[Adopted 4-23-2013 by Ord. No. 1215]
This article shall be known as "the Borough of Brentwood Disruptive Conduct Ordinance."
It is the purpose of this article and the policy of the Borough of Brentwood, in order to protect and promote the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, to establish the rights and obligations of owners and occupants relating the rental of certain residential rental units in the Borough of Brentwood and to encourage owners and occupants to maintain and improve the quality of rental housing within the community. It is also the policy of the Borough that owners, managers, and occupants share responsibilities to obey the various codes adopted to protect and promote public health, safety, and welfare. As a means to those ends, this article provides for an enforcement mechanism to deal with a problem of disruptive conduct of occupants or visitors of residential rental units, and it sets penalties for violations. This article shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its purposes and policies. In considering the adoption of this article, the Borough of Brentwood makes the following findings:
In recent years, many formerly private homes, or portions thereof, have been converted into residential rental units. Those units have often been rented to individuals who, because they have no ownership interest in the property, have allowed the property to deteriorate. In many cases, the owners of the properties live long distances from the Borough of Brentwood. Problems have occurred because many tenants/occupants, because they have no ownership interest in the real estate, have engaged in and/or have allowed visitors to the residential rental units they occupy to engage in disruptive conduct. This, in turn, has caused problems for home owners near the rental units, as well as the occupants or visitors of other residential rental units.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT REPORT
- A written report of disruptive conduct on a standardized form to be completed by a police officer or by the Building Code Official upon the receipt of a guilty disposition, which shall be maintained by the Building Code Official.
- DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT LETTER
- A letter issued by the Building Code Official advising that a disruptive conduct report has been filed and referencing the date and time of the incident, a description of the conduct, and all rights under this article to appeal of the disruptive conduct determination.
- Any natural person on the premises of a rental unit with the expressed or implied consent of a tenant or occupant.
- Any one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested all or part of the legal title to the premises or all of part of the beneficial ownership and a right to the present use and enjoyment of the premises, including a mortgage holder in possession of a residential unit. Same as "owner."
- LANDLORD-TENANT ACT
- The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951, codified at 68 P.S. § 250.101 et seq.
- Any natural person who resides in a residential rental unit, with whom a legal relationship with the owner or landlord is established by a lease or by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and whether or not such natural person has possession of the rental unit.
- POLICE OFFICER
- Any sworn law enforcement officers of the Brentwood Borough Police Department, the Allegheny County Police Department, or the Pennsylvania State Police.
- Any parcel of real property in the Borough, including the land and all buildings or appurtenant structures or elements on which one or more rental units is located.
- RENTAL AGREEMENT
- A written lease or other legally enforceable agreement between owner and tenant embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a specified rental unit.
- RENTAL UNIT
- Any residential rooming unit or dwelling let or leased for rent, and any other-than-owner-occupied residential unit, except as outlined in § 163-12 of the Borough Code.
- An occupant of a rental unit with whom a legal relationship with the owner or landlord is established through a lease or other enforcement agreement under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- UNINVITED PERSON
- Any natural person on the premises of a rental unit solely for his or her convenience and without the expressed or implied consent of a tenant or occupant, or who refuses to leave the premises after being verbally directed as such by a tenant or occupant.
It shall be the responsibility of every owner or landlord, or responsible agent, to regulate lawful and proper use of all rental units and to discourage and prevent as may be possible the occurrence of disruptive conduct through the rental agreement and the enforcement thereof.
The tenants, occupants, and invited guests of rental units shall not engage in, nor tolerate, nor permit others on the premises to engage in disruptive conduct or other violations of the Borough Code or the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
For the purposes of this article, "disruptive conduct" shall be defined as any form of conduct, action, omission, or behavior perpetrated, caused, or permitted at a rental unit by any tenant, occupant, or invited guest, which constitutes a violation of any of the following statutes or ordinances, or consists of any of the following behaviors:
Any public order offense under § 63 (Adult Entertainment), § 70 (Alcoholic Beverages), or § 194 (Transient Retail Business) of the Borough Code; or 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5501 (Riot), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5502 (Failure to Disperse), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5503 (Disorderly Conduct), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5505 (Public Drunkenness), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5512 (Lotteries), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5513 (Gambling Devices, Gambling), or Pa.C.S.A. § 5514 (Pool Selling and Bookmaking) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
Any offense involving a minor under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4304 (Endangering the Welfare of Children), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6110.1 (Possession of Firearm by Minor), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6301 (Corruption of Minors), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6308 (Purchase, Consumption or Possession of Alcoholic Beverages), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6310 (Inducement to Buy Alcoholic Beverages), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6310.1 (Selling or Furnishing Alcoholic Beverages to Minors), or 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6319 (Solicitation of Minors to Traffic Drugs) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
Any firearms or weapons offense under the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6101 et seq.
Any public decency offenses under 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 5901 (Open Lewdness), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5902 (Prostitution); or 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5903 (Obscene and Other Sexual Materials and Performances) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
Any sanitation offense under § 174-26 (Storage of Solid Waste) of the Borough Code; or 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6501 (Scattering Rubbish) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
Any animal offense under § 76 (Animals) of the Borough Code; or 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5511 (Cruelty to Animals) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
Any drug offense under Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq.
Any loud or raucous yelling or shouting emanating from the rental unit that is plainly audible at a distance of 30 feet from the rental unit, or any yelling or shouting in common areas or exterior areas of the premises between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or at any time in a manner where the yelling or shouting is inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.
Any operation of any radio, musical instrument, television set, loudspeaker, sound amplifier, or similar device in a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the rental unit in which such device is located.
In order for such disruptive conduct to constitute an offense under this article, a citation must be issued or criminal charges must be filed by a police officer and successfully prosecuted or a guilty plea entered before a Magisterial District Judge or Court of Common Pleas Judge. If an appeal is filed from a decision of a Magisterial District Judge, the matter shall not be deemed to constitute disruptive conduct, unless a finding of guilty is affirmed by a final decision of appeal.
Police officers or the Building Code Official, as the case may be, may investigate alleged incidences of disruptive conduct, and shall complete a disruptive conduct report upon finding that the reported incident constitutes disruptive conduct as defined herein.
The information filed in the disruptive conduct report shall include the identity of the alleged perpetrator of the disruptive conduct and the factual basis for the issuance of the disruptive conduct report.
The Building Code Official shall issue a disruptive conduct letter within 10 business days of the filing of the disruptive conduct report and shall mail a copy of the disruptive conduct letter to the tenant or occupant, owner or landlord, and, if applicable, responsible agent.
The tenant or occupant, owner or landlord, or responsible agent shall have 10 business days from the postmarked date of the disruptive conduct letter to appeal the disruptive conduct report. Said appeal shall be made in writing on a standardized form made available by the Borough and shall be submitted to the Rental Property Board of Appeals.
The disruptive conduct report shall be counted only against those tenants or occupants who perpetrated, caused, or permitted disruptive conduct to occur. All alleged incidences of disruptive conduct that occur at a rental unit during a twenty-four-hour period shall, upon conviction as described herein, constitute a single count of disruptive conduct and shall be included on a single disruptive conduct report for the purposes thereof.
Nothing herein shall be construed as to preempt the right of a tenant or occupant to seek emergency assistance in response to the witnessing of a crime or a threat of imminent bodily harm, and any disruptive conduct report resulting from the exercise of such right shall not count against the tenant or occupant who sought emergency assistance unless a police officer concludes that said tenant or occupant perpetrated disruptive conduct and successfully prosecutes a citation or criminal charges as described herein. No disruptive conduct report shall be filed if the perpetrator of the disruptive conduct was an uninvited person.
No disruptive conduct report shall be filed if disruptive conduct is perpetrated by a person subject to a protection from abuse order or similar restraining order that prohibits said person from living in or visiting the rental unit of a tenant or occupant.
In the event that three disruptive conduct reports are filed against a tenant or occupant within an eighteen-month period, the owner or landlord or responsible agent shall have 30 days from the postmarked date of the third disruptive conduct letter to begin eviction proceedings against such tenant or occupant, and shall continue such proceedings to completion, without interruption, until such tenants or occupants vacate the premises. The owner or landlord, or responsible agent, shall limit the eviction order to only those tenants or occupants who have accumulated three disruptive conduct reports within an eighteen-month period. The owner or landlord, or responsible agent, must submit to the Building Code Official a copy of the landlord-tenant complaint as filed with the Magisterial District Judge.
Upon the execution of an eviction order, all persons subject to said order shall not, for a minimum period of two years, be permitted to occupy any rental unit within the Borough that is owned by the same owner or landlord as the affected rental unit.
No owner or landlord shall be deemed to be in violation of this section in the event that the Magisterial District Judge rules in favor of the tenant during an eviction process initiated under the terms of this article, or if legal action has resulted in a stay or reversal of an eviction order.
The Building Code Official shall maintain a list of all persons who were ordered to be evicted under this article along with the street address and apartment number of each affected rental unit. Such list shall be maintained for a minimum of three years and shall be available for public inspection.
When a rental agreement has been entered into prior to the effective date of this article, the owner or landlord shall provide the tenants with a copy of the disruptive conduct addendum within 60 days after enactment of this article, and shall secure written acknowledgement that said tenants subject to the rental agreement have acknowledged the terms outlined herein.
Nothing herein shall be construed as to limit the ability of the owner or landlord to insert more stringent provisions in establishing a contract with the tenant, or to initiate the eviction process on any other grounds as permitted by the Landlord-Tenant Act.
It shall be unlawful for any owner or landlord, or responsible agent, to fail to commence eviction proceedings against a tenant or occupant who has accumulated three disruptive conduct reports within an eighteen-month period.
No rental license shall be reinstated until such tenants or occupants have vacated the presence and a reinstatement fee of $150 has been paid for each affected rental unit. Said reinstatement is contingent upon the abatement of all property maintenance violations and the satisfaction of all outstanding fees as outlined in § 163-11 of the Borough Code.