Borough of Leonia, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Leonia 10-4-1982 by Ord. No. 949 as Ch. 136 of the 1982 Code (Ord. No. 833). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Affordable housing — See Ch. 72.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 212.
There is hereby established the Leonia Multiple Dwelling Emergency Commission, hereinafter referred to as the "Commission." Its members shall be appointed by the Council and shall serve without compensation at the pleasure of the governing body of the Borough of Leonia. The membership of the Commission shall consist of the Municipal Administrator, the Property Maintenance Inspector, a member of the Board of Health, the Fire Inspector and Deputy Administrator/Construction Code Official. Any conduct or action of the Commission authorized by this chapter shall be deemed valid and effective when taken by any three members of the Commission. At any meeting of the Commission, a quorum shall consist of a majority of the membership of the Commission.
The duties of the Commission shall consist of the following:
A. 
Receiving, administering and expending security funds deposited pursuant to the terms of this chapter.
B. 
Examining those circumstances and conditions alleged to constitute emergency conditions and declaring, where applicable, an emergency condition to exist.
C. 
Arranging, in accordance with the terms of this chapter, for the prompt repair, maintenance, supply or replacement of those items of structure, equipment or supplies which are necessary to correct, eliminate or alleviate the emergency conditions.
A. 
The owner of a multiple dwelling shall deposit with the Commission security funds to be used for the repair, maintenance, supply or replacement of those items of structure, equipment or supplies which are necessary to correct, eliminate or alleviate an emergency condition. The amount of the security funds to be deposited with the Commission shall be computed in the following manner:
(1) 
Where the owner owns three through 25 dwelling units inclusive, the owner shall deposit $50 for each dwelling unit. For purposes of this section, the three-dwelling-unit limitation shall mean three rental units other than owner-occupied.
(2) 
Where the owner owns between 26 and 40 dwelling units, the owner shall deposit $1,250 for the first 25 units and $35 for each additional dwelling unit owned.
(3) 
Where the owner owns more than 40 dwelling units, the owner shall deposit $1,250 for the first 25) units, $35 per unit for the next 15 units and $25 per unit for each additional dwelling unit.
B. 
All funds required to be deposited under the terms of this chapter shall be deposited with the Commission by delivering such funds to the office of the Commission of the Borough of Leonia within 10 days after receipt of notice from the Commission of the amount due. Notice of the amount due may be given by the Commission or its agent by personally delivering same to the owner or the owner's agent, servant, employee or joint venturer on the owner's premises or by certified mail sent to the owner's last registered address. Upon receipt of such security funds, the Commission shall deposit same in an interest-bearing savings account in the name of the Commission in trust for each particular owner. All interest payable on such accounts shall accrue to the particular owner on whose behalf the account is maintained by the Commission and shall be paid annually, not later than January 31 of each year.
C. 
Upon satisfactory proof that a particular building or structure for which security funds have been deposited has been destroyed or demolished or has otherwise ceased to constitute a multiple dwelling as defined herein, the Commission shall refund to the owner thereof any security funds deposited pursuant to the provisions hereof, together with any interest accrued thereon.
D. 
Upon satisfactory proof that a person is no longer the owner of a multiple dwelling for which security funds have been deposited, the Commission shall refund to said person all security moneys deposited by said person, together with interest accrued thereon; provided, however, that no such refund shall be paid unless and until the new owner of said multiple dwelling has deposited for said multiple dwelling such security funds as are required by this chapter.
E. 
All financial transactions accomplished by the Commission, as indicated herein, shall actually be accomplished by the Borough Treasurer upon formal direction of the Commission. Any bank accounts established for the accomplishment of the Commission's purposes shall require the signatures of the Borough Treasurer and the Municipal Administrator, as well as the Chairperson of the Commission.
A. 
In the event that the Commission spends money from any account, as authorized by this chapter, thus reducing the amount in the account and leaving less than the sum required as computed in § 175-3 of this chapter, the Commission shall immediately notify the owner in the same manner as notification is given in § 175-3 of this chapter of the amount necessary to bring that account up to the originally required amount. The owner shall thereafter deposit said required sum necessary to bring the account up to the originally required amount with the Commission and within the following time schedule:
(1) 
Where the balance remaining in the owner's account is more than one $1,250, the deposit shall be made within 30 days from the date the owner received notice.
(2) 
Where the balance remaining in the account is $1,250 or less, the deposit shall be made within five days from the date the owner received notice.
B. 
The Commission shall charge as administration expenses, a sum equivalent to 2% of the money expended from the account as set forth herein. Said money shall be removed from the account upon notice to the owner. The provisions of Subsection A shall control with respect to reimbursement of administration expenses.
C. 
Where the Commission has spent money from an account, the owner of the premises may appeal to the governing body for a hearing concerning solely the issues of whether an emergency condition did exist, and whether the amount expended to remedy the emergency condition was reasonable. If such appeal is desired, the owner shall, within 10 days of receiving notice of the amount spent, file with the Borough Clerk of the Borough of Leonia a letter requesting such appeal. The governing body of the Borough of Leonia shall hold a hearing regarding the aforementioned issues not less than 10 nor more than 30 days after the Borough Clerk has received the request from the owner, and shall render its decision within 14 days after the hearing has been concluded. By mutual consent between the governing body and an aggrieved party, the time limitations herein stated may be extended.
The Commission shall be authorized to expend the moneys from the account it maintains for an owner to correct, eliminate or alleviate an emergency condition only when:
A. 
It has examined those circumstances and conditions alleged to constitute an emergency condition and has declared an emergency condition to exist;
B. 
The remedying of such emergency conditions is the owner's responsibility.
C. 
The owner or the owner's agent, servant, employees or joint venturer has received notice of the circumstances or conditions constituting the emergency condition from either the Commission or an affected tenant in person or by regular mail, telegram or telephone conventions; and
D. 
No work has been commenced by the owner or the owner's agent, servant, employee or joint venturer to correct, eliminate or alleviate the emergency condition within 24 hours after the owner or owner's agent, servant, employee or joint venturer has received notice as described in Subsection C of this section of the circumstances and conditions constituting the emergency condition; or
E. 
Where work has commenced within the twenty-four-hour period referred to in Subsection D of this section, but such work has not been reasonably completed within 72 hours after the work was commenced, and such work, under the applicable circumstances and in the opinion of the Property Maintenance or Building Inspector, could have been completed within 72 hours. Any such withdrawal and expenditure of security funds by the Commission shall require the signatures of the Commission Chairperson and the Municipal Administrator.
In applying and interpreting this chapter, the following definitions shall be used:
DWELLING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit which includes or is intended to include living, sleeping, bathing, toilet and cooking facilities.
EMERGENCY CONDITION
Any condition, dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of a building or occupants of neighboring buildings, which arises out of any of the following circumstances or conditions:
A. 
Lack of adequate ventilation or light.
B. 
Lack of adequate and properly functioning sanitary facilities.
C. 
Lack of adequate and healthful water supply.
D. 
Structural, mechanical or electrical devices which increase the hazards of fire, accident or other calamity.
E. 
From October 1 of each year until the next succeeding May 1, the failure to maintain every unit of dwelling space and every habitable room therein at a temperature of at least 70° F. whenever the outside temperature falls below 50° F. during the daytime hours of 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or failure to maintain every unit of dwelling space and every habitable room therein at a temperature of at least 65° F. whenever the outside temperature falls below 50° F. during the nighttime hours or 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. 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.
MULTIPLE DWELLINGS
A building designed for, arranged for or actually containing three or more dwelling units for residential purposes, exclusive of owner-occupied three-family dwellings.
Any person, firm, association or persons or corporations found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, Article I, General Penalty. Each day of a separate violation shall be considered a separate offense.