Township of Montclair, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners (now Council) of the Town (now Township) of Montclair 4-15-1980 by Ord. No. 80-12 as Ch. 98 of the 1979 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unfit buildings — See Ch. 108.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 121.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 153 and Ch. 157.
Housing standards — See Ch. 190, Art. I.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 247.
Solid waste — See Ch. 292.
A. 
No person shall own, operate or manage any building or structure within the Township of Montclair which is occupied by two or more families as tenants of the owner or lessor of such building and structure without registering the owner and management of said building and structure with the Municipal Clerk, upon a form provided by the Municipal Clerk. Each such registration form shall include the name and address of the owner of such premises, the name and address of the lessor if other than the owner, and the name and address of the agent in charge of the premises residing in the Township of Montclair.
B. 
The owner and the lessor (if other than the owner) of any such building and structure within the Township of Montclair shall register such building and structure as required in Subsection A hereof within 30 days after the adoption of this chapter. Any person who shall become the owner or lessor (if other than the owner) of any such building or structure in the Township of Montclair subsequent to the date of adoption of this chapter shall comply with such registration provisions within 30 days from and after the date he or she shall become such owner or lessor.
A. 
The Inspector of Buildings of the Township of Montclair hereby is designated and authorized to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
The Inspector of Buildings and the Housing Officers of the Township of Montclair hereby are authorized and directed to make inspection of all buildings and structures within the Township of Montclair occupied by two or more families as tenants of the owner or lessor of such buildings and structures. For the purpose of making such inspections, the said Inspector of Buildings and Housing Inspectors may enter, inspect, examine and survey any such building and structure at all reasonable times.
C. 
The owner, lessor and occupant of every building or structure occupied by two or more families as tenants of the owner or lessor of such building and structure shall give such officers free access to such building and structure and its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey.
Any building or structure in the Township of Montclair which is or which contains any defects dangerous, harmful or detrimental to the life, safety or health of the occupants of said building or structure or to the general public shall constitute a nuisance.
A. 
Whenever the Inspector of Buildings shall determine that a building or structure or any portion thereof constitutes a nuisance or has or contains a defect or defects in violation of any ordinance of the Township of Montclair or law of the State of New Jersey applicable thereto, he or she shall give written notice thereof to the owner or lessor of such building or structure. Such notice shall set forth the condition or conditions constituting the nuisance or the defect or defects and specify a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days, within which the owner or lessor, as the case may be, shall abate, correct and eliminate such nuisance, defects or conditions.
B. 
Such notice shall be served personally upon the owner, the lessor (if other than the owner) or the agent in charge of the premises residing in the municipality. If the owner or lessor has failed to register said premises with the Municipal Clerk and to designate an agent with respect to the premises residing in the municipality, as required by § 213-1A of this chapter, or where such an agent has been designated but cannot be found at the address given in the registration, the posting of said notice upon the premises in a conspicuous place shall constitute sufficient notice to the owner and lessor.
A. 
If, within the time permitted, the owner or lessor shall fail to abate the nuisance, correct the defect or defects or put the premises in proper condition so as to comply with the requirements of applicable ordinances and state laws after notice thereof and opportunity so to do as provided in § 213-4 of this chapter, the Inspector of Buildings shall forthwith file a report with the governing body of the Township of Montclair, which said report shall set forth in detail the condition or conditions constituting the nuisance or the defect or defects and shall contain a copy of the notice served upon the owner or lessor, the date and manner thereof and a certification that such condition or conditions still exist.
B. 
Upon the filing of the report by the Inspector of Buildings, the governing body shall examine the same and, after hearing upon at least five days' notice to the owner or lessor served in the same manner as is provided in § 213-4B of this chapter, if it is of the opinion that such action is in the public interest, the governing body may adopt a resolution to abate the nuisance, to correct the defect or defects or to put the premises in proper condition so as to comply with the requirements of applicable ordinances and state laws, at the cost and expense of the owner or lessor. The governing body may, by such resolution, also authorize the expenditure of municipal funds and fix the amount thereof to be used for such purpose and charge the same against the premises, and the amount thereof as determined by the governing body shall be a lien against the premises and collectible as provided in this chapter.
Whenever a resolution shall have been adopted pursuant to the authority granted in § 213-5B of this chapter, the governing body may appoint a custodian of any such building or structure on behalf of the Township of Montclair, who may be an officer of the township or any other person specially designated to enter into and take charge of the premises and supervise the abatement of the nuisance, the correction of the defect or defects or the maintenance of the premises in a proper condition so as to conform to the requirements of applicable ordinances and state laws. All costs and expenses of the custodian shall be charged against the premises and collectible as provided in this chapter.
The person or persons authorized to undertake the abatement of the nuisance, the correction of the defect or defects or the maintenance of the premises in a proper condition so as to conform to the requirements of applicable ordinances and state laws shall keep an accurate account of the cost and expenses thereof and, upon completion of the work, shall certify a detailed statement of all of said costs and expenses to the governing body. The governing body shall thereupon examine the statement and, after hearing upon notice to the owner or lessor, may adopt and confirm the same with or without alterations and shall cause the cost to be charged against the premises. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon such premises and shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such premises. Such amount shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
In the event that the owner of a building or structure shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or shall fail to abate a condition harmful to the health and safety of the occupants of the building or structure and the general public in the Township of Montclair after notice and opportunity so to do, the Inspector of Buildings may, by and with the approval of the governing body, bring an action in the Superior Court to be appointed receiver ex officio of the rents and income of such real property for the purpose of collecting the rents and income from such property and expend the same for the purpose of abating said conditions. The said rents and income so collected by the said receiver shall also be available for the payment of such costs and expenses of the receivership as may be adjudged by the Court and for the payment to the Township of Montclair of any fines or penalties which may have been imposed on the owner for violations of this chapter and which have not been paid.
Upon his or her appointment, the receiver, by and with the approval of the governing body in all cases where the real property in question is encumbered by a first mortgage, shall appoint such first mortgagee, if such mortgagee is a proper person and is willing to accept such appointment, as the receiver's agent to collect the rents and income from such real property and manage the same. In all other cases, the receiver, by and with the approval of the governing body, may designate the person in charge or management of such real property or some other competent person as the receiver's agent to collect the rents and income from such real property and manage the same, which mortgagee or other person shall account promptly to the receiver for the rents and income collected; provided, however, that if the mortgagee or other person so designated is derelict in collecting or accounting for such rents and income or in the management of such real property, the receiver shall apply to the Court for the removal of such designated mortgagee or other person, upon notice in writing to him or her, and the Court, upon removing such designated mortgagee or other person, in its discretion, may designate another person to collect the rents and income from such real property and manage the same and account to the receiver for the rents and income of such real property as aforesaid.
[Added 6-7-1983 by Ord. No. 83-26; amended 5-23-2000 by Ord. No. 00-19]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any property owner, landlord or tenant to rent or lease and deliver up for human occupancy any dwelling unit until a certificate of habitability shall have been issued by the Housing Officer indicating that such dwelling unit is not in violation of the Housing, Building, Fire or Health Codes of the Township of Montclair[1] or any other code, ordinance or statute relating to the safety and habitability of dwelling units. A certificate of habitability shall be required for each separate dwelling unit within a building.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 121, Construction Codes, Uniform; Ch. 153, Fire Prevention, Ch. 157, Fire Safety Act Enforcement; Ch. 186, Health Standards; and Ch. 190, Housing.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to occupy a dwelling unit as herein defined until and unless a certificate of habitability has been issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
For the purpose of this chapter, a dwelling unit shall be defined as any room or rooms or suite or apartment, contained in a portion of a building, which is intended, arranged or designed to be occupied for sleeping or dwelling purposes by one or more persons.
D. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to motels, hotels, single-family homes or buildings containing two dwelling units or less or to owner-occupied buildings containing four dwelling units or less.
E. 
It shall be the duty of the Housing Officer to inspect, or cause to be inspected, any dwelling unit within five business days after written request by the owner, landlord or tenant who is providing the subject property for human habitation or by the prospective occupant of the dwelling unit.
F. 
If the Housing Officer finds, after inspection, that the subject dwelling unit is free of violations, he or she shall issue a certificate of habitability to the applicant no later than five business days after the completion of the inspection.
G. 
If the Housing Officer finds, after inspection, that the subject dwelling unit has violations, he or she shall issue a full list of such violations to the applicant within five business days after the completion of the inspection. A certificate of habitability shall not be issued until such time as all violations have been eliminated except as provided in Subsection H.
H. 
If, in the judgment of the Housing Officer, the violations are of a minor nature and do not constitute a threat to the health and safety of inhabitants of the subject dwelling unit, he or she may issue a temporary certificate of habitability which shall be valid for 30 days. This certificate may be extended by the Housing Officer for an additional 15 days. A certificate of habitability shall be issued after elimination of the violations.
I. 
A certificate of habitability shall be valid for a period of one year, regardless of the number of tenancies, or until such time as the dwelling unit has been vacated after continuous occupancy by the same tenant, whichever is longer.
J. 
The Housing Officer may revoke a certificate of habitability or a temporary certificate of habitability at any time if violations occur in the subject dwelling unit.
K. 
The Housing Officer may inspect any dwelling unit during the period that a certificate of habitability or a temporary certificate of habitability is valid.
L. 
The fee for the issuance of a certificate of habitability or a temporary certificate of habitability shall be $60, of which $42 shall be paid by the lessor and $18 shall be paid by the lessee. The first compliance inspection shall be without charge, and additional compliance inspections shall be at a charge of $30 each to the lessor.
[Amended 6-13-2006 by Ord. No. 06-21; 6-14-2011 by Ord. No. O-11-35]
M. 
The provisions herein shall apply only to tenancies and occupancies in dwelling units created after the effective date of this chapter.
N. 
The following notice shall be conspicuously posted, in typewritten or printed form, in capital letters, in the lobby or common area of a building containing dwelling units subject to the provisions of this chapter, and individual copies of this subsection shall be given to all new tenants no later than the first day of their occupancy:
[Amended 7-22-1986 by Ord. No. 86-36]
A DWELLING UNIT IN THIS BUILDING MAY NOT BE OCCUPIED UNLESS AND UNTIL A CERTIFICATE OF HABITABILITY HAS FIRST BEEN OBTAINED FROM THE HOUSING OFFICER OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MONTCLAIR. THE LANDLORD AND TENANT ARE BOTH SUBJECT TO PENALTIES PROVIDED BY LAW IF A DWELLING IS OCCUPIED WITHOUT THIS CERTIFICATE.
TENANTS ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 292 REGARDING REFUSE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING. THE LANDLORD IS REQUIRED TO DISTRIBUTE THE MUNICIPAL BROCHURES OR COPIES THEREOF TO ALL NEW TENANTS NO LATER THAN THE FIRST DAY OF THEIR OCCUPANCY.
THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ORDINANCE (CHAPTER 213) SHALL APPLY ONLY TO TENANCIES IN DWELLING UNITS CREATED AFTER JUNE 28, 1983.
[Amended 5-23-2000 by Ord. No. 00-19; 4-10-2007 by Ord. No. 07-17]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisonment in the county/municipal jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof as determined by the Municipal Court Judge. Each day on which a violation of an ordinance exists shall be considered a separate and distinct violation and shall be subject to imposition of a separate penalty for each day of the violation as the Municipal Court Judge may determine.