Township of Riverside, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Riverside 12-17-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-6A. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Certificate of habitability; certificate of approval — See Ch. 129.

Housing code — See Ch. 163.

Property maintenance — See Ch. 209.

Zoning — See Ch. 255.

§ 212-1
Definitions. 

§ 212-2
Registration. 

§ 212-3
Registration and licensing; term; initial. 

§ 212-4
Registration forms; filing; contents. 

§ 212-5
Registration form; indexing and filing; public inspection fee. 

§ 212-6
Registration form; amendments; filing. 

§ 212-7
Periodic inspections. 

§ 212-8
Access for inspection, repairs. 

§ 212-9
Prohibitions on occupancy. 

§ 212-10
License. 

§ 212-11
Fees. 

§ 212-12
Providing registration form to occupants and tenants. 

§ 212-13
Maximum number of occupants; posting. 

§ 212-14
Taxes and other municipal charges; payment precondition for registration and license. 

§ 212-15
Other rental unit standards. 

§ 212-16
Compliance with other laws. 

§ 212-17
Revocation of a license; procedure. 

§ 212-18
Violations and penalties. 

§ 212-1 Definitions.

Unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, the following words or phrases, when used in this chapter shall have the following meaning:

AGENT
The individual or individuals designated by the owner as the person(s) authorized by the owner to perform any duty imposed upon the owner by this chapter. The term does not necessarily mean a licensed real estate broker or salesman of the State of New Jersey as those terms are defined by N.J.S.A. 45:15-3; however, such term may include a licensed real estate broker or salesman of the State of New Jersey, if such person designated by the owner as his agent is so licensed.
APARTMENT or DWELLING
Any residence, apartment, cottage, bungalow, any room or moms in a rooming/boarding house or other dwelling unit consisting of one or more rooms occupying all or part of a floor or floors in a building, whether designed with or without housekeeping facilities for dwelling purposes.
LICENSE
The license issued by the Township Clerk or designee attesting that the rental unit has been properly registered in accordance with this chapter.
LICENSEE
The person to whom the license is issued pursuant to this chapter. The term "licensee" includes within its definition the term "agent" where applicable.
OWNER
Any person or group of persons, firm, corporation, or officer thereof, partnership association, or trust, which owns, operates, exercises control over or is in charge of a rental facility.
PERSON
An individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, trust or other legal entity, or any combination thereof.
RENTAL FACILITY
Every building or a portion thereof, which is kept, used, maintained, advertised or held out to be a place where living accommodations are supplied, whether furnished or unfurnished, for pay or other consideration, to one or more individuals and is meant to include apartments.
RENTAL UNIT
A dwelling unit, which is available for lease or rental purposes and is meant to include individual apartments located within an apartment building containing two or less units.

§ 212-2 Registration.

All rental facilities shall hereafter be registered with the Township Clerk or designee of the Township of Riverside or such other person as designated by the Township Committee on forms which shall be provided for that purpose and which shall be obtained from the Township Clerk or designee.

§ 212-3 Registration and licensing; term; initial.

Registration provisions. Each rental unit shall be registered and a license shall be issued for such premises. The license term shall commence on April 1 and shall be valid until March 31 of the following calendar year, at which time it shall expire and a new license shall be required. The initial registration and licensing shall occur within 45 days following the adoption of this chapter. Any lease which has been executed prior to the adoption of this chapter shall not be effected, but the rental unit must nevertheless be registered, inspected and licensed in accordance with this chapter. No rental unit shall hereafter be rented unless the rental unit is registered and licensed in accordance with this chapter.

§ 212-4 Registration forms; filing; contents.

Without in any way intending to infringe upon the requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28, all rental units shall be registered and licensed as provided herein. Every owner shall file with the Township Clerk or designee of the Township of Riverside or such other person as designated by the Township Committee a registration form for each unit contained within a building or structure which shall include the following information:

A. 

The name and address of the record owner or owners of the premises and the record owner or owners of the rental business, if not the same persons. In the case of a partnership, the names and addresses of all general partners shall be provided together with the telephone numbers for each of such individuals indicating where such individual may be reached both during the day and evening hours. If the record owner is a corporation, the name and address of the registered agent and corporate officers of said corporation together with the telephone numbers for each of such individuals indicating where such individual may be reached both during the day and evening hours;

B. 

If the address of any record owner is not located in Riverside Township or in Burlington County, the name and address of a person who resides in Burlington County and who is authorized to accept notices from a tenant and to issue receipts therefor and to accept service of process on behalf of the record owner;

C. 

The name and address of the agent of the premises, if any;

D. 

The name and address, including the dwelling unit number of the superintendent, janitor, custodian or other individual employed by the owner or agent to provide regular maintenance service, if any;

E. 

The name, address and telephone number of an individual representative of the owner or agent who may be reached or contacted at any time in the event of an emergency affecting the premises or any unit of dwelling space therein, including such emergencies as the future of any essential service or system, and who has the authority to make emergency decisions concerning the building and any repair thereto or expenditure in connection therewith;

F. 

The name and address of every holder of a recorded mortgage on the premises;

G. 

If fuel oil is used to heat the building and the landlord furnishes the heat in the building, the name and address of the fuel oil dealer servicing the building and the grade of fuel oil used.

H. 

As to each rental unit, a specification of the exact number of sleeping rooms contained in the rental unit. In order to satisfy the requirement of this provision, an owner shall submit a floor plan which shall become part of the application and which shall be attached to the registration form when filed by the Township Clerk or designee; and

I. 

Such other information as may be prescribed by the Township.

§ 212-5 Registration form; indexing and filing; public inspection fee.

The Township Clerk or designee shall index and file the registration forms. In doing so, the Township Clerk or designee shall follow the mandates of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28.1, as amended and supplemented, so that the filing of the registration form will simultaneously satisfy the registration requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28 to the extent that it applies to the property being registered and will also satisfy the registration requirements of this chapter.

§ 212-6 Registration form; amendments; filing.

Every person required to file a registration form pursuant to this chapter shall file an amended registration form within 20 days after any change in the information required to be included thereon. No fee shall be required for the filing of an amendment except where the ownership of the premises is changed.

§ 212-7 Periodic inspections.

A. 

Each rental unit shall be inspected at least once every twenty-four-month period.

B. 

Such inspections shall be performed by such person, persons or agency duly authorized and appointed by the Township of Riverside, and inspections made by persons or an agency other than the duly authorized and appointed person, persons or agency of the Township of Riverside shall not be used as a valid substitute.

C. 

Such inspection shall be for the purpose of determining compliance with the Zoning Ordinance Property Maintenance Code and Housing Code.

Editor's Note: See Chapters 255, 209 and 163, respectively.

D. 

Unsatisfactory inspection. In the event that the inspection(s) of a rental unit indicates the need for maintenance and repairs, such property shall not thereafter be licensed, and the owner of the property, or his agent, shall not lease or rent such property, nor shall any tenant occupy the property, until the necessary maintenance, repairs and corrections have been made so as to bring the property and rental unit into compliance with applicable code(s) and the property is thereafter subsequently reinspected, approved, registered and licensed. In the event that the property is occupied when such conditions are discovered, all such corrections shall be made within 60 days and, if not made within that time period, the owner shall be deemed in violation of this chapter, and every day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct violation, subject to the penalty provisions of § 212-18 of this chapter.

§ 212-8 Access for inspection, repairs.

A. 

The inspection officers are hereby authorized to make inspections to determine the condition of licensed rental facilities, rental units and rooming/boarding houses in order that they may promote the purposes of this chapter to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of rental facilities, rental units and rooming/boarding houses and of the general public. For the purposes of making such inspections, licensees shall permit the inspecting officers to enter, examine and survey rental facilities, rental units and rooming/boarding houses at all reasonable times. The licensee shall assure that the occupant of every rental facility, rental unit and rooming/boarding house shall give the inspecting officer free access to the rental facility, rental unit and rooming/boarding house at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspections, examinations and surveys.

B. 

Within 10 days of receipt of a complaint alleging a reported violation of this chapter, an inspecting officer shall conduct an inspection as hereinbefore provided.

§ 212-9 Prohibitions on occupancy.

No person shall hereafter occupy any rental unit, nor shall the owner permit occupancy of any rental unit within the Township of Riverside, which is not registered and licensed in accordance with this chapter.

§ 212-10 License.

Upon the filing of a completed license application, and payment of the prescribed fee, and a satisfactory inspection, the owner shall be entitled to the issuance of a license. A license shall be required for each rental unit, and a license shall be issued to the owner for each rental unit, even if more than one rental unit is contained in the property.

§ 212-11 Fees.

At the time of the filing of the license application, and prior to the issuance of a license, the owner or agent of the owner must pay fees in accordance with the following:

A. 

An annual license fee of $50 per year per rental unit, which shall include the cost of the required inspection;

B. 

A reinspection fee of $15 per rental unit, which shall be paid for each reinspection if the initial inspection discloses violations;

C. 

If the owner of the property is a senior citizen who resides in a unit of the property and rents out the remaining unit and would otherwise qualify under the State of New Jersey Senior Citizen property tax deduction under N.J.S.A. 54:4-8.41, there shall be no fee;

D. 

If any fee is not paid within 30 days of its due date, an additional fee of $15 per unit per month will be assessed until the fee is paid.

§ 212-12 Providing registration form to occupants and tenants.

Every owner shall provide each occupant or tenant occupying a rental unit with a copy of the registration form required by this chapter. This particular provision shall not apply to any hotel, motel, or guesthouse registered with the State of New Jersey pursuant to the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Act, as defined in N.J.S.A. 55:13A-3. This provision may be complied with by posting a copy of the registration certificate in a conspicuous place within the rental unit(s)

§ 212-13 Maximum number of occupants; posting.

A. 

The maximum number of occupants shall be posted in each rental unit. It shall be unlawful for any person, including the owner, agent, tenant or registered tenant, to allow a greater number of persons than the posted maximum number of occupants to sleep in or occupy overnight the rental unit for a period exceeding 29 days. Any person violating this provision shall be subject to the penalty provisions of § 212-18 of this chapter.

B. 

Only those occupants whose names are on file with the Township, as required in this chapter, may reside in the licensed premises. It shall be unlawful for any other person to reside in said premises, and any owner, agent, tenant, or registered tenant allowing a nonregistered party to reside in said premises shall be subject to the penalty provisions of § 212-18 of this chapter.

§ 212-14 Taxes and other municipal charges; payment precondition for registration and license.

No rental unit may be registered and no license shall be issued for any property containing a rental unit unless all municipal taxes, water and sewer charges and any other municipal assessments are paid on a current basis.

§ 212-15 Other rental unit standards.

A. 

All dwelling units shall be maintained in accordance with the BOCA National Property Maintenance Code, Fifth Edition, 1996. The provisions of Chapter 1 of said Code shall be superceded by the provisions of §§ 212-17 and 212-18 hereof.

B. 

No rental facility shall be operated in a manner which shall result in any unreasonable disturbance or disruption to the surrounding properties and property owners or of the public in general such that it shall constitute a "nuisance," as defined in the ordinances of the Township of Riverside.

§ 212-16 Compliance with other laws.

The maintenance of all rental facilities and the conduct engaged in upon the premises by occupants and their guests shall at all times be in full compliance with all applicable ordinances and regulations of the Township of Riverside and with all applicable state and federal laws. Any landlord, tenant or other person violating the provisions of this Section shall be subject to the penalty provisions of § 212-18 of this chapter.

§ 212-17 Revocation of a license; procedure.

A. 

Grounds. In addition to any other penalty prescribed herein, a licensee may be subject to the revocation or suspension of the license issued hereunder upon the happening of one or more of the following:

(1) 

Conviction of a violation of this chapter in the Municipal Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction.

(2) 

Determination of a violation of this chapter at a hearing held pursuant to § 212-17B herein.

(3) 

Continuously renting the unit or units to a tenant or tenants are convicted of violating the ordinances of the Township.

(4) 

Continuously permitting the rental unit to be occupied by more than the maximum number of occupants as defined in this chapter.

(5) 

Maintaining the rental unit or units or the property in which the rental unit is a part in a dangerous condition likely to result in injury to person or property.

B. 

Procedure; written complaint; notice; hearing.

(1) 

A complaint seeking the revocation or suspension of a license may be filed by any one or more of the following: Chief of Police, Construction Code Official, Housing Inspector, the Zoning Enforcement Officer or any other persons or office authorized to file such complaint. Such complaint shall be in writing and filed with the Township Clerk or designee. The complaint shall be specific and shall be sufficient to apprise the licensee of the charges so as to permit the licensee to present a defense. The individual(s) filing the complaint may do so on the basis of information and belief and need not rely on personal information.

(2) 

Upon the filing of such written complaint, the Township Clerk or designee shall immediately inform the Township Committee, and a date for a hearing shall be scheduled which shall not be sooner than 10 nor more than 30 days thereafter. The Township Clerk or designee shall forward a copy of the complaint and a notice as to the date of the hearing to the licensee and the agent, if any, at the address indicated on the registration form. Service upon the agent shall be sufficient.

(3) 

The hearing required by this section shall be held before the Township Committee unless, in it discretion, the Township Committee determines that the matter should be heard by a Hearing Officer who shall be appointed by the Township Committee. If the matter is referred to a Hearing Officer, such officer shall transmit his findings of fact and conclusions of law to the Township Committee within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. The Township Committee shall then review the matter and may accept, reject, or modify the recommendations of the Hearing Officer based on the record before such Hearing Officer. In the event that the matter is not referred to a Hearing Officer and is heard by Township Committee, then the Township Committee shall render a decision within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. Following the hearing, a decision shall be rendered, dismissing the complaint, revoking or suspending the license, or determining that the license shall not be renewed or reissued for one or more subsequent license years.

(4) 

A stenographic transcript shall be made of the hearing. All witnesses shall be sworn prior to testifying. The strict rules of evidence shall not apply, and the evidential rules and burden of proof shall be that which generally control administrative hearings.

(5) 

The Township Solicitor or his designee shall appear and prosecute on behalf of the complainant in all hearings conducted pursuant to this section.

C. 

Defense. It shall be a defense to any proceeding for the revocation, suspension or other disciplinary action involving a rental license by demonstrating that the owner has taken appropriate action and has made a good faith effort to abate the conditions or circumstances giving rise to the revocation proceeding including but not limited to the institution of legal action against the tenant(s), occupant(s) or guests for recovery of the premises, eviction of the tenant(s) or otherwise.

§ 212-18 Violations and penalties.

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the Township of Riverside or such other court having jurisdiction, be liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000, community service for a term not exceeding 30 days, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days, or a combination of same. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation subject to the penalty provisions of this chapter.