[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Marlborough 4-2-2018 by Order No. 17/18-1007097-1C. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following ordinance concerning lodging houses and boardinghouses has been adopted by the City Council pursuant to the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 140, as amended. Any and all licenses issued by the Licensing Board shall be governed by, and subject to the licensee's compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and bylaws, including but not limited to the MGL, regulations of the Licensing Board, the ordinances of the City of Marlborough, all applicable building, fire prevention, zoning, health and sanitary codes, and any conditions the Licensing Board imposes on specific licenses. Where there is conflict between these ordinances and a condition on the license, the condition shall govern unless it is inconsistent with the law.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- BOARDER, LODGER, BOARDINGHOUSE, LODGING HOUSE, BOARDING UNIT, LODGING UNIT
- Shall have the same definitions as provided in § 650-5 of the City Code; consistent therewith, where the words "lodging house" are used, they shall also mean "boardinghouse."
- That person(s) or entity listed on the lodging house license and the owners of the land and building where the lodging house is operated.
Prior to a new or renewed license being issued, licensees and first-time applicants for a lodging house license shall request advisory reports from the Police Department, Fire Department, Collector, Board of Health, and Building Department, which advisory reports licensees or first-time applicants shall furnish to the Licensing Board. The Licensing Board may deny an application for renewal of a license where there is cause for doing so. The licensee's, or first-time applicant's, failure to comply with any federal, state or local law, regulation, or ordinance may be cause for denial of the application. This includes, but is not limited to, the ordinances of the City of Marlborough, the rules and regulations of the City of Marlborough Licensing Board, state and local health regulations, the state Building Code, and the state Fire Code.
New and renovated lodging houses must comply with all applicable state and local codes, rules and regulations in effect at time of construction.
Consistent with and as may be permitted by the Building Code, Fire Code, and Health Code, respective City officials may establish more flexible standards than certain provisions of this chapter, applicable to existing facilities previously licensed as lodging houses, so long as they conform to applicable code requirements in effect at the time of construction or rehabilitation.
The licensee shall be responsible for the proper supervision, operation, and maintenance of the lodging house in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and all other pertinent laws, regulations and ordinances. The appointment of an agent shall in no way relieve the licensee from responsibility for full compliance with the law.
If the licensee, because of health, other employment, nonresidence on the premises of the lodging house, frequent or extended absences from the lodging house or other reason, is unable to exercise proper supervision of the lodging house, he/she shall designate one or more agent(s) to carry out all or part of his/her responsibilities.
If, for any reason, an agent ceases to exercise his/her responsibilities, the licensee shall at once notify the Licensing Board, Board of Health, Building Department, Fire Department and Police Department and take immediate steps to provide proper interim supervision and obtain a suitable replacement.
The agent(s) shall be available on a twenty-four-hour basis and must post his/her telephone numbers (including cell phone number) and beeper number, as applicable, in a location accessible to lodgers.
City inspections of licensed lodging houses shall be made on an annual basis by authorized inspectional departments to determine compliance with applicable state and local laws, regulations and codes, and upon request pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 25, as amended. The fee for said annual inspections shall be $250.
Annual inspections shall be made on weekdays during normal City business hours. In addition, inspections may be made at other times (including but not limited to evenings and weekends) to investigate complaints or noncompliance issues. Inspections may include all areas occupied, used or controlled by the licensee and within the structure containing the licensed premises, including rented and unrented units and other occupied and nonoccupied space.
Inspections shall be conducted in conformity with applicable federal, state and local law. Facilities requiring reinspection are subject to a fee of $50 per reinspection.
City officials shall, pursuant to an inspection under this chapter or any other regulation or law, refer all violations of this chapter and any other ordinance, regulation or law, whether federal, state, or local, which said officials are authorized to enforce, to the Licensing Board. All referrals to the Licensing Board shall also be mailed by first class mail to the licensee and to the licensee's agent, if any.
These regulations are minimum standards intended for the maintenance and enforcement required for the protection of health, safety and welfare of all persons concerned. If there is any conflict with state or local law, the stricter provision shall apply.
All lodging houses shall comply with the requirements of Article II of the State Sanitary Code, Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation, which is incorporated herein by reference, and with the requirements of these regulations, whenever they are in addition to or more stringent than the requirements of Article II of said code.
Licensees must have inspections performed by a licensed pest control operator (PCO) every six months (unless ordered to do so more frequently by the Health Department). PCO inspection reports must be kept on file for review. Inspections must include, but not be limited to, bed bugs, insects, and rodents. The licensee must take appropriate action to address any findings by the PCO. Licensees that can demonstrate long-term occupancy by a majority of the residents (greater than one year continued occupancy) may request a waiver of this inspection requirement. Waivers will be applied for and approved by the Director of Public Health.
The licensee and his/her agent(s) shall comply with Chapter 406, Littering, and with Chapter 485, Property Maintenance, of the City Code, and all other state or local regulations and laws pertaining to the proper storage, collection, disposal of waste and property maintenance. Responsibilities of the licensee and agent(s) include, but are not limited to, the following:
Storing garbage and trash in watertight, rodent-proof receptacles with tight-fitting covers;
Providing to lodgers as many receptacles as are sufficient to contain accumulation of all garbage and trash before collection for disposal;
Locating garbage and trash containers in an area where objectionable odors will not enter any boarding or lodging unit;
Removal of dumpster waste as frequently as necessary to prevent overflow, windblown trash and garbage, rodent infestation, and odors.
Licensees and their agent(s) shall:
Exercise due care in the selection of lodgers;
Inspect all common areas at least daily and all occupied rooms at least monthly and at every change of lodger to ensure that all such areas are in a clean and orderly condition and in compliance with licensee's electrical use policy and regulations pertaining to obstruction of egress, cooking in rooms, and other health and safety hazards;
Post a schedule of inspections, for the purposes of notifying lodgers, at least 48 hours prior to said inspections. Posting of the schedule for inspections shall not apply in the case of an emergency;
Ensure that lodgers dispose of trash and garbage properly, and that lodgers store food items in a sanitary manner;
Ensure cleanliness of rooming units and common areas, if any;
Ensure an unobstructed path of egress from entry door to fire escape, particularly in exit rooms, stairs and hallways;
Ensure compliance by lodgers with licensee's electrical use policy, and prohibit the use of candles and other items that requires burning to be used (incense, odor oils, etc.);
Prohibit the use of portable heaters;
Take whatever steps are necessary to prevent lodger(s) from repeatedly violating licensee's rules or the requirements of this chapter, or any other law or regulation, up to and including eviction; and
Comply with any other provisions or requirements as may be required by any department or board of the City of Marlborough.
All lodging houses shall be equipped with automatic smoke or heat detectors, an automatic sprinkler system, carbon monoxide alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. The design, installation, and performance of said systems, alarms and detectors shall be in accordance with the state Building Code, the state Fire Code, NFPA and all applicable laws and regulations.
The licensee shall be responsible for the care and maintenance of all fire protection systems, including equipment and devices, to ensure the safety and welfare of the lodgers. Installation of, or modification to, any automatic fire protection system shall require a permit from the Fire Department.
Fire protection systems shall not be disconnected or otherwise rendered unserviceable for purposes including but not limited to repair and maintenance without first notifying the Fire Department.
As part of the annual Fire Department inspection, all lodging houses must submit to Fire Department annual fire alarm and sprinkler system tests.
Refusal, neglect or failure to comply with any section of this chapter shall be cause for a fine imposed pursuant to and in conformity with Chapter 315 of the City Code, and/or to the penalties imposed by MGL c. 140 § 22, et seq., as amended, where applicable, and/or such other provisions of law, including but not limited to the state Sanitary Code, Fire Code, and Building Code, ordinances of the City of Marlborough and other regulations and fines applicable to the particular violation.
The licensee's refusal, neglect or failure to comply with any federal, state or local law, regulation, or ordinance, including, but not limited to, this chapter and any other ordinance of the City of Marlborough, the state Sanitary Code, Fire Code, and Building Code, and any other local codes and regulations may be cause for denial, suspension or revocation of a license by the Licensing Board, and/or a fine as above.