City of Nanticoke, PA
Luzerne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Nanticoke as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Construction standards — See Ch. 210.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 368.
Solid waste — See Ch. 440.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 450.
Zoning — See Ch. 500.
[Adopted 4-1-1998 by Ord. No. 13-1998 (Ch. 13, Part 2, of the 2004 Code of Ordinances)]
This article is enacted to provide for the uniform and equitable distribution of the tax levy in the City of Nanticoke and upon the inhabitants thereof and to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the inhabitants of the City.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
BUSINESS UNIT
A parcel of real estate, with or without improvements located thereon, utilized by any person or persons for any commercial activity or purpose.
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms used for living and sleeping purposes, arranged for occupancy by one family or by one or more persons.
LANDLORD
A lessor or person who acts as agent for the lessor of any parcel of real estate located in the City of Nanticoke, or a lessor or person who acts as agent for the lessor of any improvements on real estate or any building located in the City.
OCCUPANCY PERMIT
A permit granted by the Code Enforcement Officer of the City of Nanticoke, allowing the occupancy of a rental or rentable unit by a tenant, certifying that the unit meets all applicable codes of the City.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, association, firm or corporation.
RENTAL OR RENTABLE UNIT
A dwelling unit or a business unit, or any combination thereof.
TENANT
A person who has the use, either by himself or with others, of a dwelling unit or a business unit owned by a person other than himself for a period exceeding 30 days.
Within 30 days from the effective date of this article, each landlord shall submit to the Code Enforcement Officer a report on forms supplied by the City of Nanticoke which shall include the following information:
A. 
List of the dwelling units and business units owned by the landlord located within the City limits, whether occupied or not occupied.
B. 
Address of each dwelling unit and business unit.
C. 
A brief description of each dwelling unit or business unit.
D. 
Whether or not the said dwelling unit or business unit is inhabited or utilized by tenants.
E. 
Names of the tenant or tenants utilizing the aforementioned dwelling unit or business unit, if any.
After the effective date of this article, any person who becomes a landlord of any parcel of real estate or any improvement on real estate or building located in the City of Nanticoke by agreement of sale, by deed or by any other means, shall, within 30 days thereafter, report to the Code Enforcement Officer the information and data set forth in § 372-3 above on forms to be provided by the Code Enforcement Officer.
After the effective date of this article, each and every landlord of property within the City of Nanticoke shall report to the Code Enforcement Officer on a report form to be supplied by the Code Enforcement Officer any change in the use or occupancy of any dwelling unit or business unit owned by such landlord. The reported change shall include the name or names of new tenants of such dwelling unit or business unit, the date when such change was effected, and the forwarding address of the old tenant or tenants, if known. A landlord of a hotel, inn, boardinghouse, motel, bed-and-breakfast, or other overnight lodging facility shall not be required to report a person as a "tenant" until that person has resided in such landlord's establishment for a period exceeding 30 days. In the event that a dwelling unit or business unit was used or utilized by a tenant and then becomes vacant, this change shall also be reported to the Code Enforcement Officer. All reports required by this section shall be made within 10 days after a landlord has knowledge that such unit has had a change of occupancy or has become vacant.
A. 
Prior to the occupancy of any rental or rentable property, the owner shall obtain from the Code Enforcement Officer the permit set forth in § 372-7 hereof. However, an occupancy permit will not be required for the following units:
(1) 
Where such property is occupied by a tenant at the time of adoption of this article, a permit shall not be required for the specific tenant occupying the unit at the time of adoption of this article, provided the landlord has properly notified the City as required by § 372-3 herein.
B. 
The occupancy permit shall be valid for only the tenant whose name appears on the occupancy permit. Each subsequent change of tenant shall require a new permit as required in § 372-7.
A. 
Upon application of the landlord and the payment to the City of Nanticoke of a fee established by City Council pursuant to resolution, the Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee shall then review the pertinent City records and inspect the premises in question.
B. 
Upon completion of the review and inspection, if the Code Enforcement Officer is satisfied there are no violations of City ordinances and codes, he/she shall execute and deliver an occupancy permit to the landlord, which shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The street address or appropriate description of the subject property.
(2) 
The name of the tenant(s) and the landlord.
(3) 
A statement of variances and use permits, if any, granted to that property, together with the conditions and restrictions of such permits.
(4) 
A statement indicating that there does not appear to be any nonconformity or illegality in the structure(s), the property, or the uses being made thereof. This statement shall also indicate whether the property has been approved or designated as a nonconforming use.
C. 
If the Code Enforcement Officer finds any violations of City ordinances or codes, he/she shall deliver a detailed list of all violations of the zoning, housing, property maintenance, building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, health or fire prevention ordinances or regulations. An occupancy permit shall not be issued for the rental unit until all ordinance and code violations are corrected.
Notwithstanding any other law or ordinance, the provisions of this article may not be waived or disclaimed by any oral or written agreement executed by any landlord or tenant.
A. 
In the City of Nanticoke, it shall be unlawful for any landlord to rent or lease property, or any interest therein, unless the landlord shall first deliver to the prospective tenant at or prior to the execution of any rental agreement or lease, or prior to the occupancy should no rental agreement or lease be utilized, the occupancy permit described in § 372-7.
B. 
The tenant or lessee shall execute a receipt for the occupancy permit, as furnished by the City of Nanticoke, and such receipt shall be delivered by the landlord to the Code Enforcement Officer as evidence of compliance with the provisions of this article.
The occupancy permit shall be compiled from the records of the City and from an inspection of the property. Neither the enactment of this article nor the preparation and delivery of the occupancy permit required hereunder shall impose any liability upon the City of Nanticoke for any errors or omissions contained in such permit, nor shall the City of Nanticoke bear any liability not otherwise imposed by law.
Appeals from the findings set forth in the occupancy permit or a related violation notice must be filed in writing with the City Council of the City of Nanticoke within three days after the issuance of said certificate; the City Council of the City of Nanticoke will refer the appeal to the appropriate board of appeals.
The City Clerk, under the authority of this article, shall:
A. 
Maintain on file at the City offices the names of the landlords owning dwelling units and business units in the City, said list to include the names of the current tenants of said dwelling units and business units.
B. 
Maintain a supply of forms for landlords to use in making reports to the Code Enforcement Officer as required by §§ 372-3, 372-4 and 372-5 of this article.
C. 
Notify the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief of the City of Nanticoke of the address and description of any dwelling unit or business unit that is vacant, unoccupied and not in use.
[Amended 12-1-2004 by Ord. No. 16-2004]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs or to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or both. Each day that a violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[Adopted 12-17-2008 by Ord. No. 1-2008]
A. 
Purpose. It is the purpose of this article and the policy of the City Council of the City of Nanticoke, in order to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens, to establish rights and obligations of owners and tenants relating to the rental of certain dwelling units in the City of Nanticoke and to encourage owners and tenants to maintain and improve the quality of rental housing within the community. It is also the policy of the City that owners, managers and tenants share responsibilities to obey the various codes adopted to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of City residents. As a means to those ends, this article provides for a system of inspections, issuance and renewal of occupancy licenses, and sets penalties for violations. This article shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its purposes and policies.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CITY
The City of Nanticoke, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
CODE
Any code or ordinance adopted, enacted and/or in effect in and for the City of Nanticoke concerning fitness for habitation or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use or appearance of any premises or dwelling unit. Included within, but not limited by, this definition are the following, which are in effect as of the date of enactment of this article: International Building Codes (IBC) Basic Building Code, IBC Basic Plumbing Code, IBC Basic Property Maintenance Code, IBC Basic Fire Prevention Code, National Electrical Code, Floodplain Management Ordinance, Weed and Vegetation Control Ordinance, Sidewalk Maintenance Ordinance, Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance, Zoning Ordinance, and any duly enacted amendment or supplement to any of the above, and any existing or new enactment falling within this definition.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The duly appointed Code Enforcement Officer(s) having charge of the Office of Code Enforcement of the City of Nanticoke and any assistants or deputies thereof.
COMMON AREA
Any open area within a structure shared by tenants or that the tenants have the right to share, including, but not limited to, kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, attics, basements and any room used for parties, social events, or the congregation of people, excepting bedrooms.
COMMUNITY LIVING FACILITY
A living arrangement whereby unrelated individuals with diagnosed mental health or mental retardation problems reside on a permanent basis with twenty-four-hour supervision and whose primary purpose is the development and maintenance of community living skills.
DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT
Any form of conduct, action, incident or behavior perpetrated, caused or permitted by any occupant or visitor of a regulated dwelling unit that is so loud, untimely (as to hour of the day), offensive, riotous or that otherwise disturbs other persons of reasonable sensibility in their peaceful enjoyment of their premises such that a report is made to the police and/or to the Code Enforcement Officer complaining of such conduct, action, incident or behavior. It is not necessary that such conduct, action, incident or behavior constitutes a criminal offense, nor that criminal charges be filed against any person, in order for a person to have perpetrated, caused or permitted the commission of disruptive conduct, as defined herein. Provided, however, that no disruptive conduct shall be deemed to have occurred unless the Code Enforcement Officer or police shall investigate and make a determination that such did occur and keep written records, including a report, of such occurrence.
DWELLING
A building having one or more dwelling units.
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms, including "apartments," used for living and sleeping purposes, having a kitchen or kitchenette with fixed cooking facilities and a bathroom with a toilet and bathtub or shower.
GUEST
A person on the premises with the actual or implied consent of an occupant.
MANAGER
An adult individual designated by the owner of a regulated rental unit under § 372-15B. The manager is considered to be the agent of the owner for service of process and receiving notices or demands to perform the obligations of the owner under this article and under rental agreements with tenants. Nothing in this section precludes the owner from being served with any required notices or demands.
MULTIPLE-UNIT DWELLING
A building containing two or more independent dwelling units, including, but not limited to, double houses, row houses, condominiums, apartment houses, and conversion apartments.
OCCUPANCY LICENSE
The license issued to the owner of regulated rental units or dormitory units under this article, which is required for the lawful rental and occupancy of regulated rental units or dormitory units.
OWNER
One or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested all or part of the legal title to the premises or all or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to present use and enjoyment of the premises, including a mortgage holder in possession of a regulated rental unit.
OWNER-OCCUPIED DWELLING UNIT
A dwelling unit in which the owner resides on a regular, permanent basis.
PERSON
A natural person, partnership, corporation, unincorporated association, limited partnership, trust, or any other entity.
POLICE
The Police Department of the City of Nanticoke or any properly authorized member or officer thereof or any other law enforcement agency having jurisdiction within the City of Nanticoke.
PREMISES
Any parcel of real property in the City, including the land and all buildings and appurtenant structures or appurtenant elements, on which one or more regulated rental units or dormitory units is located.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT (or RENTAL UNIT)
Any dwelling unit or structurally enclosed area including or intended to be used as the living quarters for one or more individuals and not occupied by the owner thereof.
TENANT
An individual who resides in a regulated rental unit, whether or not he or she is the owner thereof, with whom a legal relationship with the owner/landlord is established by a written lease or by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
UNRELATED
Of or pertaining to two or more persons not related to one another through blood to the level of second cousins, adoption or marriage.
A. 
General. It shall be the duty of every owner to keep and maintain all regulated residential rental units in compliance with all applicable codes and provisions of all other applicable state laws and regulations and local ordinances and to keep such property in good and safe condition. The owner and landlord, if applicable, shall be responsible for regularly performing all routine maintenance, including lawn mowing and ice and snow removal, and for making any and all repairs in and around the premises. As provided for in this article, every owner shall be responsible for regulating the proper and lawful use and maintenance of every dwelling which he, she or it owns. As provided for in this article, every owner shall also be responsible for regulating the conduct and activities of the tenants of every regulated rental unit which he, she or it owns in the City, which conduct or activity takes place at such regulated rental unit or its premises. In order to achieve those ends, every owner of a regulated rental unit shall regulate the conduct and activity of the tenants thereof, both contractually and through enforcement, as more fully set forth below. This section shall not be construed as diminishing or relieving, in any way, the responsibility of tenants or their guests for their conduct or activity, nor shall it be construed as an assignment, transfer or projection over or onto any owner of any responsibility of tenants or their guests for their conduct or activity, nor shall it be construed as an assignment, transfer or projection over or onto any owner of any responsibility or liability which tenants or their guests may have as a result of their conduct or activity under any private cause of action, civil or criminal enforcement proceeding or criminal law; nor shall this section be construed so as to require an owner to indemnify or defend tenants or their guests when any such action or proceeding is brought against the tenant based upon the tenant's conduct or activity. Nothing herein is intended to impose any additional civil/criminal liability upon owners other than that which is imposed by existing law. This article is not intended, nor shall its effect be, to limit any other enforcement remedies which may be available to the City against an owner, tenant or guest thereof.
B. 
Designation of manager. Every owner who is not a full-time resident of the City of Nanticoke or elsewhere in an area within 20 miles of the City of Nanticoke shall designate a manager who shall reside in an area that is a local call from the City of Nanticoke. If the owner is a corporation, a manager shall be required if an officer of the corporation does not reside in the aforesaid calling area. The officer shall perform the same function as a manager. If the owner is a partnership, a manager shall be required if a partner does not reside in the aforesaid calling area. Said partner shall perform the same function as a manager. The manager shall be the agent of the owner for service of process and receiving of notices and demands, as well as for performing the obligations of the owner under this article and under rental agreements with tenants. The identity, address and telephone number(s) of a person who is designated as manager hereunder shall be provided by the owner or manager to the City, and such information shall be kept current and updated as it changes.
C. 
Disclosure.
(1) 
The owner, individually or through his/her/its manager, if applicable, shall disclose to the occupant in writing on or before the commencement of the tenancy:
(a) 
The name, address and telephone number of the manager, if applicable; and
(b) 
The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the premises.
(2) 
Before an occupant initially enters into or renews a rental agreement for a regulated rental unit, the owner or manager shall furnish the occupant with the most recent inspection report relating to the property.
D. 
Maintenance of premises.
(1) 
The owner shall maintain the premises in compliance with the applicable codes of the City and shall regularly perform all routine maintenance, including lawn mowing and ice and snow removal, and shall promptly make any and all repairs necessary to fulfill this obligation.
(2) 
The owner and occupant may agree that the occupant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations or remodeling. In such case, however, such agreement between the owner and occupant must be in writing. Such an agreement may be entered into between the owner and occupant only if:
(a) 
The agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the owner or occupant.
(b) 
The agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the owner to other tenants in the premises.
(3) 
In no case shall the existence of any agreement between owner and occupant relieve an owner of any responsibility under this article or other ordinances or codes for maintenance of a premises. The owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring the provisions of this article have been complied with.
E. 
Complaints. The owner shall reply promptly to reasonable complaints and inquiries from tenants.
F. 
Landlord-Tenant Act. The owner shall comply with all provisions of the Landlord-Tenant Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 68 P.S. §§ 250.101 to 250.602.
G. 
Common areas. Where an owner of a regulated dwelling unit does not regulate the use of common areas and the behavior of tenants and guests in the common areas, the owner shall be directly responsible for the behavior of tenants and guests in the common area as if the owner were an occupant. The failure of the owner to regulate behavior of tenants and guests in the common areas that results in the following shall be a violation of this article:
(1) 
Engaging in fighting or threatening or in violent or tumultuous behavior;
(2) 
Making unreasonable noise; or
(3) 
Creating hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
H. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
Within 10 days after receipt of written notice from the Code Enforcement Officer that a tenant of a regulated rental unit has violated a provision of this article, the owner shall take immediate steps to remedy the violation and take steps to assure that there is not a recurrence of the violation.
(2) 
Within 20 days after receipt of a notice of violation, the owner shall file with the Code Enforcement Officer a report, on a form provided by the City, setting forth what action the owner has taken to remedy the violation and what steps he or she has taken to prevent a recurrence of the violation. The report shall also set forth a plan as to steps the owner will take in the future if the violation recurs.
(3) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall review the report and, if adequate steps have been taken and the plan is adequate to address future violations, shall approve the plan. The owner shall, on his or her initiative, enforce the plan, and failure to do so shall be a violation of this article. Failure to adequately take steps to address the conduct of problem tenants shall constitute a violation of this article.
I. 
Code violations. Upon receiving notice of any code violations from the Code Enforcement Officer, the owner shall promptly take action or cause the necessary action to be taken to abate the offending condition and eliminate the violation.
J. 
City can make repairs. In case the owner of a premises shall neglect, fail or refuse to comply with any notice from the City or its Code Enforcement Officer to correct a violation relating to maintenance and repair of the premises under any code within the period of time stated in such notice, the City may cause the violation to be corrected. There shall be imposed upon the owner a charge of the actual costs involved plus 10% of said costs for administration and enforcement for each time the City shall cause a violation to be corrected, and the owner of the premises shall be billed after same has been completed. Any such bill which remains unpaid and outstanding after the time specified therein for payment shall be grounds for the imposition of a municipal lien upon the premises as provided by law. Such a lien may be reduced to judgment and enforced and collected as provided by law, together with interest at the legal rate and court costs, including attorneys' fees. The remedies provided by this subsection are not exclusive, and the City and its Code Enforcement Officer may invoke such other remedies available under this article or the applicable codes, ordinances or statutes, including, where appropriate, condemnation proceedings or declaration of premises as unfit for habitation, or suspension, revocation or nonrenewal of the license issued hereunder.
K. 
The owner shall permit inspections of any premises by the Code Enforcement Officer at reasonable times upon reasonable notice.
L. 
Required postings.
(1) 
The owner shall post in a conspicuous location in the entryway of every licensed regulated unit the following:
(a) 
The current license and current inspection report issued by the Code Enforcement Office of the City of Nanticoke.
(b) 
The total number of persons who may occupy the regulated rental unit and any common areas located within the regulated rental unit.
(c) 
A notice of ordinances and statutes applicable to the tenants of a regulated rental unit.
(2) 
The owner shall also post in all common areas the total number of persons who can occupy the common area.
(3) 
The notices required by this section shall be posted in such a way so as to minimize tampering and removal.
A. 
General. The tenant shall comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by this article, all applicable codes and ordinances of the City, and all applicable provisions of state law.
B. 
Health and safety regulations.
(1) 
The maximum number of persons permitted in any regulated rental unit at any time shall not exceed one person for each 40 square feet of habitable floor space in said regulated rental unit. The maximum number of persons permitted in the common areas of any multiple-unit dwelling at any time shall not exceed one person for each 15 square feet of common area on the premises.
(2) 
The tenant shall deposit all rubbish, garbage, and other waste from his or her regulated rental unit into containers provided by the owner or landlord in a clean and safe manner and shall separate and place for collection all recyclable materials in compliance with the recycling plan submitted by the owner to the City under Nanticoke's Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance or, if there is no recycling plan for the premises, then in compliance with Nanticoke's Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinances and all other applicable ordinances, laws and regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 440, Solid Waste; Art. I, Collection and Disposal; Art. II, Recycling.
C. 
Peaceful enjoyment. The tenant shall conduct himself or herself and require other persons, including, but not limited to, guests on the premises and within his or her regulated rental unit or dormitory unit with his or her consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the premises by others and that will not disturb the peaceful enjoyment of adjacent or nearby dwellings by the persons occupying same.
D. 
Residential use. The tenant shall, unless otherwise permitted by applicable law or ordinance, occupy or use his or her regulated rental unit for no other purpose than as a residence.
E. 
Illegal activities. The tenant shall not engage in nor tolerate nor permit others on the premises to engage in any conduct declared illegal under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.) or Liquor Code (47 P.S. § 1-101 et seq.) or the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq.).
F. 
Disruptive conduct.
(1) 
The tenant shall not engage in nor tolerate nor permit others on the premises to engage in disruptive conduct or other violations of this article.
(2) 
When police or the Code Enforcement Officer investigate an alleged incident of disruptive conduct, he or she shall complete a report upon a finding that the reported incident did, in his or her judgment, constitute disruptive conduct as defined herein. The information filled in said report shall include, if possible, the identity or identities of the alleged perpetrator(s) of the disruptive conduct and all other obtainable information, including the factual basis for the disruptive conduct requested, on the prescribed form. Where the police make such investigation, said police officer shall then submit the completed report to the Code Enforcement Officer. In all cases, the Code Enforcement Officer shall mail a copy of the report to the owner or manager within three working days of the occurrence of the alleged disruptive conduct, whether the person making the investigation on behalf of the City is the Code Enforcement Officer or police.
G. 
Compliance with rental agreement. The tenant shall comply with all lawful provisions of the rental agreement entered into between owner and tenant. Failure to comply may result in the eviction of the tenant by the owner.
H. 
Damage to premises. The tenant shall not intentionally cause nor permit nor tolerate others to cause damage to the premises. Conduct which result in damages in excess of $500 shall be considered a violation of this article.
I. 
Inspection of premises. The tenant shall permit inspections by the Code Enforcement Officer of the premises at reasonable times upon reasonable notice.
J. 
Removal or defacement of notice. It shall be a violation of this article for any person to remove or deface any notice or document required to be posted within a regulated rental unit, and it shall be unlawful for any person to occupy the regulated rental unit unless all notices and documents are posted as required.
K. 
It shall be a violation of this article for any tenant or any other person to engage in disruptive conduct as defined by this article.
A. 
License requirement.
(1) 
As a prerequisite to entering into a rental agreement, whether written or oral, or permitting the occupancy of any regulated rental unit [except as provided in Subsection A(3) below], the owner of every such regulated rental unit shall be required to apply for and obtain a license for each regulated rental unit.
(2) 
A license shall be required for all regulated rental units.
(3) 
The following categories of rental properties shall not require licenses and shall not, therefore, be subject to the permitting provision of this article:
(a) 
Owner-occupied dwelling units, provided that not more than two unrelated individuals, in addition to the immediate members of the owner's family, occupy the dwelling unit at any given time.
(b) 
Housing units regulated, maintained and administered by the City of Nanticoke's Housing Authority.
(c) 
Hotels and motels.
(d) 
Hospitals and nursing homes.
(e) 
Bed-and-breakfast units.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(4) 
A license shall not be required for multiple-unit dwellings, although a license shall be required for each regulated rental unit within the structure. The foregoing notwithstanding, all other provisions of this article shall apply to the common areas of the structure.
(5) 
The application for the license shall be in a form as determined by the City.
(6) 
The owner shall maintain a current and accurate list of the tenants in each regulated rental unit, which shall include their name, permanent address, and permanent telephone number, which shall be available to the City for inspection upon reasonable notice. The owner shall notify the City of changes in the occupancy within 10 days of the change and shall provide the name of the person who is no longer residing in the premises in the event a person departs and the name, permanent address, and permanent telephone number of new tenants in the event a new person is added.
(7) 
The owner shall furnish with his or her application, for inspection purposes only, the written leases or a detailed statement of the terms of any oral lease which, at a minimum, shall include the term of the lease, rental amount and parties to the leases that have been entered into that will cover all or part of the license term. The license will not be issued if such information is not furnished. Leases shall be furnished for all persons who have paid a down payment at the time that the owner applies for a license or who have committed to residing in the premises.
(8) 
The owner shall furnish with his or her application for a license a floor plan, drawn to scale, with the measurements of each room within the regulated rental unit. The owner shall submit the scale drawing only with the first application submitted after the enactment of this article. In the event that there are changes to the floor plan, the owner shall submit a revised floor plan with the application first submitted after the changes to the floor plan were made.
(9) 
In the event that a license is denied by the Code Office, the owner shall have the right to appeal to the Code Appeals Board of the City of Nanticoke within 30 days of mailing of the notice of denial of the application. The hearing before the Board shall be governed by the Local Agency Act.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 2 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 551 et seq. and 751 et seq.
(10) 
No license shall be issued to an owner unless the rental unit is in compliance with all applicable codes and ordinances of the City of Nanticoke.
B. 
Annual license term, fee and occupancy limit.
(1) 
Each license shall have an annual term running from July 1 through June 30 of the next year.
(2) 
Upon application for a license and prior to issuance or renewal thereof, each applicant shall pay to the City an annual license and inspection fee in an amount to be established, from time to time by resolution of the City Council. Such resolution may provide for more than one fee scale for different categories of premises, to be more specifically set forth in the resolution. An inspection must be done each time a new tenant moves into a unit. All units will be required to be inspected upon passage of this article, except for units which were inspected by Joe Kordek, the City Code Enforcement Officer, from May 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008, for which a one-time exemption from inspection is granted.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(3) 
The license shall indicate thereon the maximum number of tenants in each regulated rental unit or dormitory unit.
(4) 
No license shall be issued if the owner has not paid any fines and costs arising from enforcement of this article or any of the ordinances of the City of Nanticoke relating to land use and/or code enforcement or if any licensing fees under this article are due and owing the City.
(5) 
The City shall keep copies of leases that it retains in confidence and shall not disclose their contents except as necessary to do so to enforce this article.
C. 
Inspection.
(1) 
All premises shall be subject to periodic inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer or another duly authorized agent of the City. Such inspection may take place when an application is submitted for a license or at any time during the year.
(2) 
The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby designated as the official authorized to enforce this article and to take appropriate measures to abate violation hereof for and on behalf of the City of Nanticoke.
(3) 
This section shall not be construed so as to limit or restrict the Code Enforcement Officer's authority to conduct inspections of premises, whether or not subject to the permitting and inspection requirements of this article, pursuant to any other ordinance or code.
(4) 
If upon the initial inspection violations of the codes of the City of Nanticoke are identified, the owner shall pay a reinspection fee for each and every time it is necessary for the Code Enforcement Officer of the City of Nanticoke to reinspect the property until no such violations are found. The amount of the reinspection fee is to be determined by the City Council of the City of Nanticoke from time to time by resolution.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
Search warrant. Upon a showing of probable cause that a violation of this article or any other ordinance of the City of Nanticoke has occurred, the Code Enforcement Officer may apply to the Magisterial District Judge having jurisdiction in the City of Nanticoke for a search warrant to enter and inspect the premises.
A. 
General. The Code Enforcement Officer may initiate action against an owner that may result in a formal warning, nonrenewal, suspension or revocation of the owner's license for violating any provision of this article that imposes a duty upon the owner and/or for failing to regulate the breach of duties by tenants as provided for herein.
B. 
Definitions of options.
(1) 
Formal warning. Formal written notification of at least one violation of this article. Upon satisfactory compliance with this article and any conditions imposed by the Code Enforcement Officer and/or the City Council, the formal warning shall be removed when the owner applies for license renewal at a time set by the Code Enforcement Officer or by City Council.
(2) 
Nonrenewal. The denial of the privilege to apply for license renewal after expiration of the license term. The City will permit the owner to maintain tenants in the premises until the end of the license term but will not accept applications for renewal of the license until a time set by the Code Enforcement Officer.
(3) 
Suspension. The immediate loss of the privilege to rent regulated rental units for a period of time set by the Code Enforcement Officer. The owner, after the expiration of the suspension period, may apply for license renewal without the need to show cause why the owner's privilege to apply for a license should be reinstated. Upon suspension, the owner shall take immediate steps to evict the tenants.
(4) 
Revocation. The immediate loss of the privilege to rent regulated rental units for a period of time set by the Code Enforcement Officer and the loss of the privilege to apply for renewal of the license at the expiration of the time period. Upon the loss of the privilege to rent, the owner shall take immediate steps to evict the tenants.
C. 
Consideration. In determining which of the above options to enforce, the Code Enforcement Officer shall consider the following:
(1) 
The effect of the violation on the health, safety and welfare of the tenants of the regulated rental unit and other residents of the premises.
(2) 
The effect of the violation on the neighborhood.
(3) 
Whether the owner has prior violations of this article and other ordinances of the City or has received notices of violations as provided for in this article.
(4) 
Whether the owner has been subject to disciplinary proceedings under this article.
(5) 
The effect of disciplinary action on the tenants.
(6) 
The action taken by the owner to remedy the violation and to prevent future violations, including any written plan submitted by the owner.
(7) 
The policies and lease language employed by the owner to manage the regulated dwelling unit or dormitory unit to enable the owner to comply with the provisions of this article.
(8) 
Failure to abate a violation of City codes and ordinances that apply to the premises within the time directed by the Code Enforcement Officer.
(9) 
Refusal to permit the inspection of the premises by the Code Enforcement Officer as required by § 372-17C.
(10) 
Failure to take steps to remedy and prevent violations of this article by tenants of regulated rental units or dormitory units as required by this article.
(11) 
Failure to file and implement an approved plan to remedy and prevent violations of this article by tenants of a regulated rental unit or dormitory unit as required by this article.
(12) 
Failure to evict tenants after having been directed to do so by the Code Enforcement Officer of the City.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(13) 
Three violations of this article or other ordinances of the City that apply to the premises within a license term. For purposes of this article, there need be no criminal conviction before a violation can be found to exist. Before a prior violation can be considered under this section, the owner must have received notice in writing of this violation within 30 days after the Code Enforcement Officer received notice of the violation.
D. 
Procedure for nonrenewal, suspension or revocation of license.
(1) 
Notification. Following a determination that grounds for nonrenewal, suspension or revocation of a license exist, the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the owner of the action to be taken and the reasons therefor. Such notification shall be in writing, addressed to the owner in question, and shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The address of the premises in question and identification of the particular regulated rental unit(s) affected.
(b) 
A description of the violation which has been found to exist.
(c) 
A statement that the license for said regulated rental unit(s) shall be either suspended or revoked or will not be renewed for the next license year beginning July 1 or that the owner will receive a formal warning. In the case of a suspension or revocation, the notice shall state the date upon which such suspension or revocation will commence and, in the case of a suspension, shall also state the duration of said suspension.
(d) 
A statement that, due to the nonrenewal, suspension or revocation (as the case may be), the owner or any person acting on his, her or its behalf is prohibited from renting, leasing or permitting occupancy of the dwelling unit(s) subject to said enforcement action by more than two unrelated individuals from and during the period said action is in effect.
(e) 
A statement informing the owner that he, she or it has a right to appeal the decision suspending, revoking or declining to renew the license to the Code Appeals Board by submitting in writing to the City Manager, within 30 days from the date printed on the notice, a detailed statement of the appeal, including the grounds therefor and the reason(s) alleged as to why the determination of the Code Enforcement Officer is incorrect or should be overturned, and a statement of relief requested by the appellant. Such notice of appeal may be required to be submitted on a form to be prescribed therefor by the City, to be signed by the appellant. There is hereby imposed a fee for filing of such appeals, the amount of which shall be determined and established from time to time by resolution of City Council.
(f) 
Upon receipt of such an appeal in proper form, accompanied with the requisite filing fee, the City Manager shall schedule a hearing to be held not more than 30 days and not less than 10 days from the date on which the appeal is filed.
(g) 
The appellant, the Code Enforcement Officer and the owners of properties within a radius of 300 feet from the premises for which the license is at issue shall receive written notice of the hearing on the appeal.
(h) 
The Code Appeal Board shall hold a hearing on the appeal, which shall be conducted in accordance with the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 551 to 555. The appellant and all other parties having an interest may be heard. Based on the facts and arguments of the appellant and of the Code Enforcement Officer and any police or other public officials involved, and any relevant factual presentations of other parties, the Code Appeals Board shall make a decision either affirming, reversing or modifying the action of the Code Enforcement Officer from which the appeal was taken. Such decision shall be rendered at a public meeting either immediately following the hearing or within 30 days thereafter. The decision shall be reduced to writing, stating clearly the factual and legal basis for the decision, within 45 days after the hearing. If the City deems it necessary or desirable, it may continue the hearing to a subsequent time and date not later than 30 days from the initial hearing, which time and date shall be openly announced at the initial hearing, and in such case, the time limits for rendering the decision and reducing it to writing set forth herein shall be calculated from the last hearing date (at which the substance of the decision is orally announced).
(2) 
Delivery of notification.
(a) 
All notices shall be sent to the owner or manager, if applicable, by certified mail. In the event that the notice is returned by the postal authorities marked "unclaimed" or "refused," then the Code Enforcement Officer shall attempt delivery by personal service on the owner or manager, if applicable. The Code Enforcement Officer shall also post the notice at a conspicuous place on the premises.
(b) 
If personal service cannot be accomplished after a reasonable attempt to do so, then the notice may be sent to the owner or manager at the address stated on the most current license application for the premises in question by regular first-class mail, postage prepaid. If such notice is not returned by the postal authorities within five days of its deposit in the U.S. Mail, then it shall be deemed to have been delivered to and received by the addressee on the fifth day following its deposit in the U.S. Mail, and all time periods set forth under Subsection D(2)(a) above shall thereupon be calculated from said fifth day.
A. 
Basis for violation. It shall be unlawful for any person, as either owner or manager of a regulated rental unit for which a license is required, to operate without a valid, current license issued by the City authorizing such operation. It shall also be unlawful for any person, either owner or manager, to allow the number of tenants of a regulated rental unit to exceed the maximum limit as set forth on the license or to violate any other provision of this article. It shall be unlawful for any tenant to violate this article.
B. 
Penalties. Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment of not more than 90 days. Each day that a violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
Nonexclusive remedies. The penalty provisions of this section and the license nonrenewal, suspension and revocation procedures provided in this article shall be independent, nonmutually exclusive separate remedies, all of which shall be available to the City as may be deemed appropriate for carrying out the purposes of this article. The remedies and procedures provided in this article for violation hereof are not intended to supplant or replace to any degree the remedies and procedures available to the City in the case of a violation of any other code or ordinance of the City, whether or not such other code or ordinance is referenced in this article and whether or not an ongoing violation of such other code or ordinance is cited as the underlying grounds for a finding of a violation of this article.
A. 
Notices.
(1) 
For purposes of this article, any notice given to a manager shall be deemed as notice given to the owner.
(2) 
There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any notice required to be given to the owner under this article shall have been received by such owner if the notice was given to the owner in the manner provided by this article.
(3) 
A claimed lack of knowledge by the owner of any violation hereunder cited shall be no defense to license nonrenewal, suspension or revocation proceedings as long as all notices prerequisite to institution of such proceedings have been given and deemed received in accordance with the applicable provisions of this article.
B. 
Changes in ownership or occupancy. It shall be the duty of each owner of a regulated rental unit to notify the Code Enforcement Officer, in writing, of any change in ownership of the premises or of the number of regulated rental units on the premises. It shall also be the duty of the owner to notify the Code Enforcement Officer, in writing, of any increase in the number of tenants in any regulated rental unit or of the changing of a dwelling unit from owner-occupied to non-owner-occupied, which thereby transforms the dwelling into a regulated rental unit for purposes of this article.
C. 
Owners severally responsible. If any regulated rental unit is owned by more than one person in any form of joint tenancy, as a partnership or otherwise, each person shall be jointly and severally responsible for the duties imposed under the terms of this article and shall be severally subject to prosecution for a violation of this article.
D. 
Confidentiality of leases. The City shall keep copies of leases that it retains in confidence and shall not disclose their contents except as part of official City business.