Town of North Hempstead, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 8-6-1996 by L.L. No. 12-1996]
The Town Board has determined that there exist in the Town of North Hempstead serious conditions arising from rental of dwelling units that are substandard or in violation of the Town Code and that tend to overburden municipal services and to promote or encourage deterioration of the housing stock of the Town. The Board finds that new Code provisions will serve 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 article.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Commissioner of Buildings or the Commissioner of Public Safety of the Town of North Hempstead or their delegates or assistants.
[Amended 2-10-1998 by L.L. No. 3-1998]
DWELLING UNIT
A structure or building or part thereof or an area, room or rooms therein, occupied or to be occupied by one or more persons as a home or residence.
A. 
Owner, lessee, agent or other person in control of a dwelling unit or any other person or persons or entity or entities having the right to possession of a dwelling unit, except:
[Amended 1-29-2008 by Ord. No. 1-2008]
(1) 
A Public Housing Authority organized as such under the laws of the State of New York;
(2) 
A cooperative corporation whose offering statement or prospectus has been accepted by the New York State Attorney General for filing under General Business Law § 352-e; and
(3) 
A not-for-profit corporation organized to own and operate a low-income or moderate-income senior-citizen housing project in conjunction with the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal.
B. 
Under this definition, a tenant can be an "owner" in relation to a subtenant.
RENT
A return, in money, property or other valuable consideration (including payment in kind or services or other thing of value), for use and occupancy or the right to the 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 UNIT
A dwelling unit established, occupied, used or maintained for rental occupancy.
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. There is a rebuttable presumption that any occupancy or use of a dwelling unit is a "rental occupancy" if the owner of the building containing the dwelling unit does not reside in the same building.
A. 
Scope. This article shall apply to all rental dwelling units located within the unincorporated area of the Town, whether or not the use and occupancy thereof shall be permitted under the applicable use regulations for the zoning district in which such rental dwelling unit is located, as in this article provided.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 70, Zoning.
B. 
Applicability. The provisions of this article shall be deemed to supplement applicable state and local laws, ordinances, codes and regulations; and nothing in this article shall be deemed to abolish, impair, supersede or replace existing remedies of the Town, county or state or existing requirements of any other applicable state or local laws, ordinances, codes or regulations. In case of conflict between any provision of this article and any applicable state or local law, ordinance, code or regulation, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail. The issuance of any permit or the filing of any form under this article does not make legal any action or statement of facts that is otherwise illegal under any other applicable legislation.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any person or entity who owns a dwelling unit in the Town to establish, maintain, use, let, lease, rent or suffer or permit the occupancy and use thereof as a rental occupancy without having a valid permit for such rental occupancy, as herein provided.
A. 
Application for a rental occupancy permit for a rental dwelling unit shall be made in writing to the Building Department on a form provided by the Building Department for that purpose.
B. 
Such application shall be filed in duplicate and shall contain:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number, if any, of the owner of the dwelling unit intended for rental occupancy.
(2) 
The street address and Tax Map description (section, block and lot or lots) of the premises intended for rental occupancy or the premises in which the rental dwelling units intended for occupancy are located.
(3) 
The number of persons under and over the age of 18 and the dates of birth of each person presently residing in or occupying such premises intended for rental occupancy.
[Amended 6-29-2004 by L.L. No. 4-2004]
(4) 
A description of the structure, including:
(a) 
The number of rental dwelling units in the structure;
(b) 
The number of persons intended to be accommodated by and to reside in each such rental dwelling unit; and
(c) 
The number of rooms and the dimensions and use of each room in the structure but outside of the rental dwelling units.
(5) 
For each rental dwelling unit, a description of the unit, including:
(a) 
The number of rooms in the rental dwelling unit; and
(b) 
The dimensions and use of each such room.
(6) 
The name, address and telephone number, if any, of the managing agent or operator of each such intended rental dwelling unit.
C. 
Such application shall be signed by the owner of the premises, and the statements of such owner therein contained shall be verified under oath. If an owner is a natural person permanently residing outside of Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Kings, New York, Richmond, Bronx and Westchester Counties, the application may be signed on behalf of the owner and may be verified by a managing agent having personal knowledge of the facts.
D. 
Such application shall be accompanied by the following:
(1) 
A property survey of the premises drawn to a scale not greater than 40 feet to one inch; or if not shown on the survey, a site plan, 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.
(2) 
A building permit application, properly prepared, for all proposed buildings, improvements and alterations to existing buildings on the premises, if any.
(3) 
A copy of the certificate of occupancy or certificate of existing use. No application will be accepted without the submission of a valid certificate of occupancy or certificate of existing use.
[Amended 6-3-2003 by L.L. No. 6-2003]
E. 
In the case of a condominium unit, the application shall be accompanied by a scale drawing or floor plan of the condominium unit, in lieu of a survey or site plan.
A. 
Permit application fee. A nonrefundable permit application fee shall be paid, upon filing an application for a rental occupancy permit, in accordance with the Town of North Hempstead Fee Schedule.
[Amended 4-11-2006 by L.L. No. 5-2006]
B. 
For a rental occupancy permit application submitted by a person 62 years of age or over, in connection with a single rental dwelling unit contained in the primary residence of the applicant, the permit application fee shall be the amount indicated in the Town of North Hempstead Fee Schedule. This provision shall not apply to applications for more than one rental dwelling unit in the same structure, nor shall it apply to applications for rental dwelling units located in structures other than the primary residence of the applicant.
[Amended 4-11-2006 by L.L. No. 5-2006]
C. 
The fee for a multiple-residence inspection under § 2-28C(10) shall be waived for any applicant who pays the fee for a rental occupancy permit under this article, because the inspection provided under this article will also serve as a multiple-residence inspection.
D. 
The fees 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.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall review each application for completeness and accuracy and shall make an on-site inspection of the proposed rental dwelling unit or units. If satisfied that the proposed rental dwelling unit or units, as well as the premises in which the same are located, comply fully with all applicable state and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations of the county and Town and that such rental dwelling unit or units would not create an unsafe or dangerous condition or create an unsafe and substandard structure as defined in Chapter 2A of the Town Code or create a nuisance to adjoining nearby property, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue the permit or permits.
All permits issued pursuant to this article shall be valid for a period of two years from date of issuance.
It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer to maintain a register of permits issued pursuant to this article. Such register shall be kept by street address, showing the name and address of the permittee, the number of rental dwelling units at such street address, the number of rooms in each such rental dwelling unit and the date of expiration of permit for such unit.
[Amended 6-3-2003 by L.L. No. 6-2003]
No permit shall be issued or renewed until the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the rental dwelling unit to determine that it is equipped with a functioning smoke detector device and carbon monoxide alarm, in compliance with New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to make or cause to be made inspections to determine the condition of rental dwelling units. The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to enter, upon consent of the owner if the unit is unoccupied or upon consent of the occupant if the unit is occupied, any rental dwelling unit and the premises in which the same is located, at the reasonable time or at such other time as may be necessary in an emergency for the purpose of performing duties under this article.
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to make application to the District Court of Nassau County or other court of competent jurisdiction for the issuance of a search warrant, to be executed by a police officer, in order to conduct an inspection of any premises covered by this article where the owner or occupant refuses or fails, after due notice by certified mail, to allow an inspection of the rental dwelling unit or premises and where there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this article or a violation of the Multiple Residence Law, the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance or the Town Code has occurred. The application for a search warrant shall, in all respects, comply with applicable laws of the State of New York.
A. 
The Code Enforcement Officer 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 10 days or more after written notice has been given to the permit holder or the managing agent of such rental dwelling unit, a violation of the Multiple Residence Law, New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance or a violation of this article or other chapter of the Town Code. Revocation of a permit under this subsection cannot be done by a delegate or assistant of the Code Enforcement Officer.
B. 
An appeal from such revocation may be taken by the permit holder to the Town Board, by written request, made within 30 days from the date of such revocation. The Town Board shall hold a public hearing on such appeal within 30 days after receipt of written notice of such appeal and, after such hearing, shall make written findings, a conclusion 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 Town Board has considered and ruled upon the issue.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any owner to permit any tenant or other person to take up residence by a rental occupancy in any dwelling unit without the owner's first having completed and filed with the Code Enforcement Officer a rental registration form approved by the Commissioner of Buildings. A new form must be filed whenever a dwelling unit or portion thereof has become vacant and the owner intends to permit a new tenant or other person to take up residence.
Under Public Officers Law § 872(b), rental registration forms and that portion of the rental occupancy permit application required under § 2-104B(3) shall be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law,[1] on the grounds that such disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The Code Enforcement Officer will institute strict policies to ensure that such information is available only to Town personnel who are engaged in the enforcement of the provisions of this article.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Art. 6 of the Public Officers Law.
The following shall be conditions precedent to the collection of rent for the use and occupancy of any dwelling unit:
A. 
The issuance of a rental occupancy permit for the premises, as required by § 2-103;
B. 
The filing of a valid rental registration form for the tenancy as required by § 2-113; and
C. 
The tendering of a written receipt in exchange for any rent payment offered in cash.
[Amended 6-19-2012 by L.L. No. 10-2012]
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any broker or agent to list, show or otherwise offer for lease or rent on behalf of the owner any dwelling unit for which a current rental occupancy permit has not been issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. It shall be the broker or agent's duty to verify the existence of a valid permit before acting on behalf of the owner.
Any broker or agent who has earned a commission or other compensation for renting or leasing a dwelling unit must, within five business days of earning said commission or other compensation, file with the Code Enforcement Officer a rental registration form, unless the owner has already filed such a form in the meantime. Failure to file shall be unlawful and a violation of this article and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York.
No owner, broker or agent shall publish a written offer or solicitation of offers to rent or lease a rental dwelling unit, unless that offer or solicitation refers by number to a valid rental occupancy permit for the rental dwelling unit in question. For purposes of this section, "publish" means to promulgate to the general public or to selected segments of the general public, in a newspaper, magazine, flyer, handbill, mailed circular, bulletin board, sign or electronic media. Violation of this section shall be unlawful and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York.
[Added 5-2-2006 by L.L. No. 7-2006[1]]
A. 
Within the context of rental registration enforcement and prosecutions, the presence or existence of any of the following shall create a rebuttable presumption that a premises is being used as a rental occupancy:
(1) 
The property is occupied by someone other than the owner, and the owner of the property represents in writing or otherwise, to any person or establishment, business, institution or government agency, that he resides at an address other than the rental property;
(2) 
Utilities, cable, phone or other services are in place or requested to be installed or used at the premises in the name of someone other than the record owner;
(3) 
There are separate entrances for segregated parts of the dwelling;
(4) 
There are partitions or internal doors which may serve to bar access between segregated portions of the dwelling, including but not limited to bedrooms;
(5) 
There exists a separate written or oral lease or rental arrangement, payment or agreement for portions of the dwelling among its owner(s) and/or occupants and/or persons in possession thereof;
(6) 
Any occupant or person in possession thereof does not have unimpeded and/or lawful access to all parts of the dwelling unit;
(7) 
Two or more kitchens each containing one or more of the following: a range, oven, hot plate, microwave or other similar device customarily used for cooking or preparation of food and/or a refrigerator;
(8) 
A premises has been advertised in any newspaper, magazine, local advertising publication, or posted or billed as being available for rent.
B. 
Within the context of rental registration enforcement and prosecutions, the presence or existence of any two of the following shall create a rebuttable presumption that a premises is being used as a rental occupancy:
(1) 
There is more than one mailbox at the premises;
(2) 
There is more than one gas meter at the premises;
(3) 
There is more than one electric meter at the premises;
(4) 
There is more than one doorbell at the premises;
(5) 
There are three or more motor vehicles registered to the dwelling and each vehicle owner has a different surname;
(6) 
There are more than three waste receptacles, cans, containers, bags, or boxes containing waste from the premises placed for pickup at least twice during a weekly garbage pickup period; or
(7) 
There is no electric meter annexed to the exterior of the premises.
C. 
The presumptions set forth in Subsections A and B above, subject to the limitations contained therein, shall also be applicable to enforcement and prosecution of residential illegal use and occupancy violations.
D. 
Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent persons living together as a family unit, with the owner, as defined by this Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also renumbered former §§ 2-119 through 2-121 as 2-120 through 2-122, respectively.
[Amended 6-3-2003 by L.L. No. 6-2003; 5-2-2006 by L.L. No. 7-2006]
A. 
Any person, association, firm or corporation which violates any provision of this article or assists in the violation of any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation, punishable:
(1) 
By a fine of not less than $1,000 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 of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of the second offense.
(3) 
By a fine of not less than $10,000 nor more than $20,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for conviction of the third or subsequent offense of a series of offenses, all of which were committed within a period of five years.
B. 
Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this article 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.
A. 
For rental dwelling units in structures containing four or fewer rental dwelling units, this article shall be effective on January 1, 1997, or upon filing with the Secretary of State, whichever is later. No violation of this article will be charged prior to March 31, 1997, and no violation of this article regarding failure to obtain a permit will be charged against a person or entity which:
(1) 
Has filed the necessary application in proper form and in good faith, with all required information and attachments, on or before March 31, 1997;
(2) 
Has consented to an inspection of the premises in question; and
(3) 
Has not received a final determination on the application, for reasons over which the applicant has no control.
B. 
For rental dwelling units in structures containing more than four rental dwelling units, this article shall be effective on January 1, 1998. For such structures, no violation of this article will be charged prior to March 31, 1998, and no violation of this article regarding failure to obtain a permit will be charged against a person or entity which:
(1) 
Has filed the necessary application in proper form and in good faith, with all required information and attachments, on or before March 31, 1998;
(2) 
Has consented to an inspection of the premises in question; and
(3) 
Has not received a final determination on the application, for reasons over which the applicant has no control.