similar programs where inspections are routinely performed as a requirement to qualify for such housing. Waivers shall be granted, provided the owner, or his or her authorized agent, provides documentation of the most recent inspections performed by the applicable authority or otherwise demonstrates compliance with all applicable codes and regulations. Granting of waivers does not relieve the owner of compliance with all applicable Town, state, or federal laws. The Town reserves the right to perform inspections for compliance with this code.
[Amended 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 627; 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
A. 
A license may be suspended, revoked, or denied by the Code Official if the owner fails to remedy or correct violations in accordance with § 98-4C, fails to maintain proper rental license, or fails to comply with an order or notice by the Code Official. Suspensions, revocations, or denials of a license shall be in addition to and not a substitution for such penalties and fines as provided for in this code.
B. 
Reinstatements of suspensions or revocation of a license is subject to a fine in accordance with a general fine schedule, as established and adopted by resolution of the Town Council, that may be amended from time to time.
C. 
In addition to any other remedies which may be available in the event of a violation of the provisions of this code, the Code Official may seek an injunction to prevent the renting, or offering to rent, of rental dwelling units in the Town which do not have a license previously issued.
D. 
Unpaid fines, fees, expenses or related costs incurred for adjudication and/or abatement of a violation(s) shall be charged to the owner of such property, if not paid in 90 days; all unpaid fines and costs shall be a lien against such property and shall be collectible in the same manner in which delinquent taxes against such real estate shall be collectible, or by any action at law as deemed appropriate.
E. 
Notice of violation; termination of tenancy.
[Added 11-2-2017 by Ord. No. 689]
(1) 
Upon determination by the Code Official that a licensed premises or unit within a licensed premises was used in violation of the crime free/drug free provisions of § 98-3B(1) herein, the Code Official shall cause notice of the violation to be made to the owner and property manager. The owner or property manager shall notify the tenant or tenants within 10 days of the notice of violation and the owner or property manager shall then proceed with termination of the tenancy of all tenants occupying the unit.
(2) 
Upon determination by the Code Official that a licensed premises or unit within a licensed premises was used for disorderly use activities as set forth in § 98-3B(2) herein, the Code Official shall cause notice of the violation to be made to the owner and property manager and direct the owner and property manager to take steps to prevent further disorderly use violations.
(3) 
If a second disorderly use violation as determined by the Code Official occurs within a continuous twelve-month period involving the same tenancy, the Code Official shall cause notice of the second violation to be made to the owner and property manager. The owner or property manager shall respond, in writing, within 10 days of receipt of the notice, with an action plan to prevent further disorderly use violations.
(4) 
If a third disorderly use violation as determined by the Code Official occurs within a continuous twelve-month period involving the same tenancy, the Code Official shall cause notice of the third violation to be made to the owner and property manager. The owner or property manager shall notify the tenant or tenants, within 10 days of the notice of disorderly use violation, of the crime free/drug free lease language within the lease and proceed with termination of the tenancy of all tenants occupying the unit.
(5) 
The provisions of Subsection E(1) through (4) above do not apply if the determination that the premises has been used in violation of the provisions of § 98-3B(1) and (2) originates from a call from or at the request of one or more tenants occupying the premises for police or emergency assistance or, in the case of domestic abuse, from a call for assistance from any source.
(6) 
If the licensee fails to comply with the requirements of this section, the rental dwelling license for the premises may be denied, revoked, suspended, or not renewed. An action to deny, revoke, suspend, or not renew a license under this section may be initiated by the Code Official.
[Amended 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 627; 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
A. 
Licenses shall be issued for a term of one year, renewable for additional one-year terms, subject to payment of a license fee, in the amount as established in the general fee schedule, and adopted by resolution of the Town Council, that may be amended from time to time and subject to the condition herein.
B. 
Licenses issued hereunder shall not be transferable, and subsequent title holders of a residential rental property shall be required to obtain a separate license.
C. 
Failure to remit payment 30 calendar days from the date of notification for renewal of a license shall be assessed a late payment fee in accordance with the fine schedule, established by the Town Council and adopted by resolution, that may be amended from time to time.
Licenses issued under this article shall be produced by the property owner, landlord on the demand of a tenant or prospective tenant and shall be made available at reasonable times for examination by an authorized agent of the Town.
[Amended 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
The Town Council is hereby authorized to enact a resolution establishing a general fee schedule of license, inspection, reinspection fees, penalties and fines pursuant to the administration of this Code. Any fees, fines, and expenses shall be subject to the collection procedures as established herein.
[Amended 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 627]
Any violation of this article shall be considered a municipal infraction, and any person violating any provision of this article shall be subject to the fines and penalties in accordance with § 94-2.1 of Chapter 94, Denton Property Maintenance Code.
[Added 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 627; amended 10-3-2013 by Ord. No. 655]
A. 
Any person affected by a decision of the Code Official and the enforcement of this code may appeal such decision in accordance with DPMC Section 111.1(a) and Section 111.1(b).
B. 
Any person adversely affected by fines imposed in accordance with the regulations established herein, due to economic hardship or other cause, may submit a request, in writing, to the Denton Town Council to waive any fees and fines pursuant to the enforcement of this chapter. Such waivers shall not be construed or interpreted to relieve the person or owner from the responsibility of performing the necessary remedial activity as ordered by the Code Official. The Denton Town Council may request supporting documentation for any request for such waiver.
[Added 3-7-2011 by Ord. No. 627]
Should any provision, section, paragraph, sentence or word of this article be determined unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this article.