Borough of Netcong, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Netcong 7-9-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-12; amended in its entirety 5-12-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-7. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unfit buildings — See Ch. 120.
Certificates of habitability — See Ch. 127.
Housing standards — See Ch. 186.
Affordable housing — See Ch. 194, Art. XIV.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 225.
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 243.
Snow and ice removal — See Ch. 247, Art. II.

§ 228-1 Definitions.

Unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, the following words or phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:
AGENT or MANAGING AGENT
The individuals designated by the owner as the person(s) authorized by the owner to perform any duty imposed upon the owner by this chapter. If the owner provides no such designation, the owner shall be considered the agent or managing agent. In any event, the owner shall be responsible for any acts or omission by the designated agent. 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 is designated by the owner as his agent.
APARTMENT or DWELLING
Any apartment, cottage, bungalow or other dwelling unit consisting of one or more rooms occupying all or part of a floor or floors in a building of one or more floors or stories, but not the entire building, whether designed with or without housekeeping facilities for dwelling purposes and notwithstanding whether the apartment is designed for residence, office or the operation of any industry or business or any other type of independent use.
BUILDING
Any building or structure or part thereof used for human habitation, use or occupancy and includes any accessory buildings and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The municipal official designated by the Borough Administrator with the responsibility of enforcing this chapter.
DWELLING UNIT
Any room or rooms or suite or apartment thereof, whether furnished or unfurnished, which is occupied or intended, arranged, designed to be occupied for sleeping or dwelling purposes by one or more persons, including but not limited to the owner thereof or any of his servants, agents or employees, and shall include all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy thereof.
HABITABLE ROOM
A room or enclosed floor space within a dwelling unit used or designed 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.
LODGING UNIT
A room or group of rooms containing no cooking facilities, used for living purposes by a separate family or group of persons living together or by a person living alone, within a building.
MANAGING AGENT
See "agent."
OWNER
The person who owns, purports to own or exercises control over any building.
PERSON
An individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, trust or other legal entity, or any combination thereof.
REGISTERED TENANT
The person or persons listed on the current registration as the person or persons to whom a rental unit is leased or rented.
RENTAL UNIT
Any apartment, dwelling, building, dwelling unit, habitable room or lodging unit, as defined by this chapter, regardless of the consideration for occupancy, including but not limited to money paid, services rendered, or accommodation incident to employment.
SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS
The number of individuals who may be properly accommodated in the beds and other sleeping facilities located within any rental unit.

§ 228-2 Registration with Code Enforcement Officer required.

All rental units shall hereafter be registered with the Code Enforcement Officer or designee on forms which shall be provided for that purpose and which shall be obtained from the Code Enforcement Officer or designee. Such registration shall occur on an annual basis as provided herein.

§ 228-3 Annual registration required; terms.

A. 
Each rental unit shall be registered annually. The registration term shall commence on August 1 of each year and end on July 31 of the following year. No rental unit shall hereafter be rented unless the rental unit is registered in accordance with this chapter.
B. 
A registration permit shall be issued for each residential unit when the registration is completed and the registration fee is paid. Thereafter, the rental unit shall be inspected. The owner will be notified upon inspection of any observed violations of the building, fire, property maintenance, or zoning codes, or any violations of the occupancy limitations stipulated in § 228-11. A separate registration shall be required for each and every individual dwelling unit existing on a property.

§ 228-4 Inspections.

A. 
Each rental unit shall be inspected at least:
(1) 
Upon the initial registration of a rental unit;
(2) 
Prior to a change of occupancy;
(3) 
When deemed necessary by the Municipal Code Enforcement Office; and
(4) 
As otherwise necessitated by safety considerations, alleged violations and as otherwise required by this chapter.
B. 
In the event that the inspection of a rental unit does not result in a satisfactory determination, the owner of the property or his agent shall not enter into a new lease or rental of such property, nor shall any tenant commence a new occupancy of the property, until the necessary corrections have been made so as to bring the property and rental unit into compliance with the applicable codes. In the event that the property is occupied when such conditions are discovered, all such corrections shall be made within 30 days unless safety considerations, as determined by the Code Enforcement Officer or designee, require immediate correction. 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 offense.

§ 228-5 Prohibition on occupancy.

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

§ 228-6 (Reserved)

§ 228-7 Fees.

A. 
At the time of filing the rental registration form the owner or agent of the owner must pay a fee in the amount of $35 per rental unit.
B. 
The above fee includes the cost of one inspection. Additional inspections, whether due to a change of tenants, noncompliance, or inability to gain access for a scheduled reinspection, will require the payment of a fee of $35 per reinspection visit. The cost for all inspections shall be paid in full no less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled reinspection.
C. 
If any fee is not paid within 30 days of its due date, a late fee charged at the prevailing rate as set forth in the applicable resolution of the Borough Council will be assessed.

§ 228-8 Registration forms.

Without in any way intending to infringe upon the requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28, all rental units shall be registered as provided herein. Every owner shall file with the Code Enforcement Officer or designee a registration form for each rental unit contained within a building or structure which shall include the following information:
A. 
The name, address and telephone number of the owner or owners of the premises and the record owner or owners of the rental business, if not the same persons, shall be provided. In the case of a partnership, the names and addresses of all general partners shall be provided, together with the telephone numbers for each individual partner, indicating where such individual may be reached both during the day and evening hours, which telephone numbers shall include cell phone numbers. If the record owner is a corporation, the name and address of the registered agent and corporate officers of said corporation shall be provided, together with the telephone number for each such individual indicating where such individual may be reached both during the day and evening hours, which shall include the cell phone numbers of each such individual. All registration addresses shall be physical addresses; post office boxes alone are insufficient.
B. 
If the address of the owner of record is not located in the County of Morris, the name, address and telephone number of a person who resides in the County of Morris who is authorized to accept notices from a tenant and to issue receipts therefor and to accept service of process on behalf of the owner of record.
C. 
The name, address and telephone number of the managing agent of the premises, if any.
D. 
The name, address and telephone number of the superintendent, janitor, custodian or other individual employed by the owner of record or managing agent to provide regular maintenance service, if any.
E. 
The name, address and telephone number of an individual representative of the owner of record or managing agent who may be reached or contacted any time in the event of an emergency affecting the premises or any unit of dwelling space therein, including such emergencies as the failure 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 and the exact number of sleeping accommodations contained in each of the sleeping rooms, identifying each sleeping room specifically by number and location within the apartment or dwelling and by the square footage thereof. In order to satisfy the requirements of this provision, an owner shall submit a floor plan which shall become a part of the application and which shall be attached to the registration form.
I. 
Name, address and telephone number of any and all rental agencies with the authority to lease or otherwise permit occupancy of the subject premises.
J. 
Name, age, and address, including the dwelling unit number, of each occupant or tenant occupying the rental unit.
K. 
Such other information as may be prescribed by the Borough on the appropriate form or otherwise by ordinance or resolution.

§ 228-9 Registration forms available for public inspection.

The Code Enforcement Officer or designee shall index and file the registration form and make it reasonably available for public inspection. In doing so, the Code Enforcement Officer 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.

§ 228-10 Amended registration forms.

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

§ 228-11 Limitations on occupancy.

The number of persons occupying each rental unit registered pursuant to this chapter shall not exceed the number computed in accordance with the following:
A. 
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 person shall contain at least 50 square feet of floor area for each occupant thereof.
B. 
Rental units shall not be occupied by more occupants than permitted by the minimum occupancy area requirements set forth below:
(1) 
Minimum occupancy area requirements.
Number of Occupants
Living Room
(square feet)
Dining Room
(square feet)
Kitchen
(square feet)
1 to 2
No requirements
No requirements
50
3 to 5
120
80
50
6 or more
150
100
60
(2) 
Bedrooms shall comply with Subsection A.
C. 
Combined living room and dining room spaces shall comply with the requirements of Subsection B if the total is equal to that required for separate rooms and if the space is so located that it functions as a combination living room/dining room.
D. 
Kitchens, nonhabitable spaces and interior public areas shall not be used for sleeping purposes.
E. 
All spaces to be used for food preparation shall contain suitable space and equipment to store, prepare and serve foods in a sanitary manner. There shall be adequate facilities and services for the sanitary disposal of food wastes and refuse, including facilities for temporary storage.

§ 228-12 Posting of maximum number of occupants required.

A. 
It shall be unlawful and in violation of this chapter for an owner, lessor or registered tenant of any registered dwelling to allow a number of people greater than the maximum number of occupants permitted pursuant to § 228-11 to reside in the registered dwelling. It shall also be a violation of this chapter for the owner, lessor or registered tenant to lease a dwelling unit to a number or group of tenants which exceeds the total number of sleeping accommodations which has been set forth on the application which was filed pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
The owner, lessor or registered tenant of a dwelling unit must post the most recent certificate of inspection in a conspicuous location in the dwelling. Such form must contain the name(s) of the owner, lessor and registered tenant, the maximum number of tenants permitted to occupy the dwelling, and the maximum number of sleeping accommodations.
C. 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for an owner, lessor or registered tenant to fail to post the required registration form or for an owner, lessor or registered tenant to remove the required registration form.
D. 
The required registered property must be readily available for inspection upon demand by police officers of the Borough of Netcong or officials of the Borough of Netcong. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for an owner, lessor or registered tenant to refuse to allow the inspection of said register upon demand by an officer of the Netcong Police Department or another official from the Borough of Netcong.
E. 
The Code Enforcement Official, police officers of the Borough of Netcong, or other officials of the Borough of Netcong are authorized to issue a summons for a violation of this chapter to any owner, lessor or registered tenant found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.

§ 228-13 Payment of taxes and municipal charges required.

No rental unit may be registered for any property containing a rental unit unless all municipal taxes, water and sewer charges and other municipal assessments are current.

§ 228-14 Access for inspection.

A. 
The Code Enforcement Officer or designee is hereby authorized to make inspections to determine the condition of rental facilities and rental units in order that he may promote the purposes of this chapter to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants of rental facilities and rental units and of the general public. For the purposes of making such inspections, the Code Enforcement Officer or designee is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey rental facilities and rental units at all reasonable times. The owner or occupant of every rental facility and rental unit shall give the Code Enforcement Officer or designee free access to the rental facility or rental unit at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspections, examinations and surveys.
B. 
Every occupant shall give the owner of the rental facility or rental unit access to any part of such rental facility or rental unit 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 or any lawful order issued pursuant thereto.

§ 228-15 Occupant standards.

A. 
Only those occupants whose names are on file with the Borough of Netcong as provided in the chapter may reside in the registered premises. It shall be unlawful for any other person to reside in said premises and this provision may be enforced against the landlord, tenant, or other person residing in said premises.
B. 
No rental facility shall be conducted in a manner which shall result in any unreasonable disturbance or disruption to the surrounding properties and property owners or the public in general, such that it shall constitute a nuisance as defined in the ordinances of the Borough of Netcong.
C. 
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 Borough of Netcong, state and federal laws.
D. 
Any landlord, tenant, or other person violating the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalty provisions of this chapter.

§ 228-16 Violations and penalties.

In addition to the penalties set forth in N.J.S.A. 46:8-35, any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the Borough of Netcong or such other court having jurisdiction, be liable for a minimum fine of $250 (or higher if permitted by court order) and a maximum fine not to exceed $2,000 or imprisonment or community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof. Each day that the violation occurs shall be considered a separate and distinct violation subject to the penalty provisions of this chapter. Any person who is convicted of violating this chapter within one year of the date of the previous violation of this chapter and who was fined for same shall be sentenced by the court to an additional fine as a repeat offender and calculated separately from the fine imposed for the violation of the chapter.

§ 228-17 Enforcement.

Any of the violations referred to in this chapter may be enforced, as applicable, by the Police Department, the Code Enforcement Department or such other persons designated by the Administrator or having such authority by law.