This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Carlisle Borough Rental Housing Ordinance."
The background of this chapter and the legislative intention of the Borough Council in enacting it are as follows:
The governance of rental housing within the Borough is necessary to promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens.
The establishment of certain minimal rights and obligations of owners and occupants with respect to the rental and occupancy of residential rental dwelling units in the Borough is necessary.
Owners and occupants of rental housing should be encouraged to maintain and improve the quality of rental housing within the community.
Owners and occupants of rental housing should share the responsibility to comply with Borough ordinances enacted to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare.
There is a demonstrated greater incidence of complaints and violations of Borough ordinances in and related to rental housing than related to owner-occupied housing.
A significant number of owners of rental housing had code violations at one or more of their properties over a one-year period.
Rental housing has consumed the majority of Borough code enforcement resources, and, as a result, owner-occupied residential properties bear a disproportionate burden of the cost of code enforcement.
Tenants of rental housing have been reluctant to make code complaints to Borough officials for fear of retaliation by landlords.
Approximately 50% of residential dwelling units in the Borough are residential rental housing units.
The Borough has encountered difficulties obtaining cooperation and corrective action by owners of rental housing who reside or have offices a long distance from the Borough.
Those residents who live in their homes have greater incentive to maintain their properties in accord with minimum standards of habitability.
Because of their lack of ownership, certain tenants resist complying with Borough ordinances.
The lack of attention to Borough ordinances by both owners of rental housing and tenants has denied neighbors the full peace and enjoyment of their homes.
The identity of tenants who are subject to local taxation, including earned income taxes, is often difficult to determine, and the registration of the identity of tenants is necessary for the uniform and equitable collection of taxes levied within the Borough.
This chapter shall be construed liberally to promote its purposes and policies.
For the interpretation of this chapter, certain words shall have the meanings assigned to them as follows:
- The Borough of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
- BOROUGH MANAGER
- The duly appointed Manager of the Borough of Carlisle.
- CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
- The certificate issued by the code official which evidences successful inspection under the provisions of this chapter.
- The Code of the Borough of Carlisle.
- CODE OFFICIAL
- The person or persons authorized by the Borough to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter and to enforce the same. The code official shall include the Borough Zoning and/or Property Code Officer and employees of the Building Codes Department of the Borough of Carlisle as appointed or employed from time to time.
- CODES DEPARTMENT; DEPARTMENT
- The Building Codes Department of the Borough of Carlisle.
- DESIGNATED AGENT
- A natural person, appointed by an owner, who shall have full authority to receive notices from a resident, tenant or the Borough, to act on behalf of the owner with respect to all matters relating to rental housing, to perform all of the owner's obligations with respect to the rental housing and to accept service of legal process on behalf of the owner.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A living area comprised of one or more rooms used for living, sleeping and habitation purposes and having its own kitchen and sanitation facilities, all arranged for occupancy by one or more persons.
- A designated agent. In addition to duties under this chapter, a manager may have private responsibilities to the owner.
- Any person, agent, operator, firm, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, association, other entity, property management group, or fiduciary holding or having legal, equitable or other interest in any real property or otherwise having control of the property, including the guardian of the estate of any such person and the executor or administrator of such person's estate. When used in this chapter in a clause proscribing any activity or imposing a penalty, the term, as applied to corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, associations, other entities, or property management groups, shall include each and every member, shareholder, partner (limited or general), director, officer and other individual having an interest in the entity, controlling or otherwise.
- A dwelling unit occupied by the owner.
- A natural person who owns or is vested with a controlling interest in an owner entity. Controlling interest shall mean an ownership share of more than 50%.
- RENTAL HOUSING
- Any building or structure containing one or more residential rental dwelling units. Where a building or structure contains residential rental dwelling units which are under separate or several ownership, this term shall refer to each residential rental dwelling unit under several or separate ownership.
- RESIDENTIAL RENTAL DWELLING UNIT
- A dwelling unit not occupied by the owner thereof. The term shall not include the lawful occupancy of a dwelling unit by an owner in joint tenancy or an heir of a deceased owner.
- Any made-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on land, whether or not affixed to the land.
- Any person who resides in a residential rental dwelling unit, irrespective of whether consideration is given for the privilege or right of occupancy.
- A dwelling unit.
The Department, appointed fire and emergency management officials and any law enforcement officer shall be and hereby are charged with the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter, upon summary conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and in default of payment thereof, be imprisoned in the Cumberland County Prison for a period of not more than 30 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
In addition to other remedies, the Borough may institute and maintain appropriate actions by law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate violations, to prevent unlawful activities and to recover damages, including the costs incurred in protecting persons or property.
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason whatsoever, or is determined to be preempted by state or federal law, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of the chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect; and for this purpose, the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.