Borough of Ephrata, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Ephrata 8-12-1991 by Ord. No. 1211; amended in its entirety 9-11-2017 by Ord. No. 1537. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Attachment 1 - Appendix A: Addendum to Residential Rental Agreement
The purpose of this chapter and the policy of the Borough of Ephrata is to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens, to establish rights and obligations of owners and occupants relating to residential rental units in the Borough and to encourage owners and occupants to maintain and improve the quality of rental housing within the Borough. In furtherance of these objectives, this chapter provides for a systematic inspection program permitting of residential rental units, and penalties.
A. 
The provisions, regulations, duties, limitations and restrictions of this chapter shall apply to the use and occupancy of all residential rental units within the Borough of Ephrata unless otherwise expressly exempted as provided for in § 253-6 herein.
B. 
No provision, regulation, duty, limitation or restriction of this chapter shall penalize a resident, tenant or landlord for a contact made for police or emergency assistance by or on behalf of a victim of abuse as defined in 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6102 (relating to definitions), a victim of a crime pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. (relating to crimes and offenses) or an individual in an emergency pursuant to 35 Pa.C.S.A. § 8103 (relating to definitions), if the contact was made based upon the reasonable belief of the person making the contact that intervention or emergency assistance was necessary to prevent the perpetration or escalation of the abuse, crime or emergency or if the intervention or emergency assistance was actually needed in response to the abuse, crime or emergency.
Approvals issued pursuant to this chapter shall not relieve an owner of the responsibility to secure such other permits or approvals for activities or uses regulated by any other applicable code, rule, act, or ordinance.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meanings indicated as follows:
BED-AND-BREAKFAST
The use and occupancy of a single-family detached dwelling accommodating transient guests for rent.
BOARDINGHOUSE
A building in which the owner or tenant rents at least one (but not more than five) residential rental units, regardless of whether or not meals are furnished.
BOROUGH
The Borough of Ephrata, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
CODE
Any state or local code or ordinance adopted, enacted and/or in effect in and for the Borough of Ephrata concerning fitness for habitation or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use or appearance of any premises or residential rental unit, including, but not limited to, the Uniform Construction Code (hereinafter "UCC"), the International Property Maintenance Code, International Plumbing Code, International Fire Prevention Code, the International Building Code and any duly enacted amendment or supplement to any of the above and any new enactment falling within this definition, codified as Chapter 245 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Property Maintenance; the Zoning Ordinance, codified as Chapter 319 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata; the Municipal Waste Management Ordinance, codified as Chapter 271 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata; Nuisance Property Regulations, codified as Chapter 218 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata; Act 37 of 2014, 8 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq., the Borough Code; and the general public nuisance laws of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR OFFICIAL
A sworn or nonsworn person and any assistant or deputy thereof designated or assigned by Borough Council or its Borough Manager the duties to enforce this chapter, including the performance of inspections, issuance of residential rental permits and issuance of citations, their designated assistants or agents and those code enforcement officials and officials of the Borough of Ephrata as defined in Chapter 245 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Property Maintenance, and other ordinances of the Borough of Ephrata; and any authorized member or officer of the Ephrata Borough Police Department or other law enforcement organization having appropriate jurisdiction.
COMMON AREA
Any open area within a structure shared by occupants or that the occupants have the right to share, including, but not limited to, kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, attics, hallways, basements and any room, porch or yard used for parties, social events or the congregation of people, excepting bedrooms.
COUNTY
The County of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms intended to be occupied by one family as separate living quarters, containing sanitary facilities, kitchen facilities and having outside access directly from the dwelling unit or through a common hall.
GROUP HOME
A residential facility licensed under an applicable state program occupied as a residence by one full-time resident supervisor and not more than five residents who receive twenty-four-hour resident supervision in a single-family residential setting.
GUEST
A person on the premises with the actual or implied consent of an occupant.
HOTEL
A building or group of buildings containing six or more individual rooms for rent, primarily for transients, with common hallways for all rooms on the same floor, and where no provision is made for cooking in any individual room or suite. "Hotel" does not include institutional or educational uses, buildings where human beings are housed under legal constraint, bed-and-breakfasts or campgrounds. The term "hotel" shall be synonymous with "motel."
HOTEL UNIT
Any room or group of rooms located within a hotel or motel, forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping only on a transient basis for a period of less than 15 consecutive days.
LANDLORD
A lessor, or person(s) who act as agent for the lessor, of any parcel of real estate located within the Borough of Ephrata, or a lessor, or person(s) who act as agent for the lessor, of any improvements on real estate or any building located within the Borough of Ephrata; any person who owns and leases all or any part of his or her real estate to another person for a dwelling unit for a consideration, monetary or otherwise, or who owns and permits another person to use or occupy all or a part of his real estate for a dwelling unit with or without consideration.
MANAGER or RESPONSIBLE AGENT
A person retained by an owner to be responsible for one or more residential rental units within the Borough and who is authorized by the owner as the agent of the owner for service of process, receiving of notices and demands; and performing the duties and obligations of a manager or responsible agent as set forth in this chapter.
OCCUPANT
Any person over one year of age living and sleeping in a residential rental unit or having actual possession of said residential rental unit; any individual who resides in a residential rental unit, whether or not he or she is the owner thereof, with whom a legal relationship with the owner/landlord is established by a lease or by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
OWNER
The person who holds record title and/or the equitable owner under an agreement of sale of a property upon which a residential rental unit is erected or maintained. If more than one person owns the residential rental unit as joint tenants, tenants in common, tenants by the entireties, or tenants in co-partnership, each such person shall be considered an owner and shall have all of the duties of an owner under this chapter; any person, agent, operator, property management group, housing authority or fiduciary having legal, equitable or other interest in any real property; as recorded in the official records of the state, county or municipality as holding title to the real property; or otherwise having control of the real property, including the guardian of the estate of such person and the executor or administrator of such person's estate. When used in this chapter in a clause proscribing any activity or imposing a penalty, the term as applied to partnerships and associations, shall mean each general partner; as applied to corporations, the officers thereof; and as applied to limited liability companies, the members and any managers or responsible agents thereof; a landlord.
PAST DUE
Any real estate tax, sewer, electric or water usage charge or municipal trash collection fee for the residential rental unit that is not paid in full by the due date or dates established for such tax, charge or fee by the applicable service provider or taxing entity.
PERSON
A natural individual, unincorporated association, partnership, corporation, estate, trust or any other legally recognized entity, and the members of such partnership and the officers of such corporation.
PERSONAL CARE HOME
A premises in which food, shelter, and personal assistance or supervision are continually provided for four or more adults who are not relatives of the operator, who do not require the services in or of a licensed long-term facility, but who do require assistance or supervision in matters such as dressing, bathing, diet, financial management, evacuation of a residence in the event of an emergency, or medication prescribed for self-administration, and which meets the regulations of any applicable government licensing agency.
PREMISES
Any parcel of real estate within the Borough, including the land and all buildings and appurtenant structures, on which one or more residential rental units are located.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL AGREEMENT
A legally enforceable agreement between owner and tenant/occupant embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a regulated residential rental unit and executed by all parties subject to the agreement.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PERMIT
A document issued annually by the Code Enforcement Officer to the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager of a residential rental unit certifying the unit as permitted for being rented. Such permit is required for lawful rental and occupancy of residential rental units.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT
A rooming unit or a dwelling unit let for rent or a residential unit occupied by any persons other than one occupied solely by the owner and members of the owner's family. Each individual townhouse dwelling, each individual apartment unit, each individual unit in a multifamily building, and each rooming unit shall be considered a separate residential rental unit. If a structure contains a rooming unit or if any portion of the structure is let for rent, it shall be considered a residential rental unit whether or not the owner or a relative of the owner also resides in the structure. A residential rental unit includes dwelling units under lease-purchase agreements or long-term (greater than six months) agreements of sale; a transient dwelling; a hotel or motel unit; a boardinghouse room; a bed-and-breakfast facility.
ROOMING UNIT
A portion of a dwelling unit, including any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping but not for cooking purposes. Granting of permission to use shared or common cooking facilities may be associated with the leasing of a rooming unit.
TENANT
An occupant of a residential rental unit with whom a legal relationship with the owner as established by a lease or other enforceable agreement under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
TRANSIENT DWELLING
A one-family, two-family or multifamily dwelling which is not occupied exclusively by the owner thereof and each dwelling unit therein is not occupied pursuant to the terms of a written lease for more than 15 days during any one-month period or is occupied pursuant to a written lease with a term of less than one month.
No person shall let to another for occupancy any residential rental unit unless he or she shall first apply for and obtain annually a permit issued by the Codes Enforcement Office of the Borough of Ephrata in accordance with the provisions of § 253-10 of this chapter (Residential rental unit permitting) and it shall be unlawful for any person to conduct or operate or cause to be rented, either as owner or manager or responsible agent, any residential rental unit within the Borough without having a residential rental permit as required by this chapter.
A. 
The permitting provisions of this chapter shall not apply to hospitals; hotels, motels or transient dwelling properties, bed-and-breakfast establishments, group homes or those personal care homes or nursing homes that are permitted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The foregoing shall not exempt any exempt property or residential rental unit from the provisions of § 253-12 of this chapter (Inspection of units).
B. 
If a property containing a residential unit, or a residential rental unit is exempt as set forth in Subsection A of this section hereinabove, and is found to be in violation of a code or ordinance or law relating to any land use, property or housing maintenance regulation, the owner and, if applicable, the manager or responsible agent shall correct the violation(s) within the time frame cited by the code enforcement officer. In the event the violation(s) is/are not corrected or abated within any applicable period of time designated for such correction or abatement and no appeal from the notice of such violation is either taken or pending, the property and/or residential unit shall lose its exemption until the violation(s) is/are corrected. Upon the occurrence of three such code, or ordinance or laws relating to any land use, property or housing maintenance regulation, violations during any twelve-month period, the property and/or residential unit shall lose its exemption from the requirement to obtain a residential rental permit for a period of five years.
C. 
All occupants of residential rental units, whether or not the residential rental unit is exempt from the permitting requirements of this chapter, shall be subject to the provisions of § 253-9, (Duties of occupants) of this chapter.
A. 
It shall be the duty of every owner to:
(1) 
Retain a manager or responsible agent when this chapter requires that a manager or responsible agent be designated in accordance with the provisions of § 253-8 of this chapter.
(2) 
Obtain and maintain a valid and current residential rental permit for each residential rental unit.
(3) 
Maintain all residential rental units, including all common areas in compliance with all applicable state laws and regulations and codes of the Borough of Ephrata, including, but not limited to, Chapter 245, Property Maintenance, and Chapter 319, Zoning, and regularly perform all routine maintenance, including lawn mowing and ice and snow removal and promptly make any and all repairs necessary to fulfill this obligation.
(4) 
Correct any code violation(s) relating to the use and occupancy of a residential rental unit within the time frame cited by a code enforcement officer.
(5) 
Keep and maintain all premises in a clean, sanitary and safe condition.
(6) 
Employ policies to manage the residential rental units under his/her control in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, Borough Codes and applicable state laws.
(7) 
Pay or ensure payment of all real estate taxes; sewer, electric and water charges; and trash collection fees to ensure that such utilities are provided.
(8) 
Notify the Borough of changes in the occupancy of the residential rental unit and arrange for the inspection of the residential rental unit prior to any re-letting or occupancy in accordance with the requirements of § 253-13 of this chapter (Sale or transfer of units).
(9) 
Ensure trash and recyclable collection and disposal services are provided for and instruct tenants of the method of trash and recyclable collection (e.g., curbside or dumpster) and, if applicable, the day of the week of trash and recyclable pickup.
(10) 
Provide each tenant with a summary of the requirements of this chapter containing, at a minimum, the owner's and occupant's duties as set forth in §§ 253-7 and 253-9 of this chapter. Provision of a copy of this chapter to each tenant shall satisfy this requirement.
(11) 
Take all actions necessary to ensure that each residential rental unit is occupied by only one family. For the purposes of this subsection, a "family" shall be considered to be a family as that term is defined in Chapter 319 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Zoning, i.e., no more than four persons unrelated to all the others by blood, marriage, adoption or legal foster relationship.
(12) 
Require and maintain a written rental agreement for each residential rental unit which shall include the name of each tenant that will reside in the residential rental unit.
(13) 
Contact the Ephrata Borough Codes Enforcement Office to schedule required inspections.
(14) 
Provide upon reasonable notice and at reasonable times access to the Code Enforcement Officers of the Borough of Ephrata all residential rental units for the purposes of inspections and the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. The failure to permit such access shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.
(15) 
Include the "Addendum to Residential Rental Agreement"[1] in accordance with the provisions of § 253-11 of this chapter (Residential rental agreement), in each lease of a residential rental unit taking effect on or after the effective date of the ordinance enacting this chapter and provide an executed copy of the amendment to the code enforcement officers of the Borough of Ephrata upon request.
[1]
Editor's Note: The "Addendum to Residential Rental Agreement," Appendix A, is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(16) 
Maintain a copy of the residential rental permit for that unit as set forth in Subsection B of this section hereinbelow and provide a copy of the permit to each tenant.
(17) 
Provide upon request of a code enforcement officer a list of names of all tenants residing in the residential rental unit.
B. 
It shall be the responsibility of every owner and, if applicable, every manager or responsible agent to maintain and display in each residential rental unit the current permit identification number for the residential rental unit. In addition, the owner, manager or responsible agent shall maintain within each residential rental unit the following information:
(1) 
The name, mailing address and telephone number of the owner and manager or responsible agent and the telephone number or numbers of the owner and manager or responsible agent that shall be effective at all times for the purpose of contact by a code enforcement officer as set forth in § 253-8 hereinbelow.
(2) 
If applicable, the evenings on which garbage and recycling are to be placed curbside for collection.
(3) 
The telephone number to call to register complaints regarding the physical condition of the residential rental unit.
(4) 
The telephone number for emergency police, fire and medical services.
(5) 
Property address.
(6) 
Maximum occupancy per unit.
(7) 
A summary of the owner's and occupant's duties under this chapter.
C. 
In no event shall the existence of any agreement by lease or other contract between owner and occupant relieve an owner of any responsibility under this chapter or other ordinances or codes for maintenance of the premises.
D. 
If the owner has appointed a manager or responsible agent, the manager or responsible agent shall be jointly responsible to fulfill all of the obligations in Subsection A of this section. No owner may relieve himself or herself of the responsibility to perform the duties set forth in Subsection A hereinabove by appointing a manager or responsible agent.
A. 
No residential rental permit shall be issued to any owner who cannot demonstrate that he, she or their manager or responsible agent can at all times arrive at the residential rental unit for which the permit is sought within a time period of not more than 45 minutes from the time of an initial request to appear is made by a code enforcement officer to the phone number(s) provided by the owner for such purpose.
(1) 
If the owner of a residential rental unit cannot demonstrate that he or she can arrive at the residential rental unit for which the permit is sought within a time period of not more than 45 minutes from the time of an initial request to appear is made by a code enforcement officer to the phone number(s) provided for such purpose, then the owner shall, as a condition for the issuance of a residential rental permit, designate a person to serve as the manager or responsible agent who shall comply with the forty-five-minute response time set forth hereinabove.
(2) 
If the owner is a corporation, it shall designate a person to serve as the manager or responsible agent who shall comply with the forty-five-minute response time set forth hereinabove.
(3) 
If the owner is a partnership or a limited liability company, it shall designate a person to serve as the manager or responsible agent who shall comply with the forty-five-minute response time set forth hereinabove. Any partner or member may perform the same function as a manager or responsible agent with regard to the forty-five-minute response time set forth hereinabove.
B. 
The manager or responsible agent shall be the agent of the owner for service of process and receiving of notices and demands, as well as for performing the obligations of the owner under this chapter. The identity, address and telephone number(s) of a person who is designated as manager or responsible agent shall be provided by the owner to the Borough and such information shall be kept current. For the purpose of this subsection, a post office box is not acceptable for the manager's or responsible agent's address. This designation shall not be valid unless signed by the owner and the manager or responsible agent designated to act on behalf of the owner. The owner shall notify the code enforcement officer within 10 calendar days of any change in the name or address of the manager or responsible agent.
C. 
A manager or responsible agent must be authorized to receive notices and communications necessary or deemed to be appropriate under the terms of the Codes of the Borough and to accept service of process of initial and subsequent pleadings on behalf of the owner or operator which may be necessary or deemed to be appropriate for the enforcement of the Codes of the Borough; provided, however that nothing contained herein shall affect the right of the Borough to submit notices and communications directly to the owner, rather than to the manager or responsible agent, or to serve process and initial and subsequent pleadings in any other manner permitted by law.
D. 
The failure to designate a manager or responsible agent in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall result in the revocation or denial of a residential rental permit.
Each occupant of a residential rental unit shall have the following duties:
A. 
Comply with all obligations of this chapter and all applicable codes and Borough ordinances, as well as all state laws and regulations.
B. 
Conduct himself/herself and require other persons, including, but not limited to, guests on the premises and within their residential rental unit with their consent, to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the premises by others and that will not disturb the peaceful enjoyment of adjacent or nearby dwellings by people occupying the same.
C. 
Not engage in, nor tolerate, nor permit others on the premises to cause damage to the residential rental unit or engage in violations of this chapter, codes, Borough ordinances, or applicable state laws.
D. 
Use the trash and recyclable collection services provided by the owner unless the tenant has otherwise contracted with a collection service.
E. 
Use the residential rental unit for no purpose other than as a residence and such other accessory uses permitted by Chapter 319 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Zoning.
F. 
Maintain the residential rental unit in a manner meeting all requirements for occupants of structures set forth in Chapter 245 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Property Maintenance.
G. 
Allow the code enforcement officer to inspect the residential rental unit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter upon reasonable notice and at reasonable times.
H. 
Not allow persons other than those identified on the lease to reside in the residential rental unit.
I. 
Not allow the residential rental unit to be occupied by more than one family. For the purposes of this subsection, a "family" shall be considered to be a family as that term is defined in Chapter 319 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Zoning, i.e., no more than four persons unrelated to all the others by blood, marriage, adoption or legal foster relationship.
J. 
Not engage in, nor tolerate, nor permit others on the premises of the residential rental unit to engage in, any conduct declared illegal under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.; the Pennsylvania Liquor Code (47 P.S. § 1-101 et seq.); or the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq.) or which is otherwise in violation of any code, Borough ordinance or other applicable law that regulates the use, occupancy, construction, maintenance or condition of the residential rental unit or premises.
K. 
Ensure that the maximum number of persons permitted in the residential rental unit at any time shall not exceed the occupancy requirements of Chapter 245 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Property Maintenance, § 245-404.5, as amended from time to time.
L. 
Maintain all batteries installed in each provided smoke and carbon monoxide alarm at all times during tenant's occupancy of the residential rental unit and do not otherwise tamper with or disable any such alarm.
A. 
The owner, manager or responsible agent of each residential rental unit shall annually apply for and obtain from the Codes Enforcement Office a residential rental permit for each residential rental unit. A residential rental unit permit shall be valid for a period of one year or portion thereof and shall expire on November 30 of each year. The Borough, as a courtesy, may forward a notice that a residential rental permit will expire and must be renewed, but the failure of the Borough to send such notice or the failure of the owner, manager or responsible agent to receive such notice shall not excuse the owner, manager or responsible agent of a residential rental unit from making an application to obtain and/or renew a residential rental unit permit.
B. 
The code enforcement officer shall issue a residential rental permit or a residential rental permit renewal provided that:
(1) 
The owner provides the name, address and phone number of a manager or responsible agent (if applicable) and the telephone number or numbers of the owner and manager or responsible agent that shall be effective at all times for the purpose of contact by a Code Enforcement Officer as set forth in § 253-8 of this chapter;
(2) 
The owner pays the residential rental unit permit fee which shall be established by ordinance or resolution of the Borough Council;
(3) 
The owner submits a complete and accurate listing of the number of occupants for the residential rental unit to demonstrate compliance with applicable restrictions on the number of occupants as set forth in the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Chapters 245, Property Maintenance, and 319, Zoning;
(4) 
All real estate taxes; sewer, electric and water rate charges; and municipal trash collection fees for the residential rental unit are paid and not past due;
(5) 
No portion of the property containing the residential rental unit, including the residential rental unit, is in violation of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Property Maintenance, (Chapter 245), Zoning (Chapter 319), Noise Control (Chapter 214), Nuisance Properties (Chapter 218), or has been condemned or declared a public nuisance as provided for by law.
C. 
The code enforcement officer shall deny or revoke a residential rental permit upon the occurrence of any of the following, provided that before any occurrence referred to in this Subsection C shall be considered a violation, there must be a written notice of the violation communicated, in writing, from a code enforcement officer to the owner, manager or responsible agent within 15 business days of the date of the incident or event of noncompliance; and a final determination has been rendered by the Property Maintenance and Codes Appeals Board (hereinafter referred to as the "Appeals Board") pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 4 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata; or a summary conviction has been rendered before a court of competent jurisdiction; and/or the applicable period for the owner or other person aggrieved to file an appeal from the determination of the code enforcement officer, determination of the Appeals Board, or summary conviction must have expired, provided that no occurrence shall be considered a violation as hereinabove set forth where such occurrence was included in an accelerated rehabilitative disposition pursuant to the provisions of Pa.R.Crim.P. § 300 et seq. and the defendant has completed all conditions of that disposition:
(1) 
The owner does not provide the current name, address and phone number of a manager or responsible agent (if applicable) and the telephone number or numbers of the owner and manager or responsible agent that shall be effective at all times for the purpose of contact by a Code Enforcement Officer as set forth in § 253-8 of this chapter.
(2) 
Any real estate tax; sewer, electric or water usage charge; or municipal trash collection fee for the residential rental unit is past due or is otherwise not paid in full by the due date or dates established for such tax, charge or fee by the applicable service provider or taxing entity.
(3) 
The owner fails to pay the annual residential rental unit permit fee.
(4) 
The owner fails to submit a complete an accurate number of occupants as set forth in Section B(3) hereinabove for the residential rental unit with the application for renewal of the residential rental unit permit or within seven business days after a change in the identity of any of the occupants of the residential rental unit.
(5) 
The owner has failed to correct a code violation, including Chapter 245 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Property Maintenance, within the time specified in the notice of violation, unless an appeal is pending.
(6) 
The property or residential rental unit has been declared and adjudicated a public nuisance as provided for by 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6504 or has been determined to be a nuisance property as provided for by Chapter 218 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Nuisance Properties.
(7) 
The owner violates any of the provisions of § 253-7 (owner's duties).
(8) 
The owner fails to pay all fees referred to in this Subsection C. The aforesaid fees shall be considered late if not paid in full within 30 days from the date of the expiration of the residential rental unit permit or from the date of any invoice or written demand for payment thereof.
(9) 
The occurrence of any violation of this chapter and/or of any other Borough Code or ordinance committed by an owner or tenant that relates to the residential rental unit or premises during the term of the permit that constitutes an unlawful use, occupancy or maintenance condition or otherwise poses an imminent risk to the health and safety of the occupants of the residential rental unit or premises.
(10) 
The occurrence of three violations of this chapter and/or of any other Borough Code or ordinance committed by an owner or tenant that regulate the use, maintenance and/or occupancy of the residential rental unit or premises during the term of the permit whether or not such violations relate to the lawful occupancy or pose an imminent risk to the health and safety of the occupants of the residential rental unit or premises.
(11) 
The failure of the owner to pay any fines and costs arising from enforcement of this chapter or any of the ordinances of the Borough of Ephrata relating to land use and/or code enforcement or if any permitting fees under this chapter are due and owing to the Borough.
(12) 
The owner fails to include the "Addendum to Residential Rental Agreement"[1] in accordance with the provisions of § 253-11 of this chapter (Residential rental agreement) in each lease of a residential rental unit.
[1]
Editor's Note: The "Addendum to Residential Rental Agreement," Appendix A, is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(13) 
The owner, manager or responsible agent (if applicable) fails to arrive at the residential rental unit within 45 minutes from the time a request to do so is made in person or by telephone call or attempted telephone call by a code enforcement officer to the number provided to the Codes Enforcement Office in the residential rental permit application for that residential rental unit.
D. 
The code enforcement officer shall forward written notice to the owner if the code enforcement officer will deny, refuse to renew or revoke a residential rental permit. The notification shall identify the residential rental unit; the grounds for the denial, nonrenewal or revocation, including the factual circumstances and the section of this chapter supporting such determination; and informing the owner of the right to appeal the denial, nonrenewal or revocation of the residential rental permit to the Appeals Board pursuant to the provisions of § 253-14 of this chapter (Appeals).
E. 
The code enforcement officer shall reinstate a residential rental permit if the owner, manager or responsible agent corrects the reason for the revocation of the residential rental permit and has paid the residential rental permit reinstatement fee which shall be established by resolution or ordinance of Borough Council.
A. 
All rental agreements for regulated residential rental units shall be in writing and shall be supplemented with the addendum attached hereto as Appendix A.[1]No oral leases and no oral modifications thereof are permitted. All disclosures and information required to be given to each lessee by the owner or responsible agent shall be furnished to each lessee prior to the execution of the rental agreement. The owner shall provide each lessee with copies of the rental agreement and addendum upon execution. The owner shall further secure a written acknowledgment from the lessee(s) that they have received the disclosures and information required by this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: The "Addendum to Residential Rental Agreement," Appendix A, is included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
The owner and tenant shall not include any terms or conditions in the rental agreement which are prohibited by this § 253-11 or other applicable ordinances, regulations or laws, including rent, term of the agreement, and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.
C. 
Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, no residential rental agreement shall provide that the lessee or owner agrees to waive or to forego any of the duties or remedies set forth in this chapter.
D. 
A copy of this chapter shall be attached to each residential agreement delivered by or on behalf of an owner when any such agreement is presented for signing to any lessee after the effective date of this chapter. If a copy had been previously provided when the residential rental agreement was first executed, a copy does not have to be provided upon renewal unless the rental agreement has been amended or additional lessees will occupy the rental unit. Where a residential rental agreement has been entered into prior to the effective date of this chapter, the owner shall provide each lessee with a copy of this chapter within 60 days after its enactment.
E. 
Upon oral or written request by the code enforcement officer, the owner, manager or responsible agent shall within 10 days of such request furnish to the Borough copies of acknowledgment that the occupants have received the disclosures and information required to be given and acknowledged as required by ordinance.
F. 
Upon oral or written request by the code enforcement officer, the owner, manager or responsible agent shall within 10 days of such request furnish to the Borough, for inspection purposes, copies of the leases the owner has entered into for regulated residential rental units.
Prior to initial occupancy of newly constructed residential rental units, newly created residential rental units, or substantially rehabilitated residential rental units (as documented by a certificate of occupancy), the owner, manager or responsible agent shall make written application to the code enforcement officer for a residential rental permit as herein provided.
A. 
Initial inspections will occur within three business days from the receipt of written notice from the owner, manager or responsible agent to the Code Enforcement Office that a residential rental unit is ready for inspection.
B. 
Inspections of residential rental units shall be performed by the Codes Enforcement Office prior to the occupancy or change in occupancy of any such unit and not less frequently than once during any three-year period regardless of the term of occupancy of any tenant. The Code Enforcement Officer may also inspect residential rental units upon receipt of complaints or for any other reasonable cause.
C. 
If the code enforcement officer, upon completion of any inspection, finds that the applicable codes or statutes have not been met, the code enforcement officer shall issue notices and, if appropriate, commence enforcement actions under the procedure set forth in the code or statute which has been violated. Notice provided to a manager or responsible agent shall be deemed notice provided to the owner.
D. 
For the purpose of enforcing this chapter, the code enforcement officer may seek to obtain a search warrant issued by a competent authority for the purpose of compelling an inspection or otherwise enforcing the terms and conditions of this chapter.
E. 
The penalty for not allowing an inspection or reinspection of a residential rental unit shall be the revocation or denial of the residential rental permit.
A. 
A residential rental permit shall not be transferred. In the case of permitted residential rental units that are sold or transferred, the new owner shall obtain a new residential rental permit for each residential rental unit and shall have each residential rental unit inspected. Failure to apply and pay the applicable permit fee for a new residential rental permit and notify the Code Enforcement Office that a residential rental unit is ready for inspection for each residential rental unit within five business days of the date of sale or transfer of ownership is a violation of this chapter.
B. 
All owners of any real estate containing or upon which are erected any residential rental unit or units which are in noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter and who desire to sell that parcel of real estate shall notify the purchasers, in writing, prior to the sale of the parcel of real estate that the parcel of real estate is in noncompliance with the terms and conditions of this chapter. In addition, any property owner selling a parcel of real estate upon which is erected a residential rental unit or units which are found to be in noncompliance under the terms and conditions of this chapter shall notify the Code Enforcement Office, in writing, within 30 days prior to closing on the sale of said parcel of real estate.
A. 
Any property owner, manager or responsible agent who receives a notice of the issuance of a citation, summons or arrest relating to conduct occurring at his/her property, or a notice of the issuance, denial or revocation of a residential rental permit or any person aggrieved by any decision of a code enforcement officer relating to the issuance of a citation, summons or arrest or a notice of the issuance, denial or revocation of a residential rental permit may appeal to the Appeals Board pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 4 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata.
B. 
All appeals shall be made in writing within 10 business days after such decision has been made or within 10 business days from the date of mailing by first class mail of the notice of the issuance of a citation, summons or arrest relating to conduct occurring at his/her property, or a notice of the issuance, denial or revocation of a residential rental to the address of record of the owner, manager or responsible agent and to the occupant(s) of the residential rental unit. Such appeal shall be submitted in writing to the Ephrata Borough Codes Enforcement Office and shall be accompanied by an appeal fee in an amount established by resolution of the Ephrata Borough Council. The Appeals Board shall conduct a hearing and render a decision in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 4 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata and such other Borough ordinances, laws and regulations as may govern its conduct and procedure.
A. 
Violations. It shall be a violation of this chapter to commit or to permit any other person to commit any of the following acts:
(1) 
To lease, let, or allow the occupancy of a residential rental unit without obtaining a residential rental permit where required by this chapter.
(2) 
To refuse to permit inspections required under this chapter for a residential rental unit.
(3) 
To fail to perform the duties established by § 253-7 (owner's duties) of this chapter if such person is an owner or a manager of a residential rental unit.
(4) 
To fail to perform the duties established by § 253-9 (occupant duties) of this chapter if such person is an occupant of a residential rental unit.
(5) 
To place false information on or to omit relevant information from an application for a residential rental permit.
(6) 
To fail to comply with any other provision of this chapter.
B. 
Penalties and remedies.
(1) 
Any person allowing the occupancy of a residential rental unit without obtaining a residential rental permit or after its residential rental permit has been revoked shall pay a fine of not less than $500 per residential rental unit for each day the violation exists or serve a term of imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Each day the violation exists constitutes a separate violation.
(2) 
Any owner, manager or responsible agent who fails to seek a residential rental permit within 30 days from the date of the mailing of a thirty-day notice of violation by the Code Enforcement Officer warning him or her of their failure to comply with the terms of this chapter shall pay a fine of not less than $500 for each residential rental unit or serve a term of imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Each day the violation exists constitutes a separate violation.
(3) 
Any owner, manager or responsible agent who violates any of the provisions of § 253-7A(14) (relating to access to residential rental unit) or § 253-7A(17) (relating to occupant information) shall pay a fine of not less than $500 for each residential rental unit or serve a term of imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Each day the violation exists constitutes a separate violation.
(4) 
Any occupant of a residential rental unit who violates any of the provisions of § 253-9 (Duties of occupants) shall pay a fine of not less than $100 or more than $600. Each day the violation exists constitutes a separate violation.
(5) 
Whoever violates any other provision of this chapter shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both. Each day the violation exists constitutes a separate violation.
(6) 
Any person found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter shall pay the court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Borough in the enforcement proceeding or proceedings in addition to any fines and/or terms of imprisonment imposed.
(7) 
In addition to prosecution of persons violating this chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer, or any duly authorized agent of the Borough, may take such civil or equitable remedies, in any court of record of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, against any person or property, real or personal, to effect the provisions of this chapter.
(8) 
The provisions of this section and the provisions of this chapter governing the denial, revocation, or nonrenewal of residential rental permits shall be independent, non-mutually exclusive, separate remedies, all of which shall be available to the Borough as may be deemed appropriate. The remedies and procedures in this chapter are not intended to supplant or replace, to any degree, the remedies provided to the Borough in Chapter 245 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Property Maintenance, Chapter 319 of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, Zoning, or any other code.
(9) 
This section and the provisions of this chapter shall not be construed as diminishing or relieving, in any way, the responsibility of occupants or their guests for their conduct or activity, nor shall it be construed as an assignment, transfer or projection over or onto any owner of any responsibility or liability which occupants or their guest may have as a result of their conduct or activity under any private cause of action, civil or criminal enforcement proceeding, or criminal law; nor shall this section or the provisions of this chapter be construed so as to require an owner to indemnify or defend occupants or their guests when any such action or proceeding is brought against the occupant based upon the occupant's conduct or activity. Nothing herein is intended to impose any additional civil/criminal liability upon owners other than that which is imposed by existing law. This chapter is not intended to, nor shall its effect be, to limit any other enforcement remedies which may be available to the Borough of Ephrata against an owner, occupant or guest thereof.
C. 
Owners severally responsible. If any rental unit is owned by more than one person, in any form of joint tenancy, as a partnership or otherwise, each person shall be jointly and severally responsible for the duties imposed under the terms of this chapter and shall be severally subject to prosecution for the violation of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the sworn and nonsworn code enforcement officers and officials of the Borough of Ephrata and any authorized member or officer of the Ephrata Borough Police Department or other law enforcement organization having appropriate jurisdiction.