Borough of Ramsey, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1972 Code § 230.001; BH Ord. #5]
The Health Officer of the Borough and, in his absence the Principal Sanitarian, is hereby designated as the officer to exercise the powers prescribed by the within Chapter, and he shall serve in such capacity without any additional salary.
[1972 Code § 230.002 and 230.003; BH Ord. #5]
The following is hereby accepted, adopted and established as a standard to be used as a guide in determining whether dwellings in this municipality are safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation and rental. The provisions of this chapter shall constitute the standards to guide the Health Officer or his agents in determining the fitness of a building for human habitation, use or occupancy.
[1972 Code § 230.004; BH Ord. #5]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY
The Board of Health of the Borough of Ramsey.
BUILDING
Any building or structure, or part thereof, used for human habitation, use or occupancy and includes any accessory buildings and appurtenance belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
DWELLING
A building or structure or part thereof containing one or more dwelling units or lodging units.
DWELLING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms, or any part thereof, located within a building and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used, or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.
GARBAGE
The animal and vegetable and other organic waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
HABITABLE ROOM
A room or enclosed floor space within a dwelling unit, used or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purpose, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, pantries, foyers or communicating corridors, closets and storage spaces.
INFESTATION
The presence, within or around a building, of any insects, rodents or other pests.
LODGING HOUSE
Any building, or that part of any building, containing one or more lodging units, each of which is rented by one or more persons not related to the owner.
LODGING UNIT
A rented room or group of rooms, containing no cooking facilities, used for living purposes by a separate family or group of persons living together, or by a person living alone, within a building.
OCCUPANT
Any person or persons in actual possession of, and living in the building or dwelling unit, including the owners.
OWNER
In addition to anyone having legal title to a property, any person properly authorized to exercise powers of or for an owner of property for purposes of its purchase, sale, use, occupancy or maintenance.
PERSON
Shall be given the same meaning as defined in N.J.S.A. 1:1-2 of the Revised Statutes of New Jersey.
PLUMBING FIXTURES
Means and includes all installed receptacles or devices which are supplied with water, or which receive or discharge liquid waste or sewage into the drainage system with which they are directly or indirectly connected.
PUBLIC OFFICER
The Health Officer of the Borough of Ramsey.
RUBBISH
Means and includes all combustible and noncombustible waste material, except garbage.
UTILITIES
Means and includes electric, gas, heating, water and sewerage services, and equipment therefor.
[1972 Code § 230.005; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
Every dwelling unit and lodging house shall be provided with a safe supply of potable water, meeting the standards as set forth in Potable Water Standards as published by the New Jersey State Department of Health.
b. 
The source of such water supply shall be approved by the New Jersey State Department of Health and/or the Board of Health.
c. 
The minimum rate of flow of hot or cold water issuing from a faucet or fixtures shall be not less than one gallon per minute.
[1972 Code § 230.006; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain a kitchen sink of nonabsorbent impervious material, at least one flush-type water closet, a lavatory, and a bathtub or shower, available only for the use of the occupants of that dwelling unit.
b. 
Every lodging house shall be provided with a minimum of one flush-type water closet, lavatory, and a bathtub or shower for every eight persons or part thereof.
c. 
Every water closet, lavatory, and bathtub or shower for each dwelling unit or lodging house shall be accessible from within the building, without passing through any part of any other dwelling unit or lodging unit, and in a lodging house shall be located no farther than one floor above or below the lodging units served. Such water closet, lavatory and bathtub or shower shall be contained in a room or rooms which are separated from all other rooms by walls, doors or partitions that afford privacy.
d. 
Every plumbing fixture shall be connected to water and sewer systems approved by the Board of Health, and shall be maintained in good working condition.
e. 
Every kitchen sink, lavatory, and bathtub or shower required by this chapter shall be connected to both hot and cold water lines.
f. 
Every dwelling shall have water heating facilities which are installed and maintained in good and safe working condition, connected with the hot water lines required under the provisions of paragraph e. of this section, and capable of delivering water at a minimum temperature of not less than 120° F.
[1972 Code § 230.007; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
Garbage or other organic waste shall be stored in watertight receptacles of metal or other approved material. Such receptacles shall be provided with tight-fitting covers. At least one approved-type garbage receptacle shall be provided for each dwelling unit, in accordance with paragraph i. of subsection BH:9-1.13.
b. 
Rubbish shall be stored in receptacles of metal or other approved material. At least one rubbish receptacle shall be provided for each dwelling unit, in accordance with paragraph i. of subsection BH:9-1.13.
[1972 Code § 230.008; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight facing directly to the outdoors. The minimum total window or skylight area, measured between stops, for every habitable room shall be 10% of the floor area of such room. Whenever walls or other portions of structures face a window of any habitable room and are located less than three feet from the window and extend to a level above that of the ceiling of the room, such a window shall not be included in calculating the required minimum total window area.
b. 
Where there is electric service available to the building or structure, every habitable room shall contain at least two separate and remote outlets, one of which may be a ceiling or wall-type electric light fixture. In a kitchen, three separate and remote wall-type electric convenience outlets, or two such convenience outlets and one ceiling or wall-type electric light fixture, shall be provided. Every public hall, water closet compartment, bathroom, laundry room or furnace room shall contain at least one electric light fixture. In addition to the electric light fixture in every bathroom and laundry room, there shall be provided at least one electrical outlet. No temporary wiring shall be used, except extension cords which run directly from portable electric fixtures to convenience outlets, and which do not lie under rugs or other floor coverings, nor extend through doorways, transoms, or other openings through structural elements.
c. 
Every portion of each staircase, hall, cellar, basement, landing, furnace room, utility room, and all similar non-habitable space located in a dwelling, shall have one supplied electric light fixture available at all times.
d. 
Every portion of any interior or exterior passageway or staircase common to two or more families in a dwelling shall be properly and adequately lighted in all places.
[1972 Code § 230.009; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
Means of ventilation shall be provided for every habitable room. Such ventilation may be provided either by an easily-operable window or skylight having an openable area of at least 45% of the minimum window area or minimum skylight area, as required in Paragraph a of Subsection BH:9-1.7 or by other means acceptable to the Administrative Authority, which will provide at least two air changes per hour.
b. 
Means of ventilation shall be provided for every bathroom or water closet compartment. Such ventilation may be provided either by an easily-operable window or skylight having an openable area of at least 45% of the minimum window area or minimum skylight area, as required in Paragraph a of Subsection BH:9-1.7 or by other means acceptable to the Administrative Authority, which will provide at least six air changes per hour.
[1972 Code § 230.010; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
Every dwelling shall have heating facilities which are properly installed, maintained in good and safe working condition, and are capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms and water closet compartments located therein to a temperature of at least 70° F. when the outside temperature is 0° F. The temperature shall be read at a height of three feet above floor level at the center of the room.
b. 
Every space heater, except electrical, shall be properly vented to a chimney or duct leading to outdoors. Unvented portable space heaters, burning solid, liquid or gaseous fuels, shall be prohibited.
[1972 Code § 230.011; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
Every dwelling, dwelling unit or lodging unit shall have safe and unobstructed means of egress. Such means of egress shall not be through any other dwelling unit or part thereof, and shall lead to a safe and open space at ground level accessible to a street.
b. 
A room used for sleeping purposes under the provisions of Paragraph e of Subsection BH:9-1.12 shall be provided with a safe and unobstructed means of egress leading directly to an outside area accessible to a street.
[1972 Code § 230.012; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
Every foundation, floor, wall, ceiling, door, window, roof or other part of a building shall be kept in good repair and capable of use intended by its design.
b. 
Every inside and outside stairway, every porch and every appurtenance thereto shall be so constructed as to be safe to use and capable of supporting the load that normal use may cause to be placed thereon, and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair. Every stairway having three or more steps shall be properly banistered and safely balustraded.
c. 
Every porch, balcony, roof and/or similar place higher than 30 inches above the ground, used for egress or for use by occupants, shall be provided with adequate railings or parapets. Such protective railings or parapets shall be properly balustraded and be not less than three feet in height.
d. 
Every roof, wall, window, exterior door and hatchway shall be free from holes or leaks that would permit the entrance of water within a dwelling or be a cause of dampness.
e. 
Every foundation, floor and wall of a dwelling shall be free from chronic dampness.
f. 
Every dwelling shall be free from rodents, vermin and insects. Rodent or vermin extermination and rodent-proofing and vermin-proofing may be required by the Board of Health. Rodent and vermin extermination shall be carried out in accordance with Paragraph k of Subsection BH:9-1.13. Every openable window, exterior door, skylight and other opening to the outdoors shall be supplied with properly fitting screens in good repair from May 1 until October 1 of each year. Such screens shall have a mesh of not less than No. 16.
g. 
Every building, dwelling, dwelling unit and all other areas of the premises shall be clean and free from garbage or rubbish and hazards to safety.
h. 
The Health Officer may order the owner to clean, repair, paint, whitewash or paper such walls or ceilings, when a wall or ceiling within a dwelling has deteriorated so as to provide a harborage for rodents or vermin, or when such a wall or ceiling has become stained or soiled, or the plaster, wallboard or other covering has become loose or badly cracked or missing. Nothing in this paragraph shall be so construed as to place upon the nonresident owner responsibilities for cleanliness contained in Paragraph f of Subsection BH:9-1.13.
i. 
Every water closet compartment floor and bathroom floor shall be so constructed and maintained as to be reasonably impervious to water, so as to permit such floor to be kept in a clean condition.
[1972 Code § 230.013; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain at least 150 square feet of floor space for the first occupant thereof, and at least 100 additional square feet of floor space for every additional occupant thereof, the floor space to be calculated on the basis of total habitable room area.
b. 
In every dwelling unit of two or more rooms, every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain at least 50 square feet of floor space for each occupant thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in every lodging unit every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 80 square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain at least 60 square feet of floor space for each occupant thereof.
c. 
At least 1/2 of the floor area of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of at least seven feet. The floor area of that part of any room where the ceiling is less than five feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total floor area of the room for the purpose of determining the maximum permissible occupancy thereof.
d. 
No room in a lodging unit may be used for sleeping if the floor level of the room is lower than 3 1/2 feet below the average grade of the ground adjacent to and within 15 feet of the exterior walls of the room.
e. 
A room in a lodging unit located below the level of the ground, but with the floor level less than 3 1/2 feet below the average grade of the ground adjacent to and within 15 feet of the exterior walls of the room, may be used for sleeping provided that the walls and floor thereof in contact with the earth have been damp-proofed in accordance with a method approved by the Administrative Authority; and provided that the windows thereof are at least 15 feet from the nearest building or wall.
[1972 Code § 230.014; BH Ord. #5]
a. 
No owner or occupant shall cause any services, facilities, equipment or utilities which are required under this chapter to be removed from, shut off, or discontinued in any occupied dwelling let or occupied by him, except for such temporary interruption as may be necessary while actual repairs or alterations are in process or during temporary emergencies when discontinuance of service is authorized by the Health Officer. In the event that any service or utility, which the owner has agreed to supply, is discontinued, the owner shall take immediate steps to cause the restoration of such service or utility.
b. 
The owner of a dwelling located in an area found by the Health Officer to be infested by rats, insects or other vermin shall carry out such rat stoppage, vermin-proofing or other means of preventing infestations of the dwelling as may be required by the Board of Health.
c. 
No owner shall occupy or let to an occupant any vacant dwelling unit or lodging unit unless it is clean and sanitary.
d. 
Every owner of a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units or lodging units shall be responsible for maintaining in a clean and sanitary condition the common areas of the dwellings and premises thereof.
e. 
It shall be the responsibility of the owner, unless otherwise provided for under lease agreement, to provide for the orderly maintenance of the premises. The storage of objects or materials not covered in Paragraphs g and h hereof, or not otherwise prohibited by municipal ordinances, shall be done in an orderly manner so as to not constitute a health, safety or fire hazard.
f. 
Every occupant of a dwelling shall keep in a clean and sanitary condition that part of the dwelling which he occupies and controls.
g. 
Every occupant of a dwelling unit shall dispose of all his garbage and any other organic waste which might provide food for rodents, by placing it in the garbage disposal facilities or garbage storage receptacles required by Paragraph a of Subsection BH:9-1.16.
h. 
Every occupant of a dwelling unit shall dispose of all his rubbish in a clean sanitary manner by placing it in the rubbish containers required in paragraph b of Subsection BH:9-1.6.
i. 
In dwellings containing no more than three dwelling units, it shall be the responsibility of the occupant of each dwelling unit to furnish the receptacles outside the dwelling unit as are needed for the storage of garbage and rubbish, until removal from the premises. In lodging houses and in dwellings containing four or more dwelling units, it shall be the responsibility of the owner to furnish such receptacles outside the lodging units or dwelling units as are needed for the storage of garbage and rubbish, until removal from the premises.
j. 
Every occupant of a dwelling unit in a dwelling containing no more than three dwelling units shall be responsible, unless provided for otherwise under a lease agreement, for the periodic removal of all garbage and rubbish from the premises each week, in accordance with such regulations of the Board of Health or Borough for the collection of garbage and rubbish.
k. 
Every occupant of a dwelling comprising a single dwelling unit shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects or rodents or other pests therein or on the premises; and every occupant of a dwelling unit in a dwelling containing more than one dwelling unit, shall be responsible for such extermination whenever his dwelling unit is the only one infested. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this paragraph, whenever infestation is caused by failure of the owner to maintain a dwelling in a rat-proof or reasonably insect-proof condition, extermination shall be the responsibility of the owner. Whenever infestation exists in two or more of the dwelling units in any dwelling or in the common parts of any dwelling containing two or more dwelling units, extermination thereof shall be the responsibility of the owner.
l. 
Every occupant of a dwelling unit shall keep all plumbing fixtures therein in a clean and sanitary condition and shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care in the proper use and operation thereof.
m. 
In dwellings containing two or more dwelling units, having a common source of heat for domestic hot water, it shall be the responsibility of the owner to make provision for the proper operation of such facilities at all times.
n. 
Every owner of a dwelling who permits to be occupied any dwelling unit or lodging unit therein under any agreement, expressed or implied, to supply or furnish heat to the occupants thereof, shall from October 1 of each year to the next succeeding May 1, maintain every unit of dwelling space and every habitable room therein at a minimum temperature of 68° F. whenever the outside temperature falls below 55° F. during the daytime hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. each day. At times other than those specified, every occupied room in a dwelling unit shall be maintained at at least 55° F. whenever the outside temperature falls below 40° F.
In meeting the aforesaid standards, the owner shall not be responsible for heat loss and the consequent drop in the interior temperature arising out of action by the occupants in leaving windows or doors open to the exterior of the building. The owner shall be obligated to supply required fuel or energy and maintain the heating system in good operating condition so that it can supply heat as required herein, notwithstanding any contractual provision seeking to delegate or shift responsibility to the occupant or third person, except that the owner shall not be required to supply fuel or energy for heating purposes to any unit where the occupant thereof agrees in writing to supply heat to his own unit of dwelling space, and the unit is served by its own exclusive heating equipment for which the source of heat can be separately computed and billed.
o. 
In the absence of a contract or agreement to the contrary, an owner shall be obliged to provide heat wherever heating facilities are under the control of the owner, or whenever two or more dwelling units or lodging units are heated by a common facility.
p. 
The owner shall be responsible for compliance with all provisions of this chapter not specified as the responsibility of occupants.
[1972 Code § 230.015; BH Ord. #5]
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of any department of the Borough of Ramsey or any agency of the State of New Jersey to enforce any provisions of its Charter or its Ordinances, Codes, regulations or statutory provisions, or to prevent or punish violations thereof.
[1972 Code § 230.016; BH Ord. #5]
The Health Officer, or in his absence the Principal Sanitarian, or such other person to whom the Board has by resolution delegated the authority to enforce the chapter, is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of common or public portions and areas of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises located within the Borough in order that he may perform his duty of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public. For the purpose of making such inspections the Health Officer, or in his absence the Principal Sanitarian, or such other person to whom the Board has by resolution delegated authority to enforce the chapter, is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times all common or public portions and areas of all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises. The owner or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit and premises, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the Health Officer, or in his absence the Principal Sanitarian, or such other person to whom the Board has by resolution delegated authority to enforce the chapter, free access to all common or public portions and areas of such dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey. Access to nonpublic or private areas shall be only with the consent of the owner thereof or, if occupied by someone other than the owner, then only with the consent of the occupant, or upon the showing of good and probable cause, as provided by law, that a violation exists and issuance of a warrant or court order permitting such access. Every nonowner occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises shall give the owner thereof, or his agent or employee, access to any part of such dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
[1972 Code § 230.017; BH Ord. #5]
Whenever the Health Officer, or in his absence the Principal Sanitarian, or such other person to whom the Board has by resolution delegated authority to enforce the Chapter, determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor, as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall (a) be put in writing; (b) include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued; (c) allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires; and (d) be served upon the owner or his agent, or the occupant, as the case may require; provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent, or upon such occupant, if a copy thereof is served upon him personally; or if a copy thereof is sent by registered mail to his last known address; or if a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice; or if he is served with such notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this State. Such notice may contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
Any person affected by any notice which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Board of Health, provided such person shall file in the office of the Board of Health a written petition requesting such hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within 10 days after the day the notice was served. Upon receipt of such petition, the Board of Health shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. At such hearing the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why such notice should be modified or withdrawn. The hearing shall be commenced not later than 10 days after the day on which the petition was filed; provided that, upon application of the petitioner, the Board of Health may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond such ten-day period, if in his judgment the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for such postponement. After such hearing, the Board of Health shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice, depending upon his findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with. If the Board of Health sustains or modifies such notice, it shall be deemed to be an order. Any notice served pursuant to this chapter shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the Board of Health within 10 days after such notice is served. The proceedings at such hearing, including the findings and decision of the Board of Health, shall be summarized, reduced to writing, and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Board of Health. Such record shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Health may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of the State. Whenever the Board of Health finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health or safety, he may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but upon petition to the Board of Health shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon his findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Board of Health shall continue such order in effect, or modify it or revoke it.
[1972 Code § 230.018; BH Ord. #5]
The Board of Health is hereby authorized and empowered to make and adopt such written rules and regulations as they may deem necessary for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this chapter, nor in anywise alter, amend or supersede any of the provisions thereof. The Board of Health shall file a certified copy of all rules and regulations which they may adopt in the office of the Clerk of the Board of Health of the Borough of Ramsey.
[1972 Code § 230.019; BH Ord. #5]
No person shall occupy as owner occupant or rent to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not conform to the provisions of this chapter, which provisions are hereby fixed, adopted and established as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.
[1972 Code § 230.020; BH Ord. #5]
Permits for demolition of any structure shall require approval of the Board of Health. Such approval requires adequate proof that the demolition of the structure will not cause a migration of rodents. A report by a professional exterminator whose qualifications are satisfactory to the Board of Health, stating that the structure to be demolished is free of rodents, will be considered adequate proof.
[1972 Code § 230.021; BH Ord. #5]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be liable for the penalty stated in Chapter BH:1, Section BH:1-5. Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day the same is violated shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.