[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southeast 6-8-2017 by L.L. No. 7-2017 Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Property Maintenance Code of the Town of Southeast" and may be referred to herein as "this chapter" or as "this ordinance."
The purposes of this chapter shall be to:
Provide for the public health, safety and welfare.
Avoid, prevent and eliminate the maintenance or creation of hazards to the public health or safety.
Avoid, prevent and eliminate conditions which, if permitted to exist or continue, will depreciate or tend to depreciate the value of adjacent or surrounding properties.
Prevent the creation, continuation, extension or aggravation of blight.
Preserve property values in the Town.
Prevent the physical deterioration or progressive downgrading of the quality of buildings in the Town.
Maintain the value and economic health of the commercial properties and businesses that serve and help to support the Town and its citizens.
Establish minimum standards governing the maintenance and condition of land, buildings, structures and premises in the Town.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
- EXTERIOR OF PREMISES
- Those portions of a building or structure which are exposed to public view or are visible from adjoining or adjacent lots, including all outside surfaces and appurtenances thereto; and the open land space of any premises outside of any building or structure erected thereon.
- A. Any public or private condition that would constitute a nuisance according to the statutes, laws and regulations of the State of New York, its governmental agencies or the ordinances of the Town.
- B. Any physical condition existing in or on the exterior of any premises which is potentially dangerous, detrimental or hazardous to the life, health or safety of persons on, near or passing within the proximity of the premises where such condition exists.
- Any person having actual possession, use or occupancy of a dwelling premises or rooming unit, or any person or entity in possession of or using any premises or part thereof, whether or not the owner thereof and regardless of the duration of time of such possession, use or occupancy.
- Any person, persons or entity, not the owner, who has charge, care or control of a dwelling or premises, or a part thereof, with or without the knowledge, consent or authority of the owner.
- Any person, persons or entity who shall have legal or equitable title in any form whatsoever to any premises or part thereof, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or who shall have charge, care or control of any lot, premises, building or structure or part thereof, as owner or agent of the owner, or as a fiduciary, trustee receiver, guardian, lessee or mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land, right-of-way or multiples thereof, including the building or structures thereon.
- REFUSE or RUBBISH
- All discarded, useless, unusable, unused or worthless solid waste matter or materials, combustible or noncombustible, including but not limited to garbage, trash, ashes, paper, paper goods and products, wrappings, cans, bottles, containers, yard clippings, garden waste, debris, junk, glass, boxes, crockery, wood, mineral matter, plastic, rubber, leather, furniture, household goods, appliances, bedding, scrap lumber, scrap metal, construction material, inoperable machinery or parts thereof, garden or farming implements and supplies, dead or rotting vegetation, tires, abandoned, inoperative or unusable automobiles and vehicles and solid commercial or industrial waste.
Every residential and nonresidential building or structure and the premises or part of the premises on which it is situated, including vacant lots, shall be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
In any case where the provisions of this chapter impose a higher or stricter standard than set forth in any other ordinance, law or regulation of the Town, or under the laws or regulations of the State of New York or any of its agencies, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter impose a lower or lesser standard than any other ordinance, law or regulation of the Town or of the laws and regulations of the State of New York or any of its agencies, then the higher standard contained in any such other ordinance, law or regulation shall prevail.
Compliance with this chapter shall not constitute a defense against any violation of any other ordinance or law of the Town applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any one act of compliance constitute a defense against any subsequent or other violation of this chapter.
The duties, responsibilities and obligations prescribed within this chapter shall be applicable and enforceable against any person who may create, cause, maintain or cause to, permit to, continue or to fail to abate, correct or remove any condition(s) prohibited under this chapter. For the purposes of this chapter, "any person" shall be deemed to include the owner; occupant; tenant; contractor; mortgagee or vendee in possession; mortgagee when the subject property has deteriorated in contravention to the provisions of this chapter; mortgagee which has commenced the foreclosure process; assignee of rents; receiver; executor, trustee; or any other person, firm or corporation directly or indirectly in control of any subject property pursuant to this chapter.
Owners of property shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this chapter and shall remain responsible therefor regardless of the fact that this chapter may also place responsibilities on occupants, tenants, contractors, mortgagees and others, regardless of any agreements between owners, occupants, tenants, contractors, mortgagees or others as to which party may assume such responsibility.
Whenever any person or persons shall be in actual possession of or have charge, care or control of any property within the Town of Southeast as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian or agent, such person shall be deemed and taken to be the owner or owners of said property within the true intent and meaning of this chapter and shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter to the same extent of the record owner.
The mortgagee shall immediately notify the Town of Southeast, in writing, of its notice to the owners of failure to maintain the property in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Upon the commencement of foreclosure proceedings, the mortgagee shall also immediately notify the Town of Southeast, in writing, of such action.
Any alterations to buildings, structures or appurtenances thereto which may be caused directly or indirectly by the enforcement of this chapter shall be done in accordance with all applicable sections of the Town of Southeast Building Code and the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Nothing contained in this chapter or any requirement of compliance herewith shall be deemed to alter, impair or affect the application of the Zoning Code of the Town of Southeast.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to abolish or impair existing remedies of the Town of Southeast or its officers or agencies relating to the removal or demolition of any buildings or structures which are deemed to be dangerous, unsafe or unsanitary.
In furtherance of the purposes of this chapter, it shall be the duty and responsibility of the owner, operator or occupant of premises to comply with all of the requirements and standards of this chapter, to keep the premises free of conditions which constitute violations hereof and to promptly remove, prevent or abate such conditions.
The exterior of all premises shall be kept free of the following matter, materials or conditions:
Refuse or rubbish as hereinbefore defined.
Nuisances, as hereinbefore defined.
Dangerous loose and overhanging objects, including but not limited to dead trees or tree limbs, accumulations of ice or any object, natural or man-made, which would threaten the health and safety of persons if caused to fall, or other similar dangerously loose and overhanging objects which, by reason of their location above ground level, constitute an actual hazard to persons or vehicles in the vicinity thereof.
Where grass is greater than 10 inches in length within the lawn area of a structure, an order to remedy within 14 days shall be issued. If the defect is not cured within that time frame, the Town shall remedy under § 56-15.
Structurally unsound, loose, dangerous, crumbling, missing, broken, rotted or unsafe exterior portion of buildings or structures, including but not limited to porches, landings, balconies, stairways, handrails, steps, walls, overhangs, roofs, fences, retaining walls, supporting members, timbers, abutments, fire escapes and signs and loose, crumbling or falling bricks, stones, mortar or plaster.
Wood or similar material boarded to the exterior of buildings or structures which is used in place of glass or doors and is dissimilar in color to the exterior of the building or structure.
Without limitation by the foregoing, it shall also be the duty and responsibility of owners, occupants or operators to keep the exterior of all premises structurally sound, in good general repair and sufficiently maintained, to an extent so as to prevent and avoid conditions that violate the purposes of this chapter.
This chapter shall be enforced by any official authorized to issue and serve appearance tickets under Chapter 54 of the Code of the Town of Southeast or the laws of the State of New York.
A notice of violation issued by the Building Inspector relative to a premise shall be served either personally upon the person or entity or by mailing the same to the person or entity by certified mail at his last known address.
A notice of violation shall state that unless, within 10 days from service of the notice, a written request is made for a hearing before the Building Inspector, such notice shall, at the expiration of such ten-day period, be deemed an order to cease and desist from and to abate the described violation; such notice shall prescribe a reasonable time within which such person shall be required to cease and desist from and abate such violation. The notice may also contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with this chapter.
If a hearing is requested, it shall be commenced no later than 10 days after the request is made, provided that for good cause the Building Inspector may postpone such hearing for a reasonable time. If, after the hearing, the Building Inspector finds that no violation exists or that such unusual, extraordinary or undue hardship shall occur in order to effectuate compliance with this chapter, he shall withdraw the notice. If he finds that a violation does exist, he shall forthwith issue an order requiring the abatement of the same within a prescribed reasonable time. The proceedings at such hearing, which shall be informal in all respects, shall be summarized in a report reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Building Department.
Any party aggrieved by the decision of the Building Inspector may, within five days of said decision, appeal the same to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Southeast by filing the appropriate form.
Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner, occupant, tenant, contractor, mortgagee, etc., to properly comply with the provisions of this chapter within the time period prescribed in any order of the Building Inspector, or upon authorization from the Town Board of the Town of Southeast, the Building Inspector is hereby authorized and empowered to correct or cause to be corrected such violation(s).
Where the Town of Southeast has affected the correction of such violation(s) and/or has paid for the correction and/or removal of such violation(s), the actual cost thereof, including all costs incurred by the Town of Southeast and its Building Inspector in the enforcement of this chapter, and procurement of all such contractor services to effect such correction or compliance, plus the accrued legal rate of interest per annum from the date of the completion of the work, if not paid for by such owner, occupant, tenant, contractor, mortgagee, etc., prior thereto, shall be charged by the Town of Southeast and shall become due and payable by said owner, occupant, tenant, contractor, mortgagee, etc.
When the full amount due the Town of Southeast is not paid by such owner, occupant, tenant, contractor, mortgagee, etc., within 20 days after the correction of such violations as set forth in Subsections A and B above, then the Building Inspector shall cause to be filed in the office of the Town Clerk a sworn statement showing the costs and expenses incurred as set forth in Subsection B, the dates of all work performed and the location of the subject property by section, block and lot number, together with the name of the responsible owner, occupant, tenant, contractor and mortgagee, etc. The filing of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien on the property and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and interest, plus legal fees incurred until such final payment has been made. Said costs and expenses shall be collected in the manner fixed by law for the collection of taxes and further shall be subject to a delinquent penalty at the legal rate of interest in the event that the same is not paid in full on or before the date of the tax bill upon which such charge appears delinquent. Sworn statements filed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be prima facie evidence that all legal formalities have been complied with and any work has been properly performed and shall be full notice to every party concerned that the amount set forth therein, plus interest, constitutes a charge against the property designated and described therein and that same is due and collectible as provided by law.
Any person or entity who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any order or decision promulgated hereunder shall be guilty of a violation and shall be punished as follows:
Each violation of any provision of this chapter and each week that each such violation shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
In addition to the above provided penalties and punishment, the Town may also maintain an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction any violation of this chapter.