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Borough of Bernardsville, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 94-999, § 1]
This section shall be known and cited as "Commercial Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Bernardsville."
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
It is hereby found and declared that there exist in the Borough of Bernardsville structures used for nonresidential use which are or may become in the future substandard with respect to structure or maintenance and further that such conditions, including but not limited to, structural deterioration and lack of maintenance constitute a menace to health, safety, welfare and reasonable comfort of the citizens and inhabitants of the Borough of Bernardsville. It is further found and declared that by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration certain properties have the further effect of creating blighting conditions, and that if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time and expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same, and that by reason of timely regulations and restrictions as herein contained, the growth of blight might be prevented and the neighborhood and property values thereby maintained, the desirability and amenities of nonresidential use and neighborhood enhanced, and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
Every building and the premises on which it is situated in the Borough within Zones B-1, OB, C-1 and HD shall comply with the provisions of this Code, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after enactment of this Code.
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
FIRE HAZARD
Shall be defined as follows:
a. 
Any device or condition likely to cause fire and which is so situated as to endanger either persons or property.
b. 
The creation, maintenance or continuance of any physical condition by reason of which there exists a use, accumulation or storage for use of combustible or explosive material sufficient in the amount or so located or in such a manner as to put in jeopardy, in event of an ignition, either person or property.
c. 
The obstruction to or of fire escapes, ladders which may be used as escapes, exits or windows, likely in the event of fire, to interfere with the operation of the fire department or of the safety and ready egress of occupants.
GARBAGE (see also REFUSE, RUBBISH)
Shall mean putrescible animal and vegetable wastes resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
JUNK
The unconcealed accumulation of waste, rubbish or scrap, or the outside storage of used or secondhand appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, hot water heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers or dryers, etc.
[Added 11-25-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1825]
JUNKYARD
Any space, whether inside or outside a building, used for the collection, storage, or abandonment of any waste or discarded material, or the dismantling, demolition salvaging, resale or abandonment of structures, automobiles or other vehicles, equipment, appliances and machinery or parts thereof.
[Added 11-25-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1825]
OCCUPANT
Shall mean any person living in, sleeping in or having actual possession of a dwelling unit or rooming unit, or any person using or having actual possession of any nonresidential premises.
OPERATOR
Shall mean any person who has charge, care or control of a dwelling or premises, or a part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge or consent of the owner.
OWNER
Shall mean any person who alone or jointly or severally with others shall have legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling or dwelling unit as owner or agent of the owner or as executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of an estate or as a mortgagee in possession regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person who is a lessee subletting or assigning any part or all of any dwelling or dwelling unit shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the portion of the premises sublet or assigned by said lessee.
PUBLIC VIEW
Shall mean any premises, or any part thereof, or any building or any part thereof, which may be lawfully viewed by the public or any member thereof, from a sidewalk or street.
RUBBISH (SEE ALSO GARBAGE, REFUSE)
Shall mean nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding, crockery and similar materials.
REFUSE (SEE ALSO GARBAGE, RUBBISH)
Shall mean all putrescrible and nonputrescible solid wastes including but not limited to: garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned automobiles, and industrial waste.
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
The following duties and responsibilities are hereby imposed upon every owner and operator of any building or property covered by the provisions of this section:
a. 
The exterior of the premises and all structures thereon shall be kept free of all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of occupants, pedestrians and other persons utilizing the premises, and free of unsanitary conditions, and any of the foregoing shall be promptly removed and abated by the owner or operator. The items prohibited hereby shall include but not be limited to: brush, broken glass, stump roots, garbage, trash, refuse, debris, dead trees and limbs or other natural growth, loose and overhanging objects, and ground surface hazards, such as holes or obstructions.
b. 
Lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed and properly maintained.
c. 
All exterior permanent signs exposed to public view shall be maintained in good repair.
d. 
All display windows or storefronts constructed of plate glass shall be kept free of cracks. Any broken or cracked windows must be replaced within two weeks unless broken glass constitutes a safety hazard which must be removed or replaced immediately.
e. 
All storefronts shall be kept in good repair, painted where required and shall not constitute a safety hazard.
f. 
Any awnings or marquees and accompanying structural members which extend over any street, sidewalk or other portion of the premises shall be maintained in good repair and shall not constitute a safety hazard. In the event such awnings or marquees are not maintained in accordance with the foregoing they shall, together with their supporting members, be removed forthwith. In the event said awnings or marquees are made of cloth, plastic or of similar materials, said cloth or plastic where exposed to public view shall not show evidence of excessive weathering, discoloration, ripping, tearing or holes.
g. 
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure shall be kept in good repair and kept painted where necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance. All surfaces shall be maintained free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick, peeling paint or other condition reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance.
h. 
Snow and ice shall be removed from sidewalks abutting the premises in accordance with Subsection 14-1.10 of the Borough Code.
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
The following duties and responsibilities are hereby imposed upon every occupant of any building or property covered by the provisions of this section:
a. 
All parts of the premises under the control of the occupant shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
b. 
Garbage or refuse shall not be allowed to accumulate except in areas designated for that purpose.
c. 
Every occupant shall be responsible for the elimination of infestation of vermin in and on the premises subject to his control.
d. 
Each occupant shall be responsible for the elimination and removal of trash and garbage from premises under his control.
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
a. 
Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in Subsection 11-1.5, and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. No owner or operator shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility because of the fact that occupant is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
b. 
Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in Subsection 11-1.6, all the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. The occupant shall not be relieved from any such duty and responsibility because of the fact that the owner or operator is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
c. 
The respective obligations and responsibilities of the owner and operator on one hand and the occupant on the other, shall not be affected by any agreement or contract by and between them and other parties.
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
a. 
The provisions of this Code shall be enforced by the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
b. 
Inspection of Premises. All premises within the Borough covered by this Code shall be subject to inspection by the Zoning Officer. The Zoning Officer is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey all such premises. The owner, operator and persons occupying the same shall give the Zoning Enforcement Officer free access to the same for the purpose of such inspection.
c. 
A notice in writing shall be given to the owner or occupant to remove or abate any condition in violation of this section within such time as shall be specified therein but not less than five days from the date of notification. In the event the owner cannot be so notified speedily, such notice shall be left with the tenant or occupant, or posted on the premises and such action shall be considered proper notification to the owner, tenant or occupant.
[Amended 9-9-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1813]
1. 
The period of time for compliance shall commence on the date of the return receipt obtained by the postal authorities for delivery of such notice or, if undelivered, on the date of the return thereof to the Borough. If notice is hand-delivered, the period of time shall commence upon service of notice.
2. 
Every such notice shall, in addition to requiring compliance with this chapter, warn the owner or tenant that failure to effect such abatement or removal within the time stated in said notice, will result in such removal by the Borough of Bernardsville, and the cost of such abatement or removal will be charged to the owner. In the event that service of notice is made upon the owner, the cost of such abatement or removal shall forthwith become a lien upon the lands and shall be added to and become a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon the same, to bear interest at the same rate and to be collected in the same manner as taxes as hereinafter provided.
3. 
In all cases where property maintenance code violations are abated or materials are removed from any lands, under this section by or under the direction of the Borough official to effect such abatement or removal, such officer shall certify the cost thereof to the governing body, who shall examine the certificate and, if found correct, shall cause the cost as shown thereon to be charged against said lands. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon such lands and shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lands, the same to bear interest at the same rates as taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes. The above cost of abatement or removal shall be additional to any other penalties which may be imposed under this section.
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate a provision of this section or fail to comply therewith shall for each and every such violation and noncompliance be liable, upon conviction, to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, § 1-5. The imposition of a penalty for violation of this section shall not excuse the violation or permit it to continue and such violation shall be remedied within a reasonable time. Each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[Ord. No. 94-999, § 1]
In the event that any section, sentence or clause of this section or Code shall be declared unconstitutional by a Court of competent jurisdiction, such declaration shall not in any manner prejudice the enforcement of any remaining provision or provisions of this section.
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
In any case where the provisions of this section impose a more restrictive standard than that set forth in any other ordinance or law, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this section impose a less restrictive standard than any other ordinance or law, then the more restrictive standard contained in such other ordinance or law, shall prevail.
[Ord. No. 94-999 § 1]
No license or permit or other certification of compliance with this section shall constitute a defense of any violation of any other ordinance of the Borough applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any provision herein relieve any owner, operator or occupant from complying with any such other provision, nor any official of the Borough from enforcing any such other provision.
[Ord. No. 2009-1518 § 1]
Exterior boards that cover the windows and doorways of a vacant property shall be painted so that they either match or reasonably coordinate with the color of the rest of the structure's exterior. In addition to meeting the requirements of the Borough sign ordinance, all windows, doors and openings of vacant buildings shall be free of any posters or paper coverings.
[Ord. No. 95-1039 § 1]
a. 
Title. This section shall be known as The Residential Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Bernardsville.
b. 
Findings and Declarations of Policy. It is hereby found and declared that there exist in the Borough of Bernardsville structures used for residential uses which are, or may become in the future, substandard with respect to structure, equipment and maintenance, or further that such conditions including but not limited to structural deterioration, lack of maintenance and appearance of exterior of premises, infestation, lack of essential heating, plumbing, storage, lack of maintenance or upkeep of essential utilities and facilities, existence of fire hazards, inadequate provisions for light and air, or unsanitary conditions and overcrowding, constitute a menace to the health, safety, welfare and reasonable comfort of the citizens and inhabitants of the Borough of Bernardsville. It is further found and declared that by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration, certain properties have the further effect of creating blighting conditions and that if the same are not curtailed or removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same, and that by reason of timely regulations and restrictions as herein contained, blight may be prevented, and the neighborhood and property values thereby maintained, the desirability and amenities of residential uses and neighborhoods enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.
c. 
Purposes. The purposes of this Code are to protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance, condition and occupancy of residential premises; to establish minimum standards governing utilities, facilities and other physical components and conditions essential to make the aforesaid facilities fit for human habitation, occupancy and use; to fix certain responsibilities and duties upon owners, and distinct and separate responsibilities and duties upon occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of residential premises: to establish procedures for implementing the requirements of this Code, to fix penalties for the violations of this Code; and to provide for the repair, demolition or vacation of premises found to be in violation of this Code.
[Ord. No. 95-1039 § 1; Ord. No. 2010-1575]
a. 
Every residential or mixed occupancy building and the premises on which it is situated, used or intended to be used for dwelling occupancy, shall comply with the provisions of this Code, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this Code, irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy of the building or premises, for the construction or repair of the building, or for the installation or repair of facilities prior to the effective date of this Code. Residential rental units occupied by lineal relatives of the owner of that unit shall be exempt from the requirements of Subsection 11-2.5 below. For purposes of this section "lineal relative" shall mean a child, a parent, a grandchild or a grandparent (by blood or adoption). All other relatives including, but not limited to, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles do not quality for this exemption. In order to qualify for this exemption, the owner must certify in writing that the occupant of the unit is a lineal relative, as defined above.
b. 
In any case where the provisions of this Code impose a higher standard set forth in any other local ordinances or under the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this Code impose a lower standard than any other local ordinances or of the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the higher standard contained in any such other ordinances or law shall prevail.
c. 
Enforcement of and Compliance with Other Ordinances. No license or permit or other certification of compliance with this Code shall constitute a defense against any violation of any other local ordinance applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any provision herein relieve any owner or occupant from complying with any such other ordinance.
[Ord. No. 95-1039 § 1; Ord. No. 2013-1624]
a. 
Owners shall have all the duties and responsibilities prescribed herein, and no owner shall be relieved from such duties and responsibilities nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the occupant is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
b. 
Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities prescribed herein and no occupant shall be relieved of any such duties or responsibilities nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the owner is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
c. 
Unless expressly provided to the contrary in this Code, the respective duties and responsibilities imposed hereunder on the owner and occupants shall not be altered or affected by any agreement or contract to which one or more of them is or are a party or parties.
d. 
If any residential unit that was subject to the provisions of this chapter becomes exempt pursuant to the provisions of Subsection a of Subsection 11-2.2 above, or is no longer a "residential rental unit" as that term is used in this chapter, the property owner shall file an affidavit or certification in lieu of affidavit with the Borough Housing Officer, on the form provided, certifying that the residential unit is no longer covered by this chapter and stating the reasons for such change in status. Any property owner who fails to comply with this requirement shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Subsection 11-2.6 below.
[Ord. No. 2017-1740]
The intent of this Subsection 11-2.3A is to provide for the enforcement of the Borough Property Maintenance Code and other applicable law against and to vacant and abandoned properties pending foreclosure.
[Ord. No. 2017-1740]
A creditor filing a Complaint in a foreclosure action shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep of the exterior of the vacant and abandoned residential property. If the creditor is located out of the State of New Jersey, the creditor must appoint an in-State representative or agent to act for the foreclosing creditor.
[Ord. No. 2017-1740]
a. 
A creditor filing a Complaint in a foreclosure action on residential property located in the Borough of Bernardsville shall, within 10 days of serving the Summons and Complaint, serve the Borough Clerk with a Notice advising that a Summons and Complaint in a foreclosure action has been filed against the subject property. The Notice shall contain and include the information set forth in Subsection c below and shall be provided by mail.
b. 
Any creditor that has filed a Complaint in a foreclosure action on any residential property which is pending in Superior Court shall provide to the Borough Clerk with the Notice as described in Subsection c below for any residential properties in the Borough for which the creditor has pending foreclosure actions.
c. 
The Notice shall state:
1. 
The name and contact information for the representative (located within the State of New Jersey) of the creditor who is responsible for property maintenance and will respond to Borough communications regarding the property;
2. 
Whether the property being foreclosed on is an affordable unit pursuant to the "Fair Housing Act";
3. 
The street address, lot and block number of the property; and
4. 
If the creditor is located out of State, the Notice should include the full name and contact information of the representative/agent located within the State of New Jersey authorized to act on behalf of the entity/creditor, accept service on behalf of the entity/creditor, and to receive and act on notifications regarding maintenance of the property in foreclosure.
[Ord. No. 2017-1740]
a. 
Any creditor having filed a Complaint in an action in foreclosure on a property, and that creditor having been notified by the Construction Official in writing that the property appears to be or is abandoned or vacant, shall be responsible within 30 days of said notification as follows:
1. 
Investigate and inspect the property as required to determine if the property is abandoned and vacant, and notify the Construction Official in writing of that determination.
2. 
Secure the building and structure on the property from unauthorized entry.
3. 
Perform such appropriate repairs or maintenance of the exterior grounds of the property, including yards, fences, sidewalks, walkways, driveways as may be needed or directed by the Construction Official so that the property is free from trash, debris, or excessive grass or weed growth, or safety hazards.
4. 
Continue to maintain the structures in a secure condition and the grounds in a clean, properly maintained state.
[Ord. No. 2017-1740]
If the owner of a residential property vacates or abandons any property upon which a Complaint in a foreclosure action has been filed or if a property is otherwise vacated and/or abandoned subsequent to the filing of the Complaint in a foreclosure action, but prior to the vesting of title in any third party, the foreclosing creditor shall have the responsibility to abate any nuisance or correct any violations of the Property Maintenance Code and applicable law in the same manner and to the same extent as the title owner of the property, to such standard or specification as may be required by the Property Maintenance Code or applicable law.
[Ord. No. 2017-1740]
In the event of a violation of the Property Maintenance Code or applicable law, the Borough shall serve the creditor with a Notice that shall include a description of the condition(s) that gave rise to the violation and shall provide a period of 30 days, or 10 days if the condition presents an imminent threat to public health and safety as determined by the Construction Code Official, for the creditor to remedy the violation or condition. The creditor must remedy and/or repair the conditions noticed within the specific period.
[Ord. No. 2017-1740]
If the Borough expends public funds in order to abate a nuisance or correct a violation on a residential property in which the creditor was given notice pursuant to Subsection 11-2.3A-6 but failed to abate the nuisance or correct the violation as directed, the Borough shall have the same recourse against the creditor as it would have had against the title owner of the property including but not limited to the recourse in the Property Maintenance Code and applicable law.
[Ord. No. 2017-1740]
The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to enforce this subsection.
[Ord. No. 2017-1740]
Any person or corporation shall, upon conviction by any court having jurisdiction of a violation of this subsection 11-2.3A, be subject to a fine not to exceed $2,500 per day commencing as of the date after the expiration of the ten-day period provided in Subsection 11-2.3A-3. Any person or corporation upon conviction by any Court of a violation of Subsection 11-2.3A-5 and/or Subsection 11-2.3A-6 shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,500 per day, to commence 31 days after receipt of the notice or, if the violation presented an imminent risk to public safety and health and was so noticed, commencing 11 days after receipt of the notice.
a. 
With respect to residential structures and premises, and pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1 et seq. the New Jersey State Housing Code (1980 Revision), as approved by the Department of Community Affairs and filed in the Secretary of State's Office, is hereby accepted, adopted and established as a standard to be used in determining whether residential structures, premises or dwellings in this municipality are safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.
b. 
For good reasons, the Governing Body may adopt revisions to the State Housing Code using a model code or standard of some other nationally recognized organization or based on a recommendation of the Borough Housing Advisory Committee, as long as such revision promotes the purposes of this ordinance, is legally reasonable and is adopted for health and safety reasons and not for some other purpose.
c. 
A copy of the State Housing Code (1980 revision) (as revised pursuant to the preceding Subsection b) is attached to this section.
[Ord. No. 95-1039 § 1; Ord. No. 2006-1435 § 3; Ord. No. 2009-1518 § 2; Ord. No. 2015-1692 § 1; Ord. No. 2015-1694]
d. 
New Jersey State Housing Code
[As adopted and amended by Ord. No. 2015-1692 and Ord. No. 2015-1694. See source history at Subsection 11-2.4 for prior ordinance history.]
1. 
Scope. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.1 Scope)
The provisions of this subchapter shall constitute the standards to guide the Public Officer or his agents in determining the fitness of a building for human habitation, use, or occupancy.
2. 
Definitions. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.2 Definitions)
The words, terms or phrases listed below for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined and interpreted as follows.
ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY
Shall mean the department, branch or agency of this municipality which is authorized by the adopting ordinance to administer the provisions of this chapter.
BUILDING
Shall mean any building or structure, or part thereof, used for human habitation, use, or occupancy and includes any accessory buildings and appurtenance belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
DWELLING
Shall mean a building or structure or part thereof containing one or more dwelling units or lodging units.
DWELLING UNIT
Shall mean any room or group of rooms or any part thereof located within a building and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used, or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, and eating.
GARBAGE
Shall mean the animal and vegetable and other organic waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
HABITABLE ROOM
Shall mean a room or enclosed floor space within a dwelling unit used or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, pantries, foyers or communicating corridors, closets, and storage spaces.
INFESTATIONS
Shall mean the presence, within or around a building, of any insects, rodents, or other pests.
JUNK
The unconcealed accumulation of waste, rubbish or scrap, or the outside storage of used or secondhand appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, hot water heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers or dryers, etc.
[Added 11-25-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1825]
JUNKYARD
Any space, whether inside or outside a building, used for the collection, storage, or abandonment of any waste or discarded material, or the dismantling, demolition salvaging, resale or abandonment of structures, automobiles or other vehicles, equipment, appliances and machinery or parts thereof.
[Added 11-25-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1825]
LOCAL HEALTH AGENCY
Shall mean any county, regional, municipal or other governmental agency organized for the purpose of providing health services, administered by a full-time health officer and conducting a public health officer program pursuant to law.
LODGING HOUSE
Shall mean any building, or that part of any building containing one or more lodging units, each of which is rented by one or more persons not related to the owner.
LODGING UNIT
Shall mean a rented room or group of rooms, containing no cooking facilities, used for living purposes by a separate family or group of persons living together or by a person living alone, within a building.
OCCUPANT
Shall mean any person or persons in actual possession of, and living in the building or dwelling unit, including the owner.
OWNER
Shall mean any person properly authorized to exercise powers of, or for an owner of property for purposes of its purchase, sale, use, occupancy, or maintenance.
PERSON
Shall be given the same meaning as defined in R.S. 1:1-2 of the Revised Statutes of New Jersey.
PLUMBING FIXTURES
Shall mean and include all installed receptacles or devices which are supplied with water or which receive or discharge liquid waste or sewage into the drainage system with which they are directly or indirectly connected.
PUBLIC OFFICER
Shall mean the officer or officers who are authorized by the adopting Ordinance to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter.
RUBBISH
Shall mean and include all combustible and noncombustible waste material, except garbage.
UTILITIES
Shall mean and include electric, gas, heating, water and sewerage services, and equipment therefor.
3. 
Water Supply. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.3 Water supply)
(a) 
Every dwelling unit and lodging house shall be provided with a safe supply of potable water meeting the standards as set forth in the New Jersey Safe Drinking Water Act regulations (N.J.A.C. 7:10-1 et seq.) published by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
(b) 
The source of such water supply shall be approved by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and/or the local health agency.
(c) 
The minimum rate of flow of hot or cold water issuing from a faucet or fixture shall not be less than one gallon per minute.
4. 
Facilities. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.4 Facilities)
(a) 
Every dwelling unit shall contain a kitchen sink of nonabsorbent impervious material, at least one flush type water closet, a lavatory, and a bathtub or shower, available only for the use of occupants of that dwelling unit.
(b) 
Every lodging house shall be provided with a minimum of one flush type water closet, lavatory, and a bathtub or shower for every eight persons or part thereof.
(c) 
Every water closet, lavatory, and bathtub or shower for each dwelling unit or lodging house shall be accessible from within the building without passing through any part of any other dwelling unit or lodging unit and in a lodging house shall be located no farther than one floor above or below the lodging units served. Such water closet, lavatory and bathtub or shower shall be contained in a room or rooms which are separated from all other rooms by walls, doors, or partitions that afford privacy.
(d) 
Every plumbing fixture shall be connected to water and sewer systems approved by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and/or the local health agency, and shall be maintained in good working condition.
(e) 
Every kitchen sink, lavatory, and bathtub or shower required by this chapter shall be connected to both hot and cold water lines.
(f) 
Every dwelling shall have water heating facilities which are installed and maintained in good and safe working condition, connected with the hot water lines required under the provisions of (e) above, and capable of delivering water at a minimum temperature of not less than 120° F. and at a maximum temperature of not more than 140° F. at all times in accordance with anticipated need.
5. 
Garbage and Rubbish Storage. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.5 Garbage and rubbish storage)
(a) 
Garbage or other organic waste shall be stored in watertight receptacles of metal or other approved material. Such receptacles shall be provided with tight fitting covers. At least one approved type garbage receptacle shall be provided for each dwelling unit, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.12(1).
(b) 
Rubbish shall be stored in receptacles of metal or other approved material. At least one rubbish receptacle shall be provided for each dwelling unit, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.12(I).
(c) 
Rubbish that does not include materials determined by local ordinance to be recyclable may be stored together with garbage in an approved type garbage receptacle, unless otherwise provided by ordinance. Recyclable materials shall be stored separately from non-recyclable materials.
(d) 
The owners of all rental residential properties shall provide tenants with at least twice-weekly trash pickup.[1]
[1]
Paragraph "d" was added by Ordinance No. 2006-1435 as recommended by the Housing Advisory Committee.
6. 
Lighting. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.6 Lighting)
(a) 
Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight facing directly to the outdoors. The minimum total window or skylight area measured between stops, for every habitable room shall be 8% of the floor area of such room. Whenever walls or other portions of structures face a window of any habitable room and are located less than three feet from the window and extended to a level above that of the ceiling of the room, such a window shall not be included in calculating the required minimal total window area.
(b) 
Every dwelling shall be provided with electric service.
(c) 
Every habitable room shall contain at least two separate wall type electric convenience outlets, or one such convenience outlet and one ceiling or wall type electric light fixture. Every such outlet and fixture shall be maintained in good and safe condition, and shall be connected to the source of electric power. No temporary wiring shall be used except extension cords which run directly from portable electric fixtures to convenience outlets, and which do not lie under rugs or other floor coverings nor extend through doorways, transoms, or other openings through structural elements.
(d) 
Every portion of each staircase, hall, cellar, basement landing furnace room, utility room, and all similar non-habitable space located in a dwelling shall have either natural or artificial light available at all times, with an illumination of at least two lumens per square foot (two foot-candles) in the darkest portions.
(e) 
Every portion of any interior or exterior passageway or staircase common to two or more families in a dwelling shall be illuminated naturally or artificially at all times with an illumination of at least two lumens per square foot (two foot-candles) in the darkest portion of the normally traveled stairs and passageways. In dwellings comprising two dwelling units such illumination shall not be required at all times if separate switches, convenient and readily accessible to each dwelling unit, are provided for the control of such artificial light by the occupants thereof.
(f) 
Every bathroom and water closet compartment shall have either natural or artificial light available at all times, with an illumination of at least three lumens per square foot (three foot-candles). Such light shall be measured 36 inches from the floor at the center of the room. Artificial lighting shall be controlled by a wall switch so located as to avoid danger of electrical hazards.
7. 
Ventilation. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.7 Ventilation)
(a) 
Means of ventilation shall be provided for every habitable room. Such ventilation may be provided either by an easily operable window or skylight having an openable area of at least 50% of the minimum window area or minimum skylight area as required in N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.6(a), or by other means acceptable to the Administrative Authority which will provide at least two air changes per hour.
(b) 
Means of ventilation shall be provided for every bathroom or water closet compartment. Such ventilation may be provided either by an easily operable window or skylight having an openable area of at least 50% of the minimum window area or minimum skylight area as required in N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.6(a), or by other means acceptable to the Administrative Authority which will provide at least six air changes per hour.
8. 
Heating Equipment. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.8 Heating equipment)
(a) 
Every dwelling shall have heating facilities which are properly installed, maintained in good and safe working condition, and are capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and water closet compartments located therein to a temperature of at least 68° F. when the outside temperature is 0° F. The temperature shall be read at a height of three feet above floor level at the center of the room.
(b) 
Every space heater, except electrical, shall be properly vented to a chimney or duct leading to outdoors, unless the appliance is labeled as having been tested and approved for unvented operation, in compliance with the State Uniform Construction Code. Unvented portable space heaters that burn solid, liquid, or gaseous fuels shall be prohibited.
9. 
Egress. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.9 Egress)
(a) 
Every dwelling, dwelling unit, or lodging unit shall have safe and unobstructed means of egress. Such means of egress shall not be through any other dwelling unit or part thereof and shall lead to a safe and open space at ground level accessible to a street.
(b) 
A room used for sleeping purposes under the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.11(d) shall be provided with a safe and unobstructed means of egress leading directly to an outside area accessible to a street.
(c) 
There shall be not fewer than two independent exits remote from each other from every floor of a building greater than two stories in height having more than two dwelling and/or lodging units.
10. 
Maintenance (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.10 Maintenance)
(a) 
Every foundation, floor, wall, ceiling, door, window, roof, or other part of a building shall be kept in good repair and capable of the use intended by its design, and any exterior part or parts thereof subject to corrosion or deterioration shall be kept well painted.
(b) 
Every inside and outside stairway, every porch, and every appurtenance thereto shall be so constructed as to be safe to use and capable of supporting the load that normal use may cause to be placed thereon, and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair. Every stairway having three or more steps shall be properly banistered and safely balustraded.
(c) 
Every porch, balcony, roof, and/or similar place higher than 30 inches above the ground, used for egress or for use by occupants shall be provided with adequate railings or parapets. Such protective railings or parapets shall be properly balustraded and be not less than three feet in height.
(d) 
Every roof, wall, window, exterior door, and hatchway shall be free from holes or leaks that would permit the entrance of water within a dwelling or be a cause of dampness.
(e) 
Every foundation, floor, and wall of a dwelling shall be free from chronic dampness.
(f) 
Every dwelling shall be free from rodents, vermin and insects. Rodent or vermin extermination and rodent proofing and vermin proofing may be required by the local health agency. Rodent and vermin extermination shall be carried out in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.12(k). Every openable window, exterior door, skylight, and other opening to the outdoors shall be supplied with properly fitting screens in good repair from May 1st until October 1st of each year. Such screens shall have a mesh of not less than No. 16.
(g) 
Every building, dwelling, dwelling unit and all other areas of the premises shall be clean and free from garbage or rubbish and hazards to safety. Lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed and shall not be permitted to become overgrown and unsightly. Fences shall be kept in good repair.
(h) 
The Public Officer may order the owner to clean, repair, paint, whitewash, or paper such walls or ceilings, when a wall or ceiling within a dwelling has deteriorated so as to provide a harborage for rodents or vermin, or when such a wall or ceiling has become stained or soiled, or the plaster, wallboard, or other covering has become loose or badly cracked or missing. Nothing in this subsection shall be so construed as to place upon the nonresident owner responsibilities for cleanliness contained in (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.12(f).
(i) 
Every water closet compartment floor and bathroom floor shall be so constructed and maintained as to be reasonably impervious to water so as to permit such floor to be kept in a clean condition.
(j) 
Exterior boards that cover the windows and doorways of a vacant property shall be painted so that they either match or reasonably coordinate with the color of the rest of the structure's exterior. All windows, doors and openings of vacant buildings shall be free of any posters or paper coverings.[2]
[2]
Paragraph "j" of § 5:28-1.10 was added by Ordinance No. 2009-1518 as recommended by the Housing Advisory Committee.
11. 
Use and occupancy of space; Overcrowding.[3] (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.11 Use and occupancy of space)
(a) 
Overcrowding. Dwelling units shall not be occupied by more occupants than permitted by the minimum area requirements of the following Table:
Table
Minimum Area in Square Feet
1-2
3-5
6 or more occupants
Living room
120
120
150
Dining room
No
80
100
Bedrooms
Shall comply with Paragraph (b) of this section.
i. 
The minimum occupancy area required by the above shall not be included as a sleeping area in determining the minimum occupancy area for sleeping purposes. All sleeping areas shall comply with Subsection "(b)" below.
iv. 
Combined living room and dining room spaces shall comply with the requirements of the above Table if the total area is equal to that required for separate rooms and if the space is located so as to function as a combination living room/dining room.
(b) 
Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain at least 50 square feet of floor space for each occupant thereof.
(c) 
At least 1/2 of the floor area of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of at least seven feet. The floor area of that part of any room where the ceiling is less than five feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total floor area in the room for the purpose of determining the maximum permissible occupancy thereof.
(d) 
A room located in whole or in part below the level of the ground may be used for sleeping provided that the walls and floors thereof in contact with the earth have been damp-proofed in accordance with a method approved by the Administrative Authority; and provided that all requirements otherwise applicable to habitable rooms generally are satisfied.
(e) 
Bedrooms shall not constitute the only means of access to other bedrooms or habitable spaces and shall not serve as the only means of egress from other habitable spaces.
(Exception: Units that contain fewer than two bedrooms.)
(f) 
Bedrooms shall have a minimum for four square feet of closet space for each occupant. A shelf and clothes-hanging rod shall be provided in each closet with a depth of two feet or more. The closet may be permanent or portable, but the square footage of any portable closet must be deducted from the square footage of the sleeping room for the purpose of calculating minimum net floor area pursuant to § 13-43b.[4]
[4]
Paragraph "f" was added upon the recommendation of the Borough Housing Advisory Committee.
(g) 
Kitchens shall have a minimum clear passageway of three feet between counter fronts and appliances or counter fronts and walls.[5]
[5]
Paragraph "(g)" of § 5:28-1.11 is based on Section 404.2 of the International Property Maintenance Code.
[3]
Paragraph "(a)" of § 5:28-1.11 is based on Section 404.5 of the International Property Maintenance Code.
12. 
(Reserved)
13. 
Conflict of Ordinances. (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.13 Conflict of ordinances)
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of any department of this municipality or any agency of the State of New Jersey to enforce any provisions of its charter or its ordinances, codes, regulations or statutory provisions or to prevent or punish violations thereof.
[Ord. No. 95-1039 § 1; Ord. No. 2006-1435 § 1; Ord. No. 2008-1502 § 1; Ord. No. 2009-1521 § 1; Ord. No. 2010-1553 § 1; Ord. No. 2012-1598; Ord. No. 2013-1633; Ord. No. 2015-1700; Ord. #2016-1717 § 3; Ord. No. 2017-1733]
a. 
Purpose. The purposes of this section are as follows:
1. 
To protect the health and safety of residential tenants by insuring that all rental properties are maintained in a safe and sanitary condition.
2. 
To protect the welfare of residential tenants by assuring that maximum occupancy limits are not exceeded in rental units.
3. 
To protect the real estate values of properties located in close proximity to rental housing by requiring the upkeep and maintenance of building exteriors and outside property areas.
b. 
Applicability; Exceptions. This section shall apply to all residential rental uses.
c. 
Requirements for Certificate of Rental Housing Compliance.
1. 
No person shall let or sublet any residential unit without first obtaining from the Code Enforcement Officer one of the following:
(a) 
A certificate of rental housing compliance stating that the unit complies with the property maintenance standards of this chapter and is approved for occupancy and meets all Borough zoning requirements. [1]The certificate of rental housing compliance shall be renewed annually on the anniversary date of the issuance of the original permit, and upon any change in occupancy of a rental unit.
[1]
In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-68.4, this section does not prohibit any senior citizen, who is the owner of a single-family dwelling, which is his or her primary residence, from renting or leasing a room or rooms within that dwelling, together with general use associated with that dwelling, to one person.
(b) 
A conditional certificate of rental housing compliance indicating that the unit is conditionally approved for occupancy in accordance with the provisions of Subsection e5b below.
d. 
Rental Housing Standards. All rental housing shall comply with the following codes and regulations:
1. 
Borough Residential Property Maintenance Code (Code § 11-2).
2. 
New Jersey State Housing Code (N.J.A.C. 5:28).
3. 
Uniform Construction Code (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-123; N.J.A.C. 5:23).[2]
[2]
The Uniform Construction Code may only be enforced by the Construction Official and Subcode Officials. Issuance of a certificate of rental housing compliance pursuant to this section does not relieve the property owner from complying with all requirements of the Uniform Construction Code.
4. 
Uniform Fire Code (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-198; N.J.A.C. 5:70).[3]
[3]
Although the Uniform Fire Code may only be enforced by the Fire Official and Fire Subcode Official, the Housing Inspector shall not issue a Certificate of Inspection until he has inspected the premises and determined that the dwelling complies with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 5:70-4.19 with respect to smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Issuance of a certificate of rental housing compliance pursuant to this section does not relieve the property owner from complying with any other requirements of the Uniform Fire Code or the Uniform Fire Safety Act.
5. 
Borough Land Development Regulations (Volume II of the Borough Code).[4]
There shall be a continuing obligation to comply with all relevant statutes, ordinances and regulations including but not limited to those set forth above.
[4]
Development approvals may only be granted pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. Issuance of a certificate of rental housing compliance pursuant to this section shall not be deemed to be a development approval of any kind or a certification of nonconforming use.
e. 
Procedures for Inspections and Issuance of Certificates of Rental Housing Compliance.
1. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall prepare the necessary application form and checklist which shall be available at the Borough Clerk's office and the Borough Planning and Zoning Department. At a minimum, that application form shall contain the following information:
(a) 
Street address of unit and tax map block and lot of the rental unit.
(b) 
The name, address, phone number and email address of the owner. If the owner is a business entity, the application must include the name and address of the registered agent who authorized to receive service of on behalf of that entity.
(c) 
The name, address, telephone number and email address of the managing agent of the property, if any.
(d) 
The name, address, telephone number and email address of an emergency contact who can be contacted by the Borough after hours in case of fire, flood or other emergency.
(e) 
Proof that all required zoning, construction, fire and other required Borough, County, State and Federal approvals, permits and licenses have been obtained.
(f) 
A floor plan of the rental unit showing the dimensions and location of each room must be attached.
(g) 
Name, address, telephone number and email address of the tenant and all occupants of the unit.
(h) 
Names, grade levels and schools attended for all occupants of the rental unit who attend or who will be attending Bernardsville public schools.
(i) 
A certification by the person completing the application that such person is authorized to complete the application on behalf of the owner, that the subject property will be maintained in compliance with all applicable ordinances, statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to, the Borough Zoning Ordinance, the Uniform Construction Code, the Borough Residential Property Maintenance Code, and the New Jersey State Housing Code.
2. 
The applicant shall submit a completed application and all required fees to the Borough Clerk by the anniversary date of the issuance of the original permit for an annual certificate and at least five business days before the date that a new tenant is anticipated to occupy the dwelling. Inspections may be requested up to 30 days before the desired inspection date and shall be scheduled by the Code Enforcement Officer in the order that completed applications are received.
3. 
Following receipt of a completed application and all required fees, the Code Enforcement Officer or his or her designee shall inspect the building interior, exterior and outside premises to make sure that the premises comply with the standards incorporated in Subsection d above as set forth in the checklist adopted by the Code Enforcement Officer.
4. 
All inspections shall be conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in § 11-3 of this Code.
5. 
Following inspection, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a placard designating the maximum occupancy for the unit and a certificate of rental housing compliance, a conditional certificate of rental housing compliance, or a denial of rental housing compliance. The standards for certificates are:
(a) 
If the dwelling complies with the codes and regulations set forth in Subsection d above, a certificate of rental housing compliance shall be issued.
(b) 
If the dwelling fails to comply with all of the above codes and regulations but none of the violations jeopardizes the health, safety or welfare of the intended occupants, a conditional certificate of rental housing compliance shall be issued for a period not to exceed 30 days from the initial inspection.
(c) 
If the building fails to comply and such violations endanger the health, safety or welfare of the intended occupants, a denial of rental housing compliance shall be issued.
6. 
If a conditional certificate of rental housing compliance or a denial of rental housing compliance is issued, the applicant shall perform the required work prior to reinspection.
7. 
If the inspection was scheduled in advance, as required by Subsection 11-2.5c above, the new tenant shall be permitted to occupy the unit without its being deemed a violation of Subsection 11-2.5e2 above. However, the Borough reserves the right to conduct the inspection at a later time and to issue an appropriate certificate.
8. 
The placard designating the maximum occupancy and a current certificate of rental housing compliance, conditional certificate of rental housing compliance or denial of rental housing compliance (issued by the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to Subsection 5 above) along with a copy of the floor plan submitted by the rental property owner pursuant to Subsection h4 below shall be posted in the kitchen sink cabinet in a conspicuous place in all rental units at all times.
f. 
Fees. All fees shall be paid at the time an application is filed and prior to the inspection being performed in accordance with the following schedule:
1. 
Initial inspection: $150 per unit.
[Ord. No. 2017-1733]
2. 
First reinspection: no charge.
3. 
Second reinspection: $250 per unit.
[Ord. No. 2017-1733]
4. 
Third reinspection: $350 per unit.
[Ord. No. 2017-1733]
5. 
Fourth reinspection: $450 per unit.
[Ord. No. 2017-1733]
6. 
Fifth and all subsequent reinspections: $500 per unit.
[Ord. No. 2017-1733]
g. 
The following information shall be provided to each tenant at the time of his or her initial occupancy of the dwelling:
1. 
A Truth-in-Renting Statement prepared by the Department of Community Affairs in accordance with the Truth-in-Renting Act (N.J.S.A. 46:8-43 et seq.) shall be distributed to all tenants living in buildings with more than two dwelling units.
2. 
A copy of the registration statement filed with the Borough Clerk and/or New Jersey Bureau of Housing Inspection.
3. 
A copy of the New Tenant Notification Form provided by the Borough. A copy of this form shall be signed by the tenant and maintained by the owner during the term of the tenancy. For buildings with more than four units, the form shall be maintained in a log at the rental office.
h. 
Rental Property Owner Registration Requirements.
1. 
In addition to the application for a certificate of rental housing compliance required by Subsection c above and in addition to complying with the requirements of the New Jersey Hotel and Multiple Dwellings Law, N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq., every owner of any building or structure which comes under the provisions of this subsection shall, within five days of the change of ownership of any building subject to the requirements of this subsection file with the Borough Clerk a written registration statement, which shall contain the following information on a form to be provided by the Borough:
(a) 
The names and addresses of the owners of the property.
(b) 
If the record owner is a corporation, the name of the registered agent who will accept all legal notices on behalf of the corporation.
(c) 
If the owner is an entity other than an individual (i.e, a corporation, company, trade name, partnership, trust, condominium association or other legal entity), the names and address of each partner and/or owner or person having a beneficiary interest. In the case of a corporation, the names and addresses of each stockholder if the total number of stockholders is 20 or less. In any event, with regard to corporate ownership, the registry shall disclose the name and address of any stockholder who owns, either directly or beneficially, 10% of the stock of the corporation.
(d) 
The name, address and telephone number of the managing agent of the premises, if any.
(e) 
The name, address and telephone number, including the dwelling unit, apartment or room number, of the superintendent, janitor, custodial or other individual employed by the record owner or managing agent to provide regular maintenance service, if applicable.
(f) 
The name, address and telephone number of an individual principal or partner of the record owner or managing agent who may be reached or contacted at any time in the event of an emergency affecting the premises or property, or any unit or dwelling or commercial space therein, and who has the authority to make emergency decisions concerning the building or property and any repair thereto or expenditures in connection therewith.
(g) 
The number of dwelling units by unit type.
2. 
If there is any change in any of this information, an amended registration statement must be filed within five days, and the amended statement posted and distributed to tenants within seven days of filing.
3. 
The placard designating the maximum occupancy and current certificate of rental housing compliance issued by the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to Subsection e5 above and a copy of the floor plan shall be posted in the kitchen sink cabinet in a conspicuous location where it can easily be seen by tenants in English and in the primary languages spoken by the tenants.
4. 
The initial registration for all buildings shall also be accompanied by a floor plan and the square footage for each unit to be used by the Borough in establishing maximum occupancy limits for each unit type.
i. 
Violations and Penalties.
1. 
Any lessor of rental property who fails to distribute required information to tenants, fails to secure a required certificate of rental housing compliance, fails to enforce maximum occupancy limits, fails to register with the Borough or allows a tenant to occupy rental premises after expiration of a conditional certificate of rental housing compliance or who violates any other provision of this ordinance, shall be liable to the penalties stated in Chapter 1, § 1-5. The minimum fine for a violation of this section shall be $100.
2. 
In any apartment unit that violates maximum occupancy restrictions, the landlord and/or the tenant named on the lease shall be liable to the penalties stated in Chapter 1, § 1-5. The minimum fine for a violation of this section shall be $100.
3. 
Each and every day in which a violation of any provision of this chapter exists shall constitute a separate violation.
4. 
Any person who is convicted of violating this subsection within one year of the date of a previous violation of the same provision of this subsection and who was fined for the previous violation shall be subject to the additional fine for repeat offenders set forth in Subsection 1-5.3 of this Code.
5. 
In addition to the above fines and penalties, any owner-landlord who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this chapter, where the illegal tenancy is determined to have resulted in a resident or residents attending the Somerset Hills Regional School District public school system, and who has been afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the matter, may be assessed a penalty equal to the annual tuition cost for each student, prorated to the time of the student's ineligible attendance at such public school. The fine shall be recovered in a civil action by a summary proceeding in the name of the Borough of Bernardsville pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999 (N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.)" The Municipal Court and/or the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of the proceedings for the enforcement of the penalty provided by this subsection. The tuition cost shall be calculated in the manner prescribed for nonresidential pupils in N.J.S.A. 18A:38-19. Payment of the fine shall be remitted to the Somerset Hills Board of Education. For the purposes of this section, the term "owner-landlord" shall exclude mortgagees in possession of a structure through foreclosure. For the purposes of this section, a "second or subsequent violation for an illegal occupancy" shall be limited to those violations that are new and are the result of distinct and separate zoning or code enforcement activities, and shall not include any continuing violations for which citations are issued by a Zoning or Code Enforcement Officer during the time period required for summary disposition proceedings to conclude if the owner has initiated eviction proceedings in a court of proper jurisdiction.
j. 
In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:18-16.1g, any tenant who receives a notice of eviction pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.2 that results from zoning or code enforcement activity for an illegal occupancy as set forth in this section shall be considered a displaced person and shall be entitled to relocation assistance in amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person or persons. The owner-landlord of the structure shall be liable for the payment of relocation assistance pursuant to this subsection. In addition, after being required to pay reimbursement for relocation assistance, an additional fine shall be paid by the owner/landlord of the structure for each illegal occupancy, up to an amount equal to six times the monthly rental paid by the displaced person or persons.
[Ord. No. 95-1039 § 1; Ord. No. 2010-1569]
a. 
The Code Enforcement Officer and his agents are hereby authorized and directed to exercise the powers prescribed by this Code, to enforce this Code, and to make inspections to determine the condition of the residential premises, structures and buildings and dwellings, dwelling units and lodging units (hereinafter "premises") located within the Borough of Bernardsville. No inspection shall interfere with the legal and constitutional rights of the owner or occupant. Every occupant shall give the Borough Housing Inspector access at all reasonable times for the purpose of inspecting the premises in accordance with the provisions of this Code. In addition, every occupant shall give the owner thereof, or his agent or employee, access at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this section or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this section.
b. 
The Board of Health of the Borough of Bernardsville and its agents shall continue to have enforcement authority over any violations of applicable laws, codes, rules or regulations, either independently of the Code Enforcement Officer or in cooperation with him.
c. 
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this section, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor as hereinafter provided.
1. 
Such notice shall be put in writing; include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued; and allow a minimum of five days for the correction of the violation. Thereafter, if the violation has not been corrected, the Code Enforcement Officer is authorized, at his option, to file a complaint with the Municipal Court or seek injunctive relief from the Superior Court.
2. 
Such notice may contain an outline of the remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this section and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and said remedial action may include demolition or vacation of the building or structure where lesser remedial action will not effect substantial compliance with the provisions of this section.
3. 
Such notice shall be served upon the owner in all cases and in addition thereto, upon the occupant, as the case may require; provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or occupant, if a copy thereof is served upon him personally or at his last known address by regular mail or is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the premises affected by the notice or if served by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this State.
4. 
The period of time for compliance shall commence on the date of the return receipt obtained by the postal authorities for delivery of such notice, or if undelivered, on the date of the return thereof to the Borough. If notice is hand-delivered, the period of time shall commence upon service of notice.
[Added 9-9-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1813]
5. 
Every such notice shall, in addition to requiring compliance with this chapter, warn the owner or tenant that failure to effect such abatement or removal within the time stated in said notice, will result in such removal by the Borough of Bernardsville, and the cost of such abatement or removal will be charged to the owner. In the event that service of notice is made upon the owner, the cost of such abatement or removal shall forthwith become a lien upon the lands and shall be added to and become a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon the same, to bear interest at the same rate and to be collected in the same manner as taxes as hereinafter provided.
[Added 9-9-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1813]
6. 
In all cases where property maintenance code violations are abated or materials are removed from any lands, under this section by or under the direction of the Borough official to effect such abatement or removal, such officer shall certify the cost thereof to the governing body, who shall examine the certificate and, if found correct, shall cause the cost as shown thereon to be charged against said lands. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon such lands and shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lands, the same to bear interest at the same rates as taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes. The above cost of abatement or removal shall be additional to any other penalties which may be imposed under this section.
[Added 9-9-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1813]
d. 
The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized and empowered to make and adopt such written rules and regulations as he may deem necessary for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this section, but may not in any way alter, amend, or supersede any of the provisions thereof. The Code Enforcement Officer shall file a certified copy of all rules and regulations which he may adopt with the Borough Clerk.
e. 
No person shall occupy as owner or occupant, or rent to another for occupancy, any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not conform to the provisions of the New Jersey State Housing Code (1980 Revision), established hereby as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.
f. 
Penalty for Violations. Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall come upon conviction, be liable to the penalties stated in Chapter 1, § 1-5. The minimum fine shall be $100. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.
[Ord. No. 2006-1435 § 2]
Inspections of residential units by the Borough Code Enforcement Officer to insure compliance with this chapter and related codes and ordinances shall be conducted in accordance with the following standards and procedures:
a. 
The Borough Code Enforcement Officer shall have the responsibility to initiate, conduct and authorize enforcement of any provisions of the Borough Property Maintenance Code and related ordinances and regulations.
b. 
If none of the adult residents then present in the dwelling being inspected speaks English proficiently, and the inspector is not fluent in the language of the residents, the inspection must be abandoned and may not be resumed without the presence of an interpreter.
c. 
Residential inspections shall not be conducted by uniformed law enforcement officers, nor shall Borough inspectors be accompanied by uniformed law enforcement officers, unless there is a reasonable concern of violence occurring during the inspection. The basis for the concern must be included on the inspection log maintained by the Code Enforcement Officer.
d. 
Residential inspections shall ordinarily be conducted between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on non-holiday weekdays except as provided below.
e. 
Residential inspections may be conducted on weekdays between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., on Saturdays between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. if there have been at least two previous failed attempts on two different days to inspect during the hours set forth in Subsection d above.
f. 
No residential code enforcement inspection shall be conducted without first providing notice to the residents of their rights regarding whether or not to permit an inspection. The Borough inspection official shall provide such notice orally and in writing and where the subject of an inspection has limited English proficiency, such notice shall be provided in the language of the resident as well as in English.
g. 
No residential code enforcement inspection shall be conducted without first obtaining consent from the residents of the subject property.
h. 
No residential inspection shall be conducted after 9:00 p.m. or before 8:00 a.m. except under emergency circumstances, such as if Borough police, fire or medical emergency personnel, during the course of responding to an emergency at a dwelling, witness life-hazard violations of the Property Maintenance Code and alert the Code Enforcement Officer of such life-hazard violations, the Code Enforcement Officer may conduct an inspection within 12 hours of notification.
i. 
The following record shall be kept and maintained by the Code Enforcement Officer.
1. 
Complaint form and investigation form which shall record the date and time of complaint, name of complainant, address and telephone number of complainant, address of property for which complaint is made, nature of complaint, details of alleged violations, basis for or evidence supporting complaint, identity of any other witnesses, date, time and manner of initial contact and all subsequent contacts, name and title of any and all Borough officials, agents, employees and/or individuals acting on behalf of the Borough involved in the contact, whether the subject of the complaint is proficient in English and/or what language the subject speaks; record of substantive investigation conducted; and the outcome of such investigation, whether to end investigation without further action, continue investigation, and/or conduct an inspection.
2. 
Inspection log which shall record date and time of inspection, verification that resident was provided proper notice regarding the inspection and his or her rights and responsibilities; the Borough official's requested permission to enter the premises and inspect; that the residents or owners gave authorization for inspection; the duration of the inspection; areas of residence inspected; individuals interviewed or spoken to during inspection; the results of the inspection, including specified Property Maintenance Code violations, if any; evidence of violations uncovered; date on which violation was or will be referred for prosecution; dates of notices of prosecution; court and hearing dates; settlements or pleas; and dates case closed, or whether no evidence of violation was found.
3. 
Direction that if a complaint made to the Borough lacks the basis for the complaint or the identity of the complainant, Borough inspectors must take some independent action or investigation to verify that a basis for the complaint exists prior to conducting an inspection. Such independent action or investigation shall be recorded in writing on the complaint and investigation form.
j. 
These procedures shall not apply if the Code Enforcement Officer has obtained a court-issued warrant to search the premises nor shall they affect Borough Police authority to enter a residence when responding to potential violation of zoning, land use, property maintenance or other similar laws.
[Ord. No. 2018-1768]
CREDITOR
Means a State chartered bank, savings bank, savings and loan association or credit union, any person or entity required to be licensed under the provisions of the "New Jersey Residential Mortgage Act," P.L. 2009, c.53 (C.17:11C-51 et seq.), any foreclosing entity subject to the provisions of C.46:10B-51 (P.L. 2008, c. 127, Sec. 17, as amended from time to time) and any entity acting on behalf of the creditor named in the debt obligation including, but not limited to, servicers.
OWNER
Means the titleholder, any agent of the titleholder having authority to act with respect to the vacant property, or any other entity determined by the Borough of Bernardsville to act with respect to the property.
VACANT AND ABANDONED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
Means, consistent with section 1 of P.L. 2012, c.70 (C.2A:50-73). residential real estate, where a notice of violation has been issued pursuant to Paragraph e. 1 of this section and Subsection b of section 1 of P.L. 2014, c.35 (C.40:48-2.12s), or property which any condition on its own or combined with other conditions present would lead a reasonable person to believe that the property is or has been vacant for three or more months.
Residential property shall further be deemed Vacant and Abandoned where a mortgaged property is not occupied by a mortgagor or tenant.
Such evidence would include, but is not limited to, evidence of the existence of two or more of the following conditions at the property:
a. 
Over grown or neglected vegetation;
b. 
The accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers or mail on the property;
c. 
Disconnected gas, electric, or water utility services to the property;
d. 
The accumulation of hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials on the property;
e. 
The accumulation of junk, litter, trash or debris on the property;
f. 
The absence of window treatments such as blinds, curtains or shutters:
g. 
The absence of furnishings and personal items;
h. 
Statements of neighbors, association management, delivery persons, or government employees indicating that the residence is vacant and abandoned;
i. 
Windows or entrances to the property that are boarded up or closed off or multiple window panes that are damaged, broken and unrepaired;
j. 
Doors to the property that are smashed through, broken off, unhinged, or continuously unlocked;
k. 
A risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public, or any adjoining or adjacent property owners, exists due to acts of vandalism, loitering, criminal conduct, or the physical destruction or deterioration of the property;
l. 
An uncorrected violation of a municipal building, housing, or similar code during the preceding year, or an order by municipal authorities declaring the property to be unfit for occupancy and to remain vacant and unoccupied;
m. 
The mortgagee or other authorized party has secured or winterized the property due to the property being deemed vacant and unprotected or in danger of freezing;
n. 
A written statement issued by any mortgagor expressing the clear intent of all mortgagors to abandon the property;
o. 
Any other reasonable indicia of abandonment.
[Ord. No. 2018-1768]
a. 
A Creditor filing a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a Vacant and Abandoned property or a Creditor who has previously filed a summons and complaint to foreclose on a residential property which subsequently becomes Vacant and Abandoned, or the Owner of a Vacant and Abandoned property, shall within 30 calendar days after the building becomes Vacant and Abandoned or within 30 calendar days after assuming ownership of the Vacant and Abandoned property, whichever is later; or within 10 calendar days of receipt of notice from the Borough, and annually thereafter file a registration statement for such Vacant and Abandoned property with the Municipal Clerk on forms provided by the Borough for such purposes. Any failure to receive notice from the Borough shall not constitute grounds for failing to register the Vacant and Abandoned property.
b. 
Each Vacant and Abandoned property having a separate block and lot number as designated in the official tax maps of the Borough shall be registered separately.
c. 
The registration statement shall include the name, street address, telephone number, and email address (if applicable) of a person 21 years or older, designated by the Creditor or the Owner as the authorized agent for receiving notices of code violations and for receiving process in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding on behalf of such Creditor in connection with the enforcement of any applicable code.
d. 
The registration statement shall include the name, street address, telephone number, and email address (if applicable) of the firm and the actual name(s) of the Owner of the Vacant or Abandoned property or the firm's individual principal(s) responsible for maintaining the Abandoned and Vacant property. The Owner or the individual or representative of the firm responsible for maintaining the Abandoned and Vacant property shall be available by telephone or in person on a twenty-four-hour per day, seven-day per week basis. The two entities may be the same or different persons. In the case of a Creditor, both entities shown on the statement must maintain offices in the State of New Jersey or reside within the State of New Jersey.
e. 
The registration shall remain valid for one year from the date of registration except for the initial registration which shall be valid through December 31st of the year in which it was filed. The Owner of the property or the Creditor shall be required to renew the registration annually as long as the building remains Vacant and Abandoned and shall pay a registration or renewal fee in the amount prescribed in Subsection 11-4.3 for each Vacant and Abandoned property registered.
f. 
The annual renewal shall be completed by January 1st each year. The initial registration fee shall be pro-rated for registration statements received less than 10 months prior to that date.
g. 
The Owner of the property or the Creditor shall notify the Municipal Clerk within 30 calendar days of any change in the registration information by filing an amended registration statement on a form provided by the Municipal Clerk for such purpose.
h. 
The registration statement shall be deemed prima facie proof of the statements therein contained in any administrative enforcement proceeding or court proceeding instituted by the Borough against the Creditor.
[Ord. No. 2018-1768; amended 12-19-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-1829]
The initial registration fee for each vacant and abandoned property under the provisions of this section shall be $500. The fee for the first annual renewal shall be $1,000 and the fee for all subsequent annual renewals shall be $2,000.
a. 
Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be liable, upon conviction, to the penalties set forth in § 1-5 of this Code.
b. 
Upon conviction for violation of any of the provisions of this section, each and every day thereafter that the violation continues shall be deemed and constitute a separate and distinct offense hereunder.
[Ord. No. 2018-1768]