[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Whiteland as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Dangerous structures — See Ch. 137.
[Adopted 7-23-2014 by Ord. No. 414]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 1-1-2015.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "West Whiteland Township Rental Property Ordinance."
The purposes of this article are to require all owners of rental dwelling units in the Township to register tenants and to apply for a certificate of reoccupancy for said units at the time of tenant change; to establish fees for registrations, certifications, inspections, reinspections and fines/penalties for noncompliance; and to establish inspection criteria.
It is the policy of the Board of Supervisors to prevent, to control or to mitigate the occupation of rental dwelling units that fail to meet the minimum life safety standards as set forth in this article that may jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of Township residents.
The Township may enact and enforce ordinances to govern and regulate the occupation, maintenance and inspection of buildings and housing and to prevent and restrain the use or occupancy of any building, housing or structure used or occupied in violation of such ordinances by § 1517 of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 66517, and to provide for enforcement of such ordinances by summary offense by § 1601(c.1)(2) of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 66601(c.1)(2).
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CODE OFFICIAL
- The Code Administration Officer or other designated authority charged with the administration and enforcement of this article, or a duly authorized representative.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A building or portion thereof providing one or more rooms arranged for the use of one or more individuals living together as a single housekeeping unit and having no cooking or sanitary facilities in common with any other dwelling unit.
- MULTIUNIT RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- A parcel of land containing more than four individual dwelling units which are not owner-occupied.
- An individual, corporation, partnership or other entity having a legal ownership interest in a residential property.
- RENTAL PROPERTY
- Any occupied residential property or dwelling unit that is non-owner-occupied; a residential property or dwelling unit where individuals other than the owner reside on the property.
- An individual or entity who occupies a rental property.
- The Township of West Whiteland.
This article shall apply to all non-owner-occupied dwellings within the Township of West Whiteland.
Tenant registration. As of the effective date of this article, all owners of rental property located within the Township shall submit to the code official a non-owner-occupied dwelling registration form to be provided by the code official and pay a registration fee as set forth from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. Completed forms shall include rental property address, name of occupants and designation as minor or adult for each occupant.
New tenant. After the effective date of this article, a dwelling unit in a rental property shall not be occupied by a new tenant until an inspection has been performed and a certificate of reoccupancy has been issued by the code official in accordance with the requirements of this article except as provided for in § 250-11, and a new non-owner-occupied dwelling registration form is submitted to the code official.
An application for a certificate of reoccupancy shall be filed with the code official at least 10 days prior to reoccupancy of a dwelling unit in a rental property unless exempted under § 250-11.
Unless an exemption is permitted by the code official pursuant to § 250-10 of this article, the code official shall conduct an inspection to determine compliance with the following requirements prior to the issuance of a certificate of reoccupancy:
Address posted in accordance with Township standards.
Exterior roof weathertight; doors and windows free of holes or breaks.
Walkways/steps/handrails present where necessary.
Gutters functioning and downspouts discharging appropriately including proper grading for storm drainage.
Sewer vent caps installed where necessary.
Sump pump/condensate lines not attached to public sewer.
Electrical system generally in good working order with no visible defects.
Blow-down pipe properly installed on water heater/boiler.
Dryer vent of proper material and proper length.
Plumbing system in general good working order.
Egress doors hardware in good working order (key out dead bolts prohibited).
Proper fire separation between garage and dwelling if applicable.
General life safety.
Smoke detectors (battery operated) located one per level and one in every sleeping room.
CO detector located in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms where there is an attached garage and/or fossil-fuel-fired appliances within or serving the dwelling unit.
Proper shutoff located on all gas lines.
Hand/guard rails installed where necessary.
Pool safety (door alarms and self-closing gates).
GFI receptacles located in every bathroom, countertop, garage, unfinished basement and exterior.
Fire sprinkler system, if applicable, not obstructed and is turned on.
After inspection of the rental property, a certificate of reoccupancy shall be issued if the property complies with the minimum requirements set forth in § 250-7 above.
If the code official determines after the initial inspection that a property does not meet the minimum requirements set forth in § 250-7 above, upon correction of all violations, the owner shall notify the code official in writing that the violations are corrected. A reinspection shall be performed by the code official. A certificate of reoccupancy shall be issued by the code official if the property is determined to be in compliance. The fee for reinspection shall be as set forth from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
The owner of a multiunit residential property may schedule an annual inspection of not less than 25% of the dwelling units located on the multiunit residential property for a reduced inspection fee as set forth from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. Upon inspection of said units, if deficiencies from § 250-7 above are noted, a reinspection will be required and the owner will be required to pay a reinspection fee set forth in the fee schedule. Any owner of a multiunit residential property who utilizes the multiunit residential inspection option must still comply with the tenant registration requirements in § 250-5 above including applicable fees.
All common areas of a multiunit residential property shall be subject to annual inspection pursuant to the West Whiteland Township Fire Code.
The code official may issue a notice of violation ("NOV") requiring the abatement of any violation of this article. The owner of the subject property shall be notified of the violation upon hand or certified mail delivery of the NOV, which shall specify the nature, date, and time of the violation and shall direct that the condition violating this article be corrected forthwith. If a person or entity does not comply with the NOV as directed, a summary citation may be issued.
Any person or business entity who or which shall violate any of the provisions of this article shall, upon summary conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution and, in default of such fine and costs, by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days. Each violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense. When a violation continues beyond the time limit as may be set forth in an NOV, each day that a violation continues beyond the time limit shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense. When a person or entity who or which has been issued an NOV is found again to be in violation of this article and issued another NOV within 12 months of the previous NOV, the fine shall be double the amount of the previous fine up to a maximum fine of $1,000 for each separate and distinct offense.
In addition to the above, the Township may institute an action for injunctive relief to prohibit or abate any activity in violation of the provisions of this article.