City of Cortland, NY
Cortland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Owners of residential rental property located in the City of Cortland shall complete and sign a registration form provided by the Code Enforcement Office for each rental building and/or structure owned. If the owner owns more than one rental building or structure, separate forms must be completed for each separate rental building and/or structure. The form shall indicate the name, physical address, and telephone number of each and every owner; the number and address of the rental building or structure for which a rental permit is sought, the number of dwelling units contained within each rental building or structure, whether the premises are governed by a written lease or an oral lease, daytime and evening telephone numbers of the owner or owner's agent, the square footage of habitable space in each rental dwelling unit, the maximum number of tenants in each and every rental dwelling unit, any pre-existing nonconforming status, and any other pertinent data sought by the Code Enforcement Officer. The owner shall sign a statement affirming whether a written lease is in effect and, if applicable, that the written lease contains a notice provision pursuant to § 102-19 of this chapter. The form shall indicate an address for receipt of notices by mailing under this chapter. The permittee shall be responsible for updating such information within five business days of an event or a change in circumstances that would render the information in the registration form inaccurate.
B. 
Owners of residential rental property located in the City of Cortland who reside in any county other than Cortland County shall provide the Code Enforcement Office with the name and physical address of an individual over the age of 18 who shall reside in Cortland County and who shall be designated as agent for receiving mailed notice or service of process. Such agent shall be deemed to have the rights and responsibilities of a permittee for the purposes of this chapter. A new permittee shall provide the information required in this subsection within five days from the date of any change of ownership.
C. 
Owners shall provide current contact information to the Code Enforcement Officer within 30 days of changing their address.
A. 
No owner shall rent, let, lease, or otherwise allow the occupancy of any existing rental building or structure unless that owner holds a valid rental permit for said rental building or structure. For owners of more than one rental building or structure, separate rental permits are required for each rental building or structure. No violations of this subsection shall issue before one year after the effective date of this chapter. In the event that the Code Enforcement Officer is unable to inspect all rental properties, for which the owners thereof have requested an inspection, within one year from the effective date of this chapter and issue the required rental permit, then every owner of such an existing rental building or structure (that requested an inspection) shall provide all information listed in § 102-16A through I of this chapter, and any other information required pursuant to this chapter in order to obtain a rental permit hereunder, to the maximum extent possible, to the Code Enforcement Officer who will then issue a temporary rental permit which said permit shall be effective until such point as an inspection can be completed by the Code Enforcement Officer, or the owner submits a notarized self-certification form pursuant to § 102-11C, and a permanent rental permit issued.
B. 
Occupancy limitations shall be governed by the rules and regulations contained in Chapter 300 of the Code of the City of Cortland, known as the City of Cortland Zoning Code, and any amendments made thereto.
A. 
Rental inspection fees and reinspection fees will be charged in the amount set forth in the schedule of fees adopted by the City of Cortland Common Council by resolution.
B. 
Rental permits will be issued for a thirty-six-month period and shall be valid for such period unless invalidated or revoked as provided in this chapter.
C. 
Permits shall be issued upon completion of all of the following:
(1) 
Provision of all the information required in the registration form pursuant to § 102-9; and
(2) 
Verification of compliance with this chapter through one of the following methods:
(a) 
Completion and submission of a self-certification form by the owner, certifying under oath and subject to perjury that said rental building or structure, and all dwelling units contained therein, are in compliance with all applicable City and state codes, statutes, laws, ordinances and regulations, pursuant to § 102-12B; or
(b) 
Performance of an inspection, at the written request of the owner, by the Code Enforcement Office to determine compliance with this chapter pursuant to § 102-12A, with all such inspections to be performed pursuant to § 102-15; and
(3) 
All requirements of this chapter have been met.
D. 
Newly constructed or renovated rental structures will be required to pay a registration fee in the amount set forth in the schedule of fees adopted by the Common Council by resolution when the rental permit is issued. This registration fee must be paid prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
A. 
If the owner desires an inspection to verify compliance with this chapter as set forth in § 102-11C(2)(b) above, the following shall apply:
(1) 
At least 30 days prior to initial occupancy, or 30 days prior to the expiration date of a current rental permit, whichever is applicable, the owner or agent of a rental property shall apply to the Code Enforcement Office for inspection of the structure and all units therein. The owner of the property shall be required to sign and return the application along with the applicable fee, which will also include the registration form required by § 102-9A of this chapter.
(2) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the property subject to the requirements set forth in § 102-15. If the property is in compliance with this chapter, the permit will be issued.
B. 
If the owner prefers to verify compliance with this chapter as set forth in § 102-11C(2)(a) above, the following shall apply:
(1) 
The form for self-certification shall be made available by the Code Enforcement Officer and shall be completed, signed and notarized by the record titleholder(s) under penalties of perjury.
(2) 
Any owner that provides materially false or misleading information on the self-certification form shall be in violation of this chapter as set forth in § 102-8 and shall also be subject to the penalties of perjury in addition to the penalties found in § 102-24 of this chapter.
If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that premises are being maintained in violation of this chapter, that officer shall give notice of the alleged violation to the owner or owner's agent of the premises, which notice shall contain the elements required of an information under the New York State Criminal Procedure Law. Such notice shall:
A. 
Be in writing;
B. 
Include a description of the real estate sufficient for identification;
C. 
Describe the violation, cite the applicable section of the local law and/or uniform code, and remedial action required;
D. 
Describe the facts upon which the violation is based;
E. 
State that all health, safety and maintenance violations must be corrected immediately. The Code Enforcement Officer shall return at a specified date to verify conformance with the order to remedy. Any maintenance items which cannot be completed at this time because of weather constraints may be granted a time extension. Reasonable time extensions may be granted by the Code Enforcement Office based on consideration of all relevant factors;
F. 
State that, if upon reinspection a violation still exists, the Code Enforcement Officer shall order that the rental permit be suspended and the structure vacated;
G. 
Be mailed via first-class, registered or certified mail to the permittee or served upon any other person in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law;
H. 
State the time to file an appeal, the amount of the appeal fee, the right to call witnesses and the right to be represented by counsel.
A. 
Unless there are significant health or safety issues, if the property has a valid rental permit, a tenant must first complain to the owner or agent of the property. Forms for that purpose may be obtained from the Code Enforcement Office; however, there is no obligation for a tenant to use such forms.
B. 
If the complaint is not addressed within seven calendar days, the tenant may schedule an inspection appointment with the Code Enforcement Officer, who shall give reasonable advance notice to the owner's agent. If violations are found, an inspection fee in accordance with § 102-11 shall be charged.
C. 
No person shall institute or maintain an action for eviction because the occupant has reported a violation of this chapter or a related provision of the City Code to the Code Enforcement Officer or other City employee.
D. 
No person shall cause any service, facility, equipment or utility required under this chapter to be removed, shut off or discontinued in retaliation for a complaint.
A. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the right to inspect the common areas of a two-family dwelling or multiple dwelling upon either: 1) the consent of a person in lawful possession of either the dwelling or a dwelling unit therein and who has permission to access the area in question pursuant to his or her lease; 2) the consent of the owner of the dwelling; or 3) upon the procurement of an administrative search warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction to enable such inspection.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the right to inspect a dwelling unit in any rental building or structure upon either: 1) the consent of the person in lawful possession of that dwelling unit sought to be inspected and the consent of the owner; or 2) upon the procurement of an administrative search warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction to enable such inspection.
C. 
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized, on sworn affidavit stating the factual basis thereof, to make application to the City of Cortland Court or to such other court as may be deemed appropriate for the issuance of an administrative search warrant. The application for a search or administrative warrant shall, in all respects, comply with applicable laws of the State of New York and the United States.
The rental permit issued under this chapter shall contain the following information:
A. 
The address, type of structure, and structure classification;
B. 
The date of inspection or date of self-certification statement, whichever is applicable;
C. 
The date of issuance;
D. 
The expiration date;
E. 
Number of dwelling units;
F. 
A statement indicating whether the structure is equipped with a fire alarm system, single station smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors as required by the Code;
G. 
A statement indicating whether the structure is equipped with a sprinkler system;
H. 
Local contact information including name, address and phone number for the owner or owner's designated representative; and
I. 
The maximum number of occupants permitted for each and every rental dwelling unit. Such number must be posted in a conspicuous place within each dwelling unit.
A current rental permit issued under this chapter shall be invalidated by sale or transfer of the property. The owner of a rental building or structure shall conspicuously display a copy of the rental permit on the main entrance door of each building, or in a common area immediately adjacent thereto.
A. 
A seller of a rental property, including property occupied under authority of an unrecorded contract for sale, shall inform the prospective buyer of the following at least 14 days prior to the closing:
(1) 
Current status of the rental permit;
(2) 
Any outstanding notice regarding violations of the Cortland Rental Housing Law;
(3) 
The existence of any court or administrative proceeding which pertains to alleged violations of the Cortland Rental Housing Law, stating the case numbers and names of all parties to the proceedings.
B. 
Every seller of a rental property shall give notice in writing to the Code Enforcement Office within two business days after closing. This notice shall include the name and address of the buyer.
C. 
Each buyer of an interest in rental property shall give notice in writing to the Code Enforcement Officer within 10 business days after closing. The notice shall identify the address of the affected property, the name and address of all parties named in the contract, and the interests in the property conveyed or received by each party. The buyer shall also provide a copy of the deed, showing the date, book, and page within 10 days of recording.
D. 
Any unpaid fines shall run with the land and become a lien against real property and shall be enforceable against the subsequent owner of the property.
All written rental agreements for rental buildings or structures within the City of Cortland must contain the following language in 10-point or larger type: "Please take notice that you and the landlord each have certain rights and responsibilities under The City of Cortland Rental Housing Law, a copy of which is available in the City Hall, 25 Court Street, Cortland, New York 13045."
A. 
None of the rules in this § 102-20 shall be extended beyond the transition period except by resolution of the Common Council.
B. 
Owners of rental buildings or structures existing on the date of adoption of this chapter or existing hereafter must register within one year from the effective date of this chapter in accordance with Article III. Upon receipt of a completed registration form, the Code Enforcement Officer will review the form and if, on this basis, the premises appear to be substantially in compliance with the requirements of this chapter, shall issue a temporary rental permit.
C. 
The temporary rental permit shall be effective until the first of the following has occurred:
(1) 
One year shall have elapsed from the date of issuance of the temporary rental permit;
(2) 
The Code Enforcement Officer has inspected the rental building or structure and has issued a rental permit as a result of such inspection, or the owner submits a notarized self-certification form pursuant to § 102-11C;
(3) 
The Code Enforcement Officer has inspected the premises and has served upon the owner a written denial, setting forth the bases therefor; or
(4) 
The City of Cortland has revoked the temporary rental permit for cause pursuant to § 102-8.
D. 
No holder of a temporary rental permit shall be liable for failure to register in accordance with § 102-9 until one year from the effective date of this chapter.
E. 
No owner shall be liable for renting premises in violation of this chapter under the terms of a written lease that was in effect at the date of enactment, provided that the lease and the occupancy complied with applicable law in existence prior to such date. This exception shall not apply to renewals of existing leases.