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Borough of Doylestown, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1988-1, 1/18/1988; as amended by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued by the Borough stipulating that the property meets all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the Borough of Doylestown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Property Maintenance Code, and may be used or occupied as intended.
SUBSTANTIAL VIOLATION
A violation of an adopted building, housing, property maintenance or fire code or maintenance, health or safety nuisance ordinance that makes a building, structure or any part thereof unfit for human habitation and is discovered during the course of Borough inspection of a property and disclosed to the record owner or prospective purchaser of the property through issuance of a Borough report.
TEMPORARY ACCESS CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued by the Borough as a result of the inspection of the property by the Borough incident to the resale of the property that identifies at least one substantial violation, and the purpose of the certificate is to authorize the purchaser to access the property for the purpose of correcting substantial violations pursuant to all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the Borough of Doylestown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Property Maintenance Code. No person may occupy a property during the term of a temporary access certificate, but the owner shall be permitted to store personalty that is related to the proposed use or occupancy of the property or is needed to repair the substantial violations during the time of the temporary access certificate.
TEMPORARY OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued by the Borough as a result of the Borough inspection of a property incident to the resale of the property that reveals a violation but no substantial violation, and the purpose of the certificate is to authorize the purchaser to fully utilize or reside in the property while correcting violations pursuant to all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the Borough of Doylestown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Property Maintenance Code.
[Ord. 1988-1, 1/18/1988; as amended by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
From and after the effective date of this Part, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to change the occupancy of any residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building within the Borough of Doylestown, or permit such a change, without first obtaining an occupancy certificate or temporary occupancy certificate.
[Added by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to occupy any residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building within the Borough of Doylestown when an occupancy certificate or temporary occupancy certificate is required by this Part without first obtaining such a certificate or to continue to occupy any such unit or building with an expired certificate.
[Added by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
Occupancy certificates issued for non-owner-occupied residential dwelling units shall expire three years after the date of issuance or when there is an occupancy change, whichever occurs first. An application for a new occupancy certificate shall be made prior to the expiration of an occupancy certificate, in compliance with the requirements of this Part.
[Added by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to sell any residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building within the Borough of Doylestown without first obtaining an occupancy certificate, temporary occupancy certificate, or temporary access certificate, regardless of whether or not there is a change in occupancy at the time of such sale. This requirement shall not apply to real estate transfers to any bank, savings association, credit union, mortgage lender, or any similar financial institution or subsidiary thereof, which takes title to the property for the purpose of holding the property for sale to offset losses incurred on a loan or other obligation in default secured by a mortgage, deed of trust or other lien on the property.
[Ord. 1988-1, 1/18/1988; as amended by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
Applications for occupancy certificates shall be made to the Borough of Doylestown on forms provided for that purpose.
[Ord. 1988-1, 1/18/1988; as amended by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
Upon receipt of a properly completed application for an occupancy certificate and payment of the required fee, the Borough of Doylestown shall promptly inspect the residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building which is the subject of the application to determine if the building conforms to all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the Borough of Doylestown and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Property Maintenance Code. See Chapter 5, Part 4, of the Doylestown Borough Code of Ordinances.
[Ord. 1988-1, 1/18/1988; as amended by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
If, upon inspection, the Borough shall determine that the residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building is in compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations, then the Borough shall forthwith issue an occupancy certificate to the applicant.
[Ord. 1988-1, 1/18/1988; as amended by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
1. 
If, upon inspection, the Borough of Doylestown shall determine that the residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building is not in compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations, then the Borough shall refuse to issue an occupancy certificate and shall promptly notify the applicant, in writing, of the refusal and the specific reasons therefor, with citations of the specific sections and subsections of the laws, ordinances, and regulations being violated. Upon notification by the applicant that the residential dwelling unit or commercial or industrial building has been brought into compliance, the Borough shall conduct a reinspection and, upon a determination that the unit or building is in compliance, shall issue an occupancy certificate to the applicant.
2. 
If Borough inspection of a property incident to the resale of the property reveals a violation but no substantial violation(s), the Borough shall refuse to issue an occupancy certificate and instead shall issue a temporary occupancy certificate and shall promptly notify the applicant, in writing, of the refusal and the specific reasons therefor, with citations of the specific sections and subsections of the laws, ordinances, and regulations being violated.
3. 
If Borough inspection of a property incident to the resale of the property reveals at least one substantial violation, the Borough shall issue a temporary access certificate and shall promptly notify the applicant, in writing, of the refusal and the specific reasons therefor, with citations of the specific sections and subsections of the laws, ordinances and regulations being violated.
[Added by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
1. 
Any purchaser of property with a known violation of any applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations must either bring the property into compliance or demolish the building or structure in accordance with the law within 12 months of the date of purchase. At the request of the property owner, the Borough may, at its discretion, negotiate for a longer period of time for maintenance and repair of the structure under a temporary certificate.
2. 
At the expiration of the twelve-month period, or before that time if requested by the property owner, the Borough shall reinspect the property for the purpose of determining compliance with the cited violations. If a temporary access certificate has been issued and reinspection indicates that the noted substantial violations have been corrected but other cited violations remain, the Borough shall issue a temporary occupancy certificate to be valid for the time remaining ton the original temporary access certificate. If reinspection indicates that all noted violations have been corrected, the Borough shall issue an occupancy certificate for the property.
[Ord. 1988-1, 1/18/1988; as amended by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
The Council of the Borough of Doylestown shall, from time to time, establish by resolution such fee as it deems reasonable and proper to be charged for the issuance of an occupancy certificate, temporary occupancy certificate and temporary access certificate pursuant to the provisions of this Part.
[Ord. 1988-1, 1/18/1988; as amended by Ord. 2017-1, 1/23/2017]
1. 
Failure to comply with § 706.1, Subsection 1, of this Part shall result in:
A. 
Revocation of the temporary certificate;
B. 
The purchaser being subject to any existing laws, ordinances, and regulations relating to the occupation of a property without an occupancy certificate;
C. 
The purchaser being personally liable for the costs of maintenance, repairs or demolition sufficient to correct the cited violations, and a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000.
This section shall not apply to a violation of a municipal code or ordinance for which a fine, other penalty or a judgment to abate or correct was imposed by a Magisterial District Judge or municipal court, or a judgment at law or in equity was imposed by a court of common pleas prior to purchase, or where the Borough denies the certificate pursuant to 53 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 61 (relating to neighborhood blight reclamation and revitalization).
2. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the other provisions of this Part shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $250 and costs of prosecution, and in default thereof, to imprisonment in the Bucks County Prison for not more than 10 days.
[Ord. 1988-1, 1/18/1988; as amended by Ord. 1989-3, 2/20/1989, § 1]
This Part shall become effective March 1, 1988.