[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Middletown 11-1-2016 by Ord. No. 1332, approved 11-1-2016. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Uniform Construction Code — See Ch. 114.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 238.
Zoning — See Ch. 260.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 210, Property Maintenance, adopted 7-11-2005 by Ord. No. 1194, approved 7-11-2005, as amended.
That a certain document, one copy of which is on file in the Office of Code Enforcement of the Borough of Middletown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, being marked and designated as the International Property Maintenance Code, 2015 edition, as published by the International Code Council, including Appendix A, Boarding Standards, be and is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Middletown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, for regulating and governing the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures by providing the standards for supplied utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupation and use; and the condemnation of buildings and structures unfit for human occupancy and use, and the demolition of such existing structures as herein provided; providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said Property Maintenance Code on file in the Office of Code Enforcement of the Borough of Middletown are hereby referred to, adopted, and made a part hereof, as if fully set out in this legislation, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in § 210-3 of this chapter.
As new editions of the International Property Maintenance Code, 2015 edition, are published by the International Code Council, the same shall become effective in the Borough of Middletown 30 days after the Borough of Middletown duly advertises the enactment and publication of the same in a newspaper of general circulation.
Wherever the term "chief appointing authority" or "appointing authority" is used in the International Property Maintenance Code, it shall mean the Borough Council of the Borough of Middletown.
Wherever the term "date of adoption of this code" is used in the International Property Maintenance Code, it shall mean the date of enactment of this chapter.
Wherever the term "legal representative" or "legal counsel" is used in the International Property Maintenance Code, it shall mean the Solicitor of the Borough of Middletown.
Wherever the term "municipality," "name of jurisdiction" or "this jurisdiction" is used in the International Property Maintenance Code, it shall mean the Borough of Middletown (the "Borough").
Wherever the term "department of property maintenance inspection," "department of property maintenance," or "the department" is used in the International Property Maintenance Code, it shall mean the Office of Code Enforcement.
The following sections of the International Property Maintenance Code are hereby revised as follows:
Chapter 1 (Scope and Application).
Section 101.1 (Title) is hereby amended to read as follows:
These regulations shall be known as the "Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Middletown," hereinafter referred to as "this code."
Section 102.10 (Other laws) is hereby amended to read as follows:
102.10.1 The provisions of this code shall not be deemed to nullify any provisions of local, state or federal law.
102.10.2 Where this code conflicts with other regulations or chapters of the Code of Ordinances of the Borough of Middletown, the more restrictive regulation or chapter shall govern. Violations of other regulations or chapters shall be considered violations of this code, and at the option of the Borough, the enforcement provisions of this code (including penalties and fines) may be applied in lieu of enforcement provisions, if any, provided for in such other regulation or chapter. Notwithstanding the above, this code shall not control if this code is identified by name and its application is expressly restricted by such other regulation or chapter by provisions referenced in such other regulation or chapter or by provision of this code.
Section 103.5 (Fees) is hereby amended to read as follows:
The fees for activities and services performed by the department in carrying out its responsibilities under this code shall be as indicated in a fee schedule adopted by the resolution of the Borough Council establishing such fees, which may be amended from time to time.
Section 106.3 (Prosecution of violation) is hereby amended to read as follows:
Any person failing to comply with a notice of violation or order served in accordance with Section 107 shall be deemed guilty of a summary offense. If the notice of violation is not complied with, the Borough shall institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful occupancy of the structure in violation of the provisions of this code or of the order or direction made pursuant thereto. Any action taken by the authority having jurisdiction on such premises shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such real estate.
Section 106.4 (Violation penalties) is hereby amended to read as follows:
Any person who shall violate any provision of this code, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a District Magistrate Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, plus costs and reasonable attorney's fees, for each separate offense and, in default of the payment of such fine, costs and fees, may be sentenced to imprisonment for 90 days, or to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues or each section of this chapter which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
Section 111.1 (Application for appeal) shall be amended to read as follows:
Any person affected by a decision of the code official or a notice or order issued under this code shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Appeals, provided that a written application for appeal is filed within 20 days after the day of decision, notice or order was served. The appeal shall be upon such form as the Borough Council shall prescribe, shall be filed in duplicate and shall be filed with the code official. The parties to the appeal shall be the person filing the appeal, the owner and the Office of Code Enforcement.
Section 111.2 (Membership of the Board) shall be amended to read as follows:
The Board of Appeals shall consist of the Borough Council of the Borough of Middletown. The Board of Appeals may engage the services of such professionals and disciplines as it shall deem necessary.
Sections 111.2.1 (Alternate members), 111.2.2. (Chairman), 111.2.3. (Disqualification of member), 111.2.4. (Secretary) and 111.2.5. (Compensation of members) shall be deleted in their entirety.
Section 111.3 (Notice of hearing) shall be amended to read as follows:
The Board shall meet upon notice from the Borough Manager or Borough Secretary, within 20 days of the filing of an appeal, or at a regularly scheduled Borough Council meeting within 30 days of the filing of an appeal.
Section 111.4 (Open hearing) shall be amended to read as follows:
Hearings before the Board shall be open to the public. The appellant, the appellant's representative, the code official and any person whose interests are affected shall be given an opportunity to be heard. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Board of Appeals then in office.
Section 111.4.1 (Procedure) shall be amended to read as follows:
Section 111.4.1 (Evidence). The Board of Appeals shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence, and all relevant evidence of reasonable probative value may be permitted. Reasonable examination and cross-examination shall be permitted.
Section 111.6 (Board decision) shall be amended to read as follows:
The Board of Appeals shall modify or reverse the decision of the code official only by a concurring vote of a majority of the total number of Board members in attendance at the meeting where action is taken on the decision, but within 30 days after the conclusion of the hearing. Failure to render a decision within 30 days after the conclusion of the hearing shall not be deemed approval in favor of appellant.
Section 111.6.1 (Records and copies) shall be amended to read as follows:
The decision of the Board of Appeals shall be recorded. Every decision shall be in writing and shall contain findings and the reason for the decision. Every decision shall be filed in the Office of Code Enforcement and shall be open to public inspection. A certified copy of the decision shall be served upon all parties or their counsel personally or by mail not later than 10 days following the decision.
Section 111.7 (Court review) shall be amended to read as follows:
Any person, whether or not a previous party of the appeal, shall have the right to apply to the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, to correct errors of law made by the Board of Appeals in its decision. Such appeal shall be filed within 30 days after the date of written notice of the decision of the Board of Appeals is mailed to the appellant.
Section 112.4. (Failure to comply) shall be amended to read as follows:
Any person who shall continue any work after having been served with a stop-work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be liable for the penalties prescribed in Section 106.4 of this code.
Chapter 2 (Definitions).
Section 202 (General Definitions) shall be amended as follows:
The term and definition of "inoperable vehicle" shall be amended to read as follows:
- INOPERABLE VEHICLE
- A vehicle that cannot be operated upon the public streets for any reason, including, but not limited to, being unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured, abandoned, or incapable of being moved under its own power, but which does not qualify as a nuisance vehicle.
The following terms and definitions shall be added in alphabetical order to read as follows:
- NUISANCE VEHICLE
- A vehicle exhibiting any of the following nonexhaustive dangerous or hazardous physical characteristics, regardless of whether it is also an inoperable vehicle, because they create, or could create, a threat to public safety or the welfare of citizens:
-  Broken windshields, mirrors or other glass with sharp edges.
-  One or more flat or open tires or tubes which could permit vermin harborage.
-  Missing doors, windows, hoods, or other body parts which could permit vermin harborage.
-  Any body parts with sharp edges, including holes resulting from rust.
-  Damaged wheels or missing tires resulting in unsafe suspension of the vehicle.
-  Upholstery which is torn or open which could permit vermin harborage.
-  Broken headlamps or taillamps with sharp edges.
-  Disassembled chassis parts from a vehicle stored in a disorderly fashion or loose in or on the vehicle.
-  Protruding sharp objects from the chassis.
-  Vehicle frames suspended from the ground in an unstable manner.
-  Leaking or damaged oil pan or gas tank which could cause fire or explosion.
-  Exposed battery containing acid.
-  Inoperable locking mechanism for doors or trunks.
-  Open or damaged floorboards, including trunk and fire wall.
-  Damaged bumpers pulled away from the perimeter of a vehicle.
-  Broken grill with protruding edges.
-  Loose or damaged metal trim and clips, broken communications equipment and antenna.
-  A vehicle suspended on unstable supports.
-  Such other characteristics or defects which could threaten the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Borough.
- An assembly of parts, designed to have a wheel or wheels, or revolving track or tracks, which would enable the assembly to be more readily moved over the land or surfaces, used or intended for use (whether as a primary use or ancillary use) in transporting persons, other living things, materials of any kind, or other assemblies.
Chapter 3 (General Requirements).
Section 302.1 (Sanitation) shall be amended to read as follows:
Exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. Conditions which present a hazard or nuisance to the health, safety and welfare of the general public shall not be permitted on any property or premises. The occupant shall keep that part of the exterior property that such occupant occupies or controls in a clean and sanitary condition.
Section 302.4 (Weeds) shall be amended to read as follows:
Premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of eight inches on land located 200 feet or less from any building or structure available for use for human occupancy. Noxious weeds shall be prohibited. "Weeds" shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs.
Section 302.5 (Rodent harborage) shall be amended to read as follows:
Section 302.5 (Rodent harborage and mosquito breeding habitat)
Structures and exterior property shall be maintained free from rodent harborage and infestation. Where rodents are found, they shall be promptly exterminated by approved processes that will not be injurious to human health. After pest elimination, proper precautions shall be taken to eliminate rodent harborage and prevent infestation.
Premises and exterior property shall be maintained to prevent the accumulation of stagnant or flowing water in which mosquitoes breed or are likely to breed. Where mosquitoes are found, the water shall be promptly treated or maintained by approved processes that will not be injurious to human health so as to effectually prevent such breeding. After pest elimination, proper precautions shall be taken to eliminate the mosquito breeding habitat.
Section 302.8 (Motor vehicles) shall be amended to read as follows:
Section 302.8 (Nuisance and inoperable vehicles)
Except as provided for in other regulations, no nuisance vehicle shall be parked, kept or stored on any premises, and not more than one inoperable vehicle parked, kept or stored on any premises. Painting of vehicles is prohibited unless conducted inside an approved spray booth.
Exception: A vehicle of any type is permitted to undergo major overhaul, including body work, provided that such work is performed inside a structure or similarly enclosed area designed and approved for such purposes.
Section 302.10 shall be added to read as follows:
Section 302.10 (Unenclosed storage of firewood)
Unenclosed storage of firewood shall be located in the rear or side yards. Stockpiles shall not exceed the height of six feet or be stored in an unstable condition that would create a hazard.
Section 304.3 (Premises identification) shall be amended to read as follows:
Buildings shall have approved address numbers mounted in a secure fashion to be plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. These numbers shall contrast with their background. Address numbers shall be Arabic numerals or alphabet letters. Address numbers shall be not less than four inches (102 mm) in height with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch (12.7 mm). Address numbers shall be a minimum of 30 inches above ground level and so placed that trees, shrubs and other obstructions do not block the line of sight of the numbers from the street or road fronting the property.
If the address numbers cannot be affixed to the front of the building as required above due to obstructions, the address numbers shall be permitted to be secured to a post, rod or other type of fixture of substantial nature or a mailbox at or near the street or road, so as to be plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property.
Section 304.14 (Insect screens).
During the period from April 1 through October 31, every door, window and other outside opening required for ventilation purposes serving any structure containing habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged or stored, shall be supplied with approved tightly fitting screens of minimum 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm), and every screen door used for insect control shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.
Section 305.3 (Interior surfaces) shall be amended to read as follows:
Interior surfaces, including windows and doors, shall be maintained in good, clean and sanitary condition. Peeling, chipping, flaking or abraded paint shall be repaired, removed or covered. Cracked or loose plaster, decayed wood and other defective surface conditions shall be corrected. Mold shall be promptly removed.
Chapter 6 (Mechanical and Electrical Requirements).
Section 602.3 (Heat supply) shall be amended to read as follows:
Every owner and operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more dwelling units or sleeping units on terms, either expressed or implied, to furnish heat to the occupants thereof shall supply heat during the period from October 1 through May 31 to maintain a minimum temperature of 68° F. (20° C.) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.
Section 602.4 (Occupiable work spaces) shall be amended to read as follows:
Indoor occupiable work spaces shall be supplied with heat during the period from October 1 through May 31 to maintain a minimum temperature of 65° F. (18° C.) during the period the spaces are occupied.
Section 606 (Elevators, Escalators and Dumbwaiters) shall be deleted in its entirety.
This § 210-4 of the Code of the Borough of Middletown intends to codify for the use of the Borough the Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act, 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 6101 et seq. (the "Act"), and any amendments thereto. Amendments to the Act shall become effective in the Borough of Middletown 30 days after the Borough of Middletown duly advertises the enactment and publication of the same in a newspaper of general circulation.
The Council adopts the findings of the General Assembly and declares as follows:
There are deteriorated properties located in the Borough of Middletown as a result of neglect by their owners in violation of applicable state law and the Borough Code.
These deteriorated properties create public nuisances which have an impact on crime and the quality of life of Borough residents and require significant expenditures of public funds in order to abate and correct the nuisances.
In order to address these situations, it is appropriate to deny certain Borough permits and approvals in order:
To prohibit property owners from further extending their financial commitments so as to render themselves unable to abate or correct the Code violations or tax delinquencies.
To reduce the likelihood that the Borough will have to address the owners' neglect and resulting deteriorated properties.
To sanction the owners for not adhering to their legal obligations to the Commonwealth and the Borough, as well as to tenants, adjoining property owners and neighborhoods.
Definitions. The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
- Any director, officer, servant, employee or other person authorized to act on behalf of a corporation or association, and in the case of an unincorporated association, a member of such association.
- BOROUGH PERMITS
- Privileges relating to real property granted by the Borough, including, but not limited to, building permits, exceptions to the Zoning Ordinance of the Borough of Middletown, the Middletown Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (the "Zoning Ordinance") and occupancy permits. The term includes approvals pursuant to land use ordinances other than decisions on the substantive validity of the Zoning Ordinance or map or the acceptance of a curative amendment.
- A residential, commercial or industrial building or structure and the land appurtenant to it.
- The term does not include a municipal authority.
- The Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County.
- MORTGAGE LENDER
- A business association defined as a banking institution or mortgage lender under 7 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 61 (relating to mortgage loan industry licensing and consumer protection) that is in possession of or holds title to real property pursuant to, in enforcement of, or to protect rights arising under a mortgage, mortgage note, deed of trust or other transaction that created a security interest in the real property.
- A holder of the title to residential, commercial or industrial real estate, other than a mortgage lender, who possesses and controls the real estate. The term includes, but is not limited to, heirs, assigns, beneficiaries and lessees, provided this ownership is a matter of public record.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Property which, because of its physical condition or use, is regarded as a public nuisance at common law or has been declared by the appropriate official a public nuisance in accordance with the Borough Code.
- SERIOUS VIOLATION
- A violation of a State law or a Borough Code that poses an imminent threat to the health and safety of a dwelling occupant, occupants in surrounding structures or a passersby.
- STATE LAW
- A statute of the commonwealth or a regulation of an agency charged with the administration and enforcement of commonwealth law.
- SUBSTANTIAL STEP
- An affirmative action, as determined by the relevant Borough official or officer of the court, on the part of a property owner or managing agent to remedy a serious violation of a state law or the Borough Code, including, but not limited to, physical improvements or repairs to the property, which affirmative action is subject to appeal in accordance with applicable law.
In addition to any other remedy available at law or in equity, the Borough may institute the following actions against the owner of any real property that is in serious violation of the Borough Code or for failure to correct a condition which causes the property to be regarded as a public nuisance:
An in personam action may be initiated for a continuing violation for which the owner takes no substantial step to correct within six months following receipt of an order to correct the violation unless the order is subject to a pending appeal before the Board of Appeals or court.
Notwithstanding any law limiting the form of action for the recovery of penalties by the Borough for the violation of the Borough Code, the Borough may recover, in a single action under this section, an amount equal to any penalties imposed against the owner and any costs of remediation lawfully incurred by or on behalf of the Borough to remedy any Borough Code violation.
A proceeding in equity.
General rule. A lien may be placed against the assets of an owner of real property that is in serious violation of the Borough Code or is regarded as a public nuisance after a judgment, decree or order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction against the owner of the property for an adjudication under Subsection D (relating to actions).
Construction. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize, in the case of an owner that is a corporation, association or trust, a lien on the individual assets of the general partner, agent or trustee, except as otherwise allowed by law, limited partner, shareholder, member or beneficiary of the association or trust.
Duty of out-of-state owners of property in the Borough. A person or other responsible party who lives or has a principal place of residence outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who owns or is responsible for property in the Borough against which Borough Code violations have been cited and the person is charged under 18 Pa.C.S.A. (relating to crimes and offenses), and who has been properly notified of the violations, may be extradited pursuant to § 6113 of the Act, 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 6113, to the commonwealth to face criminal prosecution to the full extent allowed and in the manner authorized by 42 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 91 (relating to detainers and extradition).
Duty of corporation, association and trust owners. Where, after reasonable efforts, service of process for a notice or citation for any Borough Code violation for any real property owned by a corporation, association or trust cannot be accomplished by handing a copy of the notice or citation to an agent, executive officer, partner or trustee of the corporation, association or trust or to the manager, trustee or clerk in charge of the property, the delivery of the notice or citation may occur by registered, certified or United States express mail, accompanied by a delivery confirmation:
To the registered office of the corporation, association or trust.
Where the corporation, association or trust does not have a registered office, to the mailing address used for real estate tax collection purposes if accompanied by the posting of a conspicuous notice to the property and by handing a copy of the notice or citation to the person in charge of the property at that time.
In the case of a corporation, notice shall be sent to the registered office on file with the Department of State.
Failure to comply with a Borough Code requirement.
Offense defined. The owner of real property commits the offense of failure to comply with a Borough Code requirement if all of the following:
The owner of real property has been convicted of a second or subsequent serious violation of the same provision of the Borough Code for the same property.
The violation poses a threat to the public's health, safety or property and the owner has not taken a substantial step to correct the violation.
The violation is considered a public nuisance and the owner has not made a reasonable attempt to correct the violation.
Grading. Failure to comply with a Borough Code requirement shall constitute a:
Misdemeanor of the second degree if the offense is a second conviction of a serious violation of the same provision of the Borough Code relating to the same property.
Misdemeanor of the first degree if the offense is based on three or more convictions of serious violations of the same provision of the Borough Code relating to the same property.
Municipal permit denial.
For purposes of this section, "Board" shall mean the Middletown Borough Council or Middletown Zoning Hearing Board or other body granted jurisdiction to render decisions in accordance with the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L. 805, No. 247), known as the "Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code."
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
The Borough or Board under Subsection (c) may deny issuing to an applicant a Borough permit if the applicant owns real property in the Borough for which there exists on the real property:
A final and unappealable tax, water, sewer or refuse collection delinquency on account of the actions of the owner; or
A serious violation of state law or the Borough Code and the owner has taken no substantial steps to correct the violation within six months following notification of the violation and for which fines or other penalties or a judgment to abate or correct were imposed by a magisterial district judge or municipal court, or a judgment at law in equity was imposed by a court of common pleas. However, no denial shall be permitted on the basis of a property for which the judgment, order or decree is subject to a stay or supersedeas by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction or automatically allowed by statute or rule of court until the stay or supersedeas is lifted by the court or a higher court or the stay or supersedeas expires as otherwise provided by law. Where a stay or supersedeas is in effect, the property owner shall so advise the Borough.
Editor's Note: See 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 6131(c).
The Borough or Board shall not deny a Borough permit to an applicant if the Borough permit is necessary to correct a violation of state law or Borough Code.
The Borough permit denial shall not apply to an applicant's delinquency on taxes, water, sewer or refuse collection charges that are under appeal or otherwise contested through a court or administrative process.
In issuing a denial of a permit based on an applicant's delinquency in real property taxes or municipal charges or for failure to abate a serious violation of state law or the Borough Code on real property that the applicant owns in the Borough, the Borough or Board shall indicate the street address and county in which the property is located and the court and docket number for each parcel cited as basis for the denial. The denial shall also state that the applicant may request a letter of compliance from the Borough in a form specified by the Borough as provided in this section.
Proof of compliance.
All municipal permits denied in accordance with this subsection may be withheld until an applicant obtains a letter from the Borough indicating the following:
The property in questions has no final and unappealable tax, water, sewer or refuse delinquencies;
The property in question is now in state law and Borough Code compliance; or
The owner of the property has presented and Borough staff or the relevant board accepted a plan to begin remediation of a serious violation of state law or the Borough Code. Acceptance of the plan may be contingent on:
Beginning the remediation plan within no fewer than 30 days following acceptance of the plan or sooner if mutually agreeable to both the property owner and the Borough.
Completing the remediation plan within no fewer than 90 days following commencement of the plan or sooner if mutually agreeable to both the property owner and the Borough.
In the event that the Borough or relevant board fails to issue a letter indicating tax, water, sewer, refuse, state law or Borough Code compliance or noncompliance, as the case may be, within 45 days of the request, the property in question shall be deemed to be in compliance for the purpose of this section. The appropriate Borough or relevant board shall specify the form in which the request for a compliance letter shall be made.
Letters required under this section shall be verified by the appropriate Borough officials before issuing to the applicant a Borough permit.
Borough permits may be denied in accordance with the requirements of this section to the extent that approval of the Borough permit is within the jurisdiction of the Board.
In any proceeding before a board other than the Borough Council, the Borough may appear to present evidence that the applicant is subject to a denial by the board in accordance with this section.
Conflict with other law. In the event of a conflict between the requirements of this section and state or federal requirements applicable to demolition, disposition or redevelopment of buildings, structures or land owned by or held in trust for the Government of the United States or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the federal or state requirements shall prevail.
Relief for inherited property. Where property is inherited by will or intestacy, the devisee or heir shall be given the opportunity to make payments on reasonable terms to correct Borough Code violations or to enter into a remediation agreement under § 6131(b)(1)(iii) (relating to Borough permit denial) with the Borough to avoid subjecting the devisee's or heir's other properties to asset attachment or denial or permits and approvals on other properties owned by the devisee or heir.
Editor's Note: See 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 6131(b)(1)(iii).
Construction. Nothing in this section shall be construed to abridge or alter the remedies now existing at common law or by statute, but the provisions of this section are in addition to such remedies.