City of Bradford, PA
Mckean County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Bradford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Dangerous or unsafe buildings — See Ch. 82.
Housing standards — See Ch. 127.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 163.
[Adopted 6-27-1995 by Ord. No. 3162]
A. 
The intent of this article is to prevent the owners of properties in the City of Bradford which are in violation of housing, building, safety, plumbing, electrical, fire and City utility ordinances and regulations, from offering such properties for sale without revealing such illegal use or the existence of housing, building, safety, plumbing, electrical, fire and City utility and other charge violations.
B. 
To prevent undue hardships and losses imposed on such purchasers by owners who have failed to reveal the illegal use or condition of the property being conveyed or who have made misrepresentations in that regard or concerning the charges due against said property or the seller by the City, the City Council finds that it is in the best interest of the City of Bradford to declare that all sellers of property, as defined herein, shall be required to advise the purchaser of the legal use and condition of such property, and to deliver to the purchaser prior to the execution of the agreement of sale for such property a use registration certificate, obtained from the Code Enforcement Officer, showing the legal use for such property, the existence of any housing, building, safety, plumbing, electrical or fire violations and any municipal claims due the City of Bradford.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGENT
Any person, copartnership, association, corporation or fiduciary who for monetary consideration aids in the sale or exchange of property as defined herein. Whenever used in any clause prescribing or imposing a penalty, the term "agent," as applied to copartnerships and associations, shall mean the partners or members thereof, and, as applied to corporations, the officers thereof. Liability shall be limited to failure to notify the owner of the obligations imposed by this article.
AGREEMENT OF SALE
Any written agreement or written instrument which provides that title to any property shall thereafter be transferred from one owner to another owner.
[Amended 6-23-1998 by Ord. No. 3162.3; 12-8-2015 by Ord. No. 3162.7]
MUNICIPAL CLAIM
All monetary obligations, recorded or unrecorded, due the City of Bradford as school and City property taxes or for services rendered or delivered to the property.
OWNER
Any person, copartnership, association, corporation or fiduciary having legal or equitable title, or any interest in any real property. Wherever used in any clause prescribing or imposing a penalty, the term "owner," as applied to copartnerships and associations, shall mean the partners, or members thereof, and as applied to corporations, the officers thereof.
PROPERTY
Any residential building or structure which totally or partially contains single-family dwellings; two-family dwellings; multifamily dwellings; boardinghouses, lodging houses, tourist homes; dormitories; and hotels as further defined in the Zoning Ordinance.[1] The separateness of a property shall be determined by the more restrictive title or parcel number.
REGULATION
Includes regulations promulgated by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry under the Pennsylvania Fire and Panic Act of April 27, 1927, P.L. 465, as amended.
SALE
Includes the typical real estate closing where a deed is given from the seller to the buyer. For the purposes of this article, a sale shall be deemed to occur when the deed transfers ownership.
[Added 6-23-1998 by Ord. No. 3162.3; amended 12-8-2015 by Ord. No. 3162.7]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 220, Zoning.
A. 
Prior to the sale or exchange of any property, the owner shall obtain from the Code Enforcement Officer the certificate set forth in § 165-4 hereof, subject to the following provisions:
[Amended 6-28-2005 by Ord. No. 3162.6]
(1) 
Where such properties are intended to be demolished and a valid demolition permit has been obtained, a certificate shall not be required.
(2) 
Where such properties are sold at a foreclosure sale or pursuant to the Real Estate Tax Sale Act of 1947, P.L. 1368, as amended, or other judicial sale pursuant to federal or state statutes, the certificate set forth in § 165-4 shall be required prior to said properties being inhabited.
B. 
The certificate shall be valid for a period not to exceed one year from date of issue.
A. 
Upon application of the owner and the payment to the City of Bradford of a base fee established by the City Council pursuant to resolution for properties containing only one dwelling unit, the Code Enforcement Officer, or his designee, shall then review the pertinent City of Bradford records and inspect the premises in question. For properties containing more than one dwelling unit, the fee shall be the base fee plus an amount determined, pursuant to resolution, for each dwelling exceeding three units.
B. 
Upon completion of the review and inspection, the Code Enforcement Officer shall execute and deliver a certificate to the owner which shall contain the following information. The certificate shall be valid for a period of one year.
(1) 
The street address or appropriate description of subject property.
(2) 
A statement as to whether any construction, electrical, plumbing or building permits have been issued from the City of Bradford for work not yet completed on those premises.
(3) 
A detailed list of all violations of the housing, building, plumbing, electrical, safety or fire ordinances and regulation.
C. 
Extensions, sale of property.
[Added 10-10-1995 by Ord. No. 3162.1]
(1) 
In the event that the Code Enforcement Officer should find a violation, he may, at his discretion, grant an extension of 60 days to one year to allow repairs to be made.
(2) 
The Code Enforcement Officer may grant subsequent extensions, at his discretion, if adequate progress is being made. However, in no event may the property be sold by a property owner until all violations noted by the Code Enforcement Officer have been corrected.
(3) 
In the event that property is sold in the first instance without all violations being corrected, it is the seller's responsibility to ensure that a sales agreement exists at or before the time of closing, which sets forth whose responsibility (seller's or buyer's) it is to make sure the violations are corrected. No property may be sold a second time without all violations having been corrected and a certificate of code compliance having been issued.
(4) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, no party shall be permitted to purchase property at sale for delinquent taxes or at any judicial sale, and thereafter sell the property without the property being inspected, approved and a certificate issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. In this event, any attempted sale by a purchaser at a sale for delinquent taxes or judicial sale, shall be regarded as a "second sale" within the terms of this article.
D. 
Fees for applications.
[Added 10-10-1995 by Ord. No. 3162.1; amended 6-10-1997 by Ord. No. 3162.2; 11-12-2002 by Ord. No. 3162.4]
(1) 
Single-unit dwellings: $150.
(2) 
Apartment buildings with up to three units: $150.
(3) 
Apartment buildings with four or more units: $150 for the first three units, $75 for each additional unit.
(4) 
Failure to pay the foregoing fees shall subject the applicant to the penalties set forth in § 165-10.
[Added 6-28-2005 by Ord. No. 3162.6]
Every owner shall provide every buyer with a copy of the certificate of compliance, certified by the Code Enforcement Officer, before any sale is finalized.
Notwithstanding any other law or ordinance, the provisions of this article may not be waived or disclaimed by any oral or written agreement executed by any owner or purchaser.
[Amended 6-28-2005 by Ord. No. 3162.6]
A. 
In the City of Bradford, it shall be unlawful for any owner to sell his property, or any interest therein, unless the owner shall first deliver to the purchaser, at or prior to the execution of any agreement of sale, or prior to the transfer of title should no agreement of sale be utilized, the certification described in § 165-4.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any agent to aid any owner in the sale or transfer of property unless the agent shall first notify the owner of the owner's obligation imposed by § 165-4.
The certificate of compliance shall be compiled from the records of the City of Bradford and from an inspection of the property. Neither the enactment of this article nor the preparation and delivery of any certificate required hereunder shall impose any liability upon the City of Bradford for any errors or omissions contained in such certificate nor shall the City of Bradford bear any liability not otherwise imposed by law.
Appeals from the findings set forth in the certificate must be filed, in writing, with the City Council of the City of Bradford within three days after the issuance of said certificate; the City Council of the City of Bradford will refer the appeal to the appropriate board of appeals.
A. 
Any owner or agent who violates the provisions of § 165-5 or § 165-6 of this article shall be guilty of a summary offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than the cost of the required inspection plus $100, not to exceed $1,000 and, in default of payment, undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days.
[Amended 5-8-2018 by Ord. No. 3162.8]
B. 
No sale or exchange of property (as defined in § 165-2 of this article) shall be invalidated solely because of the failure of any person to comply with any provisions of this article, unless such failure is an act or omission which would be valid ground for cancellation of such sale or exchange in the absence of this article.
C. 
In addition to the penalty provision in Subsection A above, the City shall also have the right to, either independent of or in conjunction with, bring a civil action pursuant to Subsection A above, to collect any unpaid application fees from the owner and/or agent(s) involved in the sale and transfer of any real property sold. The liability of the owner and/or agent(s) shall be joint and several.
[Added 9-9-2003 by Ord. No. 3162.5]