City of Monessen, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Monessen as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 7-18-1990 by Ord. No. 4-1990]

§ 313-1 Occupancy permit.

No individual, person, firm, corporation or agent thereof shall lease, let, rent and/or occupy any real property or separately secured portions thereof or allow another to lease, let, rent and/or occupy any real property or separately secured portions thereof within the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, without the legal or equitable owner of the subject property first obtained an occupancy permit from the designated city official of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

§ 313-2 Reporting changes.

The legal or equitable owner or agent thereof of any real property or separately secured portion thereof located within the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, shall report any change in the use or occupancy of said subject property pursuant to § 313-3. However, a legal or equitable owner of a hotel, inn or boardinghouse shall not be required to report an individual, person, firm or corporation as a tenant until said tenant has occupied the subject property for a period exceeding 30 days.

§ 313-3 Application; fees.

[Amended 3-24-1993 by Ord. No. 4-1993; 2-21-1996 by Ord. No. 13-1995; 2-18-1998 by Ord. No. 2-1998]
A. 
An individual, person, firm, corporation or agent thereof seeking an occupancy permit or reporting a change of status shall file an application with the designated city official of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, no less than seven days immediately prior to occupation of the subject property, setting forth the following information:
(1) 
The owner's legal name and address.
(2) 
Specific location of the subject property.
(3) 
Name and ages of all proposed occupants.
(4) 
The nature of the proposed use of the subject property.
(5) 
Date of occupancy.
(6) 
The social security number of the residents who shall occupy the subject property.
(7) 
Attaching to said application a letter from the Treasurer of the City of Monessen setting forth all garbage fees have been paid in full for the year completed prior to the occupancy of the subject property. No individual, person, firm, corporation or agent thereof shall be granted any permit issued by the City of Monessen until such time as written proof by the Office of the City Treasurer that all garbage fees and/or all moneys owed to the city are current.
[Amended 12-15-1999 by Ord. No. 10-1999]
B. 
Said application shall be accepted by the designated city official of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania upon payment of an occupancy permit fee in an amount as set from time to time by resolution of the City Council.
C. 
In the event that the subject property becomes vacant or changes use of occupancy without the prior knowledge of the owner, said change in status shall be reported as aforesaid to the designated city official of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, within 10 days of the change in status.

§ 313-4 Inspection.

[Amended 2-18-1998 by Ord. No. 2-1998]
Upon receipt of the completed application and the occupancy permit fee as set from time to time by resolution of the City Council, the designated city official of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, is authorized and empowered to inspect the subject property for compliance with all relevant ordinances of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

§ 313-5 Issuance.

A. 
In the event that the inspection of the subject property by the designated city official of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, reveals that the subject property is in compliance with all relevant ordinances of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, the designated city official shall forthwith issue a permit of occupancy to the legal or equitable owner of the subject property.
B. 
In the event that the inspection of the subject property by the designated city official reveals that the subject property is not in compliance with all relevant ordinances of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, said designated city official shall provide the owner with a specific list of violations along with a reasonable time period in which the property owner shall bring said property into compliance. The subject property shall remain unoccupied until the occupancy permit is granted. Said property shall be subject to inspection by the designated city official at regular intervals to determine the extent of compliance and subject to penalties for noncompliance as set forth in the relevant ordinances of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
C. 
In the event that the inspection of the subject property by the designated City official reveals that the subject property is not compliance with all relevant ordinances of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and said designated City official shall have provided the owner with a specific list of violations and a reasonable time period in which the property owner shall bring said property into compliance, no permit of occupancy shall be issued by the designated City official to the legal or equitable owner of the subject property until the designated City official has received payment of an occupancy permit fee in an amount as set from time to time by the City Council.
[Added 10-17-2012 by Ord. No. 7-2012]
D. 
The individual, person, firm, corporation or agent thereof seeking an occupancy permit shall be required to pay the reinspection fee each time the designated City official reinspects the subject property for compliance with all relevant ordinances of the City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
[Added 10-17-2012 by Ord. No. 7-2012]
E. 
At the time of enactment of this subsection, the reinspection fee is set in the amount of $25. The reinspection fee may be modified from time to time by resolution of the City Council.
[Added 10-17-2012 by Ord. No. 7-2012]

§ 313-6 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 10-17-2012 by Ord. No. 7-2012]
Upon conviction before a Magisterial District Judge within the judicial district wherein the subject property is located, any individual, person, firm, corporation or agent thereof in violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to a fine not more than the maximum fine established for the conviction of a summary offense as set forth in 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 1101, as amended, and/or subject to imprisonment for a term not to exceed the maximum imposed for summary offenses as set forth 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 1105, as amended, at the discretion of the Court. Each day that a violation continues after due notice thereof shall be deemed a separate offense.

§ 313-7 Notice.

[Added 7-17-1996 by Ord. No. 5-1996]
All real estate sales representatives, real estate agents and real estate brokers must notify purchasers of improved real estate of the city's requirement to obtain an occupancy permit prior to occupying any real estate in the City of Monessen. After said notice, said representative, agent or broker must file a written certification to the city of said notification.

§ 313-7.1 Student housing.

[Added 6-7-2004 by Ord. No. 2-2004]
A. 
"Student housing" shall be any living quarters offered to or occupied by a student situate within the City of Monessen whose educational facility is located within the City. Upon reasonable demand by the Monessen Code Enforcement Office, a school or educational facility thus qualified shall certify that said accommodations are solely used for students who are registered, enrolled and in good standing with the educational facility.
B. 
Inspection. The City of Monessen Code Enforcement Office shall inspect such qualified educational dwelling quarters and the owner thereof shall pay the established fee once each calendar year which shall run from January 1 through December 31.
[Adopted 1-15-2003 by Ord. No. 1-2003]

§ 313-8 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the City of Monessen, including, but not limited to:
A. 
The protection of the character and stability of residential areas.
B. 
The correction and prevention of housing conditions that adversely affect or are likely to adversely affect the life, safety, general welfare and health, including the physical, mental and social well-being of persons occupying dwellings and adjoining or neighboring properties.
C. 
The prevention of the overcrowding of dwellings.
D. 
The prevention of slums and blight.
E. 
The preservation of the value of land and buildings throughout the City.

§ 313-9 Definitions.

The following terms in this article are defined as follows:
BUILDING CODES
Any code or ordinance adopted, enacted and/or in effect in and for the City of Monessen concerning fitness for habitation, the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use or appearance of any unit, premises or building and/or fire prevention, housing standards and municipal waste, including but not limited to all applicable federal and state codes and regulations. Also included within, but not limited by, this definition are the following which are in effect as of the date of enactment of this article: International Building Code; International Plumbing Code; International Property Maintenance Code; International Fire Code; International Electrical Code; Floodplain Management Ordinance; Weed and Vegetation Control Ordinance; Sidewalk Maintenance Ordinance; Ice Removal Ordinance; Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance; Zoning Ordinance; and any duly enacted amendment or supplement to any of the above and any new enactment falling within this definition.
[Amended 10-17-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012; 6-11-2014 by Ord. No. 3-2014]
CITY
The City of Monessen, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Code Enforcement Officer of the City of Monessen or any other person or entity designated by the City Council of the City of Monessen to perform the duties of the Code Enforcement Officer as set forth in this article.
[Added 10-17-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012; amended 6-11-2014 by Ord. No. 3-2014]
HOTEL
A building or structure operated in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations, and the operator of which is licensed by state or county, which is held out to the public as a place where all transient persons who will come will be received as guests for compensation, and which actually operates as such, and which opens its facilities to the public as a whole rather than limited accessibility to a well-defined or limited private group. The definition includes a motel.
MOTEL
See "hotel."
OWNER
The owner or owners of the fee simple title of a rental unit or of a beneficial and equitable interest therein or a lesser estate thereon. The following person, persons, firms or corporations are included in the definition of owner of a rental unit: a mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, administrator, trustee, lessee, agent or any other person, firm, corporation, partnership or other entity directly or indirectly in control of a structure, dwelling, building in which a rental unit is located or of an individual rental unit.
PERSON
A natural person, partnership, corporation, unincorporated association, limited partnership, trust or any other entity.
RENTAL UNIT
A room or group of rooms within a building or structure which is either rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied or is occupied, for which the owner of the rental unit receives any value, including, but not limited to, money or the exchange of services, as the temporary or permanent residence or house of one or more individuals. An owner-occupied unit can be a rental unit if any part thereof is rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied or is occupied, in exchange for a value, including, but not limited to, money or the exchange of services, as the temporary or permanent residence or house of one or more individuals. Each rental unit within a building is a separate unit requiring a license.
[Amended 10-17-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012; 6-11-2014 by Ord. No. 3-2014]
TENANT
An individual who rents, leases, hires or occupies a rental unit, whether for a consideration or not, as a temporary or permanent residence.

§ 313-10 Registration statement and managing agent.

A. 
Every owner of a rental unit, as above defined, shall file with the City Code Enforcement Officer, within 60 days after the adoption of this article, a written registration statement on forms to be supplied by the City Code Enforcement Officer, containing the following information:
(1) 
A description of the rental unit by street number, tax I.D. parcel number and apartment number or other indicia sufficient to distinguish the rental unit from all others.
(2) 
The name and residence and business address of such owner, together with his residence and business telephone number or, if such owner is a corporation, the name, telephone number and address of such corporation and the name, residence and business address of all officers thereof, together with the residence and business telephone numbers of the corporation's officers.
[Amended 10-17-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012; 6-11-2014 by Ord. No. 3-2014]
(a) 
If the owner of the rental unit is a partnership, the written registration statement shall include the name, residence address, business address, and residents and business telephone numbers of all natural persons who are partners. If an entity other than a natural person is a partner, then the written registration statement shall contain the name and residence and business address, and residence and business telephone number of all natural persons who are officers of that entity;
(b) 
If an owner is a limited liability company, then the written registration statement shall contain the name and residence and business address, and residence and business telephone number of all natural persons who are organizers. If an organizer is an entity other than a natural person, then the written registration statement shall include the name and business and residence address, and residence and business telephone numbers of all natural persons who are principals thereof;
(c) 
If an owner is a business trust, then the written registration statement shall include the name, residence and business address, and residence and business telephone numbers of the settlor, the trustee and the beneficiaries of the trust.
(3) 
The number of tenants the owner proposes to have occupy the rental unit.
(4) 
Designation of managing agent:
(a) 
The name, residence, business address and residence and business telephone numbers of a natural person, 21 years of age or over, who resides within the City or a radius of 15 miles surrounding the City and who shall be designated by such owners as a managing agent who may be accessible regarding maintenance and operation of such rental unit and who shall be designated as the person upon whom process may be served on behalf of the owner. The managing agent shall keep a current record of all the tenants, and their names and addresses, who are renting, leasing or living in each rental unit on the premises. This list shall be available for inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer at reasonable times at a location within the City. There shall be endorsed upon the registration statement a written consent to such designation as managing agent signed by such managing agent. An owner who is a natural person and who resides within the City or a radius of 15 miles surrounding the City and otherwise meets the requirements of this subsection may designate himself as such managing agent.
(b) 
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as preventing a corporation, which is an owner of a rental unit, from designating as its managing agent with respect thereto any officer of such corporation who meets the requirements of this subsection as to the location of the residence of a managing agent.
(c) 
Any designation as managing agent made pursuant to the provisions of this section shall remain in full force and effect until changed or terminated as hereinafter provided.
(5) 
Where, after the filing of any registration statement in relation to any rental unit under the applicable provisions of this article, the owner of such rental unit shall have granted or transferred his right, title or interest therein or in any part thereof, such owner shall file with the City Code Enforcement Officer, within 10 days after such grant or transfer, a written statement which shall contain the name, residence and business address, and residence and business telephone numbers of the grantee, transferee or other successor of such right, title or interest, or if such grantee, transferee or successor is a corporation, the name, telephone number and address of such corporation.
(6) 
Where, after the filing of any registration statement with the City Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to the applicable provisions of this section, any change, other than a designation of a different managing agent or a change of ownership or interest, occurs in any name, residence or business address, list of officers or telephone number(s) or any other information required to be included in such statement, the owner, within 10 days after such change, shall file, in duplicate, on forms to be furnished by the City Code Enforcement Officer, a statement setting forth the particulars of such change so as to supply the information necessary to make currently correct the last registration statement filed pursuant to the applicable provisions of this article.
(7) 
Any designation of a managing agent made pursuant to the applicable provisions of this article shall cease to be effective if such agent shall die or be judicially declared incompetent.
(8) 
Any owner may terminate the designation of a managing agent by filing with the City Code Enforcement Officer a written designation of a new managing agent made in conformity with the provisions hereinabove.
(9) 
If any owner shall fail to file a designation of a new managing agent with the City Code Enforcement Officer in conformity with the provisions herein and within the following time periods, such owner shall be guilty of a violation of this article:
(a) 
On or before the effective date of a notice of termination or within three business days after an owner receives a notice of termination from a managing agent or other termination of a written designation, or 15 days after any such agent shall die or be judicially declared incompetent.
B. 
Any registration statement or designation of a managing agent required to be filed with the City Code Enforcement Officer under the provisions of this article shall be signed by an owner or, if such owner is a corporation, by an authorized officer thereof.
C. 
Any such registration statement or designation of a managing agent shall be deemed prima facie proof of the statements therein contained in any prosecution or litigation instituted by the City or any department, commission, agent or authority thereof against the owner or managing agent of a rental unit.

§ 313-11 License required.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to conduct or operate or cause or permit to be rented or occupied either as owner, lessee, agent or manager within the City, any rental unit without having first obtained a license or temporary certificate to do so as hereafter provided.

§ 313-12 Application.

A. 
On or before June 30, 2003, and each year thereafter, the owner of each rental unit existing on the effective date of this article shall make written application, on forms prescribed therefor to the City Code Enforcement Officer, containing such information as necessary to administer and enforce and to insure compliance with the provisions of this article and the building codes in their entirety. The application shall specify the rental unit the owner desires permission to operate or rent, as well as the total number of tenants the owner requests permission to have occupy the rental unit.
B. 
In addition, the owner of each rental unit constructed or proposed to be rented, occupied or used after the effective date of this article but not yet existing, rented or occupied as such shall make written application to the Code Enforcement Officer for a license as herein provided prior to any initial occupancy.

§ 313-13 Temporary certificate.

A. 
Upon receipt of a completed application for a license for an existing and occupied rental unit with tender of the appropriate license fee as hereinafter provided, the City Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a temporary certificate indicating that a license has been duly applied for, and that such license shall be issued or denied after the building, including but not limited to, interior portions thereof intended or used for human habitation, have been inspected for compliance with the provisions of this article and the building codes. A temporary certificate, as issued, shall authorize continued occupancy of such rental unit in actual existence and use on the effective date of this article pending the issuance or denial of the applied for license.
B. 
Units proposed to be rented, occupied or used or for which construction is to be completed for use as or conversion to a rental unit after the effective date of this article, but not yet so used or occupied, shall not be occupied for human habitation as a rental unit prior to issuance of a license.

§ 313-14 License.

A. 
Upon completion of the inspection of the building or buildings, if the City Code Enforcement Officer finds the requirements of this article and the building codes have been met, a license shall be issued. Such license shall identify the unit which is authorized for operation and occupancy as a rental unit as well as the total number of tenants which may lawfully occupy the rental unit. It shall be a violation of this article to occupy, use or permit the occupancy or use of a unit not covered by or contrary to a duly issued license.
B. 
If the Code Enforcement Officer finds that the requirements of this article or building codes have not been met, a written denial specifying the defects shall be transmitted to the applicant. When a license has been denied, expired, suspended or revoked, no further rental or occupancy of rental units then vacant or which may become vacant shall be permitted until a license has been issued. It shall be the owner's responsibility to remove all tenants occupying a rental unit for which a license is denied, expired, suspended or revoked.
C. 
The rental units within a structure which are in compliance with this article and building codes may continue to be occupied if units or other areas in other portions of the structure which do not comply do not create any hazard to the health, safety or welfare to the persons in the occupied units.

§ 313-15 Renewal of license.

Unless sooner revoked or suspended for cause, each license shall expire on June 30 of each year and may be renewed for successive one-year periods.

§ 313-16 Transfer of license.

A license issued hereunder is transferable, for a fee of $2, to any owner who has acquired ownership of a licensed rental unit for the unexpired portion of the one-year term for which it was issued or reissued, provided that the application to transfer such license is timely filed with the City Code Enforcement Officer for change of ownership and the licensed rental unit is in compliance with this article and City building codes. A license shall terminate upon failure to apply for its transfer within 30 days of the date of sale or transfer of ownership of the rental unit.

§ 313-17 Suspension or revocation.

A. 
A license shall be suspended upon a finding by the City Code Enforcement Officer that one or more of the requirements of this article or the building codes have been violated. The Code Enforcement Officer shall give written notice to the license holder of such violations. Service upon a managing agent shall be deemed service upon the license holder.
B. 
Said written notice may be served upon the owner or such owner's managing agent by any of the following methods:
(1) 
Personal service by hand delivery.
(2) 
Certified mail, return receipt requested.
(3) 
By handing a copy at the residence of the owner, or the managing agent, to an adult member of the family with whom such person resides; but if no adult member of the family is found, then to an adult person in charge of such residence.
(4) 
By handing a copy at any office or usual place of business of the owner or the managing agent to their agent or to the person for the time being in charge thereof.
C. 
Upon failure of the license holder to correct the violations stated in the notice of violation within 30 days, or such shorter time as designated by the City Code Enforcement Officer, the license may be revoked. A suspended license may be reinstated upon meeting the requirements of the building codes. Issuance of a new license after revocation shall be subject to payment of the full amount of the applicable license fee and the procedures for issuance set forth above.

§ 313-18 License availability.

Licenses issued under this article shall be prominently and publicly displayed on the premises of the structure or produced on the request of a tenant or prospective tenant and shall be available at reasonable times for inspection by the City Code Enforcement Officer at a location within the City of Monessen.

§ 313-19 Schedule of fees.

A. 
Fees established.
[Amended 10-17-2012 by Ord. No. 6-2012; 6-11-2014 by Ord. No. 3-2014]
(1) 
At the time of application for the license or for license renewal required by this article, the Code Enforcement Officer shall collect the following license fee for each rental unit:
(a) 
If the owner resides in the City of Monessen or surrounding areas (i.e., Belle Vernon, North Belle Vernon, Charleroi, North Charleroi, Carroll Township, Donora, Lynnwood, and Rostraver Township) or maintains its principal place of business within the City of Monessen: $25 per unit.
(b) 
If the owner resides outside the City of Monessen or surrounding areas (i.e., Belle Vernon, North Belle Vernon, Charleroi, North Charleroi, Carroll Township, Donora, Lynnwood, and Rostraver Township) and has designated a property manager who resides in the City of Monessen: $100 per unit.
(c) 
If the owner resides outside the City of Monessen or surrounding areas (i.e., Belle Vernon, North Belle Vernon, Charleroi, North Charleroi, Carroll Township, Donora, Lynnwood, and Rostraver Township) and has not designated a property manager who resides within the City of Monessen: $250 per unit.
(2) 
By resolution, City Council may modify the amount of the license fees stated herein.
B. 
The license fee shall be tendered with the application for rental unit license and annually thereafter on or before the date of license renewal. The license fee shall be subject to a one-percent penalty per month, or any portion thereof, beyond the date due and payable. No refund of license fee shall be made to those discontinuing operation or who sell, transfer, give away or otherwise dispose of a licenses rental unit to another person. If an application is denied, the license fee will be returned to the applicant.

§ 313-20 Classification/modification.

City Council may, by resolution, categorize and/or classify and recategorize and/or reclassify rental units in the City and modify application or other deadlines under this article so as to stagger inspections of rental units.

§ 313-21 Exemptions/exclusion.

A. 
Hardship Committee. City Council shall establish and/or designate, by resolution, a Hardship Committee to hear and determine requests for financial hardship exemptions from the license fees established hereunder. Said Committee shall consist of three or more City residents, one of which shall be a member of Council. Committee members may be removed and/or replaced by motion of Council for any and/or no reason. Vacancies shall be filled by motion of Council. Committee members are to serve for no pay; however, Council may authorize reimbursement of members for reasonable expenses incurred in performing such functions, by motion. The Committee shall establish procedures, guideline and forms to apply for and for the review and determination of applications for the exemption. At a minimum, the Committee shall require and review documentary verification of income and expenses of applicants for the exemption to be available.
B. 
Exclusions. The requirements of this article shall not apply to any person excluded or exempted by law from application of the requirements of this article, nor to hotels, motels nor nursing homes, as nursing homes are defined in the Zoning Ordinance of the City; provided, however, that this exclusion shall not be available for and this article shall be fully applicable to any and all hotels and/or motels which permit or suffer continued occupancy by one or more tenants for a period in excess of three consecutive months. Such hotel and/or motel shall lose this exclusion and shall comply with the terms of this article within 10 days of such occurrence.

§ 313-22 Duty to file list of tenants.

At the time of application for the rental unit license and all renewals, it shall be the duty of every owner of a rental unit within the City to certify to and file with the City Code Enforcement Officer a list of the names of all lessees, tenants and occupants, as well as their permanent addresses and the telephone number for such permanent addresses, for each rental unit, whether licensed or not. Where any change occurs in any tenant(s) or lessee(s) name or residence, the owner, within 10 days after such change, shall certify the same to the City Code Enforcement Officer so as to supply the information necessary to make currently correct the last tenant list filed by the owner.

§ 313-23 Current licenses.

The obligation to apply for and obtain a license and pay a license fee for a rental unit license shall not apply to any owner currently holding a valid license under another City ordinance which is rescinded by the adoption hereof until the expiration or other termination of such current license; provided, however, that all other requirements under this article shall apply to and be complied with by all rental unit owners.

§ 313-24 Liability of owner.

A. 
Every owner of a rental unit in the City who willfully or negligently fails to register a rental unit, pay the license fee, license a rental unit or file a list of tenants and occupants shall be liable for, in addition to other penalties herein provided, the payment of all sewer rents and charges as levied by the City, together with all penalties, costs, interest and lien charges. This provision shall in no way modify or nullify any others persons' or tenants' liability for the same.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall not issue a license or temporary certificate as to such property until all such delinquent charges, penalties, costs, interest and lien charges have been paid in full.

§ 313-25 Violations and penalties.

Any owner violating any of the provisions of this article or providing or filing any false information required pursuant to this article shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding before a District Justice, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000, together with the costs of prosecution, and in default of payment thereof, shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Each day that a tenant resides in an unlicensed rental unit shall constitute a separate violation.

§ 313-26 Owners severally responsible.

If any rental unit is owned by more than one person in any form of joint tenancy as partnership or otherwise, each person, including each corporate officer of a corporate owner, shall be jointly and severally subject to prosecution and liability for a violation of this article.