Editor's Note: See also Chapter X, Property Maintenance Section 10-3, Housing and Property Maintenance Standards.
[Ord. No. 94-597 § 1]
The Borough Council finds, determines and declares that:
Lake Como is a resort community and its citizens have experienced disturbances, damage and public expense resulting from carelessly granted and inadequately supervised seasonal rentals to irresponsible vacationers by inept or indifferent landlords.
This section is enacted to preserve the peace and tranquility of the community for its permanent residents, and to maintain the municipality as a viable vacation resort for all persons and families availing themselves of the facilities in the community.
The enactment of this section is necessary and desirable to provide a means to curb and discourage those occasional excesses arising from irresponsible seasonal rentals.
The Legislature of the State of New Jersey enacted N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12n et seq. to enable certain communities to take effective action to assure that excesses, when they occur, shall not be repeated, and that landlords offering seasonal rentals be held to sufficient standards of responsibility.
[Ord. No. 94-597 § 2]
As used in this section:
- HEARING OFFICER
- shall mean a licensed attorney of the State of New Jersey appointed by the Mayor, subject to the advice and consent of the Borough Council. The hearing officer shall not own or lease any real property within the Borough of Lake Como nor hold any interest in the assets of or profits arising from the ownership of such property.
- shall mean the person or persons who own or purport to own any building in which there is rented or offered for rent housing space for living or dwelling under either a written or oral lease, including but not limited to any building subject to the "Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law," N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq.
- SEASONAL RENTAL
- shall mean any rental of residential accommodations for a term of less than one (1) year and including any part of the period extending from May 15 to September 15.
- SUBSTANTIATED COMPLAINT
- shall mean an act of disorderly, indecent, tumultuous or riotous conduct upon or in proximity to any seasonal rental premises, and attributable to the acts or incitements of any of the tenants of those premises which have been substantiated by prosecution and conviction in any court of competent jurisdiction.
[Ord. No. 94-597 § 3]
If in any one year, three complaints, on separate occasions, of disorderly, indecent, tumultuous or riotous conduct upon or in proximity to any seasonal rental premises, and attributable to the acts or incitements of any of the tenants of those premises, have been substantiated by prosecution and conviction in any court of competent jurisdiction, the Borough Council or any officer or employee of the Borough so designated by the Borough Council for this purpose, may institute proceedings to require the landlord of the seasonal rental premises to post a bond against the consequences of future incidents of the same character.
The Borough Council or any officer or employee of the Borough designated by the Borough Council shall cause to be served upon the landlord, in person or by registered mail, to the address appearing on the tax records of the municipality, notice advising of the institution of such proceedings, together with particulars of the substantiated complaint upon which those proceedings are based, and of the time and place at which the hearing will be held in the matter, which shall be in the Municipal Building, Building Court or such other public place as designated by the Borough Council, and which shall be no sooner than 30 days from the date upon which the notice is served or mailed.
At the hearing convened pursuant to paragraph b above, the hearing officer shall give full hearing to both the complaint of the municipality and to any evidence in contradiction or mitigation that the landlord, if present or represented and offering such evidence, may present. At the conclusion of the hearing the Hearing Officer shall determine whether the landlord shall be required to post a bond in accordance with the terms of this section.
Any bond required to be posted shall be in accordance with the hearing officer, in light of the nature and extent of the offenses indicated in the substantiated complaints upon which the proceedings are based, to be adequate in the case of subsequent offenses to make reparation for:
Damages likely to be caused to public or private property and damages consequent upon disruption of affected residents' rights of fair use and quiet enjoyment of their premises; and
Securing the payment of fines and penalties likely to be levied for such offenses; and
Compensating the municipality for the costs of repressing and prosecuting such incidents of disorderly behavior; provided however, no such bond shall be in an amount less than $500 nor more than $5,000. The Borough may enforce a bond thus required in the Superior Court, and shall be entitled to an injunction prohibiting the landlord from making or renewing any lease of the affected premises for residential purposes until that bond or equivalent security, in satisfactory form and amount, has been deposited with the municipality.
Any bond or other security deposited in compliance with paragraph d. above shall remain in force for a period of four years. Upon the lapse of the four-year period, the landlord shall be entitled to the discharge of the bond, unless prior thereto further proceedings leading to a forfeiture or partial forfeiture of the bond or other security shall have been had under subsection 11-1.4 below, in which case the security shall be renewed in an amount and for a period that shall be specified by the hearing officer. A transfer of ownership or control of the property shall not void a requirement for security imposed under this section. The person or persons to whom ownership or control is transferred shall maintain that security and shall be subject to injunctive proceedings as authorized by paragraph d. above in the same manner as the landlord upon which the requirement was originally imposed; provided however, the Borough Council may by Resolution shorten the period for which security is required to not less than one year from the date of the transfer of ownership or control, if during that year no substantiated complaints are recorded with respect to the property in question.
[Ord. No. 94-597 § 4]
If during the period for which a landlord is required to give security pursuant to subsection 11-1.3 above, a substantiated complaint is recorded against the property in question, the Borough Council or its designee may institute proceedings against the landlord for the forfeiture or partial forfeiture of the security, for an extension as provided in subsection 11-1.3e above, of the period for which the security is required, or for increase in the amount of security required, or for any or all of those purposes.
Any forfeiture or partial forfeiture of security shall be determined by the hearing officer solely in accordance with the amount deemed necessary to provide for the compensatory purposes set forth in subsection 11-1.3d above. Any decision by the hearing officer to increase the amount or extend the period of the required security shall be determined in light of the same factors set forth in subsection 11-1.3d above, and shall be taken only to the extent that the nature of the substantiated complaint or complaints out of which proceedings arise under this section indicates the appropriateness of such change in order to effectually carry out the purposes of this section. The decision of the hearing officer in such circumstances shall be enforceable in the same manner as provided in subsection 11-1.3d above.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-1.2f; New]
A license is required to rent any dwelling unit in the Borough of Lake Como. All rentals shall comply with this section.
[Ord. No. 1998-656; Ord. No. 2009-839; amended 12-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-927]
As used in this section:
- OFF-SEASON RENTAL LICENSE
- The certificate of inspection that is required for all rentals for any time period between October 1 and March 31.
- SUMMER RENTAL LICENSE
- shall mean the Certificate of Inspection that is required for all rentals for any time period between April 1 and September 30.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-13.1; Ord. No. 2009-839]
A Summer Rental License issued by the Code Enforcement Officer shall be required prior to the occupancy of any real property rented for a term of less than 175 consecutive days for residential purposes by a person having a permanent place of residence elsewhere. Subject to the provisions of subsection 11-2.1, a new license shall be required whenever there is a change in the identity of any of the tenants or occupants of the premises.
It shall be a violation of this Code for any person to occupy or use any premises if a required Certificate of Inspection has not been issued.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-13.3]
Every individual dwelling unit meeting the requirements of subsection 11-2.1 shall require a separate Summer Rental License.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-13.4]
Summer Rental Licenses shall be valid for a stated and specific period of time that coincides with the term of the lease or rental not to exceed 174 days; provided, however, that applicants who intend to use premises for short term rentals to different tenants during a given period of time of less than 175 days shall apply for a new Summer Rental License for each new tenant. Any combination of summer licenses shall not exceed 174 days.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-13.5]
Applications for Summer Rental Licenses shall be made in writing, on forms prescribed by the Code Enforcement Officer and signed by the owner of the premises or the owner's authorized agent. The Code Enforcement Officer may require proof of agency. Applications for Summer Rental Licenses shall not be deemed complete by the Code Enforcement Officer unless the applicant:
Fully completes the form required by the Code Enforcement Officer for such applications, which shall include at a minimum, the following information:
The street address and the tax map lot and block numbers of the premises.
The names and mailing addresses and numbers of all owners of the premises.
The name, mailing address, and daytime telephone number of the person signing the application.
The names and mailing addresses of all tenants and of all adult persons who are expected to occupy the dwelling unit whether or not they are tenants. The applicant shall also provide the dates when there will be any change in the identity of the tenants or occupants. For Summer Rental Licensed dwelling units containing five or more persons, one tenant shall be designated for the purposes of receiving all notices as to violations or notices generally applicable to the dwelling unit.
Pays the appropriate inspection fee prescribed by subsection 11-2.14.
Provides proof of payment of taxes, assessments, and water/sewer pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:52-1.2.
Provides the information required where applicable under Chapter IV, General Licensing.
Provides a copy of the lease agreement executed by all adult persons who will occupy the dwelling unit; provide, that the rent amount may be redacted. The copy shall be certified by the Applicant to be true and correct and to contain the entire agreement between the landlord and the tenants, except as to the redacted financial information.
Provides an affidavit executed by each of the persons who will occupy the dwelling unit stating whether the other address is his or her permanent address, providing a copy of proof of identification and additional information as the Code Enforcement Officer may reasonably require.
Provides, in connection with the first application for a Summer Rental License annually, a floor plan of the dwelling unit proposed to be licensed, in a form satisfactory to the Code Enforcement Officer accurately depicting the locations of the bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms and other rooms in the dwelling unit, and all routes of ingress and egress; provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall be construed to require that the floor plan be prepared by an architect or other licensed professional.
All information and documentation required to be provided pursuant to this section shall be deemed material. Any person who knowingly or grossly negligently misstates any fact therein shall be subject to criminal prosecution. Any Summer Rental License that is issued on the basis of false information or documentation shall be subject to revocation.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-13.6; Ord. No. 2009-839]
No Summer Rental License shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer unless the dwelling unit or premises, as appropriate, has first been inspected and determined to be in full compliance with the Code, and the requirements of this chapter. No temporary or conditional Certificates of Inspection or conditional licenses shall be issued in connection with any Summer Rental License.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-13.7]
Upon completion of any inspection, the Code Enforcement Officer or his designee shall prepare a report listing and describing all violations of this Code within five working days. The report shall describe, where appropriate, any corrective remedies that must be taken for the premises or dwelling unit to comply with the Code. The report shall contain the following:
IT IS ILLEGAL TO OCCUPY OR USE, OR TO PERMIT THE OCCUPANCY OR USE OF, THESE PREMISES UNLESS AND UNTIL A LICENSE HAS BEEN ISSUED BY THE CODE OFFICIAL. IF ANY VIOLATIONS ARE NOTED, IT IS THE APPLICANT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE THE NECESSARY CORRECTIONS AND TO APPLY FOR A REINSPECTION.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-13.8]
The Code Enforcement Officer or his designee shall inspect the dwelling unit or premises to be licensed according to the following schedule:
Initial Inspections. For completed applications that are filed before May 1, the inspection shall occur within five business days. For completed applications that are filed after May 1, the inspection shall occur within 10 business days. The Code Enforcement Officer shall, to the extent practicable, schedule inspections in the order in which the completed applications are filed.
Reinspections. When the inspection report required pursuant to subsection 11-2.9 describes corrective remedies that must be taken for the premises or dwelling unit to comply with the Code, the applicant shall be required to contact the Code Enforcement Officer to schedule a reinspection of the premises or dwelling unit. For requests for reinspection that are made before May 1, the reinspection shall be conducted within three business days. For requests for reinspection that are made on or after May 1, the reinspection shall be conducted within five business days. For each reinspection of a premises or dwelling unit that occurs after the first reinspection, the next required reinspection will be conducted within five business days after the receipt by the Code Enforcement Officer of the reinspection fee required by subsection 11-2.14.
Conditions of Inspection and Reinspection. The Code Enforcement Officer shall not inspect any dwelling unit for purposes of issuing a Summer Rental License during a period it is occupied by another tenant, regardless of whether the tenant is present at the time of the inspection; provided, however, that notwithstanding this provision, the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect for purposes of issuing a Summer Rental License those dwelling units that are subject to the restriction set forth in subsection 11-2.5 regardless of whether they are occupied by another tenant, and shall reschedule any reinspection for as soon as reasonably practicable following the vacation of the premises by the tenants with school aged children.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-13.9]
The original of any inspection or reinspection reports shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer. The Code Enforcement Officer shall provide legible copies to the person who executed the application. All inspection and reinspection reports shall be available for public inspection.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 §§ 5-14.1, 5-14.2; Ord. No. 2007-803]
Any person or persons violating any provisions of the Rental Housing Code shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine as stated in Chapter I, Section 1-5, General Penalty.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-12.3]
Any person or entity which fails to comply with the Property Maintenance Code shall receive written notice sent by certified mail that a violation of the Property Maintenance Code has occurred. The written notice shall specify the particular violation. The person or entity shall have 10 days from the date of receipt of the notice to cure the violation or file a written objection of the Notice with the Borough Clerk. The Borough of Lake Como reserves the right to file a Complaint in Municipal Court regarding the violation when an objection is received. In such cases, a copy of the Complaint shall be served upon the appropriate person or entity in accordance with the Court Rules of the State of New Jersey. In the alternative, the Borough of Lake Como may appoint a Hearing Officer to resolve the matter rather than filing a complaint in Municipal Court. The Hearing Officer shall be a licensed attorney of the State of New Jersey who is appointed by the Mayor, subject to the advice and consent of the Borough Council. The Hearing Officer shall not own or lease any real property within the Borough of Lake Como, nor hold any interest in the assets of or profits arising from the ownership of such property. The Hearing Officer shall schedule a hearing to resolve the complaint and objection thereto in a public place as designated by the Borough Council at least 30 days from the date upon which the notice is served, but not more than 45 days from such date. The Housing Officer shall give a full hearing to both the Complaint and to any evidence in contradiction or mitigation thereof provided the objector or a legal representative therefor appears at the hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall make a determination with respect to the violation(s) presented. An appeal may be filed in accordance with the provisions of Due Process and the applicable ordinance or regulation. In the event that the person or entity fails to cure the violation or to file an objection, a fine, of not less than $1,000, shall be imposed.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-16.2]
The Code standards and regulations shall be in addition to the provisions of any other applicable ordinance, law, rule or regulation. Nothing in this Code shall be construed to impair or prevent the enforcement of any other ordinance, law, rule or regulation.
[Ord. No. 2009-839; amended 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-909]
The Code Enforcement Officer shall charge and collect the following fees:
For applications for certificates of inspection including summer rental licenses pursuant to § 9-4.1: $120 per dwelling house or unit, plus a $50 tourism fee.
For applications for certificates of inspection for each change in the occupancy of a summer rental: $75 per dwelling house or unit, plus a $25 tourism fee.
Self-inspection fee option: A summer rental licensee or off-season licensee, having obtained a rental license and received a satisfactory certificate of inspection may pay a bi-annual self-inspection fee of $150 per dwelling house or unit, plus a $50 tourism fee. Upon any change in occupancy, the licensee shall complete and file the certificate of self-inspection form (See Exhibit A, attached hereto). No further reinspection fees are required during the summer or off-season rental period for which the fee is paid.
[Amended 12-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-927]
Editor's Note: Exhibit A is on file in the Borough offices.
[Ord. No. 2007-805]
No bedroom door in any rental dwelling unit shall be equipped with a padlock, combination, or keyed lock that is designed or intended to be locked from the outside of the bedroom.
The smoke detectors in every rental dwelling unit shall be in working order at all times.
Each structure that contains one or more rental dwelling units having a combined maximum permitted occupancy of eight persons or more, shall meet or exceed the following requirements:
Every interior common area in the structure shall be equipped with an approved smoke detection system, which system shall be powered by an alternate current ("AC") constantly active electric circuit that cannot be deactivated by the operation of any interconnected switching device and shall comply with NEPA 70-2005 (National Electrical Code) requirements;
Every structure containing sleeping rooms on a third floor or higher, which floor is located more than 16 feet above the ground, must have an approved fire escape in addition to an approved means of egress;
All doors in the structure opening onto a passageway at grade or exit stair shall be self-closing device;
All corridor doors in the rental dwelling unit shall be at least one-and-three-eighths-inch solid core wood or approved equal with approved door closers and shall not have any glass panels, other than approved wire glass in metal frames. Corridor doors shall not be constructed of hollow core wood, shall not contain louvers and shall not be of panel construction. Doors shall fit both plumb and level in frames, and be reasonably tight fitting. All replacement doors shall be one-and-three-fourths-inch solid core wood or approved equal, unless existing frame will accommodate only a one-and-three-eighths-inch door, and;
No curtains, sheets, cardboard or any other material of any kind shall be used to erect temporary partitions between beds or sleeping areas in any rental dwelling unit.
Any violations of this subsection shall be subject to fines and/or imprisonment as contained in the general penalty section of the Lake Como Borough Ordinances.
In addition to the foregoing, the Code Official immediately, upon discovering any violation of paragraphs a., b., c. or d. of this subsection, or any other condition or hazard that creates a health or fire hazard to the occupants of the property, order that the rental dwelling unit be vacated, and shall placard the same, and shall prohibit reoccupancy of the premises until such time as the unsafe condition has been corrected and the Borough Fire Inspector has reinspected the property and determined that the unsafe condition has been corrected and that the property is otherwise safe from fire and other hazards. Other provisions of this Code shall govern reinspections pursuant to this subsection.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-17.1]
The Borough Council finds, determines and declares that:
The New Jersey Legislature has, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:52-1(n), effective on January 8, 1998, specifically authorized municipalities to license and regulate the "rental of real property for a term of less than 175 consecutive days for residential purposes by a person having a permanent place of residence elsewhere." This statute was enacted to assist shore-area municipalities in controlling seasonal rentals, and in preserving the quality of life for year-round residents.
Lake Como is a resort community which experiences an enormous influx of visitors, each summer, many of whom seek to rent temporary accommodations while continuing to maintain a permanent residence elsewhere.
Because of the great demand for seasonal accommodations in Lake Como, seasonally rented accommodations are frequently overcrowded by tenants and other occupants who often permit many more occupants in the premises than authorized by this Code.
The overcrowding of seasonal rental accommodations in Lake Como frequently results in conditions that are extremely unsafe to the inhabitants of those premises.
Seasonal rental accommodations in Lake Como are also frequently detrimental to the health, safety, welfare and quality of life of other nearby residents and visitors. Problems frequently associated with seasonal and rental accommodations include excessive noise, unruly behavior, littering, parking of vehicles on lawns, poor maintenance of the property and grounds and violation of trash collection ordinances. Many of these problems are exacerbated by excessive occupancy.
Seasonal rental accommodations in Lake Como also contribute to significant overcrowding in the community and a shortage of on-street parking spaces. The overcrowded parking conditions lead to unlawful parking at intersections and near fire hydrants, which threaten public safety.
Seasonal rental accommodations in Lake Como are also detrimental to the school-aged children of families who rent those same premises during the winter season. Because the summer rental season typically runs from May 15 to September 15 of each year, families with school-aged children who inhabit many of these rental properties during the winter months must move out of Lake Como at least a month or more before the end of the school year. Some of these children do not finish the school year either in Lake Como or at all, while others suffer chronic tardiness or absenteeism during the period after they must move out of Lake Como. This has a detrimental effect on both these children and the quality of the education afforded to all the children in the Lake Como School District.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-17.2]
No dwelling unit that is rented for any portion of the period from September 15 until May 15 to tenants with one or more children between the ages of six and 17, inclusive, shall thereafter be occupied pursuant to a Summer Rental License until the third day following the last day of the academic year for the Lake Como Elementary School as determined by the Superintendent of the Lake Como School District.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-17.4]
No bedroom door in any Summer Rental Licensed dwelling unit shall be equipped with a padlock, combination, or keyed lock that is designed or intended to be locked from outside of the bedroom.
The smoke detectors in every Summer Rental Licensed dwelling unit shall be in working order at all times.
No beds, mattresses, futons, or sleeping bags shall be permitted in any basement, cellar, loft or any other location or room of a Summer Rental Licensed dwelling unit unless the room is specifically designated as a bedroom in the records of the Lake Como Housing Department. No curtains, sheets, cardboard or any other material of any kind shall be used to erect temporary partitions between beds or sleeping areas in any Summer Rental Licensed dwelling unit.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-17.7]
It shall be a violation of this Code for any tenant of a Summer Rental Licensed dwelling unit to sell, lease or otherwise accept payment in exchange for a "share" or other partial interest in the lease of a Summer Rental Licensed dwelling unit, or for the right to occupy that dwelling unit. The Summer Rental License of a dwelling unit in which "shares" have been purchased or sold shall be subject to revocation for the remainder of the season.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-17.8]
It shall be unlawful for any person between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. to sleep outdoors on premises containing a Summer Rental Licensed dwelling unit or on a porch, deck, balcony or other exterior portion of any structure located on premises containing a Summer Rental Licensed dwelling unit, or in a vehicle parked on such premises.
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-17.9]
In the event that any provision(s) of this Chapter XI is stricken by a Court for any reason, the remaining provisions of Chapter XI and the remainder of the Code shall remain valid and in full force and effective notwithstanding the stricken provision(s).
[Ord. No. 1998-656 § 5-18]
Application for a license under this chapter shall be made by the owner to the Code Enforcement Officer. The application shall be in such form, and shall contain such information and declarations as reasonably required by the Code Enforcement Officer. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant owner to obtain such information and to exercise due care and diligence to assure its completeness and accuracy. The application information required from the owner and operator shall be duly sworn to by the operator in order to form a valid part of the application. The application shall be accompanied by the application fee set forth in Section 11-2.
An application filed pursuant to paragraph a. of this subsection shall include a deposit in the full amount of the prescribed application fee, of which 90% shall be refunded if the application is denied, and 10% retained and employed in defraying the expenses of the Borough of Lake Como in processing the application.
All applications by a natural person, partnership or unincorporated association of natural persons shall be duly sworn to by each of the applicants. An application by a corporation shall be duly sworn to by the president or vice president of the corporation. All statements in an application shall be deemed material, and any person who knowingly misstates any material fact therein shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
The hearing prescribed in subsection 11-2.12 and the second publication thereof shall be made not less than one week nor more than two weeks prior to the date set by the licensing authority for that hearing.
[Ord. No. 1998 § 51-19]
A licensing authority may revoke or refuse to renew a license granted under this act for any of the following reasons:
A finding that there was any misstatement of material fact in the application upon which the license was issued.
The occurrence of any fact which, had it occurred and been known to the licensing authority before issuance of the license, would have resulted in the denial of the application.
Repeated violations, or prolonged failure to correct any violation, of any applicable building, housing, health or safety code regulations.
Refusal to allow access to any portion of the licensed premises at all reasonable times, with or without advance notice, in order that officers or agents of the licensing authority, or any official charged with enforcement within the Borough of Lake Como of any building, housing, health or safety code or regulations applicable to the premises may determine compliance with such codes, regulations, or ordinances.
[Ord. No. 1998 § 5-20]
Upon determination by a licensing authority to refuse the granting or renewal of a license, or to revoke a license, the licensee affected shall be entitled to appeal to the Governing Body pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq.