Town of Brookhaven, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven 12-7-1999 by L.L. No. 12-1999, effective 12-10-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction administration — See Ch. 16.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 30.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 49.
Nuisance abatement — See Ch. 49B.
Zoning — See Ch. 85.
A. 
The intent of this chapter is to preserve the aesthetic integrity of our residential neighborhoods, prevent neighborhood blight, protect residential property values, encourage residential property maintenance and enhance the quality of life in our residential neighborhoods.
B. 
This chapter is intended to apply to all dwelling units within the Town of Brookhaven. This chapter shall not apply to property located in the Great South Beach (Fire Island) which will be regulated by § 85-170.1 of the Code of the Town of Brookhaven. The Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven has determined that there exists in the Town of Brookhaven serious conditions arising from non-owner occupied rental of dwelling units in one, two and three family and multiple dwellings that are substandard or in violation of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, Building Rehabilitation Code, Electrical Code, Fire Prevention Code, Plumbing Code, and other codes and ordinances of the Town. Many of these dwellings are inadequate in size, overcrowded and dangerous, and such dwelling units pose hazards to life, limb and property of residents of the Town and others, tend to promote and encourage deterioration of the housing stock of the Town, create blight and excessive vehicle traffic and parking problems and to overburden municipal services. The Board finds that current Code provisions are inadequate to halt the proliferation of such conditions and that the public health, safety, welfare and good order and governance of the Town will be enhanced by enactment of the regulations set forth in this chapter, which regulations are remedial in nature and effect. The Board also finds that owner occupied dwellings can also fall into disrepair and not be adequately maintained, which has a detrimental effect on neighborhoods.
[Amended 10-15-2002 by L.L. No. 22-2002, effective 10-21-2002]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Chief Building Inspector, Principal Building Inspector, Senior Building Inspector, Building/Zoning Inspector, Building Inspector, Zoning Inspector, Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management Inspectors, Housing Inspectors, Building Permits Coordinator, Electrical or Plumbing Inspector, Chief Fire Marshal, Assistant Chief Fire Marshal, Senior Fire Marshal, Police Officer, Town Investigator or Ordinance Inspector of the Town of Brookhaven and other law enforcement officers.
[Amended 6-29-2017 by L.L. No. 16-2017, effective 7-13-2017]
DWELLING UNIT
A structure or building, one-, two-, or three-family dwelling, or multi-unit apartments, condominiums or cooperatives, occupied or to be occupied by one or more persons as a home or residence.
IMMEDIATE FAMILY
The immediate family of the owner of a housing unit consists of the owner's spouse, children, parents, grandparents or grandchildren, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws.
OWNER
Any person, partnership, corporation or other entity who, alone or jointly with others, shall have legal title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or who shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling unit as a cooperative shareholder or as executor, administrator, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate or as a mortgagee in possession, title or control; including but not limited to a bank or lending institution, regardless of how such possession, title or control was obtained.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 41-2010, effective 12-7-2010]
RENT
A return, in money, property or other valuable consideration (including payment in kind or for services or other thing of value), for use and occupancy or the right to use and occupancy of a dwelling unit, whether or not a legal relationship of landlord and tenant exists between the owner and the occupant or occupants thereof.
RENTAL DWELLING
A dwelling unit established, occupied, used or maintained for rental occupancy as a one, two, or three family dwelling or multiple apartment units or condominiums or cooperatives.
RENTAL OCCUPANCY
The occupancy or use of a dwelling unit by one or more persons as a home or residence under an arrangement whereby the occupant or occupants thereof pay rent for such occupancy and use.[1]
RENTAL REGISTRATION
A registration which is issued upon application to the Chief Building Inspector and shall be valid for 15 months from the date of issuance.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 41-2010, effective 12-7-2010; 7-2-2013 by L.L. No. 33-2013, effective 7-15-2013]
[1]
Editor's Note: The definition of “rental occupancy permit,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 41-2010, effective 12-7-2010.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 41-2010, effective 12-7-2010; 7-15-2014 by L.L. No. 14-2014, effective 7-27-2014]
A. 
Surface and subsurface water shall be appropriately drained to protect buildings and structures and to prevent the accumulation of water. Gutters, culverts, catch basins, drain outlets, stormwater sewers, approved combined storm and sanitary sewers or other satisfactory drainage systems shall be utilized to prevent damage to any portion of the subject or adjacent properties or any improvements thereupon.
B. 
Steps, walks, driveways, parking areas and other paved areas shall be maintained in good repair.
C. 
Yards shall be kept clean and free of physical hazards and debris.
D. 
All lawns, common areas and recreation areas shall be maintained in a clean and neat condition, and grass shall be cut periodically to restrict growth in excess of 12 inches in total height. No portion of a lawn shall be damaged or destroyed by overuse or by the parking or driving of motor vehicles on such established lawn area. Carpet, tarps, sand or materials that damage or destroy the lawn shall not be placed anywhere upon a front lawn at any time. No portion of any front lawn shall be used for the parking, placement or storage of motor vehicles, trailers, boats or campers.
E. 
Exterior surfaces of any and all dwellings, structures and accessory structures, including but not limited to fences that are not inherently resistant to deterioration, shall be periodically treated with a protective coating of paint or other suitable preservative. All surfaces shall be maintained free of deterioration, including but not limited to broken or missing glass, loose or missing shingles or siding, crumbling brick, stone and mortar and peeling, scaling or deteriorated paint.
F. 
Dwellings, structures and accessory structures shall be maintained so as to be free of conditions detrimental to safety or health.
G. 
Dwellings, structures, accessory structures and property shall be maintained free of vermin, rodent harborage and infestation. Methods used for exterminating vermin and rodents shall conform to Suffolk County Health Department standards.
H. 
Adequate sanitary facilities and methods shall be used for the collection, storage, handling and disposal of garbage and refuse and sewage pursuant to Suffolk County Health Department standards.
I. 
Floors, walls, ceilings and fixtures in residential dwellings shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
J. 
Dwellings, structures and accessory structures shall be free of partitions or locked internal doors barring access between segregated portions of the building or dwelling unit.
K. 
No bedroom or sleeping quarters shall have interior key locks or dead bolt locked doors servicing said bedroom or sleeping quarters.
L. 
No bedroom shall constitute the only means of access of other bedrooms or habitable spaces, and bedrooms shall not serve as the only means of egress from other habitable spaces.
M. 
Carbon monoxide alarms and detectors shall be installed on every habitable floor of any dwelling, structure or accessory structure with a carbon monoxide source, in accordance with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Town Code Chapters 16 and 30.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 82-4, Rental occupancy registration required, as amended, was repealed 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 41-2010, effective 12-7-2010.
[Amended 7-22-2003 by L.L. No. 18-2003, effective 7-28-2003]
A. 
A nonrefundable permit application fee shall be paid, upon filing an application for a rental occupancy permit or for a renewal rental occupancy permit, in accordance with the following schedule of rental dwelling units per structure:
[Amended 7-2-2013 by L.L. No. 33-2013, effective 7-15-2013]
Type of Dwelling
Fee
One bedroom
$95
Two bedrooms
$160
Three bedrooms
$220
Four bedrooms
$285
More than four bedrooms
$345, plus $100 for each bedroom in excess of four
B. 
The fee required by this section shall be waived for any applicant which demonstrates that it is a not-for-profit housing development corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York, and that it is providing housing for senior citizens or other designated special populations subject to income guidelines established by either federal or state regulation.
C. 
Any owner who operates a multi-unit apartment complex shall pay a biennial fee based upon the number of rental units as follows:
Number of Units
Fee
4 to 50
$1,000
51 to 100
$1,500
101 to 200
$2,500
Over 200
$5,000
[Amended 10-15-2002 by L.L. No. 22-2002, effective 10-21-2002]
Each rental dwelling shall be equipped with a functioning smoke detector device, in compliance with New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 41-2010, effective 12-7-2010; 1-19-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012, effective 1-31-2012]
No person shall occupy or let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not comply with the following requirements:
A. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain at least 150 square feet of floor area per occupant, the floor areas to be calculated on the basis of total usable floor area of habitable rooms.
B. 
There shall be no more than four persons per bedroom.
C. 
No unfinished basement or bathroom space shall be used to calculate the minimum total usable floor area.
D. 
Each rental dwelling unit shall have a dining area and recreation area in the dwelling structure.
[Amended 10-15-2002 by L.L. No. 22-2002, effective 10-21-2002; 7-15-2014 by L.L. No. 14-2014, effective 7-27-2014]
A. 
No permit shall be issued under any application unless all the provisions of the Code of the Town of Brookhaven, the laws and sanitary and housing regulations of the County of Suffolk and the laws of the State of New York have been complied with.
B. 
The Chief Building Inspector of the Town of Brookhaven is authorized to make or cause to be made inspections, to determine the condition of dwellings and to safeguard the health, safety, morals and welfare of the public. The Chief Building Inspector or his designated representative is authorized to enter, upon the consent of the owner, any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit or premises at any reasonable time during daylight hours or at such other time as may be necessary in an emergency, without consent of the owner, for the purpose of performing his duties under this chapter.
C. 
Search without warrant restricted. Nothing in this chapter, except for provisions concerning emergency inspections, shall be deemed to authorize the Chief Building Inspector of the Town of Brookhaven or his authorized representative to conduct an inspection of any premises subject to this chapter without the consent of the owner of the premises or without a warrant duly issued by an appropriate court.
D. 
Conflict with other chapters or law. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to negate the authority for inspections pursuant to any other section of law or court-ordered inspection.
E. 
Presumption of rent. Any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit or any other premises subject to this chapter shall be presumed to be rented for a fee and a charge made if said premises are not occupied by the legal owner thereof. This presumption shall be rebuttable.
[Amended 10-15-2002 by L.L. No. 22-2002, effective 10-21-2002]
The Chief Building Inspector of the Town of Brookhaven or his designated representative is authorized to make application to the District Court or Supreme Court of Suffolk County, or any court of competent jurisdiction, for the issuance of a search warrant in order to conduct an inspection of any premises covered by this chapter where the owner refuses or fails to allow an inspection of its rental premises and where there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this chapter has occurred. The application for a search warrant shall in all respects comply with the applicable laws of the State of New York.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 41-2010, effective 12-7-2010; 8-28-2012 by L.L. No. 20-2012, effective 9-11-2012; 7-2-2013 by L.L. No. 33-2013, effective 7-15-2013; 10-1-2015 by L.L. No. 19-2015, effective 10-15-2015; 10-29-2015 by L.L. No. 22-2015, effective 11-16-2015]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any rental occupancy to exist in any dwelling without the owner's first having obtained a rental registration from the Chief Building Inspector.
(1) 
It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of Subsection A of this section that the rental occupant or occupants is/are immediate family members of the owner of the subject premises, as defined in this chapter.
B. 
Entities including, but not limited to, limited-liability companies, corporations, small corporations, partnerships and professional corporations shall have a valid rental registration in effect at any time the dwelling is occupied.
C. 
Application review; inspection of premises.
(1) 
The Chief Building Inspector or his designee shall review each application for completeness and reject incomplete applications. The Chief Building Inspector shall create and approve the application requirements in accordance with this chapter.
(2) 
Upon properly filing a complete application with the Building Division, the Chief Building Inspector shall issue a temporary rental registration valid for 90 days.
(3) 
Inspection report. Within 90 days of receiving a temporary rental registration, the owner of the rental dwelling unit shall (1) arrange for an inspection of the unit or units and the premises on which the same are located by the Chief Building Inspector or his designee employed by the Town of Brookhaven, or (2) provide to the Chief Building Inspector an inspection report, designed and approved by the Chief Building Inspector, signed by either a New York State licensed professional engineer, New York State licensed architect or home inspector who has a valid New York State Uniform Fire Prevention Building Code certification that the structure and the dwelling units contained therein meet all applicable housing, sanitary, building, electrical and fire codes, rules and regulations. Upon receipt of the approved inspection report, the Chief Building Inspector shall issue a rental registration valid for 15 months from the date of the issuance of the temporary rental registration.
(4) 
No rental registrations may be issued after the expiration date of the temporary rental registration.
D. 
Rental registration requirements.
(1) 
Rental registration applications shall be in writing on a form designed and approved by the Chief Building Inspector and shall include the owner's name, address and telephone number.
(2) 
Rental registrations shall also include the maximum number of persons that are allowed to occupy the premises pursuant to this chapter.
(3) 
Rental registrations shall contain a description of the unit, including the number of rooms in the rental dwelling unit, and the dimensions and use of each such room shall be included. The name, address and telephone number, if any, of the managing agent or operator of each such intended rental dwelling unit shall be included.
(4) 
All applicants must submit a sworn statement that there are no existing or outstanding violations of any federal, state or county laws or rules or regulations or of any Town of Brookhaven local laws or ordinances pertaining to the property.
(5) 
All applicants for a rental registration shall sign an affidavit stating that they have received a copy of and fully understand the Brookhaven Town Code concerning the restrictions on the number of unrelated persons occupying said residence.
(6) 
All applicants must submit the following documents:
(a) 
A property survey of the premises prepared by a licensed surveyor drawn to scale not greater than 40 feet to one inch, or, if not shown on the survey, a site plan prepared by a licensed surveyor or engineer, drawn to scale, showing all buildings, structures, walks, drives and other physical features of the premises and the number, location and access of existing and proposed on-site vehicle parking facilities; said survey to be dated not more than one year prior to the date of the application.
(b) 
A building permit application, properly prepared, for all proposed buildings, improvements and alterations to existing buildings on the premises, if any.
(c) 
Copies of all certificates of occupancy and/or certificates of existing use for all buildings and structures on the property.
(d) 
An affidavit setting forth the address to be used as the last known address of the owner for service pursuant to all applicable laws and rules. The owner shall notify the Building Division of any change of address submitted pursuant to this section within five business days of any change thereto.
(7) 
Each application shall be executed and sworn to by the owner of the premises.
(8) 
Any additional information required by the Chief Building Inspector.
(9) 
All rental properties containing eight or more rental units shall provide for a designated site manager, who shall be available to address and resolve any issues with the property 24 hours a day. The owner of the property must file the manager's address, telephone number and other contact information with the Building Division within five days of the designation of the manager or any changes thereto.
E. 
Notwithstanding the above, no rental occupancy registration shall be required for a residential care facility licensed under federal, New York State or Suffolk County guidelines.
F. 
Renewal of rental registrations.
(1) 
The Chief Building Inspector shall design and approve a renewal rental registration application form. A renewal rental registration application signed by the owner shall be completed and filed with the Building Department on or 90 days prior to the expiration date of any valid rental registration. A renewal rental registration application shall contain a copy of the prior rental registration.
(2) 
A renewal rental registration application shall contain a signed sworn statement setting forth the following:
(a) 
That there are no existing or outstanding violations of any federal, state or county laws or rules or regulations or of any Town of Brookhaven local laws or ordinances pertaining to the property; and
(b) 
That there are no changes to any information as provided on the prior valid rental registration and application.
(3) 
Prior to the issuance of a renewal rental registration, the owner shall cause an inspection of the unit or units and the premises on which the same are located to take place pursuant to Subsection C(3) above.
(4) 
The Town of Brookhaven shall not accept, review or approve any renewal rental applications for dwellings wherein the prior rental registration expiration date has passed. If the expiration date has passed, the owner must file a new application.
G. 
Registered motor vehicle restrictions.
(1) 
Each rental dwelling shall be entitled to have one registered motor vehicle for each legally designated bedroom, as determined by the Chief Building Inspector, as well as one additional registered motor vehicle located thereat.
(2) 
An owner seeking to have additional registered motor vehicles located at said rental property pursuant to this subsection may make an application to the Board of Zoning Appeals by written request for such relief.
A. 
The Chief Building Inspector shall revoke a rental occupancy permit where he or she finds that the permit holder has caused, permitted, suffered or allowed to exist and remain upon the premises for which such permit has been issued, for a period of 14 business days or more after written, return receipt requested notice and opportunity to be heard has been given to the permit holder, or the managing agent of such rental dwelling unit, a violation of the Multiple Residence Law and/or New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code or a violation of this chapter or other chapter of the Town Code. Revocation of a permit under this subsection can not be done by a devisee or assistant of the Chief Building Inspector.
B. 
An appeal from such revocation may be taken by the permit holder to the Board of Zoning Appeals, by written request, made within 30 days from the date of such revocation. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall hold a public hearing on such appeal after receipt of written request of such appeal, and after such hearing shall make written findings and conclusions and a decision either sustaining such permit revocation or reinstating such permit within 30 days after close of such public hearing. Unless the Town Board directs otherwise in circumstances constituting serious threats to health and safety, the filing of an appeal shall stay the effectiveness of a permit revocation until the Zoning Board of Appeals has considered and ruled upon the issue.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Original § 82-11, Confidentiality of rental registration, was repealed 9-12-2013 by L.L. No. 37-2013, effective 10-11-2013, which local law also renumbered former §§ 82-12 through 82-17 as §§ 82-11 through 82-16, respectively.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 41-2010, effective 12-7-2010]
A. 
Broker's/Agent's responsibility prior to listing. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any broker or agent to list, solicit, advertise, exhibit, show or otherwise offer for lease, rent or sale on behalf of the owner any dwelling unit for which a current rental permit has not been issued by the Chief Building Inspector. It shall be the broker's or agent's duty to verify the existence of a valid rental registration before acting on behalf of the owner.
B. 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter to accept a deposit of rent or security, or a commission, in connection with the rental of a rental dwelling unit located within the Town of Brookhaven where no valid rental registration has been issued as required under this chapter.
C. 
In the event that a person convicted of a violation of this section shall have been a real estate broker or salesperson licensed by the State of New York, at the time such violation was committed, the Town Clerk shall transmit a record of such conviction to the Division of Licensing Services of the Department of State and make complaint thereto against such licensee on behalf of the Town of Brookhaven, pursuant to the provisions of Article 12-A of the Real Property Law.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer as defined by this chapter.
[Amended 4-16-2009 by L.L. No. 7-2009, effective 4-27-2009; 4-23-2013 by L.L. No. 19-2013, effective 5-8-2013]
A. 
Any person, association, firm or corporation which violates any provision of this chapter or assists in the violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation, punishable:
(1) 
By a fine not less than $500 and not exceeding $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of a first offense.
(2) 
By a fine not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of the second of the two offenses, both of which were committed within a period of five years.
B. 
Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
C. 
This section is enacted pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(1)(ii) a(9-a) and § 10(1)(ii)d(3) and pursuant to § 10(5) of the Statute of Local Governments, and is intended to supersede Town Law § 268 and any other statute or local law to the extent necessary to increase the minimum and maximum penalties contained therein.
This chapter shall be effective immediately or upon filing with the Secretary of State, whichever is later. No violation of this chapter will be charged prior to April 1, 2000.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in said judgment.