[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Hempstead 4-21-1981 by L.L. No. 19-1981. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Definitions. The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
- Constructed, installed and maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and other pertinent ordinances or regulations of the Village.
- That space of a building that is partly below grade which has more than 1/2 of its height, measured from floor to ceiling, above the average established curb level or finished grade of the ground adjoining the building.
- Any structure having a roof for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or property of any kind.
- That space of a building that is partly or entirely below grade which has more than half of its height, measured from floor to ceiling, below the average established curb level or finished grade of the ground adjoining the building.
- A building designed or used exclusively as the living quarters for one or more persons.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A dwelling or portion thereof providing complete living facilities for one family.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Superintendent of the Building Department or a person designated by the Board of Trustees to carry out the duties of enforcement and administration specified in this chapter.
- EXTERIOR PROPERTY AREAS
- Open spaces on the premises and vacant open spaces on adjacent premises.
- The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places, by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food or by any recognized and legal pest elimination method approved by the enforcement officer.
- The animal, vegetable and mineral waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
- The natural surface of the ground or the surface of the ground after completion of any change in contour, including the completed surfaces of lawns, walks and roads brought to grades as shown on official plans or designs relative thereto.
- HABITABLE ROOM
- A room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, recreation or eating purposes, excluding stairways, bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, pantries, foyers, communicating corridors, closets and storage spaces.
- The presence within or around a dwelling, dwelling unit, multiple dwelling or any premises of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests.
- Space, 60 square feet or more in floor area, with a minimum width of five feet, used in cooking or preparation of food and deemed habitable space.
- Space, less than 60 square feet in floor area, used for cooking or preparation of food and not deemed habitable space.
- MULTIPLE RESIDENCE
- A building containing three or more dwelling units.
- Any person, including an owner or operator, living, sleeping, cooking, eating in or having actual possession of a dwelling unit or room in a rooming house.
- OPENABLE AREA
- Any part of a window or door which is available for unobstructed ventilation and which opens directly to the outdoors.
- Any person having charge, care, management or control of any dwelling or part thereof in which dwelling units or rooming units are let.
- Any person who, alone, jointly or severally with others, holds legal or equitable title to any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit.
- All of the following supplied facilities and equipment: gas pipes, gas-burning equipment, water pipes, garbage disposal units, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes washing machines, catch basins, drains, vents and any other similar supplied fixtures, together with all connections to water, sewer or gas lines.
- A plotted lot or part thereof or an unplotted lot or parcel of land or plot of land, either unimproved or improved with any dwelling or nondwelling structure.
- PUBLIC HALL
- Any hall, corridor or passageway not within the exclusive control of one family.
- ROOMING HOUSE
- Any dwelling or part thereof which contains one or more rooming units, in which space is let by the occupant or owner to three or more persons for hire or otherwise.
- ROOMING UNIT
- Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living or sleeping but not for cooking or eating purposes.
- All combustible and noncombustible waste, except garbage.
- SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING
- A dwelling occupied by one family alone.
- Paid for, furnished or provided by or under the control of the owner or operator, his agents and/or representatives.
- The supply and removal of air to and from a space by natural or mechanical means.
- VENTILATION, MECHANICAL
- Ventilation by power-driven devices.
- VENTILATION, NATURAL
- Ventilation by opening to the outer air through windows, skylights, doors, louvers or stacks with or without wind-driven devices.
- WATER CLOSET
- A toilet, with a bowl and trap, which is connected to the Village water and sewer system or to other approved water supply and sewer system.
Word usage. Whenever the words "building," "dwelling," "dwelling unit," "rooming house" and "premises" are used in this chapter, they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words "or any part thereof."
It is hereby found and declared that there exist in the Village structures used for residential and nonresidential purposes which are or may become in the future substandard with respect to structure, equipment or maintenance, and further that such conditions, including but not limited to structural deterioration, lack of maintenance and appearance of exterior of premises, infestation, lack of maintenance or upkeep of essential facilities, existence of fire hazards, inadequate provisions for light and air and unsanitary conditions, constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals, welfare and reasonable comfort of the citizens and inhabitants of the Village. It is further found and declared that by reason of lack of maintenance and because of progressive deterioration, certain properties have the further effect of creating blighting conditions, and that if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same, and that by reason of timely regulations and restrictions as herein contained, the growth of blight may be prevented and the neighborhood and property values thereby maintained, the desirability and amenities of residential and nonresidential uses and neighborhoods enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, safety, morals and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance, condition and occupancy of residential and nonresidential premises; to establish minimum standards governing facilities and other physical components and conditions essential to make the aforesaid facilities fit for human habitation, occupancy and use; and to fix certain responsibilities and duties upon owners, operators and occupants.
Every building or structure used or intended to be used for residential, nonresidential or mixed occupancy and the land upon which it is situated shall comply with the provisions of this chapter whether or not such building or structure shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this chapter and irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy of the building or structure, for the construction or repair of the building or structure or for the installation or repair of equipment or facilities prior to the effective date of this chapter.
In any case where the provisions of this chapter impose a higher standard than set forth in any other local laws or ordinances or under the laws of the State of New York or any of its subdivisions, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter impose a lower standard than any other local laws or ordinances or the laws of the State of New York or any of its subdivisions, then the higher standard contained in any such other ordinances or laws shall prevail.
No license or permit or other certification of compliance with this chapter shall constitute a defense against any violation of any other local law or ordinance applicable to any building, structure or premises, nor shall any provision herein relieve any owner, operator or occupant from complying with any such other provision nor any official of the Village from enforcing any such other provision.
Buildings and structures. The owner, operator or occupant shall maintain each and every part of the building or structure free of all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of the occupants, pedestrians and all persons utilizing the premises and maintain accessory structures and appurtenant equipment and fixtures in attractive condition and good repair, capable of performing the function for which same was designed or intended to be used, including but not limited to the following:
Exterior surfaces of buildings and structures that are not inherently resistant to deterioration shall be sealed and regularly treated with a protective coating of paint or other suitable preservative sufficient to prevent deterioration and to maintain a neat and orderly appearance. All such surfaces shall be maintained free of excessive flaking, peeling and crumbling.
In the case of multifamily and commercial buildings and structures, interior floors, walls, ceilings, furnishings and fixtures shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition.
Every roof, wall, window, exterior door and hatchway shall be kept free from holes or leaks that would permit the entrance of water within any building or structure.
All buildings and structures shall be kept in a clean, sanitary and safe condition, free from lifter, debris, rubbish, garbage, junk, vermin, rodents and health and safety hazards of any kind. No building shall, except in emergency, ongoing construction or vacancy, be boarded up in part or whole.
[Amended 9-3-1991 by L.L. No. 11-1991]
Entrances to multifamily buildings shall be provided with self-closing- and self-locking-type doors. Windows and other openings used for ventilation in any building used for residence purposes shall be screened and shades, drapes, curtains or similar devices provided.
Foundations of every building and structure shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair so as to prevent the accumulation of moisture within the space enclosed by such foundation, and such foundation and any window or door thereon shall be protected against the entrance of rodents.
Roofs of every building or structure used for multiple residence or commercial purposes shall be maintained weathertight and be equipped with gutters and downspouts connected either to a public or private storm sewer or combined storm and sanitary sewer or to splash boxes of sufficient length to ensure that drainage does not cause excessive erosion, ponding or water damage and does not create a nuisance on public or private property. All roofs, gutters and downspouts shall be maintained in a good state of repair.
The exterior of every building and structure and all appurtenances thereto, both above and below the roof line, shall be maintained in good repair, in a safe condition, weathertight and so as to resist decay or deterioration from any cause.
All exposed surfaces shall be maintained free of damaged, disintegrating, crumbling, broken or missing materials, excessive pitting or corrosion and unsafe defects, and all broken or missing glass panes shall be replaced.
The exterior of every building and structure shall be maintained free of buckled, sagging, broken, partially missing, rotted or decayed walls, doors, windows, porches, balconies, steps, stairways, railings, balusters, chimneys and decorative trim. The exterior of every building and structure shall be maintained so that the appearance of the premises shall not constitute a blighting factor for adjoining property.
Every repair to and replacement of a portion of the exterior of a building and structure or part thereof or appurtenances thereto shall match and conform to the overall exterior design of such structure.
All interior walls, floors and ceilings of every building and structure used for residence purposes shall be maintained free of holes, large cracks and any loose or deteriorated material and shall have a decorative coating of paint, wallpaper or other substance located thereon and shall be maintained in a clean and proper condition. Toxic coatings, including those paints, lacquers or any other coatings that contain a higher level of lead than permitted by law, are prohibited.
All floors within any bathroom or water closet compartment of a building or structure used for residence purposes shall be made water-resistant and nonabsorbent.
All multiple residences and all lands surrounding the same shall be kept free from rodents, vermin and insects. All such multiple residences shall be exterminated at least once every month by an exterminator licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Control. Reports of extermination shall be kept on file with the owner and be available to the Building Department.
[Added 12-2-1986 by L.L. No. 9-1986]
Yards and open areas. The owner, occupant or other person having charge of any premises shall maintain the yards and open areas thereof in accordance with the following requirements:
[Amended 1-19-1988 by L.L. No. 3-1988; 9-3-1991 by L.L. No. 11-1991]
Surface and subsurface water shall be drained to prevent damage to buildings and structures and to prevent the development of stagnant water. Gutters, culverts, catch basins, drain inlets, stormwater sewers and sanitary sewers or other satisfactory drainage systems shall be provided and utilized. In no event shall the water from any rain leader (or sanitary drainage system) be allowed to flow over the sidewalk or upon adjoining property, either public or private.
Fences and retaining walls shall be maintained in a safe condition.
In the case of multifamily and commercial buildings and structures, steps, walks, driveways, parking spaces and similar paved areas shall be maintained so as to afford safe passage under normal use and weather conditions.
Within 12 hours after the cessation of snowfall, snow and ice shall be plowed, shoveled and removed from all steps, walks, driveways and parking areas used or intended to be used by tenants, occupants, customers, invitees or other members of the public. No snow or ice so removed shall be deposited upon the public streets or sidewalks so as to interfere with the use of such streets or sidewalks or with the use of any other premises.
All parking areas and driveways on premises used for multifamily purposes shall be paved with concrete or asphalt, which shall be kept in good repair, and all parking spaces shall be clearly marked with painted white or yellow lines. All parking areas and driveways described in this subsection shall be regularly cleaned to avoid accumulation of dirt, paper and other debris or litter.
Dead and dying trees and limbs or other natural growth which, by reason of rotting or deteriorating conditions or storm damage, constitute a hazard to persons in the vicinity thereof, shall be removed. Heavy undergrowth and accumulation of plant growth which is unsightly, noxious or detrimental to health shall be eliminated or removed. Trees, hedges, bushes, shrubs and vegetation of any kind shall be kept pruned or trimmed. Grass shall not be permitted to exceed four inches in height.
The yards and open areas of any premises shall be kept in a clean, sanitary and safe condition, free from litter, debris, rubbish, garbage, junk, vermin, rodents and health and safety hazards of any kind.
It shall be unlawful to park or store or permit to be parked or stored in any yard or open area of a premises any motor vehicle that is abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, junked or substantially damaged and which is not intended to be used or in no condition for legal use upon the public highway.
The Enforcement Officer shall issue a summons for the violation of any of the provisions of this section to the property owner, occupant or operator.
[Added 9-1-2009 by L.L. No. 7-2009; 4-19-2011 by L.L. No. 4-2011]
In addition to a summons, the Enforcement Officer shall issue a notice in writing which shall be served personally or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, and regular first-class mail to the last known address of the property owner, occupant, or operator, of their obligation to correct such violation within five business days of the service of such notice.
In the event that the property owner, occupant or operator fails to correct such violation within five business days of the service of such notice, the Village may cause the necessary maintenance to be performed and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred against such property. Such assessment shall be collected in the same manner that taxes are collected as provided by law.
Sanitary methods and facilities shall be used for the collection, storage, handling and disposal of garbage, refuse and other debris.
Garbage, refuse and other debris shall not be permitted to accumulate in public halls and stairways of buildings and structures used for multifamily or commercial premises.
Garbage, refuse and other debris shall be kept in covered watertight containers, and when not out for collection, such containers shall be stored in such a manner that they are out of the public view and shall not create a nuisance or health hazard.
Garbage, refuse and other debris shall be removed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Public Works Department or any other municipal agency.
[Amended 9-3-1991 by L.L. No. 11-1991; 11-19-1991 by L.L. No. 20-1991; 11-19-2002 by L.L. No. 7-2002; 10-7-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
The Superintendent of the Building Department and other duly appointed law enforcement officers of the Village shall be charged with the duty of administering and enforcing this chapter. In addition, the following are also charged with the duty of administering and enforcing §§ 78-7B(2) through (8) and 78-8 of this chapter:
Each habitable living room shall have at least one window opening directly upon a street or other open space. In addition, all windows shall contain an approved device which will permit the window to remain open at various positions.
Every dwelling, multiple dwelling and rooming house shall have heating facilities which shall be properly installed and maintained in good working order and shall safely and adequately heat all habitable rooms, bathrooms, shower rooms and water closet compartments.
Every space heater shall be properly vented through an approved flue leading to the outer air and shall be adequately insulated from all combustible materials.
[Amended 9-4-1990 by L.L. No. 10-1990]
A person who shall have contracted or undertaken or who is required by law to furnish heat to any dwelling, dwelling unit, multiple dwelling or rooming house shall furnish heat to all habitable rooms, bathrooms, shower rooms and water closet compartments so as to maintain therein a temperature of not less than 68° F. at a distance of 18 inches above floor level and two feet from an outside wall. Such temperatures shall be maintained during the heating season of September 15 through the following May 31.
[Amended 12-17-2013 by L.L. No. 11-2013]
Heating facilities inspection procedures for multiple dwellings; responsibility of owners or agents.
It shall be the responsibility of the owner or agent of multiple dwellings to provide the Village Tenant Coordinator with a complete written inspection report, which shall be obtained from a recognized heating contractor or engineer.
Inspections and reports shall be made not earlier than June 1 nor later than August 31 of each year and sent to the Tenant Coordinator who must be in receipt of the inspections and reports no later than September 1 of each year.
[Amended 12-6-2011 by L.L. No. 10-2011]
Heating facility reports. Each inspection report relating to heating facilities shall indicate whether or not the heating facility is in proper working condition and capable of providing an indoor temperature of 68° F. and hot water to a temperature of 120° F. in each apartment and complies with the regulations and standards applicable to heating systems as prescribed in the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Construction Code.
In the event that any provision of Subsection A shall not be complied with by an owner or agent of a multiple dwelling or rooming house by reason of lack of fuel, the Board of Trustees herewith finds and determines that such failure shall constitute a public emergency, affecting the life, health and welfare of the tenants thereof, and the Building Department shall be authorized to purchase heating fuel and have the same immediately delivered to the multiple dwelling or rooming house. The cost of such emergency fuel delivery shall be borne by the owner. Should the owner fail to pay for the delivery of the emergency fuel ordered by the Building Department pursuant to the authority set forth in this subsection, said costs shall be added to the current taxes of the owner of record.
[Added 10-2-1990 by L.L. No. 11-1990]
Water supply, sewage disposal. All plumbing fixtures required by this section shall be connected to an approved source of water supply and to an approved system of sewage disposal.
Condition of plumbing fixtures. All plumbing fixtures shall be properly installed and maintained in good working order.
Privacy of water closet facilities. Every dwelling unit shall contain within its walls a room, separate from the habitable rooms, which affords privacy and which is equipped with a flush water closet and a lavatory basin.
Privacy of bathing facilities. Every dwelling unit shall contain within its walls a room, separate from the habitable rooms, which affords privacy to a person in the room and which is equipped with a bathtub or shower.
Kitchen sink required. Every dwelling unit shall contain a kitchen sink properly connected to the hot- and cold-water supply and sewer system.
Plumbing fixtures in rooming houses. In every rooming house the following minimum plumbing fixtures are required for each multiple of six sleeping rooms: a water closet, a bathtub or shower and a lavatory.
Hot- and cold-water requirements. Every kitchen sink, lavatory and bathtub or shower required by this Code shall be properly connected with both hot- and cold-water lines. The hot-water lines shall be connected with supplied water-heating facilities, and hot water at a temperature of not less than 120° F. shall be available at all times.
Dwelling units. Every dwelling unit shall contain at least 150 square feet of habitable floor area for the first occupant, and at least 75 square feet of additional habitable floor area for each additional occupant.
Sleeping rooms. In every dwelling unit and in every rooming unit, every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor area, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain at least 50 square feet of floor area for each occupant 12 years of age or over and at least 35 square feet of floor area for each occupant under 12 years of age.
Calculation of floor area. Floor area shall be calculated on the basis of habitable room area. However, closet area and hall area within the dwelling unit, where provided, may count for not more than 10% of the required habitable floor area. At least 70 square feet of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of at least seven feet six inches; and the floor area of any part of any room where the ceiling height is less than 4 1/2 feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total floor area of the room to determine maximum permissible occupancy.
[Amended 5-17-1983 by L.L. No. 3-1983]
No cellar or basement space shall be used as a habitable room or dwelling unit. In a single- or two-family residence, one play or recreation room only may be located in the basement or cellar. In addition, the basement or cellar may be partitioned to enclose areas containing a furnace, bath, toilet or laundry. However, in an urban renewal area, where multiple-residence buildings are to be constructed under Urban Renewal Plan Controls (URPC) which prescribe maximum residential densities, land coverage or other controls which are more restrictive than are permitted in this Code for the same zone, a basement may be occupied for residence purposes, provided that the finished floor of such basement is not lower than four feet below the finished grade.
Location of habitable space. No dwelling unit or rooming unit shall be located within a building containing any establishment handling, dispensing or storing flammable liquids in any manner which constitutes a danger to the lives of the occupants.
Egress at ground level. Every dwelling unit and every rooming unit shall have safe, unobstructed means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level.
Obstruction of egress. Every hallway, stairway, corridor, exit, fire escape door and other means of egress shall be kept clear at all times.
Prohibited storage. Storage rooms and storage lockers shall not be used for storage of junk, rubbish, waste or garbage.
Storage beneath stairways. Closets or storage beneath stairways are prohibited in any multiple residence dwelling or any rooming house.
Minimum egress facilities. There shall be at least two means of egress available from each story of every multiple residence dwelling and of every rooming house if the dwelling is three or more stories in height or is three stories in height and has at least five habitable rooms on the third story. A basement used as a dwelling unit for a superintendent of those premises shall not count as a story for the purpose of this subsection.
Location of exit facilities. Exit facilities from dwellings or dwelling units shall lead to a public thoroughfare either directly or through a court or yard, and passage to such exits shall not lead through any other dwelling or dwelling unit.
Cooking equipment to comply with code. No owner, operator or occupant shall furnish or use any cooking equipment which does not comply with this code.
Condition of cooking equipment. Every piece of cooking equipment shall be so constructed and installed that it will function safely and effectively and shall be maintained in sound working condition.
Portable cooking equipment. Portable cooking equipment employing gasoline, kerosene or other high flammables as fuel for cooking is prohibited.
Chimneys, flues, vents. All heating, cooking and water-heating equipment burning solid fuels shall be rigidly connected to a chimney or flue, and such heating equipment burning liquid or gaseous fuels shall be rigidly connected to a supply line and to a chimney, flue or vent.
Heating equipment; installation, use. Heating equipment shall be installed in a manner which will avoid the dangerous concentration of fumes and gases. Unvented portable space heaters burning liquid or gaseous fuels shall be prohibited. Heating equipment shall not be forced to operate beyond the safe capacity for which it was designed.
Storage of fuel. Fuels shall be stored in accordance with generally accepted practice and in a manner which will minimize the danger of fire. No gasoline or highly flammable fuel shall be stored within any structure used for human habitation.
Editor's Note: Former § 78-17, Boardinghouses, rooming and lodging houses, was repealed 1-21-2020 by L.L. No. 1-2020.
[Added 1-7-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]
Applicability. The provisions of this section shall apply to any existing or hereafter erected multiple residence, hotel, single room occupancy, boarding home, rooming and lodging house.
The floors of means of egress shall be illuminated at all times, at all points, including angles and intersections of corridors and passageways, stairways, landings of stairs and exit doors to values of not less than one footcandle measured at the floor. Performance of emergency lighting facilities shall be in accordance with accepted standards prescribed in the National Fire Protection Associations Life Safety Code No. 101 and the National Electric Code No. 70.
Plans and specifications for the installation or alterations of emergency lighting systems must be submitted to the Building Department prior to such installation or alteration. No such installation or alteration shall be commenced until the issuance of written approval by the Building Department.
[Added 4-18-2000 by L.L. No. 4-2000]
Application. The provisions of this section shall apply to all multiple dwellings, including multiple residences, hotels, single room occupancies, boarding homes and rooming and lodging houses, whether or not such dwelling shall have been constructed, altered or replaced or repaired before or after the enactment of this section.
In all multiple dwellings, the dwelling unit or sleeping unit number shall be affixed to the entrance door on the corridor side. No two rooms shall bear the same number.
Entrance doors to dwelling unit. Entrance doors to dwelling units shall be equipped with a lock operable by a key from the outside and a thumb-turn from the inside. Each dwelling unit entrance door shall also be equipped with a chain guard so as to permit partial opening of the door. Each dwelling unit entrance door shall also be equipped with a viewing device located so as to enable a person on the inside of the entrance door to view a person immediately outside.
Exit door signs. An EXIT sign shall be affixed to the exit door opening into a stairshaft or directly to the exterior on the corridor side indicating the word "EXIT."
Characteristics of dwelling unit or sleeping unit numbers, entrance door and exit door signs. Dwelling unit or sleeping unit numbers and entrance door and exit door signs shall have the characteristic that they have a reflective finish.
Lettering/numerals and coloring of signs.
The lettering/numerals and background shall be in contrasting colors.
The lettering and/or numerals shall be of bold type and properly spaced to provide good legibility.
The lettering and/or numerals of such signs shall not be less than two inches in height and shall have a width of not less than 3/8 inch. Such signs shall be located not less than six inches and not more than 12 inches above the floor and shall be affixed in such a manner that they cannot be readily removed.
Attachment of signs. Signs shall be securely attached to the bottom of all doors.
Report of compliance. Owners shall file a report with the Building Department certifying that they have posted the signs in accordance with the requirements set forth in this section.
Compliance date. All signs shall be installed on or before June 1, 2000.