[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ithaca as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-11-2017 by L.L. No. 18-2017]
Editor's Note: This local law also provided that it take effect 2-1-2018.
This article applies to all residential rental dwelling units except:
Residential dwelling units that are rented for terms of less than 30 consecutive days.
Residential dwelling units that are owned by cooperative corporations and subject to proprietary leases under the Cooperative Corporations Law.
[Added 12-9-2019 by L.L. No. 10-2019]
For the purposes of this article, a dwelling unit shall not be considered a residential rental dwelling unit when a house sitter occupies an owner’s principal residence while the owner is away, the house sitter provides security, maintenance and/or pet care, and the house sitter pays no money or other financial consideration to the owner in exchange for the occupancy. For the purposes of this subsection, for a dwelling unit to qualify as an owner’s principal residence, at least one of the property owners must reside in the dwelling unit for a minimum of 185 days per year. No other owner(s) shall own a larger percentage, collectively or individually, than the owner-occupant(s).
[Added 12-9-2019 by L.L. No. 10-2019]
Throughout the term of rental occupancy, all residential rental dwelling units (except those listed in § 207-1 above) shall require a valid operating permit issued pursuant to Town of Ithaca Code Chapter 125 (Building Construction and Fire Prevention), § 125-8. Before the expiration or renewal of the operating permit, it shall be the responsibility of the owner of the rental unit(s) to schedule a housing inspection with the Town of Ithaca Code Enforcement Department in order to obtain a new or renewed permit.
The Code Enforcement Department shall issue an operating permit upon verification by inspection that the items listed in Subsection B(1) through (13) below meet the requirements of the applicable New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the items listed in Subsection B(14) through (16) below meet the requirements of the Town of Ithaca Code:
911 address number properly posted (with each unit posted);
Exterior structure in good repair;
Entrances, access areas, parking spaces and similar areas in good repair;
Receptacles for proper storage of garbage;
Compliant pools and decks (if present);
Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors;
Interior structure in good repair;
Fire separation (where required);
Electrical, plumbing and heating in good repair;
Appliances in good repair (if supplied by landlord);
Proper light and ventilation;
Proper room sizes;
Proper egress doors or windows;
Compliant number of occupants/families, per Town of Ithaca Code Chapter 270 (Zoning), § 270-5's definition of "family" and occupancy requirements in the relevant zoning district; and
A Code Enforcement Officer shall seek a search warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction whenever the owner, managing agent or occupant fails to allow inspections of any premises believed to be subject to this article and where there is a reasonable cause to believe that there is a violation of this article, Town of Ithaca Code Chapter 205 (Property Maintenance), Town of Ithaca Code Zoning Chapter provisions related to parking or number of occupants/families, or the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Owners of residential rental dwelling units that are rented as of the effective date of this Chapter 270, Article I, must apply for operating permits for the rental units by November 1, 2018. Owners of residential rental dwelling units that are not rented as of the effective date of this article but that are subsequently rented must apply for operating permits prior to rental occupancy.
Failure of an owner of any residential rental dwelling unit that is required to have an operating permit to apply for an operating permit in a timely manner, to obtain an operating permit after inspection, or to maintain a valid operating permit after it is granted throughout the period of rental occupancy shall be deemed a violation of this article, and a Code Enforcement Officer may order that such rental unit(s) be vacated within a specified time after notice of violation, unless the property is brought into compliance within a reasonable time frame as specified in the notice of violation. If a violation persists beyond the time frame specified in the notice of violation, and the property is ordered vacated, the property must be kept vacated until it is brought into compliance.
Over-occupancy. Verified over-occupancy shall constitute a violation of the operating permit. After the issuance of an order to remedy, the property owner shall have 30 days to comply with applicable occupancy limits.
Any person, association, firm, corporation or other entity found by a court to have violated any provision of this article or to have assisted in the violation of any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation, punishable:
By a fine of $350 for conviction of a first offense;
By a fine of $700 for conviction of the second of two offenses, both of which were committed within a period of five years;
By a fine of $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period of up to 15 days, or both, for conviction of the third of three offenses, each of which were committed within a period of five years.
Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
Pursuant to Public Officers Law Article 6 (also known as the "Freedom of Information Law"), § 87(2)(b), personal information identifying tenants may be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law on the grounds that such disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The Town of Ithaca will not collect the identities of tenants as part of the operating permit application process. The identities of tenants may be collected in connection with specific enforcement actions, but the identities may be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law.