[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Schwenksville as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-9-2019 by Ord. No. 398.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 124, Rental Occupancy Reports and Registration, adopted 12-13-2007 by Ord. No. 343.
The purpose of this article and the policy of the Council of Schwenksville Borough shall be to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its residents relating to the owners and occupants of certain residential rental units within the Borough and to encourage owners to maintain and improve the conditions of rental housing within the Borough, through an ordinance to register, inspect and permit residential rental units.
This article is enacted under the authority of the Borough Code of Pennsylvania, specifically Sections 1202(4), (5) and (15).
Editor's Note: See 8 Pa.C.S.A. § 1202(4), (5), and (15).
This article shall be applicable to all types of residential properties or rental units and mixed-use properties. Commercial properties require inspection prior to a change in tenant or a change in use pursuant to Zoning Code, Chapter 176 of the Schwenksville Borough Codified Code, but are not subject to the annual registration requirement.
Exemption. An owner-occupied unit in a rental building is not subject to the inspection requirement.
Existing rental units.
The owner(s) or manager of any residential or mixed-use property used as a rental unit or containing a rental unit or units shall register annually said property and all rental units with the Schwenksville Borough Secretary on a form supplied by Schwenksville Borough. Rental registration fees for properties/units shall be established by Borough Council from time to time by resolution.
The owner(s) or manager of any residential or mixed-use property used as a rental unit or containing rental units shall complete a change in tenancy form, apply for a use and occupancy permit and complete the inspection process prior to occupancy of the unit by a new tenant at any time.
New rental units.
Single-family residences proposed for use as rental properties shall be registered and shall be inspected as required by Borough Code prior to any occupancy.
Inspection. No person shall let to another for occupancy any rental unit subject to this article, unless that subject property is first current and up-to-date on its registration and, second, the property owner has received a certificate of occupancy following an inspection of the rental property with the Schwenksville Borough Code Enforcement Officer. The owner or property manager is required to apply for a rental use and occupancy permit and schedule an inspection. Following the inspection and prior to issuing a certificate of occupancy, the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect and determine that the rental unit meets or exceeds the minimum standards required, as more specifically described in Chapter 121, Property Maintenance.
Registration forms shall be available in Borough Hall. Information required to be submitted shall include but not be limited to the following:
Name, address, telephone number and email address of property owner;
Address and location of rental unit or units;
Name, address and telephone number of rental agent (if applicable);
Number of rental units located in/on the rental property;
Identification and description of each rental unit, including the number of bedrooms and number of parking spaces allocated;
Name and phone number of each tenant/occupant for each specific unit.
Registration is required to be completed prior to occupancy and shall be updated annually thereafter no later than March 15 of the next calendar year. It shall be deemed complete when the owner has submitted the information required in § 124-5, Information to be provided on rental registration, above to the Borough Secretary.
A change in tenancy form is required to be submitted along with an application for a use and occupancy permit and inspection prior to reoccupancy of a unit by a new tenant. The change in tenancy form may be submitted no later than 15 days after occupancy if unknown at the time of the inspection.
The Code Enforcement Officer appointed by the Borough shall issue a certificate of occupancy for an individual rental unit only if the unit is properly registered, and after it has passed inspection.
No person shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit unless he/she first registers the residential rental property and obtains a certificate of occupancy issued by the Code Enforcement Officer appointed by the Borough.
If there is a change in tenancy less than three months after the issuance of a rental certificate of occupancy or within three months of a property transfer certificate of occupancy, the Code Enforcement Officer may wave the inspection requirement and issue an updated certificate of occupancy at his discretion.
Any rental registration and certificate of occupancy issued under the provisions of this article shall terminate upon the transfer of ownership of the rental property.
A resale property transfer inspection and certificate of occupancy is required prior to the sale of all residential properties in accordance with Chapter 121 of the Schwenksville Borough Codified Code.
Thereafter, the new owners shall, within 30 days, register the new residential rental property for each residential rental unit.
The Borough Treasurer shall charge every person, firm or corporation owning a rental unit within the Borough of Schwenksville, before making such inspections as will be necessary for the registration or renewal of registration and inspection fee(s), to be determined from time to time by resolution, which shall defray the expense of and compensate the Borough for costs incurred administering this article.
At the time of inspection and prior to issuing a certificate of occupancy, the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect and determine that each rental unit meets or exceeds the standards set forth in the rental unit Property Maintenance Checklist, which is iterated in Chapter 121 of the Codified Code and which shall be attached to the application form used to schedule an inspection.
The Council of the Borough of Schwenksville may implement and adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement this article, so long as they are not inconsistent with any provisions of this article or are not otherwise prohibited by law.
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the conditions of the dwelling, dwelling unit, and premises offered for rent within the Borough of Schwenksville, under the scope of this article, in order to safeguard the health and safety of the occupants thereof and the general public. He/she is further authorized to enter (by way of appointment or other manner provided for under Borough ordinance) for purposes of examining and surveying all of the habitable premises at a reasonable time to guarantee compliance with the requirements Chapter 121 and Chapter 124 of the Codified Code of Schwenksville Borough. Each occupant of such premises or operator in charge thereof shall extend to the Code Enforcement Officer access to such premises for the purpose of making any inspection, examination or survey. The Code Enforcement Officer may reinspect any property for which a certificate of occupancy has been issued upon receiving complaints from the tenant or any third party or when reinspection is necessary, when said premises is not in compliance with codes referenced herein.
Entry to premises shall be authorized:
When entry is by permission or at the request of the occupant/owner, including authorized inspections pursuant to § 124-13;
Where an imminent danger to health and safety exists; and
Following an accident or inherent condition where immediate inspection is required to determine if imminent danger to health and safety exists.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the Court. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
A property owner who has received notice for violation of this article may, in addition to any remedies available under the law, appeal to Borough Council within 30 days of receiving the notice.
Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or wording of this article be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remainder of this article shall not be affected thereby and shall remain in full force and effect, and for this reason the provisions of this article shall be severable.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances which clearly are inconsistent with this article are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
This article shall become effective in accordance with the provisions of the Borough Code.