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Township of Lower Merion, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Lower Merion 6-20-1934 by Ord. No. 475. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fair housing — See Ch. 75.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 135.
Realty transfer tax — See Ch. 138, Art. I.
Zoning — See Ch. 155.
A registry of the ownership of all real estate in the Township of Lower Merion, County of Montgomery and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is hereby established.
[Added 12-16-1970 by Ord. No. 1630]
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGREEMENT OF SALE
Any agreement or written instrument which provides that title to any property shall thereafter be transferred from one owner to another owner and shall include inter alia written leases which contain options to purchase the leased property and leases which provide that the lessees of the property shall acquire title thereto after the payment of a stipulated number of regular rent payments or after a stipulated period of time.
[Added 4-20-1994 by Ord. No. 3357]
CONDOMINIUM
Real estate, portions of which are designated for separate ownership and the remainder of which is designated for common ownership solely by the owners of those portions and organized in accordance with the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act, 68 Pa.C.S.A. § 3101 et seq.
[Amended 9-18-1985 by Ord. No. 2085]
OWNER
Any person, partnership, association, corporation or fiduciary having legal or equitable title or any interest in any real property. Whenever used in any clause prescribing or imposing a penalty, the term "owner," as applied to partnerships and associations, shall mean the partners or members thereof; and as applied to corporations, the officers thereof.
[Added 4-20-1994 by Ord. No. 3357]
PROPERTY
All real property situate in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
[Added 4-20-1994 by Ord. No. 3357]
REAL ESTATE
Includes a condominium.
[Amended 12-16-1970 by Ord. No. 1630]
The Township Engineer shall cause to be made all necessary books, maps and plans as will show the location and dimensions of each property, including each condominium, in the Township; the house number, if any; the number of the condominium; and the name of the owner or owners thereof, with blank spaces to insert the names of future owners and the dates of future transfers of title. All such books, maps and plans shall be carefully preserved and shall be so kept, by additions from time to time, as to show at all times the ownership of every lot or piece of real estate, or subdivision thereof, and the ownership of every condominium within the Township, with the succeeding transmissions of title from the date of this chapter.
[Amended 12-16-1970 by Ord. No. 1630; 2-18-2009 by Ord. No. 3876]
A. 
All persons acquiring title to real estate and to a condominium or condominiums within the Township, whether by purchase, devise or partition or in any other manner whatsoever, or the agent of such persons, shall furnish to the Township Engineer, at his office in the Township Building, within two business days after recording a deed or other conveyance by which such title was acquired, descriptions of their respective properties upon blanks to be furnished by the Township and, at the same time, present their conveyances or other instruments to be stamped by the Township Engineer, as evidence of the registration thereof. As an alternative to the use of a Township form, a copy of the deed or other conveyance may be delivered to the Township, forwarded by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or forwarded by electronically sending an image of the deed as submitted for recording to the Township. In each case a copy of the real estate transfer tax certificate delivered to the Recorder of Deeds must accompany the copy of the deed or other conveyance.
B. 
A registration fee as set forth in Chapter A167 must accompany any copy of a deed or other conveyance, or, if the deed is forwarded electronically, must be delivered or mailed, first class prepaid, to the Township within seven business days after recordation.
[Amended 12-16-1970 by Ord. No. 1630; 9-21-1977 by Ord. No. 1802; 8-3-1988 by Ord. No. 3104]
Any person, firm or corporation neglecting or refusing to comply with the provisions of this chapter for a period of 30 days after public notice of the requirements hereof shall be liable to a penalty of not exceeding $600, to be recovered with costs of suit before any District Justice as like fines or penalties are now by law collected.
[Added 4-20-1994 by Ord. No. 3357]
A. 
Statements of legislative intent. The Board of Commissioners finds that many purchasers of property in Lower Merion Township are not aware of the zoning district classification of their property and the limitations imposed upon the use of their property by Township codes, including the requirement that sidewalks and curbs be kept in good repair, that all homes be equipped with smoke detectors and that the number of all buildings be conspicuously posted in such manner that it is visible and legible from the street. In order to prevent undue hardship and losses imposed on such purchasers, the Board of Commissioners has determined that the sellers of a property shall be required to deliver to the purchasers not later than at settlement the certifications required herein.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner to sell his property, or an interest therein, or for a purchaser to acquire a property, or an interest therein, unless the owner shall first deliver to the purchaser at or prior to the time for settlement the following certifications:
[Amended 2-18-2009 by Ord. No. 3876]
(1) 
Zoning and use classification.
(2) 
Curbing and sidewalk certificate of good repair.
(3) 
Smoke detector installation.
(4) 
Building number posting.
C. 
Zoning and use classification. Upon application, the Lower Merion Township Zoning Officer shall certify the zoning district classification of the property to be sold and whether the use of the property as represented by the applicant conforms to Township Code.
(1) 
Agreements of sale. Every owner shall insert in every agreement for the sale of property located in Lower Merion Township a provision setting forth the zoning district classification of such property and a provision warranting the use to which the property is being put as being in compliance with the Township Code. Such agreements may further provide that in making such statements and proving such warranties, the owner may rely upon certification issued by the Lower Merion Township Zoning Officer.
(a) 
If the owner fails to include the zoning district classification in an agreement of sale, it shall be conclusively presumed that at the time of signing such agreement the owner represented and warranted to the purchaser that such property was being used in compliance with the then existing provisions of the Township Zoning Code.
(2) 
Application for certification statement. The application for certification statement shall be made on forms provided by the Township and shall set forth such information as the Zoning Officer may require including the following: the address of the property; the name and address of the current owners and proposed purchasers, if known, together with their authorized agents, if any; a complete statement of the current use or uses to which the property is being put.
D. 
Curbing and sidewalk certificate of good repair. Upon application, the Director of Building and Planning shall determine whether the curbing and sidewalks adjacent to a property are in good repair as required by Chapter 133 of the Township Code.
[Amended 1-19-2002 by Ord. No. 3631]
(1) 
The Director shall issue a certification if the curbing and sidewalks are found to be in good repair.
(2) 
If not found to be in good repair, the Director shall issue a report within five business days of the inspection which shall clearly describe the violation and the remedial action required for compliance. Upon correction of any violation, the applicant shall notify the Director, in writing, for a reinspection which shall be conducted within five days from such notification.
(3) 
The Director may issue a conditional certification upon payment to the Township of the estimated costs of repairs and inspection, plus an administrative fee of 10%, and delivery of an authorization signed by the owners and prospective purchasers for the Township to perform the required work.
E. 
Smoke detector installation. The owners shall certify that smoke detectors have been installed as required by Chapters 78 and 92 of the Township Code and that such smoke detectors are properly functioning.
F. 
Building number posting. The owners shall certify that building numbers have been conspicuously posted in such manner that they are visible and legible from the street as required by Chapter 64 of the Township Code.
G. 
Application procedures.
(1) 
Applications shall be submitted on forms provided by the Township, shall be completely filled out and shall be accompanied by a fee, the amount of which shall be set by the Board of Commissioners.
(2) 
The application for a certificate under this section shall constitute authorization for the Township to inspect the premises being transferred. Such inspection shall not be required, however, and the Township may rely solely upon the representations made in the application for certification as the basis for issuance of a certificate.
(3) 
The Township shall respond to an application within 20 days of its receipt.
H. 
Penalties.
(1) 
No deed will be registered by the Township unless the certifications required by this section have been issued and copies thereof furnished with the application for registration.
(2) 
Any owner who shall fail to provide the purchaser with the certifications required by this section and whose property failed to comply with the requirements for certification shall be guilty of violating the provisions of this section and, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, shall be subject to payment of a civil fine of not more than $600 and costs of prosecution, in addition to such other remedies as may be provided by law or equity.