[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Hempstead 8-7-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any building or property within the Village to be used or occupied in violation of the use set forth in the certificate of occupancy for such building or property.
In any criminal or civil proceeding commenced by the Village concerning an alleged illegal use or occupancy of a building for residential purposes, the following presumptions shall apply:
That any dwelling which maintains more than one gas meter or more than one electric meter or more than one water meter is being used as the residence of two or more families.
That any dwelling which maintains more than two gas meters or more than two electric meters or more than two water meters is being used as the residence of three or more families.
That a single-family dwelling which maintains any entrance(s) thereto, which entrance(s) has not been set forth on any plans approved by and on file with the Building Department, is being used as the residence of two or more families.
That a two-family dwelling which maintains any third or additional entrance thereto, which entrance(s) has not been set forth on any plans approved by and on file with the Building Department, is being used as the residence of three or more families.
That a dwelling which has been advertised in any newspaper, magazine or local advertising publication as being available for sale or rent, which advertisement expressly or implicitly provides that such dwelling contains rooms for rent, more than one separate dwelling living unit, or may be occupied by more than one separate family, is being used as a dwelling containing the number of rooms for rent, dwelling units or families stated or implied in such advertisement.
That if there exist two or more doorbells, mailboxes, telephone lines, cable TV lines or satellite TV antennas, two or more families are residing in the dwelling.
That if there are two or more motor vehicles parked on the dwelling lot registered to persons with two or more different surnames, two or more families are residing in the dwelling.
The presumption of nonpermitted occupancy of a single dwelling unit shall also be established where probative evidence establishes:
That there exist permanent partitions or locking internal doors which may serve to bar access between segregated portions of the dwelling, including but not limited to bedrooms. or the inability of any occupant or person in possession thereof to have unimpeded and/or lawful access to all parts of the dwelling unit.
That there exist two or more kitchens, each containing one or more of the following: a range, oven, hot plate, microwave, or other similar device customarily used for cooking or preparation of foods.
The presumption raised by proof of the existence of any such conditions as set forth in Subsection A herein may only be rebutted by conclusive evidence that such conditions do not, in fact, exist or that such conditions, in fact, comply with this Code.
A person charged with a violation of this chapter may demand an inspection by the Building Department of the subject premises to rebut such presumption. Such demand shall be in writing addressed to the Building Department. The Building Inspector shall prepare a report of the finding of the inspection together with photographs, if appropriate.
The Building Department shall be responsible for investigating and documenting violations of any case of alleged illegal occupancy within the Village.
Prosecutions for violations hereunder may be instituted in the Village Justice Court or in the District Court of the County of Nassau.
The Village Attorney may, upon direction of the Board of Trustees, institute an action in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau, for appropriate relief where it appears under the circumstances that the imposition of a fine alone would not be adequate.
A violation of a Code provision involving nonpermitted occupancy of a structure is a "violation," as that term is defined in the New York State Penal Law.
Notwithstanding any provision of this Code inconsistent herewith, for each Code violation involving a nonpermitted occupancy of a one- or two- family dwelling, or of an approved multifamily dwelling, the owner and any person who is in charge of the subject property at the time of the violation shall be liable to a fine of not less than $3,000 and not exceeding $6,000 for the first violation; for a second violation, the fine shall be not less than $6,000 and no more than $12,000; for a third and any subsequent violation, the fine shall be not less than $20,000 and no more than $40,000, all of which were committed within a period of five years.
[Amended 7-7-2020 by L.L. No. 3-2020]
Each week that the violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.
This chapter shall be effective immediately upon filing with the Office of the Secretary of State. No violation of this chapter will be charged prior to June 30, 2007, and no violation of this chapter regarding failure to obtain a permit will be charged against a person or entity which:
Has filed the necessary application in proper form and in good faith, with all required information and attachments, on or before June 30, 2007;
Has consented to an inspection of the premises in question; and
Has not received a final determination on the application, for reasons over which the applicant has no control.