[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Mount Gretna as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-12-2016 by Ord. No. 204]
Mount Gretna Borough has seen an increase in concern over residential rental occupied units over the past several years. The purposes of this article are to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the Borough's residents by establishing uniform procedures for licensing of residential rental units within the Borough and to set forth the penalties for violations of this article.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A room or space designed to be used for sleeping purposes
with two means of ingress (one of which may be a window acceptable
under the building code), a closet, and in close proximity to a bathroom.
Space used for eating, cooking, bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets,
halls, storage or utility rooms and similar uses are not considered
bedrooms. Space used or intended for general and informal everyday
use such as a living room, den, sitting room or similar is not to
be considered a bedroom.[Added 12-19-2018 by Ord. No. 213]
- Mount Gretna Borough, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania 17064.
- BOROUGH COUNCIL
- The duly elected governing body of Mount Gretna Borough, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.
- DAY GUEST
- A visitor to the rental property but not constituting an
occupant.[Added 12-19-2018 by Ord. No. 213]
- DWELLING UNIT
- A residential living area for one household that is used for living and sleeping purposes and includes its own cooking facilities and bathroom with a toilet and a bathtub and/or shower.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- Any person specifically designated to enforce this article by resolution of Borough Council.
- An adult individual may be designated by the owner of a residential rental unit under this article. The manager then shall be the agent of the owner for service of process and receiving notices or demands and to perform the obligations of the owner under this article.
- An individual who resides in a residential rental dwelling unit other than a tenant.
- One or more persons, corporation, partnership or other association in whom is vested all or part of the legal title to the premises.
- OWNER-OCCUPIED UNIT
- A dwelling unit in which at least one owner of record of the property resides as his/her primary dwelling throughout a calendar year and/or a summer residence in which the owner resides on a seasonal basis. If an owner-occupied unit is rented for any time, said rental shall be governed by the provisions of the requirements of a residential rental unit set forth herein.
- RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT
- A dwelling unit occupied for residential purposes that is not an owner-occupied unit.
- RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT LICENSE
- A license issued to the owner of a residential rental unit that is required in order to lawfully rent and occupy a residential rental unit.
- SHORT-TERM RENTALS
- Any dwelling unit owned or managed by a person, firm or corporation
which is rented or leased for a period of less than 30 consecutive
days, during which time the owner or manager is not present on a full-time
basis.[Added 12-19-2018 by Ord. No. 213]
- An occupant of a residential rental unit with whom a legal relationship with the owner exists pursuant to a lease or other legally enforceable agreement under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
It shall be the duty of every owner to:
Obtain and maintain a residential rental unit license for each residential rental unit as set forth in § 137-5 of this article. This provision shall apply to any and all leases or other legally enforceable agreements under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, regardless of length.
Provide the Borough with the maximum sleeping accommodation occupancy for the residential rental unit not to exceed 10 occupants. The occupancy may exceed 10 upon written application of the owner to Borough Council for an exemption, which exemption would be at the sole discretion of Borough Council.
Post in a prominent place within the unit any and all trash and recyclables collection and disposal services information to tenants and occupants as provided by the Borough and instruct tenants and occupants about the collection process for such trash and recyclables collection and disposal services (e.g., curbside or dumpster and day of pick up). Provide each unit a copy of Mount Gretna Borough Refuse, Noise and Parking Ordinances. The ordinances may be viewed at the Borough website, http://borough.mtgretna.com. (Noise, Chapter 118, Chapter 121, regarding refuse and garbage, § 121-2(a)(1)(a) through (c), § 134-8, Chapter 76, Open Burning, §§ 76-1, 76-5, 155-2 through 155-3, and Vehicles and Traffic, Chapter 181).
If appointed by the owner, the manager shall be considered the owner's agent for purposes of service of process and receiving notices and requests from the Borough, as well as for performing obligations of the owner as set forth in this article.
A residential rental license shall not be issued to an owner unless the owner provides the Borough with his or her name, mailing address, e-mail address if available, and telephone number, including a twenty-four-hour emergency phone number or that of a designated manager. A post office box shall not be an acceptable address for an owner or manager. The owner shall be required to notify the Borough of any changes within 10 business days.
Within 60 days following the effective date of this article, the owner or, if applicable, designated manager of each residential rental unit within the Borough shall apply for a residential rental license from the Borough which shall be valid until December 31, 2017.
It shall be the responsibility of the owner or manager to post or otherwise provide a copy of the residential rental license to the tenants of each residential rental unit. The residential rental license shall include the following information:
By December 1 of each calendar year, beginning with calendar year 2017, the owner or, if applicable, the manager of each residential rental unit shall apply for a residential rental license from the Borough, which license shall be valid from January 1 to December 31 of the following year.
In order to be issued the annual residential rental license each year, the owner or, if applicable, the manager of each residential rental unit shall:
Provide the Borough with the name, mailing address, e-mail address if available, and phone number of the owner or, if applicable, manager of the residential rental unit.
Provide the Borough with the maximum number of occupants who will reside in the residential rental unit not to exceed 10 occupants except as set forth in § 137-3B of this article.
Ensure that any overdue real estate taxes, water, sewage and other outstanding fees that are owed to the Borough are fully paid as required.
Tender the Borough the annual licensing fee of $40. This fee is intended to cover the Borough's costs for administering this article. The fee may be modified by a future Borough resolution based on costs experienced.
Where there is a recurring annual long-term rental with a history of five consecutive years with the same occupant(s), the owner may reapply every five years for a rental license unless the occupancy changes within the five years and a new residential license would be required.
[Added 12-19-2018 by Ord. No. 213]
Unless otherwise specifically stated herein, the Enforcement Officer shall be permitted to inspect each residential rental unit at or prior to the issuance of a rental license;
After the initial inspection, and unless specifically stated below, the Enforcement Officer shall be permitted to inspect each residential unit once every two years to insure compliance of this article;
The Enforcement Officer shall be permitted to inspect a residential rental unit whenever there is probable cause to believe that a violation of the within article is present. Under such circumstances, the Enforcement Officer shall provide the owner, or if applicable, manager, with 72 hours' notice of an inspection under this subsection;
The cost of any inspection incurred by the Enforcement Officer shall be paid by the owner to the inspection agency within 30 days after the date of invoice to the owner of the required fee as established by resolution by Mount Gretna Borough. The rental license is automatically suspended for failure to make payment as set forth herein;
Written consent for inspection of the property by the Enforcement Officer to verify compliance with the conditions of the rental application.
[Added 12-19-2018 by Ord. No. 213]
No more than one short-term rental unit may be located in a structure, and a short-term rental unit may not be located in a structure which also contains one or more other dwelling units.
The maximum number of day guests allowed at any one time, in addition to the overnight occupants, shall be 10.
Inspections for a short-term rental unit shall demonstrate that the short-term rental unit contains or meets all of the following:
Working smoke detector in each bedroom;
Working smoke detector outside each bedroom in the common hallway;
Working smoke detector on each floor;
GFI outlet required if outlet located within six feet of water source (all sinks, sump pumps, etc.);
Aluminum or metal exhaust from clothes dryer (if a dryer is provided);
Carbon monoxide detector if open flame (oil or gas) furnace or gas fireplace;
Carbon monoxide detector if garage is attached;
Fire extinguisher in kitchen;
Stairs (indoor and outdoor) in good condition;
Covers (faceplate) on all outlets;
Fully functioning bathing and toilet facilities;
Fully functioning kitchen (if one has been installed);
The Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code and the International Property Maintenance Code as adopted by the Borough.
The applicant shall prepare and present a notice which shall be prominently and continuously posted at the short-term rental unit which contains all the following information:
The name of the local contact person or owner of the short-term rental unit and a telephone number which that party may be reached on a twenty-four-hour basis.
The 911 address of the property.
The maximum number of occupants permitted to stay in the dwelling unit and the maximum number of day guests permitted at any one time.
The trash pickup days and notification that trash and refuse should not be left or stored on the exterior of the property except in secure, watertight metal or plastic cans or similar containers designed for storage, with a limit of three secured containers.
Notification that an occupant may be cited and/or fined for creating a disturbance or for violation of other provisions of the applicable Borough ordinances, including, but not limited to, parking, occupancy limits, and noise.
Notification that short-term rental occupants and guests are required to make the dwelling unit available for inspection by the Enforcement Officer upon request.
At the time of a request for a rental license, the applicant shall provide confirmation that the applicant has taken all action to register with the Lebanon County Treasurer to enable the applicant to pay the hotel room rental tax imposed by Lebanon County. No rental license for the short-term rental unit shall be issued until the applicant presents such confirmation or registration.
The owner shall use his/her best efforts to ensure that the occupants of the short-term rental unit do not create unreasonable noise or disturbances, engage in disorderly conduct, or violate provisions of Mount Gretna Borough ordinances or any state law pertaining to noise or disorderly conduct by notifying the occupants of the rules regarding short-term rental units and responding when notifying the occupants are violating laws regarding their occupancy.
The owner shall, upon notification that the occupants of the short-term rental unit have created unreasonable noise or disturbances, engage in disorderly conduct or violated provisions of Mount Gretna Borough ordinances or state law pertaining to noise or disorderly conduct, properly use their best effort to prevent a recurrence of such conduct by those occupants or guests.
Any overnight occupancy of recreational vehicles, campers, trailers, and tents at the property where the short-term rental is located shall not be allowed. Outdoor overnight sleeping of occupants or guests of the short-term rental is prohibited.
It shall be the duty of each occupant and tenant of a residential rental unit to use the trash and recyclables collection services as instructed by the owner to include placing trash and recyclables for regular pickup.
It shall be the duty of each tenant to ensure that no unauthorized occupants reside in a residential rental unit unless approved by the owner.
It shall be the duty of each tenant and occupant to abide by ordinances of Mount Gretna Borough, particularly the Refuse, Noise and Parking Ordinances. The ordinances may be viewed at the Borough website, http://borough.mtgretna.com.
Residential rental licenses shall not be transferred. If a licensed residential rental unit is sold or transferred, the new owner shall seek a residential rental license for each residential rental unit within 30 days of the date of sale or transfer.
Any appropriate Borough official is authorized to initiate enforcement actions against owners, managers, tenants and/or occupants for any violation of this article.
If the appropriate Borough official discovers a violation of this article, he/she shall send written notice upon the owner, manager, tenant and/or occupant, whomever is in violation of this article, which shall identify the residential rental unit in question, provide a detailed description of the violation, set forth a description as to what is required to correct the violation and afford five days to correct the violation.
The enforcement notice shall be served upon the owner, manager, tenant or occupant, whomever is in violation of this article, by personal service, or service by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested.
The appropriate Borough official may also deny or revoke a residential rental license if the owner does not provide his/her current name, address, e-mail address, if available, and phone number, including a twenty-four-hour emergency phone number, and, if applicable, the name, address, e-mail address, if available, and phone number of the manager, does not tender the annual registration fee, or does not correct or ensure a correction of a violation of this article within five days of written notification of the violation by the appropriate Borough official. Written notification shall occur by personal service or by sending the owner or, if applicable, manger by certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery. The notification shall identify the residential rental unit, the grounds for the denial or revocation, citing the factual circumstances and section of this article supporting such determination and advise the owner of the right to appeal the denial or revocation of the residential rental license to Borough Council.
The appropriate Borough official shall reinstate a residential rental license if the owner or manager corrects the reason for the revocation of the residential rental license and has paid the residential rental license reinstatement fee of $20.
An appeal of the appropriate Borough official's decision may be taken to Borough Council. An appeal shall be made, in writing, within 10 days after such decision of the appropriate Borough official has been made and delivered to the offending party. The appeal shall be verified, shall state the grounds for an appeal and shall be filed with the Borough Secretary at the Borough office. The appeal shall be accompanied by the appeal fee of $25 which shall be established periodically by Borough Council resolution. The appellant or his/her representative shall have the right to appear and be heard. Borough Council shall render a written decision within 10 days following the hearing. The decision shall be in writing and provided to the appropriate Borough official and appellant. A pending appeal shall stay a suspension of the owner's residential rental license.
It shall be a violation for any person to fail to comply with any section of this article that is not corrected as set forth in § 137-7 herein and after appeal rights have been exhausted pursuant to § 137-8.
[Amended 12-19-2018 by Ord. No. 213]
The marketing of a short-term rental in which the advertised occupancy exceeds the maximum occupancy requirements permitted by this article or which promotes any other activity which is prohibited by this article shall be a violation of this article.
If the premises are owned by more than one owner, each owner shall be severally subject to violation of this article.
An owner, manager, occupant, or tenant determined to be in violation of this article may be subject to the following:
For any violation of this article, the violator may be required by a District Magistrate or any appropriate court official to pay a fine of not less than $50 or more than $600 plus costs as set forth below. Each day that a violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense.
The violator shall be required to pay all administrative costs and counsel fees and expenses associated with the Borough's enforcement of this article.
Nonexclusive remedies. The penalty provisions set forth herein shall not limit the ability of the Borough to file any appropriate action in law or in equity in the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County.
This article shall be governed by, and shall be construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Venue of this article lies within Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.
If any provision of this article shall be determined or declared to be void or invalid in law or otherwise, then only that provision shall be stricken from this article and in all other respects this article shall be valid and continue in full force and effect.
This article shall be accepted immediately upon enactment.