City of Passaic, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Passaic 3-20-1986 by Ord. No. 922-86.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Apartment rental businesses — See Ch. 83.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 107.
Illegally occupied dwelling units — See Ch. 125.
Multiple dwellings — See Ch. 185.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 219.
Zoning — See Ch. 317.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was originally adopted as Ch. 101 of the Code but was redesignated as Ch. 100 because there was a preexisting Ch. 101, Child-Care Services, in the Code.
The following terms, wherever used herein or referred to in this chapter, shall have the respective meanings assigned to them, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
BUILDING
Any combination of materials to form a structure adapted to permanent or continuous occupancy or use for public, institutional, residence, business, industrial or storage purposes.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
The certificate issued which permits the nonresidential or any combined residential and nonresidential mixed use of a building in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and which certifies compliance with the provisions of the BOCA Basic Building Code or the Uniform Construction Code for the nonresidential or any combined residential and nonresidential mixed use and occupancy of the building in its several parts, together with any special stipulations or conditions, or the certificate issued which permits the use of land in accordance with provisions of law for the nonresidential or any combined residential and nonresidential mixed use and occupancy thereof, together with any special stipulations or conditions.
[Amended 12-2-1993 by Ord. No. 1248-93]
CERTIFICATE OF TENANCY
The certificate issued to the owner or operator of a multiple dwelling which permits the use of a specific dwelling unit based upon a finding of no violations in said dwelling unit, and which certificate is required upon each change of tenancy therein.
DWELLING
Any structure designed for use by human occupants for sleeping and living purposes, whether occupied or vacant.
DWELLING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling forming a single habitable unit, which includes facilities for living, sleeping, cooking, eating, bathing and toilet purposes.
MULTIPLE DWELLING
Any building or structure of one or more stories and any land appurtenant thereto, and any portion thereof, in which three or more units of dwelling space are occupied or intended to be occupied by three or more persons who live independently of each other or in which two units of dwelling space are occupied by two or more persons who live independently of each other in cases where none of such persons is the owner of the premises.
OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE
Obtained by the owner of a residential property indicating that there are no violations of the maintenance code[1].
[Added 6-9-2004 by Ord. No. 1619-04]
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care or control of a dwelling or premises, or part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge and consent of the owner.
OWNER
Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or shall have change, care or control of any building or parcel, as owner or agent of the owner or as fiduciary, including but not limited to executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate, or as a mortgagee in possession, regardless of how possession was obtained. Any person who is a lessee subletting or reassigning any part or all of any dwelling or dwelling unit shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the portion of the premises sublet or assigned by said lessee.
PREMISES
A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon.
STRUCTURE
The combination of any materials, whether fixed or portable, forming a construction, including buildings.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 219, Property Maintenance.
A. 
Words in the singular as used in this chapter shall be construed, unless expressly stated to the contrary, to include the plurals of those words, and the words "building," "dwelling," "dwelling unit," "multiple dwelling," "premises" or "structure" are to be construed as if followed by the words "or any part thereof."
B. 
The word "shall" shall be applied retroactively as well as prospectively.
On or after the date of adoption of this chapter, no building or land shall be occupied or used for any purpose unless a certificate of occupancy therefor shall have been acquired.
A. 
New building. A building or structure hereafter erected shall not be used or occupied, in whole or in part, until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued.
B. 
Building hereafter altered. A building or structure hereafter enlarged, extended or altered to change from one use group (as defined in the BOCA Basic Building Code) to another, in whole or in part, or a building or structure hereafter altered, for which a certificate of occupancy has not been heretofore issued, shall not be occupied or used until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued. Any use or occupancy which was not discontinued during the work of alteration shall be discontinued within 30 days after the completion of the alteration unless the required certificate of occupancy is secured.
C. 
Existing buildings. Upon application from the owner of an existing building or structure, an inspection shall be conducted, and, when said building or structure is in compliance, a certificate of occupancy shall be issued, provided that the use conforms to the existing zoning ordinances and there are no other violations of laws or ordinances or orders pending. A nonconforming use, regardless of the duration it has existed, shall not receive a certificate of occupancy unless it can be demonstrated that the use predates any law or ordinance regulating it or that a valid certificate of occupancy was at one time issued for such use and such use has since been continuous, regardless of changes in ownership of the building or structure.
D. 
Vacant land. The occupancy and use of any vacant land, for any purpose, shall require a certificate of occupancy, which certificate shall be issued following an inspection of the site, so long as it meets all requirements of existing zoning ordinances or a use variance was approved by the Board of Adjustment.
E. 
Changes in use and occupancy. Any change in ownership or an existing building or structure or part thereof which is not being used for residential purposes for which a certificate of occupancy was issued under this chapter or under Chapter 107 of the Code of the City of Passaic will require a new certificate of occupancy to be issued. Any change in ownership of a piece of vacant land for which a certificate of occupancy was previously issued under this chapter or under Chapter 107 of the Code of the City of Passaic shall require a new certificate of occupancy to be issued. Any change in tenancy of any existing building or part thereof, except dwelling units in multiple dwellings, for which a certificate of occupancy was issued under this chapter or under Chapter 107 of the Code of the City of Passaic shall require a new certificate of occupancy to be issued. Any change in ownership of an existing building or structure or part thereof being used for residential purposes shall be governed by Chapter 219 of the Code of the City of Passaic.
[Amended 12-2-1993 by Ord. No. 1248-93]
F. 
It shall be a violation for any owner or agent of any owner to sell any real property used for residential or nonresidential purposes without the application for and receipt of a reinspection to obtain an occupancy certificate (see also Chapter 219 of the Code of the City of Passaic).
[Added 6-9-2004 by Ord. No. 1619-04]
A certificate of occupancy shall be deemed to authorize and is required for both initial and continued occupancy or use of a building or land to which it applies and shall continue in effect so long as, but only so long as, such building and the use thereof or the use of such land is in full conformity with the provisions of Chapter 317 and any requirements made pursuant thereto. On the serving of notice upon the owner or occupants of any violation of any of said provisions or requirements with respect to any building or the use thereof or the use of land, as provided herein and in §§ 317-62 and 317-63 of the Code of the City of Passaic, the certificate of occupancy for such use shall thereupon, without further action, be null and void, and a new certificate of occupancy shall be required for any further use of such land or building.
[Amended 9-15-1988 by Ord. No. 1042-88]
A. 
In cases other than provided for in § 317-34 of the Code of the City of Passaic, a conditional certificate of occupancy may issue where such action serves to further the purposes of this chapter and denial of such conditional certificate would impose a hardship upon the applicant.
B. 
Where an inspection has been made and a list of violations issued, the applicant for a conditional certificate shall be required to post a bond or escrow in an amount to be established up to the estimated cost of repairs required to abate all violations.
C. 
If an inspection has not been conducted, the applicant for a conditional certificate shall be required to post a bond or escrow equal to $1,000 per dwelling unit or per 1,000 square feet of nonresidential space, not to exceed $50,000 for any premises which is occupied and operating at the time of application. Following inspection, such bond or escrow shall be adjusted to an amount equal to the estimated cost of repairs required to abate all violations.
D. 
Conditional certificates shall be issued for a period not to exceed 90 days. Extensions may be granted for good and sufficient reason where work is under way and being diligently pursued. Where no extension is granted and a conditional certificate has expired, all use and occupancy of premises shall cease until such time as a continued certificate shall issue or the owner shall be subject to Municipal Court complaints for each day the premises shall be occupied without a continued certificate.
E. 
Where a premises is not occupied and is not capable of being occupied, i.e., fire-damaged, at the time of application for a conditional certificate, a bond or escrow shall be required in an amount equal to the estimated rehabilitation cost, and a schedule of rehabilitation shall be established.
F. 
Where an applicant for a certificate of occupancy require a continued certificate to satisfy a mortgage lender and cannot abate violations or undergo an inspection prior to the closing date, a continued certificate may issue upon posting of a bond or escrow which shall be at the rate of $1,000 per unit or 1,000 square feet of nonresidential space, or the estimated cost of repairs, whichever is greater, and the execution of a forfeiture agreement in which the applicant agrees to forfeit the bond or escrow if all violations are not abated within 45 days of the closing or date of inspection report, whichever is later. Under the forfeiture agreement, no extensions shall be granted.
G. 
Except in case of forfeiture, the escrow shall be ordered returned or bond discharged upon issuance of a continued certificate of occupancy.
On and after the date of adoption of this chapter, no dwelling unit which shall become vacant within a multiple dwelling shall be retenanted unless a certificate of tenancy shall have been issued therefor.
A. 
Whenever a dwelling unit within a multiple dwelling shall become vacant, the owner or operator of the subject building shall notify the Superintendent of the Division of Housing, or his designee, and request an inspection thereof. The owner or operator shall supply the address of the multiple dwelling, the number or location of the dwelling unit, the name of the prospective tenant and the number of persons to occupy the dwelling unit.
B. 
Following an inspection, which shall take place within two working days of notification, the owner or operator will be notified of any violations and directed to correct the same within a specific time period. Occupancy of the dwelling unit will be permitted during the abatement period, provided that there are no violations which constitute an immediate threat to the health or safety of the occupants or which concern potential overcrowding which would be caused by the prospective tenancy.
C. 
When all violations have been abated, the Superintendent of the Division of Housing shall issue a certificate of tenancy, including the name of the tenant and the number of persons to reside in the dwelling unit. Issuance of the certificate shall constitute certification that, as of the issue date, the dwelling unit is violation-free.
A certificate of tenancy shall be deemed to authorize and is required for the continued use and occupancy of any dwelling unit within a multiple dwelling unit within a multiple dwelling and shall continue in effect so long as, but only so long as, the tenant whose name appears on the certificate is in residence in such dwelling unit and the number of persons to reside in such dwelling unit remains the same or decreases.
A. 
It shall be a violation of this chapter to cause, permit or allow the occupancy or use of any building or land without a valid certificate of occupancy or to cause, permit or allow tenancy of any dwelling unit which has become vacant at any time following the adoption of this chapter without first securing a certificate of tenancy. Each day of use or occupancy or tenancy without the requisite certificate shall constitute an individual and separate violation.
B. 
Any violation of any section or subsection of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by 90 days in jail, or both, except that a second or subsequent violation of the sections concerning the certificate of tenancy shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or by 90 days in jail, or both.
A. 
The fee for a special inspection, a continued occupancy certificate, change of use or multiple certificate of occupancy shall be $50 for the first unit, $35 per unit for the second through the 20th unit, inclusive, and $25 per unit thereafter. The fee for an expedited occupancy certificate (five days or less) shall be $300.
[Amended 6-9-2004 by Ord. No. 1619-04; 9-10-2013 by Ord. No. 1952-13]
B. 
Certificate of occupancy for new construction. The fee for the initial certificate of occupancy for new construction shall be in the amount of 10% of the new construction permit fee to be charged pursuant to § 107-3 of the Code of the City of Passaic. The minimum fee shall be $65, except for one- or two-family structures of less than 5,000 square feet in area and less than 30 feet in height, which minimum fee shall be $35. All fees shall be paid prior to issuance of the construction permit.
[Amended 1-21-1988 by Ord. No. 1009-88]
C. 
In the event that inspectors cannot enter the premises on the date of a scheduled inspection, there shall be an additional fee of $50 to be paid for the rescheduling of the inspection.
D. 
The fee for necessary inspections and a certificate of tenancy in multiple dwellings shall be $25 per dwelling unit.
[Amended 6-9-2004 by Ord. No. 1619-04]
[Added 10-15-1987 by Ord. No. 997-87]
A. 
All applications for certificates of occupancy or tenancy shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee.
B. 
If a certificate of occupancy application is rejected for failure to comply with zoning requirements, the applicant shall have 30 days in which to make application to the requisite board for the relief required or to amend the application to comport with zoning requirements. If neither action is taken, the application shall be deemed abandoned, and, notwithstanding any other provisions of the Code of the City of Passaic, the fee paid shall be retained by the city. Thereafter, any further action relating to the subject property shall require a new application and fee.
C. 
If a certificate of tenancy application is rejected because the proposed tenancy would result in overcrowding, the applicant shall have 10 days to withdraw the application, in which case the applicant shall be eligible for refund of 50% of the fee, or to amend such application to comport with the applicable Code. If the unit in question has been occupied prior to obtaining the certificate of tenancy, no refund shall be made.
[Added 10-15-1987 by Ord. No. 997-87]
The initial fee for a certificate of occupancy or certificate of tenancy shall entitle the applicant to one reinspection. Where additional inspections are required, the applicant shall be required to compensate the city, in advance, at the rate of $25 apiece.
[Added 10-15-1987 by Ord. No. 997-87]
In any case where an appointment has been made for an initial inspection in connection with a certificate of occupancy application and the applicant fails to keep the appointment or where the appointment is kept but inspectors are able to inspect fewer than 60% of the dwelling units, the applicant will be required to pay a reinspection fee of $50 or $20 per unit, whichever is less. Such inspection fee must be paid and a new appointment made within 30 days of the initial inspection, or the application shall be considered abandoned, and the initial fee shall be retained by the city.
[Added 10-15-1987 by Ord. No. 997-87]
In any case where a certificate of occupancy application remains open more than 60 days following the date established for abatement of violations, as modified by any extensions granted, such application shall be deemed abandoned, and no certificate of occupancy shall issue until a new application shall have been filed and a new inspection conducted.