[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Bath 7-16-2018 by Ord. No. 2-2018. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Title. This section shall be known as the "Residential Rental Occupancy Permit Provisions" and is supplementary to applicable provisions of the Village Code for the Village of Bath.
Purpose and scope. The purpose and scope is to provide uniform administration and compliance with residential occupancy permits and to establish the responsibilities of parties concerned therewith.
Inspection and certification of premises.
All residential rental dwelling units and commercial rental units shall be inspected and certified by the Code Enforcement Office of the Village of Bath (hereinafter "the Department"), which shall determine compliance with, administer and enforce all applicable provisions of this code. On and after October 1, 2018, residential occupancy permits shall be valid for 36 months from the date of issuance. The vacancy of any unit shall invalidate said permit even if said vacancy shall occur within said 36 months, unless said vacancy occurs within 18 months of the permit.
Nothing contained herein shall be construed or operate to invalidate an otherwise legally effective permit or certificate issued prior to October 1, 2018, except that such permit or certificate shall be valid only until September 30, 2021, or a change in the tenancy of the residential rental dwelling unit to which the permit or certificate relates, whichever first occurs.
Except as otherwise provided herein, it shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter to rent, lease, sell on a land contract or otherwise allow the occupancy of any residential or commercial rental unit without the inspection and certification as required herein.
If, upon inspection, said premises do not comply with all applicable provisions of this code or the Uniform Code, the specific reasons for noncompliance shall be specified in writing in a notice and order, as provided. The notice and order shall be provided to the owner or the owner's agent. Occupants or proposed occupants of dwellings shall have the right to inspect the certificate of occupancy of the residential rental dwelling unit, apartment or multiple residence in which they have an interest at no cost.
On or after October 1, 2018, the Department shall have the right to inspect all or any part of the rental dwelling, including any unit or apartment, or entire multiple residence as required herein and/or upon complaint, except that there shall be no infringement upon the right of an occupant, owner, agent or person in charge thereof to insist upon the procurement of a search warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction by the Chief of the Department, or his or her designee, in order to enable such inspection. Except in cases where a warrantless entry is legally permissible, the officials charged with conducting the inspection shall be required to obtain a search warrant whenever a person with the right to require a warrant refuses to permit a warrantless inspection of the premises after having been advised that he or she has a constitutional right to refuse entry of the officials without a search warrant.
The officials charged with conducting the inspection shall make such inspection, access and circumstances permitting, within three business days of receipt of a request from the owner, agent or occupant.
An owner, agent or occupant may file with the Department a request for such inspection and the issuance of a residential occupancy permit by regular mail or in person at the office of the Chief of the Department.
Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the right of the Department to inspect any property at any time. If, after issuing a residential occupancy permit, the Department received a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter, other than a violation that creates an imminent hazard to the public health or to the physical or mental health of the occupants of the rental property, the Department shall make a good-faith effort to notify the owner or agent of the complaint by either phone or regular mail, before conducting an inspection under this chapter, and shall provide to the owner or agent one working day to explain what steps the owner or agent is taking to correct the violation. The Department may take steps necessary, by inspection or other means, to assure that the violation is corrected.
No occupancy permit shall be issued unless and until the fee(s) required are paid in full to the Department.
No occupancy permit shall be issued unless the rental dwelling unit is an authorized use pursuant to zoning, and until all other applicable provisions and requirement of the Code of the Village of Bath are complied with and met.
No owner, agent or person in charge shall collect rents during any period of noncompliance with the provisions of this part which would otherwise be due and owing for the rental of premises unless and until he or she shall have complied with the provisions herein. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent a landlord, upon receipt of an occupancy permit, from receiving the equitable value of the occupancy of the premises from the earliest date of occupancy, but in no event shall a landlord recover in excess of the agreed rent.
These provisions shall not apply to dwellings designed and used exclusively for occupancy as hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts; however, they shall apply to rooming houses, lodging houses, boarding houses, and dormitories, subject to the following modifications:
Temporary occupancy permit. The Department may cause to be issued at its discretion a temporary occupancy permit following an initial inspection, which temporary occupancy permit shall be subject to review and revocable at the discretion of the Department. No temporary occupancy permit may be issued in cases where fire safety is involved, such as defective electrical wiring, the absence of either an operating smoke detector or, after October 1, 2018, a carbon monoxide detector where required, or improper or inadequate means of egress and other conditions of like nature.
As a precondition to the issuance of an occupancy permit, the landlord/owner of said rental property must supply the Village of Bath with a property insurance binder indicating that there is fire and liability insurance coverage for the property, which is subject to the occupancy permit. Said insurance binder shall list the Village of Bath for cancellation purposes. If, during the term of a rental agreement, said insurance is cancelled and not renewed, then the occupancy permit for said property shall be deemed null and void for the purposes of this section of the law. This subsection shall take effect on October 1, 2018.
Prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit within the Village of Bath, any and all landlords/property owners must designate an agent of at least 21 years of age, who resides in the Village of Bath, to accept legal service on behalf of the property owner/landlord. Prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit, the property owner/landlord must provide such information to the Codes Office for the Village of Bath. Said information must include the name, address and telephone number of such designated agent. All service of process in the event that said property owner/landlord needs to be served or given notice by the Village of Bath shall be deemed sufficient service for the purpose of the Village Code if the Village serves the landlord/property owner or his or her designated agent. This subsection shall take effect October 1, 2018.
Penalties for offenses. Any person who shall violate or assist in the violation of these provisions or who fails to comply with a notice and order issued by the Department under these provisions shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $500 each day a violation exists.
This chapter shall be effective on filing with the Secretary of State.