[Amended 6-23-1992 by Ord. No. 41-1992; 12-10-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996; 5-25-1999 by Ord. No. 28-1999; 6-27-2000 by Ord. No. 5-2000; 11-27-2001 by Ord. No. 21-2001; 1-4-2006 by Ord. No. 1-2006; 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 10-2008; 12-23-2008 by Ord. No. 13-2008; 4-28-2009 by Ord. No. 2-2009; 6-24-2014 by Ord. No. 4-2014; 6-28-2016 by Ord. No. 3-2016; 6-28-2016 by Ord. No. 4-2016; 3-28-2017 by L.L. No. 5-2017]
If a provision of this chapter is found to be inconsistent with any provision of other chapters of the City Code or Charter, the provision or requirement which is the more restrictive or which establishes the higher standard shall prevail. A greater penalty shall not be considered as more restrictive or a higher standard.
The Director of Code Enforcement shall have the authority to issue such regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this code.
If any part, provision, section, subdivision, paragraph, or term of this chapter shall be held unconstitutional, invalid, or ineffective, in whole or in part, such determination shall not be deemed to invalidate the remaining chapter, parts, provisions, sections, subdivisions, paragraphs, or terms.
Whenever used in this chapter, unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context or subject material requires a different meaning, the definitions as contained in the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code shall apply to the terms and provisions herein.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Any room or group of rooms within a dwelling which are used or intended to be used by one or more persons for living and sleeping with or without facilities for cooking and eating.
All residential rental dwelling units shall be inspected and certified by the Code Enforcement Department, which shall determine compliance with, administer and enforce all applicable provisions of this chapter, the City Code, and the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (hereinafter "Uniform Code"). Prior to the re-occupancy of a rental dwelling unit, apartment or tenement, the landlord, managing agent or person in possession thereof shall secure from the Code Enforcement Department a certificate indicating that the said dwelling unit complies with the requirements of this chapter. On or after January 1, 2002, residential occupancy permits shall be valid for three years from the date of issuance for dwelling units covered by the New York State Multiple Residence Law. On or after January 1, 2003, residential occupancy permits shall be valid for three years from the date of issuance for all other rental dwelling units.
Nothing contained herein shall be construed or operate to invalidate an otherwise legally effective permit or certificate issued prior to January 1, 2002, except that such permit or certificate shall be valid only until:
January 1, 2005, or a change in the tenancy of the residential rental dwelling unit to which the permit or certificate relates, whichever first occurs, for dwelling units covered by the New York State Multiple Residence Law.
Except as otherwise provided herein, it shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter to rent, lease, or otherwise allow the occupancy of any residential rental dwelling unit without the inspection and certification as required herein. It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Department or its duly appointed agents to inspect a rental dwelling unit, apartment, or tenement whenever the same becomes vacant and prior to its being reoccupied, upon the written request of the owner or managing agent, for the purposes of determining whether or not the dwelling unit complies with the provisions of this chapter.
If, upon inspection, said premises do not comply with all applicable provisions of this code or the Uniform Code, the specific reasons for noncompliance shall be specified in writing, and a time limit not to exceed 30 days shall be directed for the correction of, or substantial effort to correct, the deficiencies noted. The notice of noncompliance shall be delivered personally or by mail within seven days to the owner, agent or person in charge at the address set forth in the rental dwelling unit registry and to any occupant who so requests. Occupants or proposed occupants of dwellings shall have the right to inspect the residential occupancy permit of the residential rental dwelling unit, apartment, or multiple residence in which they have an interest at no cost.
On or after January 1, 2002, the Code Enforcement Department shall have the right to inspect all or any part of the rental dwelling, including any unit or apartment, or entire multiple residence, as required herein or upon complaint, except that the owner, agent, or person in charge thereof shall have the right to insist upon the procurement of a search warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction by the Director of the Department, or his or her designee, in order to enable such inspection. The officials charged with conducting the inspection pursuant to this article shall be required to obtain a search warrant whenever an owner, agent, or person in charge refuses to permit a warrantless inspection of the premises.
The officials charged with conducting the inspection shall make such inspection, access and circumstances permitting, within five business days of receipt of a request from the owner, agent, or occupant.
An owner or agent may file with the Department a request for such inspection and the issuance of a residential occupancy permit by regular mail or in person at the office of the Director of the Department.
Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit the right of the Code Enforcement Department to inspect any property at any time. If, after issuing a residential occupancy permit, the Department receives a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter or other chapter of the City Code, other than a violation that creates an imminent hazard to the public health or to the physical or mental health of the occupants of the rental property, the Department shall make a good faith effort to notify the owner or agent of the complaint, by either telephone or regular mail, before conducting an inspection under this chapter, and shall provide to the owner or agent one working day from the date the owner or agent receives the notice to explain what steps the owner or agent is taking to correct the violation. The Department may take steps necessary, by inspection or other means, to assure that the violation is corrected.
No residential occupancy permit shall be issued and no inspecting under this article shall be conducted, unless and until the applicable fee(s) required under this chapter is paid in full to the Department and the property owner or agent submits the names and birth dates of all tenants, not to exceed the maximum occupancy as determined by the Code Enforcement Officer.
Upon request or complaint and payment of applicable fees if any, an inspection shall be conducted, but no residential occupancy permit shall be issued under this article unless the rental dwelling unit is an authorized use pursuant to Chapter 285, Zoning, and until all other applicable provisions and requirements of the Code of the City of Cohoes are complied with and met, including but not limited to:
The landlord must submit proof of licensure and vaccination records for all pets prior to issuance of the residential occupancy permit (ROP).
Failure to submit proof of pet license(s) issued by the City of Cohoes Clerk and vaccination records shall preclude issuance of the ROP.
Notwithstanding the provisions of § 215-6I, the Director of Code Enforcement may issue a temporary residential occupancy permit if all City, county and school taxes are not current if the applicant pays a fee equal to 15% of the outstanding City, county, and school taxes due, including late fees and penalties, on the property.
Any temporary residency occupancy permit issued pursuant to § 215-6J shall be revoked by the Director of Code Enforcement under the following circumstances:
The applicant fails to make timely payment of any City, county or school taxes due subsequent to the issuance of the temporary residential occupancy permit; or
The applicant fails to pay all past-due City, county, and school taxes within 12 months of issuance of the temporary residential occupancy permit.
Owners of multifamily structures or apartment complexes which employ a full-time, on-site property manager and consist of 20 or more rental dwelling units or apartments that were originally built or reconstructed no more than 15 years prior to an application for a residential occupancy permit may, but shall not be required to, apply for residential occupancy permits as follows:
Every year, the owner may submit:
A completed checklist to be provided by the Director of Code Enforcement;
Photographs of key elements of the individual rental dwelling units or apartments and common spaces within the structure or complex as determined by the Director of Code Enforcement; and
A fire inspection report conducted by a qualified third-party certifying adequacy of all fire suppression and detection systems.
Qualifying multifamily structures or apartment complexes are subject to random inspections to be arranged at least 48 hours but not more than 72 hours in advance in order to verify the representations made in the checklist, photographs, and certified reports required under this section;
The annual fee for residential occupancy permits issued in this manner shall be equal to the fee charged for 1/3 of the total number of apartments in such complex; and
The property owner shall provide to the Director of Code Enforcement a list of tenants occupying the complex during the month of November of each year and shall provide an updated list within 30 days of any change in tenancy.
The Director of Code Enforcement shall have the right to revoke any residential occupancy permit issued under this procedure applicable to qualifying multifamily structures or apartment complexes as outlined in § 215-6L for overoccupancy or failure to comply with the aforementioned requirements. Further, the Director of Code Enforcement shall require that said qualifying multifamily structures or apartment complexes that fail to meet the standards and fulfill the obligations outlined in § 215-6L be subject to standard residential occupancy permit inspection and issuance practice, policy, and procedures.
Failure of an owner or agent to appear within 30 minutes of a scheduled inspection ("no show") shall result in a fee of $25 per unit scheduled for inspection.
Cancellation of a scheduled inspection less than 24 hours before that scheduled inspection ("late cancellation") shall result in a fee of $25 per unit scheduled for inspection.
Should a unit fail inspection, the initial reinspection shall be free of charge; however, each subsequent reinspection thereafter until that unit passes shall result in a reinspection fee of $25 per unit being reinspected.
A quarterly inspection is required for all dwellings within the City of Cohoes that fall under the definition of a "Group B2 Multiple Dwelling - Transient Occupancy" as defined in Title 9 of the New York Codes Rules and Regulations. Such dwellings include but are not limited to motels rooming or lodging houses, dormitories, fraternities, etc.
Transient occupancy dwellings must meet the minimum standards for occupancy set forth in Article V of this chapter and must comply with the New York State Uniform Code. Upon passing inspection, an annual permit to operate shall be granted. Operation without said permit after January 1, 2002, shall be a violation of this chapter and subject the owner, managing agent, or person in possession or charge of a transient occupancy dwelling to the penalties set forth in § 215-15 of this Code.
Each unit shall prominently display in the public area of the said structure the certificate of occupancy required by this article.
There shall be a rental dwelling unit registry. It shall be the responsibility of all landlords within the City to register as such with the Code Enforcement Department. The Director of Code Enforcement shall promulgate regulations and procedures to effectuate said registry and make same available to the public.
All owners of a rental dwelling unit within the City of Cohoes not residing within a fifteen-mile radius of Cohoes City Hall shall appoint an agent for service and register said agent with the Department of Code Enforcement on a form developed by the Director of Code Enforcement. The agent must reside or have a permanent place of business within a fifteen-mile radius of Cohoes City Hall. The agent shall endeavor to be available to City of Cohoes officials and personnel by telephone and able to respond in person to the rental property address in cases of emergency or natural disaster. Service of an appearance ticket as defined in the New York State Criminal Procedure Law upon said agent for service shall constitute good and sufficient service on the landlord.
Every owner of residential rental property not residing within a fifteen-mile radius of Cohoes City Hall convicted of two or more violations of any provision of Chapters 152, 215 or 239 of the Cohoes City Code within three years shall be required to hire a professional property manager who shall maintain a permanent place of business within a fifteen-mile radius of Cohoes City Hall.
Every owner of residential rental property convicted of two or more violations of any provision of Chapters 152, 215 or 239 of the Cohoes City Code within a three-year period and every owner of residential rental property purchased on or after August 1, 2016, except owners residing in properties containing four or less units, within the City of Cohoes must attend a mandatory residential property rental orientation and education program offered by the Department of Code Enforcement as part of the initial registration process. The owner must attend the entire duration of the orientation training course and shall acknowledge, on a form developed by the Director of Code Enforcement, that they are fully familiar with all associated educational literature and materials and applicable rules, regulations, policies, and procedures applicable to the property.