[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Hudson by Ord. No. 1-81 as Ch. 19 of the 1981 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following definitions will apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter.
- A space of full-story height below the first floor which is not designed or used primarily for year-round living accommodations. Space, partly below grade, which is designed and finished as habitable space is not defined as basement space. (Reference: See Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter 21 for definitions and standards for habitable rooms. This shall be referred to throughout this chapter.)
- A portion of a building located partly or wholly underground and having 2/3 or more of its clear floor-to-ceiling height above the average grade of the adjoining ground. (See "basement" for reference.)
- Any building which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants, provided that temporary housing as hereinafter defined shall not be regarded as a dwelling.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Any 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.
- The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places, by removing or making inaccessible materials which may serve as their food, by poisoning, spraying, fumigating or trapping or by other recognized and legal pest elimination methods approved by the Building Inspector.
- The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
- HABITABLE ROOM
- A room or other enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, pantries, foyers or communicating corridors, closets and storage space.
- The presence within or around a dwelling of any insects, rodents or other pests.
- MULTIPLE DWELLING
- Any dwelling containing more than two dwelling units.
- Any person over one year of age living, sleeping, cooking or eating in or having actual possession of a dwelling unit or rooming unit.
- Any person who has charge, care or control of a building or part thereof in which dwelling units or rooming units are offered for rent.
- ORDINARY MINIMUM WINTER CONDITIONS
- The temperature which is 15° F. above the lowest recorded temperature for the previous ten-year period (lowest temperature 19° F.). Figure a winter base temperature of not less than 15° F. with inside room temperature of +70° F. minimum for range (bathroom +80° F.).
- Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:
- (1) Shall have legal title to any dwelling unit, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, provided that whenever the dwelling or dwelling unit is subject to conditional sales contract, lease with option to purchase or any other form of written contract under the terms of which any person is entitled to a conveyance of legal title upon payment of a specified sum, "owner" shall mean the person who shall have such a contractual right rather than the person who is holding the legal title; or
- (2) Shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling or dwelling unit as executor, executrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the owner as defined in Subsection (1). Any such person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with this chapter to the same extent as if he were the owner. Any person acting as the agent of the owner shall not be construed to be the owner within the terms of this chapter but shall be bound to notify the owner, by means of a registered letter addressed to the owner at his last known address, of any order or notice to be issued by the Building Inspector relating to the property of the owner.
- Includes any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership.
- Includes all of the following supplied facilities and equipment: gas pipes, gas-burning equipment, water pipes, garbage disposal equipment, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes-washing machines, catch basins, drains, vents, floor drains, laundry traps, drinking fountains, gutters, downspouts, area drains, lines, sanitary and storm sewer systems, subsoil drainage and any other supplied fixtures, together with all connections to water, sewer or gas lines.
- ROOMING HOUSE
- Any dwelling or that part of any dwelling containing one or more rooming units in which space is let by the owner or operator to five or more persons who are not husband or wife, sister or brother, son or daughter or father or mother of the owner or operator.
- 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.
- Combustible or noncombustible waste materials, except garbage, and the term shall include the residue from the burning of wood, coal, coke and other combustible material, paper, rag, cartons, boxes, wood excelsior, trimmings, leaves, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery or dust.
- Paid for, furnished or provided by or under the control of the owner or operator.
- TEMPORARY HOUSING
- Any tent, trailer or other structure used for human shelter which is designed to be transportable and which is not attached to the ground, to another structure or to any utility system on the same premises for more than 30 consecutive days.
Whenever the words "dwelling," "dwelling unit," "rooming house," "rooming unit" and "premises" are used in this chapter, they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words "or any part thereof."
The Building Inspector shall make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units and premises located within the city in order that he may perform his duty of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public. For the purpose of making such inspections the Building Inspector may enter, examine and survey, at proper times after due notice, all dwelling units, rooming units and premises. The owner or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit and rooming unit, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the Building Inspector access to such dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit and its premises, at proper times after due notice, for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey. Every occupant of a dwelling unit or dwelling shall give the owner thereof or his agent or employee access to any part of such dwelling or dwelling unit or its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
Notice. Whenever the Building Inspector determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter which affects the health of the occupants of any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit or the health of the general public or whenever the Building Inspector determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any such provision which affects the safety of any such occupants or the safety of the general public, the Building Inspector shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor and to any known agent of such person, as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall:
Be put in writing.
Include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued.
Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires.
Be served upon the owner or his agent or the occupant, as the case may require, provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent or upon such occupant if a copy thereof is served upon him personally or if a copy thereof is sent by registered mail to his last known address or if a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice or if he is served with such notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this state.
Shall contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will affect compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
Hearing. Any person affected by any such notice issued by the Building Inspector may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Common Council, provided that such person shall file in the office of the Building Inspector, within 10 days after service of the notice, a written petition requesting such hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor. Upon receipt of such petition, the Building Inspector shall arrange a time and place for such hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. Such hearing shall be held as soon as practicable after the receipt of request therefor. At such hearing the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and show cause why such notice should not be complied with.
Action after hearing. After such hearing the Common Council shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice, depending upon its findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter have been complied with. If the Common Council shall sustain or modify such notice, it shall be deemed to be in order.
Notice to be order if not appealed. Any notice served pursuant to Subsection A shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the Building Inspector within 10 days after such notice is served.
Revocation. After a hearing in the case of any notice suspending any permit required by this chapter, when such notice has been sustained by the Common Council the permit shall be deemed to have been revoked. Any such permit which has been suspended by a notice shall be deemed to be automatically revoked if a petition for hearing is not filed in the office of the Building Inspector within 10 days after such notice is served.
Record of hearing. The proceedings at such hearing, including the findings and decision of the Common Council, shall be summarized, reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the offices of the Common Council. Such record shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter.
Appeal to court. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Common Council may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of this state.
Emergency orders. Whenever the Building Inspector finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, he may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately, but upon petition to the Building Inspector the person subject to the order shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible in the manner provided in Subsection B. After such hearing, depending upon the findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter have been complied with, the Common Council shall continue such order in effect or modify it or revoke it.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living, sleeping, cooking or eating therein which does not comply with the following requirements:
Kitchen sink and laundry tray. Every dwelling unit shall contain a kitchen sink and laundry tray in good working condition and properly connected to a water and sanitary sewer system approved by the Building Inspector.
Bathroom. Every dwelling unit shall contain a room within its walls, separate from the habitable rooms, which affords privacy to a person within said room and which is equipped with a flush water closet, a lavatory basin and a bathtub or shower and the necessary fixtures and accessories therefor in good working condition and properly connected to hot and cold waterlines and a sanitary sewer system approved by the Building Inspector.
Connection of facilities. By September 28, 1969, the tub or shower required under this chapter and every kitchen, sink, lavatory basin and bath shall be properly connected with waterlines.
Rubbish storage. Every dwelling unit shall be supplied with adequate rubbish storage facilities.
Garbage disposal facilities. Every dwelling unit shall have adequate garbage disposal facilities or garbage storage containers. (Refer to Chapter 207, Solid Waste.)
Egress. Every dwelling unit shall have safe, unobstructed means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level, as required by the laws of the State of Wisconsin and ordinances of the city.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not comply with the following requirements:
Window area. Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight facing directly to the outdoors. The minimum total window area, measured between stops for every habitable room, shall be 10% of the floor area of such room. (See Wisconsin Administrative Code Section 21.05.)
Openable window area. Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight which can easily be opened or such other device as will adequately ventilate the room. The total of openable window area in every habitable room shall be equal to not less than 4% of the floor area, except where there is supplied a mechanical device affording adequate ventilation per Wisconsin Administrative Code Section 23.02(3).
Bathrooms and water closets. Every bathroom and water closet compartment shall comply with the light and ventilation requirements for habitable rooms contained in Subsections A and B, except that no window or skylight shall be required in bathrooms and water closet compartments equipped with a mechanical ventilation system per Wisconsin Administrative Code regulations approved by the Building Inspector.
Heating facilities. Every dwelling shall have heating facilities which are properly installed, are maintained in safe and good working condition and are capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms and water closet compartments in every dwelling unit located therein to a temperature of at least 70° F. at a distance of 30 inches above floor level under ordinary minimum winter conditions.
Lighting. Every public hall and stairway in every multiple dwelling shall be adequately lighted in conformity with the current issue of the National Electrical Code and Wisconsin Administrative Code regulations.
Basement windows. Every basement shall receive natural and artificial light and shall be ventilated according to Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter 21 requirements or equal minimum. Every basement or cellar window used or intended to be used for ventilation and every other opening to a basement which might provide an entry for rodents shall be supplied with a screen or such other device as will effectively prevent their entrance.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not comply with the following:
Foundations, floors, walls, ceilings and roofs. Every foundation, floor, wall, ceiling and roof shall be reasonably weathertight, watertight and rodentproof, shall be capable of affording privacy and shall be kept in good repair.
Skylights, exterior doors and basement hatchways. Every window skylight, exterior door and basement hatchway shall be reasonably weathertight, watertight and rodentproof and shall be kept in sound working condition and good repair.
Stairs, porches and appurtenances. Every inside and outside stair, every porch and every appurtenance thereto shall be so constructed as to be safe to use and capable of supporting any load that normal use may cause to be placed thereon and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair.
Plumbing fixtures and water waste pipes. Every plumbing fixture and water waste pipe shall be properly installed and maintained in good sanitary working condition, free from defects, leaks and obstructions.
Bathroom floor surface. Every water closet compartment, floor surface and bathroom floor surface shall be constructed and maintained so as to be reasonably impervious to water and so as to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
Safe installation required. Every supplied facility, piece of equipment or utility which is required under this section shall be so constructed or installed that it will function safely and effectively and shall be maintained in satisfactory working condition.
Shutting off utilities prohibited. No owner, operator or occupant shall cause any service facility, equipment or utility which is required under this section to be removed from or shut off from or discontinued for any occupied dwelling let or occupied by him, except for such temporary interruption as may be necessary while actual repairs or alterations are in progress or during temporary emergencies or when discontinuance of service is approved by the Building Inspector.
Rented premises to be fit for human occupancy. No owner shall occupy or let to any other occupant any vacant dwelling unit unless it is clean, sanitary and fit for human occupancy.
No person shall occupy or let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not comply with the following requirements:
Gross floor area. Every dwelling unit shall contain a minimum gross floor area of not less than 150 square feet for the first occupant, 100 square feet for the second occupant and 75 square feet for each additional occupant. The floor area shall be calculated on the basis of the total area of all habitable rooms.
Sleeping rooms. In every dwelling unit of two or more rooms, every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 80 square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain at least 40 square feet of floor space for each occupant thereof over 12 years of age and at least 30 square feet for each occupant thereof under 12 years of age.
Ceiling heights. At least 1/2 of the floor area of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of at least seven feet six inches, and the floor area of that part of any room where the ceiling height is less than five feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total floor area of the room for the purpose of determining the maximum permissible occupancy thereof.
Water-heating facilities. Every dwelling unit shall be supplied with water-heating facilities which are installed in an approved manner, properly maintained and 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, bathtub, shower and laundry facility or other similar units at a temperature of not less than 130° F. at any time needed.
Electrical outlets. Where there is electric service available to the building, every habitable room of a dwelling unit shall contain at least two separate and remote outlets, one of which may be a ceiling- or wall-type electric light fixture. Every public hall, bathroom, laundry room or furnace room shall contain at lest one electric light fixture. In addition, every bathroom and laundry room shall be provided with at least one electric outlet.
Screen requirements. From May 1 to October 1, in every dwelling unit, for protection against mosquitoes, flies and other insects, every door opening directly from a dwelling unit to outdoor space shall have supplied and installed screens and a self-closing device, and every window or other device with openings to outdoor space used or intended to be used for ventilation shall likewise be supplied with screens installed.
Public areas. Every owner of a dwelling containing more than four dwelling units shall be responsible for maintaining in a clean and sanitary condition the shared or public area of the dwelling and premises thereof.
Duty to keep in clean and sanitary condition. Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall keep in a clean and sanitary condition that part of the dwelling, dwelling unit and premises thereof which he occupies and controls.
Rubbish disposal. Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall dispose of all his garbage and any other organic waste which might provide food for rodents in a clean and sanitary manner by placing it in the garbage storage containers required by § 140-4E. The owner shall supply such facilities or containers for all dwelling units in a dwelling containing more than four dwelling units and from all dwelling units located on premises where more than four dwelling units share the same premises. In all other cases it shall be the responsibility of the occupant to furnish such facilities or containers. (See also Chapter 207, Solid Waste.)
Hanging screens. Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall be responsible for hanging screens whenever the same are required under this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, except where the owner has agreed to supply such service.
Extermination of pests. Every occupant of a dwelling containing a single dwelling unit shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests therein or on the premises, and every occupant of a dwelling unit in a dwelling containing more than one dwelling unit shall be responsible for such extermination whenever his dwelling unit is the only one infested. Notwithstanding such provisions, whenever infestation is caused by failure of the owner to maintain a dwelling in a ratproof or reasonable insectproof condition, extermination shall be the responsibility of the owner.
Plumbing fixtures. Every occupant of a dwelling unit shall keep all plumbing fixtures therein in a clean and sanitary condition and shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care in the proper use and operation thereof.
No person shall operate a rooming house or shall occupy or let to another for occupancy any rooming unit in any rooming house except in compliance with the provisions of every section of this chapter, except the provisions of §§ 140-4 and 140-9. Such person shall also comply with the following:
Rooming house license. No person shall operate a rooming house unless he holds a valid rooming house license issued by the office of the City Clerk in the name of the operator and for the specific dwelling unit. The operator shall apply to the office of the Building Inspector for a permit for license, which shall be issued by the City Clerk upon compliance by the operator, to the satisfaction of the Building Inspector, with the applicable provisions of this chapter. This license shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the rooming house at all times. No such license shall be transferable. Every person holding such a license shall give notice, in writing, to the office of the City Clerk and the Building Inspector within 24 hours after having sold, transferred, given away or otherwise disposed of ownership of, interest in or control of any rooming house. Such notice shall include the name and address of the person succeeding to the ownership or control of such rooming house. Every rooming house license shall expire at the end of one year following its date of issuance unless sooner suspended or revoked as hereinafter provided.
Hearing. Any person whose application for a permit to obtain a license to operate a rooming house has been denied may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter, under the procedure provided by § 140-3.
Notice of violation; suspension of license. Whenever upon inspection of any rooming house the Building Inspector finds that conditions or practices exist which are in violation of any provision of this chapter, the Building Inspector shall give notice, in writing, to the operator of such rooming house that unless such conditions or practices are corrected within a reasonable period, to be determined by the Building Inspector, the operator's rooming house license will be suspended. At the end of such period the Building Inspector shall reinspect such rooming house, and if he finds that such conditions or practices have not been corrected he shall give notice, in writing, to the operator that the latter's license has been suspended. Upon receipt of notice of suspension, such operator shall immediately cease operation of such rooming house, and no person shall occupy for sleeping or living purposes any rooming unit therein.
Hearing. Any person whose license to operate a rooming house has been suspended or who has received notice from the Building Inspector that his license is to be suspended unless existing conditions or practices at his rooming house are corrected may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter under the procedure provided by § 140-3, provided that if no petition for such hearing is filed within 10 days following the day on which such license was suspended, such license shall be deemed to have been automatically revoked.
Water closet, wash basin, bathtub or shower. At least one flush water closet, lavatory basin and bathtub or shower, properly connected to a water and sanitary sewer system approved by the Building Inspector and in good working condition, shall be supplied for each 10 persons or fraction thereof residing within a rooming house, including members of the operator's family wherever they share the use of said facilities, provided that in a rooming house where rooms are let only to males, tank system urinals of the floor-resting-type fixtures may be substituted for not more than 1/2 of the required number of water closets. All such facilities shall be so located within the dwelling as to be reasonably accessible from a common hall or passageway to all persons sharing such facilities. Every lavatory basin and bathtub or shower shall be supplied with hot water at all times. No such facilities shall be located in a basement except by written approval of the Building Inspector.
Changing linen and towels. The operator of every rooming house shall change supplied bed linen and towels therein at least once a week and prior to the letting of any room to any occupant. The operator shall be responsible for the maintenance of all supplied bedding in a clean and sanitary manner.
Sleeping room areas. Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one person shall contain at least 80 square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one person shall contain at least 40 square feet of floor space for each occupant thereof over 12 years of age and at least 30 square feet for each occupant therein under 12 years of age, as computed in accordance with § 140-7B.
Maintaining sanitary condition. The operator of every rooming house shall be responsible for the sanitary maintenance of all walls, floors and ceilings and for maintenance of a sanitary condition in every other part of the rooming house and shall be further responsible for the sanitary maintenance of the entire premises where leased or occupied by the operator.
Application to efficiency apartments. Every provision of this chapter which applies to rooming houses shall also apply to efficiency apartments, motels, cabins, hotels and similar accommodations, except to the extent that any such provision may be found in conflict with the laws of this state or with the lawful regulations of any state board or agency.
The Building Inspector may suspend the operation of § 140-7A and B or Subsection G of this section by special or general order, in writing, when he shall deem an emergency exists which in his discretion shall warrant such suspension; provided, however, that no such general or special order so suspending operation of § 140-7A or Subsection G of this section shall be for longer than 10 days.
Requirements to condemn. The designation of dwellings or dwelling units as unfit for human habitation and the procedure for the condemnation and placarding of such unfit dwelling or dwelling units shall be carried out in compliance with the following requirements.
Any dwelling or dwelling unit which shall be found to have any of the following defects shall be condemned as unfit for human habitation and shall be so designated and placarded by the Building Inspector:
One which is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, insanitary, unsafe or vermin infested that it creates a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
One which lacks illumination, ventilation or sanitary facilities adequate to protect the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
One which because of its general condition or location is unsanitary or otherwise dangerous to the health or safety of occupants or of the public.
Vacating premises. Any dwelling or dwelling unit condemned as unfit for human habitation and so designated and placarded by the Building Inspector shall be vacated within 60 days as ordered by the Building Inspector.
Reoccupation of premises. No dwelling or dwelling unit which has been condemned and placarded as unfit for human habitation shall again be used for human habitation until written approval is secured from and such placard is removed by the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall remove such placard whenever the defect or defects upon which the condemnation and placarding actions were based have been eliminated.
Defacing or removing placards. No person shall deface or remove the placard from any dwelling or dwelling unit which has been condemned as unfit for human habitation and placarded as such, except as provided in Subsection D.
Hearing. Any person affected by any notice or order relating to the condemning and placarding of a dwelling or dwelling unit as unfit for human habitation may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Common Council, under the procedure set forth in § 140-3.