[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Montour Falls 3-7-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Montour Falls hereby finds and declares that the rental of dwelling units constitutes a business, which influences upon the public health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Village of Montour Falls. The intent of this chapter is to protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Village of Montour Falls by aiding in the enforcement of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and by ensuring that rental units in the Village of Montour Falls conform to reasonable standards of habitability.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, and all portions thereof, including but not limited to the New York State Property Maintenance Code, as the same may be amended from time to time.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Village of Montour Falls Code Enforcement Officer, as designated by the Village's Board of Trustees.
- FIRE CHIEF
- The Chief of the Village of Montour Falls Fire Department or his designee.
- National Fire Protection Association.
- The Village of Montour Falls, New York.
- VILLAGE CODE
- The Code of the Village of Montour Falls, New York, as the same may be amended from time to time.
All dwelling units shall be subject to inspection and certification by the Code Enforcement Officer as provided herein.
Exemptions. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a municipal housing authority; hotels; motels; bed-and-breakfast establishments; hospitals and colleges, except for a building containing a dwelling unit being rented for other than direct hospital or college use; nursing homes; other buildings which offer or provide medical or nursing services if such buildings are subject to state or federal licensing or regulations concerning the safety of the users, patients or tenants; or single-family, owner-occupied homes where no portion thereof is rented to persons who are not part of the owner's household.
It shall be the duty and the authority of the Code Enforcement Officer to inspect all dwelling units and to determine whether or not a dwelling unit is habitable based upon the following guidelines.
The dwelling unit shall conform to general standards of habitability, including protection from the elements, functioning electrical service, hot and cold water, and heating, as determined by the Code Enforcement Officer.
The dwelling unit shall have no structural defect that presents an imminent danger to any occupant.
If, upon inspection, the dwelling unit does not comply with the requirements of § 115-4A, the Code Enforcement Office shall issue a written notice to the owner or agent specifying the reasons for noncompliance.
If on inspection the dwelling unit shall comply with the requirements of § 115-4A, the Code officer shall issue a permit designating the property and the name of the owner, agent and any tenant(s), and certifying as to such compliance. Such permit shall be valid for a period of 36 months from its date of issuance, or until the owner, agent or tenant of the dwelling unit for which the permit was issued shall change, whichever shall occur first.
At the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue a temporary occupancy permit which shall permit the subject dwelling unit to be occupied notwithstanding the failure of the dwelling unit to comply with the requirements of § 115-4A, provided that such deficiencies do not involve issues of fire safety, such as defective wiring or the absence of an operating smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector, or issues of adequate means of access and egress. Any such temporary occupancy permit shall not be valid for a period of longer than 30 days, and shall be revocable at the Code Enforcement Officer's discretion.
All dwelling units shall be inspected as provided in § 115-4 of this chapter within 12 months following the effective date of this chapter, and not less frequently than every 36 months thereafter.
All dwelling units shall be inspected as provided in § 115-4 of this chapter whenever the owner or agent of the dwelling unit changes. Such inspection must occur, and the permit described in § 115-4C or D must be issued, not earlier than 30 days prior to the change of owner or agent and prior to the effective date of such change of owner or agent.
All dwelling units shall be inspected as provided in § 115-4 of this chapter prior to the occupancy of a dwelling unit by new tenants. Such inspection must occur, and the permit described in § 115-4C or D must be issued, not earlier than 30 days prior to the occupancy of the dwelling unit by a new tenant or tenants, and prior to the effective date of such occupancy. No dwelling unit shall be occupied by any person unless a permit described in § 115-4C or D shall have been issued and be in effect for such dwelling unit.
The owner or agent of a dwelling unit shall be responsible for scheduling of the inspections required by this chapter with the Code Enforcement Officer.
The owner or agent of a dwelling unit, or any occupant of a dwelling unit, may request an inspection by delivery of a written request to the Code Enforcement Officer, or by such other means as the Code Enforcement Officer shall direct.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall make an inspection, access and other circumstances permitting, within 10 business days following receipt of a request therefor from the owner, agent or an occupant of a dwelling unit.
For purposes of making the inspections required by, and otherwise enforcing this chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer, and/or his designated agents, shall be permitted to enter onto private property, as provided herein.
For purposes of making an inspection required by this chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer shall not enter onto private property without the consent of the owner of the property or such owner's agent, or the tenant of a particular dwelling unit, unless the Code Enforcement Officer shall obtain a warrant authorizing such inspection.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall maintain a registry of properties registered pursuant to Chapter 114 of the Village Code, and those dwelling units for which a permit has been issued pursuant to this chapter, whether such permit remains effective, and the expiration date of such permit.
The following schedule of fees shall apply with respect to the inspection and certification required by this chapter:
There shall be no charge for an initial inspection to determine compliance with the applicable provisions of this chapter or for the inspection required following the expiration of a permit.
Any and all subsequent reinspection(s) necessary to determine compliance with required corrective actions or repairs shall be subject to a charge of $30 per dwelling unit inspected.
Failure of the owner, agent or other person authorized to grant entry to a dwelling unit to appear within 15 minutes of a scheduled inspection shall result in a fee of $20 per dwelling unit.
Cancellation of a scheduled inspection less than 24 hours before that scheduled inspection shall result in a fee of $20 per unit.
Cancellation of a scheduled inspection more than once or after a previously scheduled inspection shall result in a fee of $20 per unit.
Fees prescribed under this section for failure to appear at, and/or cancellation of, a scheduled inspection may be waived at the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer for good cause shown.
Fees prescribed under this section shall be billed by a written statement delivered by the Code Enforcement Officer by first-class mail to the address of the owner or agent on file in the Code Enforcement Officer's registry or, if no such address is available, to the tax billing address.
Fees prescribed under this section which remain unpaid for a period longer than 60 days after the delivery of the statement charging such fees shall be fixed and determined by the Code Enforcement Officer and thereafter transmitted to the Board of Trustees. Such unpaid fees shall thereupon be costs subject to assessment and collection under § 108-16 of the Village Code.
A violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a violation under the New York State Penal Law punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000 and imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both. For purposes of this chapter, each week's continued existence of a violation shall constitute a separate violation. For purposes of the preceding sentence, a "week" shall constitute any period of seven consecutive days.
The Code Enforcement Officer or a representative designated by the Code Enforcement Officer, as the case may be, is hereby authorized to issue appearance tickets pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law in the enforcement of this or any related laws of the Village.
An action or proceeding may be instituted in the name of the Village, in a court of competent jurisdiction, to prevent, restrain, enjoin, correct, or abate any violation of, or to enforce, any provision of this chapter. No such action or proceeding shall be commenced except upon resolution by the Board of Trustees authorizing same.
No remedy or penalty specified in this section shall be the exclusive remedy or remedy available to address any violation of this chapter, and each remedy or penalty specified in this section shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for or limitation of, the other remedies or penalties specified in this section, or otherwise available under applicable law. Any remedy or penalty specified in this section may be pursued at any time, whether prior to, simultaneously with, or after the pursuit of any other remedy or penalty specified in this section, in section or in any other applicable law.
If there be any violation of this chapter with respect to any building required to be registered pursuant to this chapter, while any dwelling unit in such building is occupied in whole or in part by people, no rent shall be recovered for such dwelling unit(s) for any period during which such violation exists, and in any action or proceeding to collect rent owing for any period during which such violation(s) exists or did exist or to recover possession of the dwelling units for nonpayment of such rent, proof of violation of any of the provisions of this chapter with respect to the building in which such dwelling unit(s) are located shall be an absolute defense to such action or proceeding available to any person or persons that inhabited the dwelling units during the period of violation of this chapter.
If any section or provision of this chapter shall be held unconstitutional, invalid or ineffective, such determination shall not be deemed to affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this chapter. In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between any provision of this chapter and any other local law or ordinance, the provisions of this chapter shall control.