City of Coatesville, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Coatesville 10-10-1989 by Ord. No. 845-89 as Ch. 113 of the 1989 Code; amended in its entirety 9-24-2007 by Ord. No. 1289-2007. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 82.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 102.
Fees — See Ch. 108.
Fire protection and prevention — See Ch. 115.
Mechanical standards — See Ch.156.
Plumbing — See Ch. 176.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 180.
Sewers — See Ch. 185.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 197.
Zoning — See Ch. 224.
The short title of this chapter shall be the "Coatesville Housing Code."
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the indicated meanings:
APPROVED
In accordance with regulations established by the Codes Department.
BASEMENT
A portion of any dwelling located partly underground but having less than half its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
BUILDING CODE
The Coatesville Building Code.
CELLAR
A portion of any dwelling having half or more than half of its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
CODE
The Coatesville Housing Code and the regulations adopted under it.
CODES DEPARTMENT
The Codes Department or any authorized representative thereof.
DWELLING
A building or structure, except temporary housing, which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants.
DWELLING UNIT
A room or group of rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.
HABITABLE ROOM
A room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, foyers, pantries, communicating corridors, stairways, closets, basement recreation rooms and storage spaces.
HOTEL
A building or structure containing five or more rooming units, where the public may, for a consideration, obtain sleeping accommodations, and which:
A. 
Makes at least 50% of its rooming units available to transient guests.
B. 
Maintains a register for registration of guests.
C. 
Provides twenty-four-hour service both for the receiving and assistance of guests.
MULTIFAMILY DWELLING
Any dwelling or part thereof containing two or more dwelling units.
OCCUPANT
Any persons, including an owner or operator, living and sleeping in a dwelling unit or rooming unit.
OPENABLE AREA
The part of a window or door which is available for unobstructed ventilation and which opens directly to the outdoors.
OPERATOR
Any persons having charge, care, management or control of any dwelling or part hereof in which dwelling units or rooming units are let.
OWNER
Any persons who, alone, jointly or severally with others, holds legal or equitable title to any dwelling, rooming house, dwelling units or rooming unit.
PERSON
An individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership.
PLUMBING CODE
The statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the ordinances of the City of Coatesville providing rules, regulations and requirements for the construction of plumbing, house drainage and sanitary sewers and any reenactments, supplements and amendments thereto.
PLUMBING or PLUMBING FIXTURES
Water heating facilities, water pipes, garbage disposal units, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes-washing machines, catch basins, drains, vents and other similar supplies and fixtures, together with all connections to water or sewer lines.
PREMISES
A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings and structures thereon.
ROOMING HOUSE
Any dwelling or that part thereof containing one or more rooming units, in which space is let to three or more persons.
ROOMING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping but not for cooking or eating purposes.
SUPPLIED
Installed, furnished or provided by the owner or operator at his or her expense.
TEMPORARY HOUSING
Any tent, trailer or other structure used for human shelter which is designed to be transportable and is not attached to the ground, to another structure or to any utilities system on the same premises for more than 30 consecutive days.
TWO-FAMILY DWELLING
Any dwelling containing two dwelling units.
YARD
All ground, lawn, court, walk, driveway or other open space constituting part of the same premises as a dwelling.
No persons shall occupy as owner-occupant or shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling, rooming house, hotel, dwelling unit or rooming unit which does not comply with the following minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities:
A. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain within its walls a room, separate from the habitable rooms, which affords privacy and which is equipped with a flush water closet.
B. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain within its walls a lavatory basin located in the same room as the required flush water closet.
C. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain within its walls a room, separate from the habitable rooms, which affords privacy to a person in the room and which is equipped with a bathtub or shower.
D. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain within its walls a kitchen sink.
E. 
Every kitchen sink, lavatory basin and bathtub or shower required by this code shall be properly connected with hot- and cold-water lines. The hot-water lines shall be connected with supplied water-heating facilities which are capable of heating water to such a temperature as to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every required kitchen sink, lavatory basin and bathtub or shower at a temperature of not less than 120º F even when the heating facilities required by this code to heat the premises are not in operation.
F. 
All plumbing fixtures required by this section shall be properly connected to an approved water system and to an approved sewerage system.
G. 
Every multifamily dwelling shall have approved common garbage or trash storage or garbage disposal facilities.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling, rooming house, hotel, dwelling unit or rooming unit which does not comply with the following minimum standards for light, ventilation and heating:
A. 
Every habitable room shall have at least one window facing directly to the outdoors. The minimum total window area of every sleeping room with 100 square feet or less of floor area shall be 10% of the floor area. The minimum total window area of every sleeping room with more than 100 square feet of floor area shall be 10 square feet, plus 5% of each square foot of floor area over 100 square feet. The minimum total window area of every other habitable room shall be 7% of the floor area. For the purposes of this section, where a living room faces onto a glass-fronted porch, the porch shall be considered as a part of the living room if the total window and open area between the porch and the living room is at least 7% or as approved by the Codes Department as affording adequate artificial lighting.
B. 
Every habitable room shall have at least one window which can be easily opened and which faces directly to the outdoors. The minimum openable area for such room shall be 4% of the floor area for every sleeping room, and 3% of the floor area for every other habitable room and every basement recreation room except where there is some other device approved by the Codes Department as affording adequate ventilation.
C. 
Every bathroom and water-closet compartment shall have at least one window facing to the outdoors and have a minimum openable area of 4% of the floor area of such room except where there is supplied an exhaust fan venting directly to the outside or some other device approved by the Codes Department as affording adequate ventilation.
D. 
Whenever a window of a room faces a wall or other portion of any abutting structure which is located less than three feet from the window, and the wall or other portion of the abutting structure extends to a level above that of the ceiling of the room, the window shall not be counted in calculating window area or openable area.
E. 
A skylight window is a window for the purpose of this section except in the case of a kitchen, living room or a sleeping room with more than 80 square feet in floor area.
F. 
Every public hall and stairway in every multifamily dwelling and rooming house shall be adequately lighted at all times. In a two-family dwelling, an adequate lighting system which may be turned on when needed by conveniently located light switches shall be permitted. Every public hall and stairway in every two-family dwelling, multifamily dwelling and rooming house shall be adequately ventilated.
G. 
Every dwelling within 300 feet of a power line shall be supplied with electricity. Within such dwelling:
(1) 
Every habitable room shall contain at least two separate floor- or wall-type electric convenience outlets, or one such convenience outlet and one supplied ceiling-type electric light fixture;
(2) 
Every water-closet compartment, bathroom, laundry room, furnace room and public hall shall contain at least one supplied ceiling or wall-type electric light fixture; and
(3) 
Every outlet and fixture shall be properly installed and maintained in good and safe working condition.
H. 
Heating facilities.
(1) 
Every dwelling shall have heating facilities which are capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms and water-closet compartments within its walls to a temperature adequate for the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of such dwelling. All heating equipment employing flame with the use of gasoline as a fuel shall be prohibited.
(2) 
Every dwelling unit shall be supplied with a central heating system capable of maintaining a minimum indoor temperature of 70º F at a distance of three feet above floor level when the outside temperature is 0º F. All dwelling units shall be capable of providing required heat from September 1 to June 1.
(3) 
Portable kerosene-fueled heaters.
(a) 
Definitions. For the purposes of this subsection, the following definitions shall be applicable:
DWELLING
Any residential building, except multifamily dwellings as defined in § 136-2 of the Code of the City of Coatesville.
LISTED
Having been evaluated with respect to reasonably foreseeable hazards to life and property by a nationally recognized testing or inspection agency, such as Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., and authorized as being reasonably safe for its specific purpose; and shown in a list published by such agency and/or bearing the mark, name and/or symbol of such agency as indication that it has been so authorized. Such evaluation shall include but not be limited to evaluation of the requirements hereinafter set forth.
PORTABLE KEROSENE-FUELED HEATER
Any non-flue-connected, self-contained, self-supporting, kerosene-fueled heating appliance equipped with an integral reservoir, designed to be carried from one location to another.
(b) 
Use of portable kerosene-fueled heaters. Listed portable kerosene heaters may be used in dwellings, provided that they meet the following requirements:
[1] 
The heater must have labeling affixed thereto such as to caution and inform concerning:
[a] 
Provision of an adequate source of ventilation when the heater is in operation;
[b] 
Use of only suitable fuel for the heater;
[c] 
Proper manner of refueling;
[d] 
Proper placement and handling of the heater when in operation; and
[e] 
Proper procedures for lighting, flame regulation and extinguishing the heater.
[2] 
The heater must be packaged with instructions such as to inform concerning proper maintenance and operation.
[3] 
The heater must be constructed with a low center of gravity and minimum tipping-angle of 33º from the vertical with an empty reservoir.
[4] 
The heater must have an automatic safety shutoff device or inherent design feature which eliminates fire hazards in the event of tip over and must otherwise conform to the standards set forth in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) No. 31.
[5] 
The heater must not produce carbon monoxide at rates which create a hazard when the heater is operated as intended and instructed.
[6] 
The dwelling shall be provided with a minimum of one approved smoke detector sensing visible or invisible particles of combustion installed in the room and in a manner and location consistent with its listing. When actuated, the detector shall provide an alarm suitable to warn the occupants within the building.
[7] 
The dwelling shall be provided with at least one portable fire extinguisher which meets the following minimum requirements:
[a] 
Contains a minimum of five pounds of extinguishing agent.
[b] 
Contains one of the following extinguishing agents only: bromotrifluoromethane (Halon 1301), bromochlorodifluoromethane (Halon 1211) carbon dioxide, and dry chemical types, carbon dioxide extinguishers may not be equipped with metal horns.
[c] 
Tested and listed by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., or Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada.
[8] 
Portable kerosene-filled heaters shall not have a maximum fuel capacity in excess of five United States gallons of fuel when used in any dwelling.
(c) 
Storage of combustible liquid fuels.
[1] 
Combustible or flammable liquid fuels shall be stored only in Underwriters' Laboratory, Inc., tested and listed self-closing safety containers.
[2] 
No container shall be used with a capacity of more than two United States gallons of combustible liquid fuel.
[3] 
No container shall be used with a capacity of more than one United States gallon of any flammable liquid.
[4] 
Containers shall be used exclusively for only one type of fuel and shall be clearly labeled as to its contents.
[5] 
No more than two gallons of any combustible liquid nor more than one gallon of any flammable liquid shall be stored or used within any dwelling, provided that this limitation shall not apply to fuel in approved steel fuel-oil tanks used solely for the fuel supply for oil-fired central heating systems.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling, rooming house, hotel, dwelling unit or rooming unit which does not comply with the following standards for safety from fire:
A. 
No dwelling unit or rooming unit shall be located within a building containing any establishment handling, dispensing or storing flammable liquids, unless separate means of egress is provided and maintained for any such dwelling unit or rooming unit.
B. 
Every dwelling unit and every rooming unit shall have safe means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level.
C. 
No storage room or storage locker in the dwelling unit or rooming unit shall be used for storage of junk, rubbish or waste.
D. 
There shall be at least two means of egress from each story above the second story of every multifamily dwelling and of every rooming house when the third story is occupied for dwelling or rooming purposes. Any basement used as a dwelling unit shall not count as a story for the purpose of this section.
[Amended 4-14-2014 by Ord. No. 1431-2014]
(1) 
However, as of the effective date of this amendatory ordinance, an exception is established to the above-quoted language, and the property owner of any two-family dwellings shall be permitted to use the property for rental purposes provided that the building is equipped with interconnected multistation smoke detectors incorporated as follows; one on each floor, one in every common area on each floor (i.e., basement, cellar, stairway, vestibule, etc.), all of which are operational as approved by a building inspector. Additionally, as part of this exception, the property shall also have an emergency and rescue opening of a net of 5.7 feet with a minimum net clear height of 24 inches and net clear opening width of 20 inches when the third story is occupied for dwelling or rooming purposes. Absent strict compliance with these requirements, the exception will not apply and the provisions of § 136-5D recited above are controlling.
(2) 
Additionally, as of the effective date of this amendatory ordinance, the property owner of a three- or more unit dwelling shall be permitted, as a temporary exception to the above-quoted language, to use the property for rental purposes provided that the building is equipped with an automatic fire alarm system installed to provide for smoke detectors in all common areas that sound throughout the building when activated. Additionally, as part of this temporary exception, the property shall also have an emergency rescue opening of a net of 5.7 square feet with a minimum net clear height of 24 inches and net clear opening width of 20 inches when the third story is occupied for dwelling or rooming purposes. Compliance with the above-stated requirements shall only be temporary; and within 24 months of the effective date of this amendatory ordinance, the property owner shall be required to establish two means of egress as set forth in § 136-5D recited above or, where there is a maximum occupant load of 20 or less, equip the building throughout with an automatic sprinkler system which shall be treated as the equivalent of a second means of egress.
These amendments to § 136-5D apply only to properties in existence at the time of the enactment of this ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amendatory ordinance was enacted 4-14-2014.
E. 
Every dwelling shall have a hard-wired battery backup smoke detector in the basement.
F. 
Every dwelling shall have a minimum two and one-half-pound ABC fire extinguisher tested and listed by Underwriters Laboratory, Inc., or UL of Canada mounted 42 inches from kitchen floor.
G. 
An emergency escape window shall have a sill height of no more than 44 inches above the floor with a minimum opening area of 5.7 feet. The net opening shall be a minimum of 24 inches in height and 20 inches in width. These windows shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge.
No person shall occupy or shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling, rooming house, hotel, dwelling unit or rooming unit which does not comply with the following minimum standards for space, use and location:
A. 
Every dwelling unit shall contain at least 150 square feet of habitable floor area for the first occupancy, at least 100 square feet of additional habitable floor area for each of the next three occupancies, and at least 75 square feet of additional habitable floor area for each additional occupant.
B. 
In every dwelling unit and in every rooming unit, every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor area, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain at least 50 square feet of floor area for each.
C. 
Floor area shall be calculated on the basis of habitable room area. However, closet area and hall area within the dwelling unit, where provided, may count for not more than 10% of the required habitable floor area. At least 1/2 of the floor area of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of at least seven feet; and the floor area of any part of any room where the ceiling height is less than 4 1/2 feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total floor area of the room to determine maximum permissible occupancy.
D. 
For the purpose of this section, a person under one year of age shall not be counted as an occupant.
E. 
No cellar shall be used for living purposes.
F. 
No basement shall be used for living purposes unless:
(1) 
The floors and walls are substantially watertight;
(2) 
The total window area, total openable area and ceiling heights are in accordance with this code; and
(3) 
The required minimum window area of every habitable room is entirely above the grade of the ground adjoining such window area, not including stairwells or accessways.
No persons shall occupy as owner-occupant or shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling, rooming house, hotel, dwelling unit or rooming unit which does not comply with the following minimum standards for safe and sanitary maintenance:
A. 
Every foundation, exterior wall and exterior roof shall be substantially weather tight, watertight and rodent proof; shall be kept in sound condition and good repair; and shall be safe to use and capable of supporting the load which normal use may cause to be placed thereon.
B. 
Every floor, interior wall and ceiling shall be substantially rodent proof; shall be kept in sound condition and good repair; and shall be safe to use and capable of supporting the load which normal use may cause to be placed thereon.
C. 
Every window, exterior door and basement or cellar door and hatchway shall be substantially weather tight, watertight and rodent proof, and shall be kept in sound working condition and good repair.
D. 
Every inside and outside stair, porch and any appurtenance thereto shall be safe to use and capable of supporting the load that normal use may cause to be placed thereon; and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair.
E. 
Every plumbing fixture shall be properly installed and maintained in sound mechanical condition, free from defects, leaks and obstructions.
F. 
Every water-closet compartment floor surface and bathroom floor surface shall be constructed and maintained so as to be substantially impervious to water and so as to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
G. 
Every supplied facility, piece of equipment or utility which is required under this code, and every chimney and smoke pipe, shall be so constructed and installed that it will function safely and effectively, and shall be maintained in sound working condition.
H. 
Every yard shall be properly graded so as to obtain thorough drainage and so as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water.
I. 
The use or storage of any upholstered furniture, including mattresses, manufactured primarily for indoor use shall be prohibited on any front, rear or side yard visible from any public space, sidewalk, street or highway. The use of such furniture as aforesaid shall also be prohibited on any unenclosed porch which is situated on any parcel in the City of Coatesville.
J. 
The placement of bulk items such as upholstered furniture and mattresses cannot be placed out to the exterior of the property more than two days prior to any regular scheduled pickup day.
K. 
The Codes Department will notify the property owner with written notice of any violation concerning the storage of any upholstered furniture in violation of this section, including any illegal storage of bulk trash items.
No owner, operator, or occupant shall furnish or use any cooking equipment which does not comply with the following minimum standards:
A. 
Every piece of cooking equipment shall be so constructed and installed that it will function safely and effectively, and shall be maintained in sound working condition. All cooking equipment employing flame with the use of gasoline shall be prohibited.
B. 
Portable cooking equipment employing flame with the use of gasoline or kerosene as fuel for cooking is prohibited.
C. 
Portable cooking equipment such as barbecue grills cannot be placed on any porch, balcony or area where a roof structure is located except for single-family and detached dwellings.
Where in this code the obligation for observance is not otherwise clearly designated, the respective responsibility of owner, operator and occupant is as follows:
A. 
Every occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit shall maintain in a clean and sanitary condition that part of the dwelling, dwelling unit and yard which he occupies and controls; and shall be responsible for his own misuse of areas and facilities available in common.
B. 
Every owner or operator of a two-family dwelling, multifamily dwelling, rooming house or hotel shall maintain in a clean and sanitary condition the shared or public areas of the dwelling and yard.
C. 
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall dispose of all rubbish, ashes, garbage and other organic waste in a clean and sanitary manner by placing it in approved storage or disposal facilities which are safe and sanitary. Every occupant shall provide such facilities for and within his or her dwelling unit and shall maintain them in a clean and sanitary manner. The owner or operator of a multifamily dwelling shall be responsible for the clean and sanitary maintenance of common storage or disposal facilities. He or she shall be responsible, further, for placing out for collection all common garbage and rubbish containers, except where such facilities are for the sole use of an occupant, under which circumstances it shall be the responsibility of the occupant to place these containers out for collection.
D. 
Every owner or operator of every rooming house or hotel shall dispose of all rubbish in a clean and sanitary manner by placing it in supplied and approved storage or disposal facilities which are safe and sanitary.
E. 
Every occupant of a dwelling containing a single dwelling unit shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests in it or in the yard. In a two-family dwelling or a multifamily dwelling, the occupant shall be responsible for such extermination whenever his or her dwelling unit is the only one infested. When, however, infestation is caused by failure of the owner or operator to maintain a dwelling in a rodent proof or substantially insect-proof condition, extermination shall be the responsibility of the owner or operator.
F. 
Every owner or operator shall be responsible for extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests whenever infestation exists in two or more of the dwelling units in any dwelling or in the shared or public areas of any two-family dwelling or any multifamily dwelling.
G. 
Every owner or operator of a rooming house or hotel shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests in it or in the yard.
H. 
Every occupant of a dwelling unit shall keep all supplied facilities, including plumbing fixtures and cooking equipment, in a clean and sanitary condition, and shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care of their proper use and operation.
I. 
As provided in § 136-4H(2), every owner or operator of every two-family dwelling, multifamily dwelling, rooming house and hotel shall supply adequate heat to every habitable room therein except where there are separate heating facilities for each dwelling unit, which facilities are under the sole control of the occupant of such dwelling unit.
J. 
No owner, operator or occupant shall cause any service, equipment or utility which is required by this code to be removed, shut off or discontinued for any occupied dwelling let or occupied by him or her, except for such temporary interruption as may be necessary when actual repairs or alterations are in process or during temporary emergencies.
K. 
Every dwelling of six or more dwelling units in which the owner or operator does not reside shall have a full-time or part-time janitor as deemed necessary by the Codes Department.
L. 
A contract effective as between owner and operator, operator and occupant, or owner and occupant, with regard to compliance hereunder, shall not relieve any party of his or her direct responsibility under this code.
M. 
Every owner or operator of a multifamily dwelling or rooming house shall advise the occupant in writing, either by insertion in the lease between the parties or otherwise, of the maximum number of occupants permitted in the occupied premises under this code.
N. 
Every person, whether he or she is the owner or rental agent for the owner, leasing any dwelling unit having a vacancy shall, prior to or at the time of said vacancy, notify the Codes Department of the fact that a vacancy has occurred or is about to occur. Upon receipt of such notice, the Codes Department shall, within three days, inspect said dwelling to determine whether or not said dwelling meets the requirements of the Housing Code. If said dwelling fails to meet the requirements of said code, the Codes Department shall notify the owner or his or her agent, detailing specifically the nature of the violation, and shall place a copy of said notice upon said dwelling, and the same shall not be reoccupied until the violations noted shall have been corrected. If the dwelling meets the requirements of the Housing Code, the Codes Department shall furnish the owner or rental agent with a certificate of compliance. No dwelling unit shall be occupied without such certificate. An inspection fee as provided in Chapter 108, Fees, per dwelling unit shall be paid by the owner or rental agent for each such inspection.
O. 
Every dwelling of 13 or more units in which the owner or operator does not reside shall have a full-time manager/building superintendent.
P. 
Every owner or operator of a rental structure that has two units or more shall be responsible in making sure that the common entrance doorways are secured so as not to allow for visual freedom of the entranceway.
Q. 
In cases where the owner of a rental dwelling resides outside of Chester County, Pennsylvania, the owner shall designate a resident agent who shall reside within Chester County, Pennsylvania. That registered agent's name, street and mailing address, and telephone number must be included on the application for a leasing license and on all other documents filed with the City. The registered agent shall be jointly and severally responsible with the owner for:
[Added 4-9-2012 by Ord. No. 1380-2012]
(1) 
The upkeep and maintenance of the premises;
(2) 
Compliance with this chapter and all other codes regulating the premises; and
(3) 
Acceptance of service of process and of all notices under this chapter or any other relevant codes.
(4) 
Maintaining a current register of all tenants and other persons with a lawful right of occupancy in a rental dwelling, identifying said parties by rental unit with name and address and date of residency.
No person shall operate a rooming house or hotel or shall let to another for occupancy any rooming unit unless such rooming house or rooming unit complies with the following minimum standards:
A. 
Every rooming house, hotel and every rooming unit shall be in compliance with the minimum standards set forth by the following sections of this code: § 136-3F (minimum standards for hot- and cold-water lines, water heating facilities and continuation of service; § 136-4 (minimum standards for light, ventilation and heating); § 136-5 (minimum standards for safety from fire); § 136-6 (minimum standards for space, use and location); § 136-7 (minimum standards for safe and sanitary maintenance); and the subsections of § 136-9 which set forth responsibilities of an owner or operator of a rooming house and hotel.
B. 
Every rooming house or hotel shall be equipped with at least one flush water closet, one lavatory basin and one bathtub or shower for each three persons or fraction thereof within the rooming house or hotel, including members of the family of the owner or operator if they share the use of the facilities. All such facilities shall be properly connected to approved water and sewerage systems. No such facilities located in a basement or cellar shall count in computing the number of facilities required by this subsection, except when approved by the Codes Department.
C. 
Every flush water closet, flush urinal, lavatory basin and bathtub or shower required by Subsection B shall be located within the rooming house or hotel in a room or rooms which:
(1) 
Afford privacy and are separate from the habitable rooms.
(2) 
Are accessible from a common hall and without going outside the rooming house.
(3) 
Are not more than one story removed from the rooming unit of any occupant intended to share the facilities.
D. 
Where bedding, bed linen or towels are supplied, the owner or operator shall maintain the bedding in a clean and sanitary manner, and he or she shall furnish clean bed linen and towels at least once each week and prior to the letting of any room to any occupant.
A. 
No person shall operate a rooming house or hotel unless he or she has obtained from the Codes Department a license to operate such rooming house or hotel.
B. 
Every person applying for a license shall supply such information as the Codes Department requires and shall pay an annual license fee as provided in Chapter 108, Fees, for each rooming unit. All annual license fees shall be paid on or before January 1 of the year in which the fee is due. There shall be a ten-percent penalty levied on any fee paid after March 31 of the year in which the fee is due. In addition to any other penalties, the fee is doubled if not paid by March 31.
[Amended 4-14-2014 by Ord. No. 1429-2014]
C. 
The Codes Department shall not issue a license unless the rooming house or hotel for which the license is requested is in compliance with this code. Every rooming house will pay a base inspection fee as set forth in Chapter 108, Fees, for the inspection of such structure and use with the inspection being completed on or before January 31 and June 30 of said year.
D. 
Every license shall specify the maximum number of occupants allowed to occupy the rooming house or hotel.
E. 
Every license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the rooming house or hotel.
F. 
Every rooming house or hotel license shall remain in force from January 1 to December 31 of the current calendar year, unless sooner revoked as provided in Subsection H.
G. 
No license required by this section shall be transferable.
H. 
Whenever the Codes Department determines that there exists any violation of this code, the Codes Department shall notify the owner or operator in writing that unless the notice of violation is complied with, the rooming house or hotel license may be revoked. After the expiration of the time for compliance as stated on the notice of violation, a reinspection shall be made to determine compliance. If the violation has not been corrected, the Codes Department may revoke the rooming house or hotel license and in such event shall serve written notice upon the owner or operator of such action.
I. 
All delinquent and previous years' solid waste and/or City taxes must be paid in full before a rental license can be issued.
J. 
The property owner and/or rental management company shall be jointly and severally liable for allowing occupancy of any rental unit, without licensing of same and without inspection of same, and shall be assessed a penalty of $500 for the first offense in a calendar year, a penalty of $750 for the second offense in a calendar year and a penalty of $1,000 for a third offense in a calendar year, each such penalty to be added to the licensing fee and for the unit at issue. Separate violations (lack of a license or lack of prior inspection) shall be subject to a penalty of $250 per incident and shall not be cumulative.
[Added 4-14-2014 by Ord. No. 1429-2014; amended 5-11-2015 by Ord. No. 1455-2015]
A. 
No person shall operate a multifamily dwelling unless he has obtained from the Codes Department a license to operate such multifamily dwelling.
B. 
Every person applying for a license shall supply such information as the Codes Department requires and shall pay an annual license fee as provided in Chapter 108, Fees, for each dwelling unit. All annual license fees shall be paid on or before January 1 of the year in which the fee is due. There shall be a ten-percent penalty due on any fee paid after March 31, together with interest accrued at the rate of 1 1/2% per month on the total amount due, including penalty. In addition to any other penalties, the fee is doubled if not paid by March 31.
[Amended 4-14-2014 by Ord. No. 1429-2014]
C. 
The Codes Department shall, upon the receipt of a new application for a license, immediately inspect the multifamily dwelling, and in the event that said multifamily dwelling is in compliance with this code, the Codes Department shall issue the license applied for.
D. 
In the event that said multifamily dwelling is not in compliance with this code, the Codes Department shall notify said applicant, in writing, and shall specify the noncompliance with this code. Upon the completion of said changes, the Codes Department shall issue the license applied for.
E. 
Every license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the multifamily dwelling.
F. 
Every multifamily dwelling license shall remain in force from January 1 to December 31 of the current calendar year.
G. 
No license required by this section shall be transferable.
H. 
Whenever the Codes Department determines that there exists any violation of this code, it shall serve notice and may notify the owner or operator, in writing, that, unless the notice of violation is complied with, the multifamily dwelling license may be revoked. After the expiration of the time for compliance as stated on the notice of violation, a reinspection shall be made to determine compliance. If the violation has not been corrected and no appeal is pending, the Codes Department may revoke the multifamily dwelling license and in such event shall serve written notice upon the owner or operator of such action.
I. 
Any person whose multifamily license has been revoked or whose application for a license to operate a multifamily dwelling has been denied may appeal to the Board as provided in § 136-16 of this code.
J. 
All delinquent and previous years' solid waste and City taxes must be paid in full before a rental license can be issued.
K. 
The property owner and/or rental management company shall be jointly and severally liable for allowing occupancy of a rental unit without licensing and inspection and shall be assessed a penalty of $500 for the first offense in a calendar year, a penalty of $750 for the second offense in a calendar year, and a penalty of $1,000 for a third offense in a calendar year, each such penalty to be added to the licensing fee and for the unit at issue.
[Added 4-14-2014 by Ord. No. 1429-2014]
A. 
No person shall lease a dwelling to another unless a license has been obtained from the Codes Department.
B. 
Every person applying for a license shall supply such information as the Codes Department requires and shall pay an annual license fee as provided in Chapter 108, Fees, for each dwelling unit. All annual license fees shall be paid on or before January 1 of the year in which the fee is due. There shall be a ten-percent penalty levied on any fee paid after March 31 of the year in which the fee is due. In addition to any other penalties, the fee is doubled if not paid by March 31.
[Amended 4-14-2014 by Ord. No. 1429-2014]
C. 
The Codes Department shall, upon a new application for a license, immediately inspect the dwelling and, in the event that said dwelling is in compliance with this Code, the Codes Department shall issue the license. At such time as there is a change of residency, such change shall require the need for a reinspection, and, at all times, the list of residents shall be supplied to the Codes Department identifying by names all residents within the apartment and their dates of residency in accordance with the duties of maintaining a current register as required by § 136-9Q.
[Amended 4-9-2012 by Ord. No. 1380-2012]
D. 
In the event that said dwelling is not in compliance with this code, the Codes Department shall notify said applicant, in writing, and shall specify the noncompliance with this code. Upon the completion of said changes, the Codes Department shall issue the license applied for.
E. 
Every license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the dwelling.
F. 
Every dwelling license shall remain in force from January 1 to December 31 of the current calendar year.
G. 
No license required by this section shall be transferable.
H. 
Whenever the Codes Department determines that there exists any violation of this code, it shall serve written notice and may notify the owner or operator, in writing, that, unless the notice of violation is complied with, the dwelling license may be revoked. After the expiration of the time for compliance as stated on the notice of violation, a reinspection shall be made to determine compliance. If the violation has not been corrected and no appeal is pending, the Codes Department may revoke the dwelling license and in such event shall serve written notice upon the owner or operator of such action.
I. 
Any person whose license has been revoked or whose application for a license to operate a dwelling has been denied may appeal to the Board as provided in § 136-16 of this code.
J. 
All delinquent and previous years' solid waste and City taxes must be paid in full before a rental license can be issued.
K. 
The property owner and/or rental management company shall be jointly and severally liable for allowing occupancy of a rental unit without licensing and inspection and shall be assessed a penalty of $500 for the first offense in a calendar year, a penalty of $750 for the second offense in a calendar year, and a penalty of $1,000 for a third offense in a calendar year, each such penalty to be added to the licensing fee and for the unit at issue.
[Added 4-14-2014 by Ord. No. 1429-2014]
A. 
The Codes Department is authorized and directed to make inspections on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., upon display of proper identification, to determine compliance with this code.
B. 
Every occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit or a rooming unit shall grant to the owner or operator thereof or his or her agent or employee or any person with whom the Codes Department has contracted under § 136-17 of this code free access to it at all reasonable times for the purpose of making repairs or alterations to effect compliance with this code and with any notice or order issued under this code.
[Added 2-23-2009 by Ord. No. 1317-2009]
A. 
Declaration of purpose. The City Council finds that the establishment of a mandatory residential rental inspection program for rental units is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by ensuring the proper maintenance of such housing, by identifying and requiring correction of substandard housing conditions, and by preventing conditions of deterioration and blight that could adversely affect economic conditions and the quality of life in the City.
B. 
Definitions. The following words and phrases, whenever used in this section shall be construed as defined:
APPLICABLE LAWS
Includes, but is not limited to, the City's Housing Code, the City Zoning Ordinance,[1] other City ordinances, and other laws or regulations relating to the health or safety of City residents or the public.
BUILDING OFFICIAL
The City of Coatesville Building Official.
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
The certificate issued evidencing compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
CITY
The City of Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
DEFICIENCY
Any failure by a unit subject to this chapter to comply with applicable laws.
OCCUPANT
An individual, partnership, corporation or association or agent of any of them lawfully residing in a unit.
OWNER
The owner of record as shown on the last equalized assessment roll or such owner's authorized agent.
RENTAL UNIT
A unit occupied by or intended for occupancy by other than the owner of the unit.
UNIT
A dwelling unit within the City, including single-family homes, duplexes, and multifamily dwellings, motels, hotels and similar living accommodations.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 224, Zoning.
C. 
Applicability. The provisions of this section shall apply to all rental units.
D. 
Compliance with business license requirements. Every owner of rental units carrying on the business of operating rental units subject to this section or on whose behalf the business of operating such rental units is carried out must comply with the business license requirements of the Coatesville Municipal Code, including, but not limited to, the business privilege license requirements prescribed in that title.
E. 
Certificate of compliance requirement. Owners of rental units subject to this chapter must file a written application with the Building Official and obtain a valid certificate of compliance for each rental unit prior to applying for or retaining a business license pursuant to this code. Applications for certificates of compliance may be obtained from the Codes Department. To be considered for approval, applications for certificates of compliance must be complete in accordance with this chapter and any applicable regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter and include the current fee specified in regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter.
F. 
Initial inspection. Within 20 working days of the time an application for certificate of compliance submitted to the Building Official is complete in accordance with this chapter, or within such extended time for inspection as the Building Official may specify, the Building Official shall cause the unit or units specified in the application to be inspected. The Building Official shall issue a certificate of compliance for units that comply with applicable laws.
G. 
Complaint-based inspections. Nothing contained herein shall prevent or restrict the authority of the City's code enforcement officials to inspect any apartment, house or hotel, or the premises thereof, in response to a citizen complaint alleging code violations or other violations of law at such an apartment, house or hotel, and to pursue all Code enforcement remedies permissible under this Code or other laws following such a complaint-based inspection of a rental property.
H. 
Mandatory residential rental inspections. Every owner of a rental unit located within the City shall permit the City's inspection of the apartment and the property on which such unit is located, following notice from the City. The building inspector, or his or her designee, shall cause each unit to be inspected once every two years to ensure compliance with all applicable City ordinances or other laws relating to housing, including the substandard housing provisions of the Housing Code contained in Chapter 136 of this Code.
I. 
Re-inspections. A unit that exhibits a deficiency or deficiencies shall be subject to re-inspections and subject to Chapter 108, Fees.
J. 
Notice of inspection. The building inspector, or his or her designee, shall give a minimum of 30 days' advance written notice of the date and time of the periodic inspection to the owner of the unit. Such notice shall provide the address and phone number where additional information concerning the inspection may be obtained. Notice to the unit's owner shall be mailed by first class mail to the owner's last known address as it appears in the records of the county assessor.
K. 
Inspection consent. Owners shall make every effort to make units available for City inspection. If owners do not consent to City entry for inspection pursuant to this chapter, the Building Official may not force or otherwise attempt to gain entry and may issue appropriate violation notice.
L. 
Certificate of compliance contents. Certificates of compliance issued pursuant to this chapter shall specify the date of issuance, the legal use and occupancy of the unit, the unit address, the name of the unit owner to whom the certificate is issued, and that the unit complies with applicable laws so far as could be determined by inspection.
M. 
Validity of applications and certificates of compliance. Applications for certificates of compliance are valid for 90 days from the time the application is complete in accordance with this chapter, or a longer time approved by the Building Official. Owners that fail to correct deficiencies within 90 days of the time the application is complete in accordance with this chapter, or within a longer time approved by the Building Official in accordance with this chapter must reapply. Such reapplications must satisfy all requirements of this chapter applicable to new applications, including payment of the current fee. Certificates of compliance issued pursuant to this chapter shall remain valid for two years from the date of issuance.
N. 
Deficiencies. The Building Official shall provide the owner with written notice of each deficiency disclosed by inspection pursuant to this chapter. Certificates of compliance may not be issued until all deficiencies disclosed by inspection pursuant to this chapter are corrected. Unit owners shall be subject to re-inspections and re-inspection fees as set forth in Chapter 108, Fees.
O. 
Violations. If an inspection of a unit or its premises, conducted pursuant to this chapter, reveals any violations of applicable City ordinances or other laws relating to such rental units, including the housing provisions of the Housing Code contained in Chapter 136 of the Coatesville Municipal Code, the violation must be cured within 60 days or designated time by the Code Official. If the violation remains upon re-inspection, the City's code enforcement officials may seek any remedies permitted by law, including obtaining an inspection warrant, denial or revocation of a rental and business license pursuant, abatement proceedings, as well as other civil or criminal proceedings.
P. 
Administrative regulations. The Building Official is authorized and directed to promulgate administrative regulations pertaining to the implementation and enforcement of this chapter. Such administrative regulations shall not take effect unless and until they are approved by a resolution duly adopted by the City Council following a public hearing thereon.
Q. 
Voluntary inspection requests. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an owner from voluntarily requesting an inspection pursuant to this chapter to determine whether a unit complies with applicable laws, even though such inspection may not be required pursuant to this chapter. Such voluntary inspection requests shall be subject to all of the provisions of this chapter, including, but not limited to, the provisions governing applications and fees.
R. 
Penalties. Violations of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed infractions.
S. 
Appeal. Any person aggrieved by the determination concerning a certificate of compliance application under this chapter may appeal to the Board of Housing Appeals within 10 days. Such appeals are procedural only and limited to the issue of whether the City has followed the procedures established by this section.
T. 
Immediate health and safety threats. Nothing in this section shall limit the City's ability to inspect properties and issue citations for property-related conditions that may constitute an immediate health or safety threat.
A. 
The City Council shall appoint a Board of Housing Appeals consisting of three members who shall be residents of the City. The members who are first appointed shall serve for terms of one, two and three years, respectively, from the date of their appointment as shall be specified at the time of their appointment. Thereafter, the term of office shall be three years. A member shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed. The members shall select from among themselves a Chairman.
B. 
The Board of Housing Appeals is a board of limited powers. Although its function is primarily to provide for reasonable interpretation of the provisions of this code, the Board shall have the power to make variance and grant extensions of time in cases where strict enforcement of this code would cause undue or unnecessary hardship. The Board may, in specific cases, authorize such variances to the provisions or requirements of this code as will not be contrary to the public interest.
(1) 
In applying to the Board for such variance, the applicant must show:
(a) 
That his or her property was acquired in good faith.
(b) 
That, by reason of existing topographic conditions or by reason of other peculiar and exceptional conditions pertaining to a specific piece of property, literal enforcement of the provisions or requirements of this code would cause undue or unnecessary hardship. A claim or even proof merely of a more profitable use, if the variance were granted, is not in itself evidence of such hardship.
(2) 
No variance to the provisions or requirements of this code shall be authorized by the Board unless this Board finds that all of the following facts and conditions of unnecessary hardship exist:
(a) 
The hardship arises from unique circumstances applying to the applicant's property which are not the general condition in the neighborhood.
(b) 
The hardship is not self-inflicted by the applicant.
(c) 
The strict application of the provisions of this code would impose an unreasonable restraint or unnecessary hardship on the use of the property inconsistent with the general purpose and intent of this code.
(d) 
The granting of the variance will not injure adjacent property.
C. 
In deciding the appeals, the Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made.
D. 
The Board shall fix a time and place for the hearing of appeals and such hearings shall be scheduled within 15 days after filing the notice of appeal. Notice of the time and place of hearing shall be sent by mail to the applicant or to his or her attorney of record, and such hearing shall not be less than six days after the mailing of the notice.
E. 
The Board shall adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
F. 
Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as the Board may determine. The Chairman or, in his or her absence, the Acting Chairman may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public.
G. 
The owner of any rental unit that will not be used as a rental unit during any part of the year must file an affidavit of nonrental use before January 1 of the year after purchase or before transfer of ownership to the new owner or they will be charged for a rental license. The new owner must apply for a rental license before being used as a rental unit.
H. 
Attendance.
[Added 4-22-2013 by Ord. No. 1404-2013]
(1) 
Any member of the Board of Housing Appeals absent from three or more consecutive regular meetings of the Board of Housing Appeals without an approved leave of absence granted by the City Council after public hearing and prior written notice thereof shall be removed from the Board of Housing Appeals by the City Council of the City of Coatesville.
(2) 
Any member of the Board of Housing Appeals absent from 20% or more of the regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Housing Appeals within any one-year period shall be notified in writing by the City Manager acting on behalf of the City Council of the attendance requirements of this subsection. Any member of the Board of Housing Appeals who is absent from 20% or more of the regularly scheduled meetings within a one-year period shall thereafter be removed for cause from such position by the City Council with prior written notice after public hearing unless such member resigns in writing or waives the public hearing in writing.
(3) 
Any member of the Board of Housing Appeals may be removed for cause as determined by the City Council after public hearing and prior written notice thereof.
(4) 
The provisions of this subsection shall not preclude the removal of any member of the Board of Housing Appeals without cause by the City Council when authorized by state law, City Charter or City ordinance.
A. 
When the Codes Department determines that there exists a violation of any provision of this code, it shall give written notice of such violation to the violator.
B. 
The notice of violation shall specify the violation which exists and a reasonable time within which to correct it. The notice may also describe a course of remedial action which will effect compliance with this code.
C. 
Any person aggrieved by a decision or an action of the Codes Department with reference to license revocation may appeal to the Board of Housing Appeals for a review of the decision in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Board of Housing Appeals. If this appeal is filed within 10 days after giving notice of the decision or action of the Codes Department, compliance with a notice of violation shall not be required when the appeal is pending before the Board, except as provided in Subsection E.
D. 
After the expiration of the time for compliance as stated on the notice of violation, a reinspection shall be made to determine compliance; if the violation has not been corrected, the Codes Department shall order the violation corrected as specified in § 136-18 of this code or shall institute prosecution of the violation, or both. However, the Codes Department may grant a reasonable extension of time for compliance in cases of hardship.
E. 
Whenever the Codes Department finds that there exists any violation of this code which creates an emergency requiring immediate correction to protect the health or safety of any occupancy of a dwelling or the public, it may issue a notice of violation reciting the existence of the emergency and requiring necessary action to be taken immediately.
F. 
A fee as provided in Chapter 108, Fees, payable in advance shall be paid for each appeal of a decision of the Codes Department to the Board of Housing Appeals.
When, upon reexamination after the expiration of the time for compliance, the Codes Department finds that the violation has not been corrected, and when the Codes Department finds that the continuation of such violation constitutes a public nuisance, it may itself or by contract correct the violation, charge the cost thereof to the violator and, with the approval of the City Solicitor, collect such cost by lien and/or otherwise as may be authorized by law.
A. 
Whenever the Codes Department finds that any dwelling constitutes a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or to the public because it is dilapidated, unsanitary, vermin infested or lacking in the facilities and equipment required by this code, it shall designate such dwellings as unfit for human habitation. Such designation shall be posted on the dwelling and shall specify the reason. No person shall remove such notice except as provided in Subsection B.
B. 
Any dwelling so designated as unfit for human habitation shall be vacated within 30 days or a reasonable time as specified by the Codes Department and shall not again be used for human habitation until the hazard has been eliminated and the Codes Department has removed the designation and given written approval for occupancy.
C. 
Any person aggrieved by a designation of unfitness for human habitation may appeal to the Board as provided in § 136-16 of this code.
The Codes Department is authorized to make regulations, subject to the approval of City Council, interpreting the provisions of this chapter as may be appropriate to effectuate the administration and enforcement of this code.
In addition to any other sanction or remedial procedure provided, any person who violates any provision of this code shall, upon conviction in summary proceedings, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 and the cost of prosecution for each offense, to be collected as other fines and costs are by law collectible, and in default of payment thereof, shall be imprisoned for not more than 90 days and, further, shall pay two times the appropriate inspection fee. Continuing violation as to any premises of the same provision after notice from the Department shall be a separate violation for each day.
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety or health ordinance or code of this municipality or law, rule or regulation of the State of Pennsylvania, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail. In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of any other ordinance or code of this municipality or law, rule or regulation of the State of Pennsylvania which establishes a lower standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people, the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to prevail and such other ordinances or codes are hereby declared to be repealed to the extent that they may be found in conflict with this chapter.