[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Springfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 8-7-1991 (Title 5, Ch. 5.34, of the 1986 Code)]
For the purpose of this article, the following definitions shall be applicable:
- A portion of dwelling located partly underground but having less than half its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
- BUILDING CODE
- The Building Code of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- A portion of any dwelling having half or more than half of its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
- COOKING FACILITIES
- A stove, sink, hot plate or so called "toast ovens" in any room which is used for the preparation of food, but shall not include a microwave or small refrigerator.
- A building or structure, except temporary housing, which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A single-family residence or multifamily residence consisting of individual units, each providing complete living facilities for one family.
- Those persons as set forth in Article II 9 of the City of Springfield Zoning Ordinances.
- Any person having charge, care, management, or control of any dwelling or part of it, which dwelling units or rooming units are let.
- MULTIFAMILY DWELLING
- Any dwelling or part thereof containing three or more dwelling units.
- Any person, including an owner or lessee, living or sleeping in the dwelling unit or rooming unit.
- Any person who, alone, jointly or severally with others, holds legal or equitable title to any dwelling, rooming house, dwelling unit or rooming unit.
- ROOMING HOUSE
- Any dwelling or part thereof containing one or more rooming units, in which space is let to up to three additional persons.
- ROOMING UNIT
- Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living or sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes.
No person shall rent, lease, let or otherwise contract for the rental of a rooming unit to a person or persons other than members of his or her family without first obtaining a license to do so from the Building Commissioner or his designee.
The Building Commissioner or his designee shall, upon payment of a fee of $115 for up to three existing bedrooms as shall appear on the original building permit and design of said structure for a single occupant of said rooming unit containing residential living space, and upon compliance with the following sections of this article, issue a license to said applicant for a period of one year.
No license shall be granted for rental of a rooming unit unless said unit shall be occupied by the registered owner or the lessee with the written consent of the registered owner, which is filed with the Building Commissioner's office of said property; each rental rooming unit shall be not less than 80 square feet and shall house one rental occupant only. Smoke detectors and fire alarms must be installed according to the provisions of the Building Code and § 178-14 of this Code; and full compliance with the applicable wiring, plumbing and sanitary codes. In multifamily dwelling units, no license for rental of a rooming unit shall be issued without the consent of the owner of record, to the lessee in writing, filed with the Building Commissioner's office, and said lessee shall be considered said owner of record for all intent and purposes of this article.
In any district, the taking of a roomer or boarders or tourists shall be considered accessory to the use of a dwelling unit, provided that:
In addition to parking spaces set forth in the Zoning Ordinances of the City of Springfield, for the resident family there shall be one separate off-street paved parking space available upon the premises for each lodger, roomer or tourist.
In any rooming house as described above, there shall be two means of egress approved by the Building Commissioner or his designee.
For the purpose of this article, basements and cellars are not considered to be approved living space.
No rooming unit for which a license shall be issued under this article shall provide cooking facilities or be equipped to provide for the preparation of food.
This article shall not apply to licensed hotels, motels, nursing homes or to those agencies of the commonwealth or its subdivisions which have been commissioned specially licensed to perform charitable services or institutional services for the general health and welfare of its citizens.
Said licenses shall be renewed annually upon the same conditions as set forth in all of the preceding sections, but no license shall be renewed or issued if the applicant has been found to have violated a previous license granted under this article, except with the combined approval of the Building Department and Housing Code Enforcement Department.
No dwelling, apartment or other building shall be excluded from the requirement of obtaining a license as a result of its present or preexisting use. No other City agency shall issue a license, special permit or variance for the rental of a rooming unit without said renter having first obtained a license as prescribed by this article.
Any person whose application for a rooming unit rental license is denied by the Building Commissioner shall be notified in writing by the Building Commissioner. Such person may appeal the denial to a board of appeals comprised of the City Solicitor, who shall act as chair of the board of appeals, the Director of Planning, and the Director of Public Works, or their selected representatives. A written request for an appeal hearing shall be submitted to the Building Commissioner within 10 days after receipt of the license denial notice.
The Building Commissioner, upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police, Housing Code Director, or their designees, or as a result of his own investigation, may revoke the license issued to any person for the reasons stated in § 235-2 of this chapter. Any person whose license has been revoked by the Building Commissioner shall be notified in writing of the revocation by the Building Commissioner. Such person may appeal the revocation to the Board of Appeals created in Subsection A hereof. A written request for an appeal hearing shall be submitted to the Building Commissioner within 10 days after receipt of the license revocation notice.
The board of appeals, as herein established, shall hear any appeal pursuant to Subsections A and B hereof within 30 days from the date the request for appeal is received by the Building Commissioner. The board shall have the power to sustain, modify or reverse the decision of the Building Commissioner. The board's decision shall be in writing and sent to the applicant, or his/her legal representative, within 30 days after the hearing is concluded. The action of the board of appeals is final.
The Building Department and the Housing Code Enforcement Department, acting independently or jointly, shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this article and shall cause to be filed with either the District Court or the Housing Court in Hampden County such complaints, either civil or criminal, as will, in their judgment, be in the best interest of the enforcement and shall cause to be served upon the person or persons in violation of this article such notice of the proceedings as prescribed by law and the rules of the court where said complaint is brought.
If the Police, Building or the Housing Code Enforcement Department receives more than five written complaints regarding any particular property, an inspection shall be conducted by said department, and a hearing shall be held with the property owner to determine whether the license shall be revoked as set forth in § 235-4.
The Building Department or the Housing Code Enforcement Department may, pursuant to § 1-25, dispose of said violation by issuance of a ticket in the amount set forth below.
Any person failing to comply with the provisions of this article shall be subject to a fine of $100 for the first violation and $50 per day for as long as said violation shall continue within said one-year period; and the sum of $200 per day for any violation thereafter and be further subjected to such order of restraint as the enforcing department shall deem necessary to compel compliance with this article. Any person, after receiving said license, who is found to have falsified information in order to obtain said license or otherwise altered the conditions upon which said license was issued shall have rendered said license null and void and thereby fails to comply with this article.