City of Paterson, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Paterson: Art. I, 12-18-1979 by Ord. No. 79-111 as Secs. 14-19 through 14-23 of the 1979 Revised General Ordinances of Paterson; Art. II, 2-3-1981 as Ord. No. 81-005 (Secs. 14-23.1 through 14-23.9 of the 1979 Revised General Ordinances of Paterson). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing-property maintenance — See Ch. 271.
Housing standards — See Ch. 275.
[Adopted 12-18-1979 by Ord. No. 79-111 as Secs. 14-19 through 14-23 of the 1979 Revised General Ordinances of Paterson]
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CONTRACTED or AGREED
Includes a written verbal or implied contract or agreement. The presence of heating outlets, radiators, risers or returns in any hall or apartment or subdivision of a house shall be prima facie evidence of an implied contract or agreement.
Wherever a building or any portion thereof is heated or is to be heated by means of a furnace, boiler or other apparatus under the control of the owner's lessee, sublessee, assignee or the agent of any of them, he shall be deemed to have contracted, agreed, undertaken or to be bound to furnish heat in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
[Amended 1-6-1987 as Ord. No. 86-046]
A. 
No owner or owners of any dwelling unit and/or multiple-family unit shall fail to supply heat from October 1 of each year to the next succeeding May 1 to every unit of dwelling space and every habitable room therein, and the heat shall be maintained at least at sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit (68° F.) whenever the outside temperature falls below fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit (55° F.) during daytime hours from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. At times other than those specified, interiors of units of dwelling space shall be maintained at least fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit (55° F.) whenever the outside temperature falls below forty degrees Fahrenheit (40° F.).
B. 
In meeting the aforesaid standards, the owner shall not be responsible for heat loss and the consequent drop in the interior temperature arising out of action by the occupants in leaving windows or doors open to the exterior of the building. The owner shall be obligated to supply required fuel or energy and maintain the heating system in good operating condition so that it can supply heat as required herein notwithstanding any contractual provisions seeking to delegate or shift responsibility to the occupant or third person, except that the owner shall not be required to supply fuel or energy for heating purposes to any unit where the occupant thereof agrees, in writing, to supply heat to his own unit of dwelling space and said unit is served by its own exclusive heating equipment for which the source of heat can be separately computed and billed.
C. 
It shall be the duty of every person who has contracted, agreed or undertaken or shall be bound to furnish heat to maintain the furnace, boiler or other apparatus used to furnish heat in proper working order and in a manner so that the heating system is fully functioning at all times between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. from October 1 of each year to the next succeeding May 1.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
D. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to owner-occupied residential rental properties containing two (2) units or fewer.
E. 
For purposes of this section, "dwelling unit" is defined as one (1) or more rooms arranged for the use of one (1) or more individuals living together as a single housekeeping unit with cooking, living, sanitary and sleeping facilities.
Any person required to heat or to furnish heat under the provisions of this Article who, in the exercise of good faith and reasonable diligence, fails to or is unable to heat or to furnish heat by reason of circumstances solely beyond his control shall not be found guilty of violating any provisions of this Article.
Any person who violates any provision of this Article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.), by imprisonment for a term not exceeding ninety (90) days or by community service for a term not exceeding ninety (90) days, or any combination thereof. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
[Adopted 2-3-1981 as Ord. No. 81-005 (Secs. 14-23.1 through 14-23.9 of the 1979 Revised General Ordinances of Paterson)]
The local Health Officer or his designee shall, whenever necessary to protect the health and safety of residential tenants, act as an agent for a landlord in engaging a fuel oil dealer to deliver fuel oil at a reasonable price per gallon and to refire the burner to restore the proper heating of any residential property rented by said landlord; provided, however, that at least twelve (12) hours have elapsed if the outside temperature is between thirty-three degrees Fahrenheit (33° F.) and fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit (55° F.), inclusive, or at least four (4) hours have elapsed if the outside air temperature is thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit (32° F.) or less, since the tenant has lodged a complaint with any municipal officer or agency, prior to which complaint a bona fide attempt has been made by the tenant or his representative to notify the landlord of the lack of heat and the landlord has failed to take appropriate action.
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
LACK OF HEAT
Maintaining less heat than required by N.J.S.A. 26:3-31.
[Added 7-24-1984 by Ord. No. 84-066]
The local Health Officer or his designee shall, whenever necessary to protect the health and safety of residential tenants, act as an agent for a landlord in engaging a plumber to resolve plumbing emergencies. Within this Article, the term "plumbing emergencies" shall include but not be limited to faulty plumbing, defined as inoperable fixtures, i.e., tub, toilet, sink, broken water pipes and any plumbing defect which renders a heating system inoperable pursuant to the terms of §§ 267-6 and 267-7 above. Prior to taking the above steps, twenty-four (24) hours shall have elapsed since the tenant has lodged a complaint with any municipal officer or agency, prior to which complaint a bona fide attempt has been made by the tenant or his representative to notify the landlord of the plumbing emergency and the landlord has failed to take appropriate action. Notwithstanding the above, any plumbing emergency resulting in a lack of heat shall be subject to the time and notice standards set forth in §§ 267-6 and 267-7 above.
[Amended 7-24-1984 by Ord. No. 84-066]
Any fuel oil dealer who delivers fuel oil or refires the burner in accordance with § 267-6 above or any plumber who performs services in connection with § 267-8 above may bill the landlord directly or the city may issue a voucher to the plumber or the fuel oil dealer who delivered the fuel oil for the money amount due on the fuel oil delivered and the service charge for refiring the burner, if any. The voucher shall be paid in the manner provided for the approval and payment of claims pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:5-17.
[Amended 7-24-1984 by Ord. No. 84-066[1]]
Any landlord or his agent whose negligence or failure to act results in municipal action pursuant to § 267-6 shall be liable to civil penalty of not more than three hundred dollars ($300.) for each affected dwelling unit in the residential property. Such penalty shall be recoverable by the city in civil action by a summary proceeding under the Penalty Enforcement Law (N.J.S.A. 2A:58-1 et seq.). Any action to collect or enforce any such penalty shall be brought in the Superior Court or Municipal Court. The amount of such penalty shall be paid to the City Health Division to create a fund to be used for the emergency purchase of fuel oil or other emergencies as set forth above.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
[Amended 7-24-1984 by Ord. No. 84-066]
In any penalty enforcement proceeding brought pursuant to this Article, the court shall also order the landlord or his agent to reimburse the city for the actual costs incurred for any fuel oil delivered and the service charge for refiring the burner, if any, or the charge for plumbing services and for reasonable attorney's fees and costs. The court shall further be empowered to issue any appropriate injunctive orders and to authorize immediate collection of reimbursable costs due the city out of the goods and chattels of the landlord, including all sums due or which may come due as present or future rents. Any landlord who prevails in such an action shall be entitled to reimbursement by the city for all reasonable costs and expenses. Such landlord, however, shall still remain responsible for the cost of any fuel oil delivered and any charge for refiring the burner incurred by the city.
Except for the gross negligence or malfeasance of any municipal official, officer or employee, no municipal official, officer or employee shall be liable for any damages to any person or property in enforcing this Article.
[Added 7-24-1984 by Ord. No. 84-066[1] ]
Any civil penalty recovered from the landlord or any liability of the landlord for oil delivered or charges for refiring the burner or plumbing services which remain unpaid for thirty (30) days after written demand upon the landlord by regular mail shall form a lien against the real property which formed the subject of the penalty proceeding or the liability for reimbursement, and the Health Division shall notify the City Tax Office in order that said sums shall be reflected as such.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
The provisions of this Article shall not apply to owner-occupied residential rental properties containing five (5) units or fewer.