Borough of Hellertown, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Hellertown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Code enforcement — See Ch. 153.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 160.
Moving permits — See Ch. 266.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 310.
[Adopted 11-3-2003 by Ord. No. 654]

§ 326-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this article and the policy of the Borough of Hellertown shall be to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens to establish rights and obligations of owners and occupants relating to residential rental units in the Borough and to encourage owners and occupants to maintain and improve the quality of rental housing within the community. As a means to these ends, this article provides for a systematic inspection program, registration and licensing of residential rental units, and penalties.

§ 326-2 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOROUGH PUBLIC OFFICIAL
The Borough Code Enforcement Officer, Assistant Code Enforcement Officer or other representatives hired by the Borough to inspect rental premises under this article. Any inspector conducting such inspections shall be a certified UCC inspector and/or any state Uniform Construction Code certified inspector.[1]
CODES
Any state or local code or ordinance enacted or in effect for the Borough of Hellertown, including, but not limited to, Uniform Construction Code and the international codes adopted thereunder, the Property Rehabilitation and Maintenance Code, any state uniform construction code, zoning ordinance, solid waste ordinance, residential recycling ordinance, and general nuisance ordinances.[2]
MANAGER
Any person who controls, cares for or manages a structure or premises which is let or offered for occupancy.
NEWLY CREATED RESIDENTIAL UNITS
Any residential unit which began construction after the date of the enactment of this article. The date of construction shall be the date the Borough issues a building permit. A newly created residential unit shall also include a unit that has been substantially rehabilitated after the date of enactment of this article. The date of substantial rehabilitation begins on the date the Borough issues a building permit.
OCCUPANT
Any person, including an owner or operator, living and sleeping in a dwelling unit or rooming unit.
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care or control of a structure or premises which are let or offered for occupancy.
OWNER
The owner or owners of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, a mortgage or vendee in possessions, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee or other person, firm or corporation in control of a building or of premises, or their duly authorized agents.
RESIDENCE
A building in which living accommodations or sleeping accommodations and cooking facilities as a unit are provided, except when classified as an institution under the basic building code or excepted per this section.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL LICENSE
The document issued annually for a fee by the Borough of Hellertown to the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager of a residential unit evidencing the existence of said residential rental unit. This license does not warrant the proper zoning, habitability, safety or condition of the residential rental unit in any way. Such license is required for lawful rental and occupancy of residential rental unless the residential rental unit is exempt from the licensing provisions of this section.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT
A rooming unit or dwelling unit which consists of a 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 for the exclusive use of the occupants let for rent or a rental unit contained within an owner-occupied residential or commercial unit, or an other-than-owner-occupied residential unit. The registration and licensing provisions of this article shall not apply to hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, assisted living houses or other rental units used for human habitation which offer or provide medical or nursing services, and wherein all operations of such facilities are subject to county, state or federal licensing or regulations concerning the health and safety of the users, patients or tenants. The registration and licensing provisions of this article also shall not apply to hotel or motel units. A residential rental unit includes a dwelling unit under a lease purchase agreement or long-term (greater than six months) agreement of sale.
RESPONSIBLE AGENT
Any person residing or working within the County of Northampton designated to accept service on behalf of a legal owner or operator of a rental dwelling unit.
SUBSTANTIAL REHABILITATION
Repairs to a residential property that, in its present condition, would not qualify for a certificate of occupancy pursuant to Borough ordinance.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 326-3 Owner and occupant duties.

A. 
Owner's duties:
(1) 
It shall be the duty of every owner, operator, responsible agent or manager to keep and maintain all residential units in compliance with all applicable codes and provisions of all applicable state and federal laws and regulations and local ordinances and to keep such property in good and safe condition.
(2) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct or operate or cause to be rented, either as owner, operator, responsible agent or manager of any residential rental unit within the Borough of Hellertown, without having a residential rental license as required by this section.
(3) 
It shall be the responsibility of every owner, operator, responsible agent or manager to permanently display the residential rental license in the residential rental unit.
B. 
Information provided to Borough. The residential rental license shall include the following information, which shall be provided by the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager to the Borough:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the property owner;
(2) 
Name, address and telephone number of the designated local property manager, if the property owner lives outside the Borough and has a property manager;
(3) 
The telephone number to call to register complaints regarding the physical condition of the residential rental unit;
(4) 
The street address of the rental property;
(5) 
The name of the tenants and all other occupants over age 18; and
(6) 
The year of issue for a residential rental license.
C. 
Tenant occupancy and/or vacation. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager to notify the Borough of Hellertown when a new tenant will be moving into or occupying the rental property. The owner shall notify the Borough of Hellertown five days prior to the tenant taking possession of the residential rental unit. The owner shall advise a tenant that the tenant must obtain a moving permit from the Borough of Hellertown prior to entry into the rental unit. At the time the tenant vacates the premises, the landlord shall notify the Borough of Hellertown within five days from the date of vacation that a tenant is vacating the premises. In the event that a tenant vacates the premises landlord shall not be assessed a fee to revise the residential rental license nor the residential rental unit license questionnaire. Landlord shall, however, provide information about the new tenant to the Borough as requested by the Borough so the residential rental license and/or the questionnaire can be properly amended.
D. 
Premises condition. It shall be the responsibility of every owner, operator, responsible agent or manager to employ policies and to manage the residential rental unit(s) under his/her control in compliance with the provisions of this article, Borough codes and applicable state and federal laws.
E. 
Occupant's duties. The occupant(s) shall comply with all obligations imposed by this article and all applicable codes and ordinances of the Borough of Hellertown as well as all state and federal laws and regulations. Included among Borough ordinances is the requirement that all occupants moving into and out of a residential rental unit obtain a moving permit from the Borough of Hellertown before they take or relinquish occupancy. Tenants shall provide said notice to the Borough five days prior to entering and vacating the leasehold premises.

§ 326-4 Residential rental license.

A. 
License registration required for rental units. By January 31, 2004, the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager of each residential rental unit shall apply for a residential rental license for each residential rental unit within the Borough of Hellertown by providing the Borough with a completed license questionnaire for each residential rental unit and by paying the annual license registration fee as set forth in the section entitled "Fees and penalties." The Borough shall review the license questionnaire. If the license questionnaire has been properly completed and the appropriate fee has been paid, the Borough shall issue to the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager, a residential rental license. Receipt of a license from the Borough of Hellertown shall signify that the leasehold premises has been registered with the Borough of Hellertown pursuant to this article.
B. 
Annual renewal of license of rental units. The owner, operator, responsible agent or manager shall apply for a residential rental license for each residential unit on an annual basis. A new license questionnaire for each residential rental unit and a yearly renewal fee as set forth in the section entitled "Fees and penalties" shall be filed with the Borough by January 31 of each calendar year as set forth in the section entitled "Residential rental license." If the license questionnaire has been completed and the appropriate fee has been paid, the Borough shall issue to the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager, a residential rental license.

§ 326-5 Applicability; revocation; reinstatement; change in ownership of premises.

A. 
Residential rental license required for residential rental units. A residential rental license shall be required for each residential unit as follows:
(1) 
Newly created residential units. Prior to initial occupancy of newly constructed residential rental units, newly created residential rental units, or substantially rehabilitated residential rental units (as documented by a certificate of occupancy), the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager of each residential rental unit shall make a written application to the Borough of Hellertown for a residential rental license as herein provided. Such newly created units shall be exempt from further inspection, unless a complaint has been made about the premises or the Borough public official has probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred pursuant to this article, for a period of five years and will then be inspected again when the designated area in which the premises are located is next scheduled for inspection after the five-year exemption has expired.
(2) 
Existing rental properties. The Borough of Hellertown shall fully inspect each residential rental unit no more frequently than once within a five-year period unless a complaint of violation has occurred or the Borough public official has probable cause to believe that a violation is occurring pursuant to this article or the property has been sold pursuant to the section of this article below. Unless sooner revoked for cause, the residential rental license shall remain valid until such time as the next regularly scheduled inspection occurs; provided, however, that the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager complies with the requirements of this article and annually provides the Borough with a properly completed license questionnaire and pays the annual license renewal fee to the Borough as the article requires.
B. 
Revocation of residential rental license. A residential rental license shall be revoked if the owner or operator of a residential rental unit does not provide the name of a responsible agent when said property is managed by someone other than the owner, does not correct code and/or ordinance violations found in response to a complaint or phased-in inspection within the time frame cited by the Borough public official and/or does not pay the annual license fee. If the premises is presently occupied, upon revocation of the residential license the Borough public official is authorized to cause such a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, building structure or other part of the premises to be vacated or closed until compliance with the article is obtained. The Borough public official shall prescribe a reasonable time for compliance. If the residential rental license is revoked and the residential rental unit is vacant, it shall remain vacant. Notices issued pursuant to this section shall be served in the same manner as set forth in the section entitled "Notice of violations."
C. 
Reinstatement of residential rental license. A residential rental license shall be reinstated if the owner or operator of a residential rental unit corrects the reasons for the revocation of the residential rental license and has paid the license reinstatement fee.
D. 
Sale or transfer of residential rental units. Upon the sale or transfer of a residential rental unit, the new owner shall obtain a new residential rental license as set forth in the section entitled "Residential rental license." The new owner shall purchase a residential rental license per the fees set forth in the section entitled "Fees and penalties." A residential rental license issued hereunder is not automatically transferable to any person or entity who has acquired ownership of a residential rental unit. A residential rental license shall be revoked upon failure to apply to the Borough for its transfer within 60 days of the date of sale or transfer of ownership of the residential rental unit. The new owner shall obtain a residential rental license for each residential rental unit and have each residential rental unit inspected. The new owner shall also complete a new license questionnaire to be submitted prior to obtaining the residential rental license. Failure to seek a residential rental license and have the property inspected pursuant to this article for each residential rental unit within 60 days of the date of sale or transfer of ownership shall result in the revocation of the residential rental license. If a property is sold and subject to reinspection pursuant to this section, the property shall thereafter be inspected every five years pursuant to the section entitled "Phased-in inspections."

§ 326-6 Inspections.

A. 
The Borough public official shall make or cause to be made inspections to determine the conditions of all structures and premises in order to safeguard the safety, health and welfare of the public under the provisions of this article. The Borough public official, after reasonable notice, is authorized to enter any structure or premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of performing his duties under this article. The owner, occupant or operator of every structure or premises, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the public officer free access thereto and to all parts thereof and to the premises on which it is located at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey. To ensure that the five-year phased-in year inspections are conducted in a fair and uniform manner and to provide landlords with notice of those areas to be inspected, the Borough public official shall inspect the items set forth in Exhibit "1" attached to this article.[1] This list shall not be construed to be and is not an all-inclusive list and may be amended from time to time by the Borough public official.
[1]
Editor's Note: The list of items to be inspected is on file in the Borough offices.
B. 
Administrative search warrant/inspection requirement. If any owner, occupant or other person in charge of a structure subject to the provisions of this article refuses, impedes, inhibits, interferes with, restricts or obstructs entry and free access to every part of the structure or premises where inspection authorized by this article is sought, the Borough public official shall promptly apply for an administrative search/inspection warrant to a court of competent jurisdiction and shall supply all necessary affidavits and testimony to indicate that there is reasonable or probable cause to conduct an inspection. For the purposes of this section, a reasonable or probable cause to gain access and inspect shall include, without being limited to, the following:
(1) 
That the inspection of the area is part of a planned routine inspection being conducted pursuant to a systematic or concentrated ordinance enforcement program in that portion of the Borough;
(2) 
That the Borough public official, after investigation, has knowledge, information or a reasonable belief that a violation of this article or other codes and ordinances of the Borough and/or commonwealth exist;
(3) 
That such entry is for the purpose of reinspecting a previous notice of violations;
(4) 
That the Borough public official has received a complaint concerning a violation on or within the premises; and
(5) 
That such entry is necessary to determine if the building, structure, premises, dwelling or dwelling units meet ordinance standards.
C. 
Landlord right to cure prior to Borough inspection. If the Borough public officer, after investigation, has knowledge, information or a reasonable belief that a violation of this article or other codes and ordinances of the Borough and/or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania exist and/or upon receipt of a complaint concerning a violation on or within the premises is occurring, the Borough shall contact the owner and inform the owner of the ordinance and/or code violation and/or tenant complaint and provide the landlord with a forty-eight-hour period in which to investigate and correct any violation found within the rental premises prior to the Borough conducting a search of the rental premises. Landlord shall provide the Borough public officer with proof, to the satisfaction of the Borough public official, of the repairs made to the rental premises to cause the premises to come into compliance with the applicable Borough and/or laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If the Borough public officer, at his sole discretion, is satisfied with the landlord's response, no search pursuant to this section shall occur. If the Borough public officer determines no effort has been made by the landlord to address the concerns of the Borough public officer or if the Borough public officer is not satisfied with the landlord's attempted repairs, the Borough public officer may proceed to conduct an inspection pursuant to the requirements of this article. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the Borough public officer, upon good cause shown, from providing the landlord with additional time beyond the forty-eight-hour time period to cure any defect within the premises, at the Borough public officer's sole and absolute discretion, before proceeding to inspect the property pursuant to the requirements of this article.
D. 
Access by owner. Every occupant of a dwelling unit, building, structure or premises shall give the owner thereof or his agent or employee access to any part of such dwelling, dwelling unit, building, structure or premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of conducting inspections to determine whether or not violations of this article may exist or for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this article or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this article.
E. 
Phased-in inspection program. The initial inspection of residential rental units will occur in accordance with a phased-in systematic inspection program to be prepared and made available to the public upon request by the Borough of Hellertown pursuant to the Borough's open records policy.[2] A minimum 15 days' prior notice to each property owner shall be given by the Borough for all inspections. The Borough shall contact the landlord to schedule a date and time that the phased-in inspection will occur. If the landlord agrees to the inspection, no written notification shall be required to be submitted to the landlord. If the landlord refuses the Borough's request for the phased-in inspection or does not make the rental premises available to the Borough as agreed, the Borough shall provide a minimum of 15 days' prior written notice to each property owner. The property owner shall be provided with the date and time of the inspection. The notice shall also state that the property owner has the right to refuse the inspection and that, upon said refusal, the Borough shall be required to obtain an administrative search/inspection warrant.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 72, Art. I, Open Records.

§ 326-7 Phased-in inspections.

A. 
As for any residential unit unoccupied or occupied by someone other than owner on or after the effective date hereof, a residential rental license shall be issued and displayed prior to occupancy of such residential unit by anyone other than the owner, and subsequent inspections shall occur as set forth in Subsection B.
B. 
As for any residential unit occupied by other than the owner as of the effective date hereof and for all subsequent inspections, inspections required by this article shall be completed and the residential rental license issued and displayed not later than January 31 of each year for which inspection is required. The Borough shall be divided into sections as follows:
(1) 
Northern — Section I: bounded by Bethlehem and/or Lower Saucon Township on the west, north, or east, and West and East High Street, extended, on the south;
(2) 
North Central — Section II: bounded by Bethlehem and/or Lower Saucon Township on the west and east, West and East High Street, extended, on the north, and East and West Thomas Street, extended, on the south;
(3) 
Central — Section III: bounded by Bethlehem and/or Lower Saucon Township on the west and east, East and West Thomas Street, extended, on the north, and West and East Water Street, extending northeastwardly along New Jersey Avenue, on the south;
(4) 
Southwest — Section IV: bounded by West Water Street on the north, Lower Saucon Township on the west and south, and Main Street on the east, comprising properties west of Main Street; and
(5) 
Southeast — Section V: bounded by East Water Street and New Jersey Avenue on the north, Lower Saucon Township on the east and south, and Main Street on the west, comprising properties east of Main Street.
C. 
Residential units subject to the inspection requirements of this article and located in Section I shall be inspected during the calendar year in which the article shall become effective and every fifth year thereafter. Residential units subject to the inspection requirements of this article and located in Section II shall be inspected during the first calendar year subsequent to the year in which this article becomes effective and every fifth year thereafter. Residential units subject to the inspection requirements of this article and located in Section III shall be inspected during the second calendar year subsequent to the year in which this article becomes effective and every fifth year thereafter. Residential units subject to the inspection requirements of this article and located in Section IV shall be inspected during the third calendar year subsequent to the year in which this article becomes effective and every fifth year thereafter. Residential units subject to the inspection requirements of this article and located in Section V shall be inspected during the fourth calendar year subsequent to the year in which this article becomes effective and every fifth year thereafter.

§ 326-8 Notice.

A. 
If the Borough public official, upon completion of the inspection, finds that the applicable Borough, state and/or federal laws and/or codes and/or requirements have not been met, a written notice of violation shall be issued.
B. 
Whenever the Borough public official determines that there exists a violation of any provision of this article, he shall issue a notice which shall:
(1) 
Be in writing;
(2) 
Include a brief description of the real estate sufficient for identification;
(3) 
Specify the violation which exists with reference to the applicable article or ordinance provisions, together with a brief statement of the remedial action required;
(4) 
Provide a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days, for letting of a contract for the correction of any violation alleged; and
(5) 
Include a statement regarding the right of appeal.

§ 326-9 Services of notices.

A. 
A notice of violation shall be served upon the owner or occupant in the following manner:
(1) 
By handing it to the person to be served;
(2) 
By handing the notice, at the residence of the person to be served, to an adult member of the family with which he resides; but if no adult member of the family is found, then to an adult person in charge of such residence;
(3) 
By handing the notice at any office or usual place of business of the person to be served, to his agent or to the person for the time being in charge thereof; or
(4) 
By mailing the notice to the last known address of the person to be served, by certified mail, unrestricted delivery, return receipt requested, and if returned as unclaimed, to be sent first class mail.
B. 
If any person to whom the notice of violation is addressed cannot be served in the above manner, the Borough public official shall briefly note the appropriate facts in the file and shall make service upon such person by posting the notice of violation in a conspicuous place on the premises described in the notice.
C. 
Service upon any executive officer of a corporation shall be a sufficient, but not exclusive, method of service upon the corporation. Service upon any partner of a partnership shall be sufficient, but not exclusive, method of service upon the partnership.

§ 326-10 Compliance.

If the Borough public official, upon completion of the inspection, finds that the applicable Borough, state and/or federal codes and/or requirements have not been met, a written notice of violation shall be issued.
A. 
Ten-day notice of violation.
(1) 
If the Borough public official finds one or more violations in the following categories, the Borough public official may issue a notice of violation pursuant to this section of the article:
(a) 
Multiple-dwelling-unit fire exits.
(b) 
Separation of common walls and floors.
(c) 
Automatic fire alarm systems.
(d) 
Multiple-dwelling-unit fire protection.
(e) 
Heating.
(f) 
Hot and cold water supplies.
(g) 
Water closet and basin.
(h) 
Plumbing connections.
(i) 
Electrical hazards.
(j) 
Structural hazards.
(k) 
Serious roof leak.
(l) 
Any other conditions regarding the residential rental unit that, in the sole discretion of the Borough public official, would create a hazardous and/or dangerous condition or render the residential rental unit(s) uninhabitable.
(2) 
A ten-day notice of violation shall be issued and corrective action shall be taken by owner, operator, responsible agent or manager within 10 days of receipt of said notice.
(3) 
If after 10 days from the owner's receipt of the ten-day notice of violation a reinspection reveals that the violations have not been corrected and arrangements satisfactory to the Borough public official have not been made, the Borough public official is authorized to cause such a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, building structure or other part of the premises to be repaired, altered, demolished, improved, vacated or closed. Notices and orders issued pursuant to this section shall be served in the same manner as set forth in the section entitled "Notice." In that event, the residential rental license for the residential rental unit shall be revoked, and if the residential rental unit is vacant, it shall remain vacant.
(4) 
The Borough public official, in the official's sole and absolute discretion, may provide an extension of time to correct said violations if the Borough public official finds the owner, operator, responsible agent or manager is taking the appropriate steps to properly correct the violations.
B. 
Thirty-day notice of violation. If the Borough public official finds violations other than those listed in § 326-10A above, a thirty-day notice of violation shall be issued. If after 30 days from the date of receipt of the thirty-day notice of violation the reinspection reveals that all violations have not been corrected, the owner or operator of the residential unit shall receive a written thirty-day warning which shall set forth the violations still in need of correction and that a failure to correct those violations within 30 days will result in the residential rental license being revoked. If after the second reinspection the violations have not been properly corrected, the license for the residential rental unit shall be revoked. The Borough public official is authorized to cause such dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, building or structure or other part of the premises to be vacated or closed and shall prescribe a reasonable time for compliance. If the residential rental unit is vacant, it shall remain vacant. Notices, warnings and orders issued pursuant to this section shall be served in the same manner as notices of violation.
C. 
Emergency situation. Whenever upon initial inspection or reinspection the Borough public official finds that any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, building, structure or premises constitutes a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or to the public because it is dilapidated, unsafe, unsanitary, unhealthful, vermin-infested or lacking in facilities required by any Borough ordinance, the Borough public official shall designate such dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, building, structure or premises as unfit for human habitation or use and shall cause to be posted on the main entrance area of the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, building, structure or premises so closed a placard with the following words: "This premises is unsafe for use or human habitation; the use and occupancy of this premises for human habitation is prohibited and unlawful."
(1) 
If the premises so designated are occupied, the Borough public official shall order such premises vacated and shall prescribe a reasonable time for compliance. A vacant premises which has been designated as unsafe for human habitation and which has been placarded as such shall not be used again for human habitation or use until written approval is secured from the Borough public official and the placard is removed by the Borough public official. The Borough public official shall rescind the designation as unsafe for human habitation or use and shall remove the placard when the Borough public official finds that the defect or condition has been removed or eliminated and that the dwelling, dwelling unit, or rooming unit is a fit place or unit for human habitation. No person shall remove or deface the placard from any premises which has been designated as unsafe for human habitation and has been placarded as such.
(2) 
In the event that an emergency situation as defined in this section requires that the Borough order that the premises be immediately vacated or to remain vacant, whichever the case may be, the owner, operator, manager or responsible agent shall be entitled to a prompt post-deprivation hearing as set forth in the section entitled "Appeals." Notice and orders issued pursuant to this paragraph shall be served in the same manner as set forth in the section entitled "Notice."

§ 326-11 Fees; violations and penalties.

A. 
Fees.
(1) 
Annual license fee. The fee for a residential rental license shall be $75 per residential rental unit per year, due and payable on or before January 31 of each year to register for the current year. A ten-percent penalty shall be added to the annual license fee for any fee paid after January 31.
[Amended 9-17-2012 by Ord. No. 775]
(2) 
Reinspection: There shall be no fee for the Borough to complete a first reinspection. The fee for a second inspection shall be $30. Subsequent reinspections shall be double the cost of the previous reinspection per residential rental unit. The fee for said second reinspection and all subsequent inspections shall be paid at the time of said reinspection.
[Amended 2-4-2013 by Ord. No. 779]
(3) 
Reinstatement. The fee to reinstate a revoked residential rental license shall be $30 per residential rental unit.
(4) 
Transfer. The fee to transfer a residential rental license shall be $30.
(5) 
Late fee. In the event that any person, firm or corporation should pay the annual license fee after the January 31 deadline, a late fee of $25 per annum shall be paid as part of the annual license fee.
[Added 2-4-2013 by Ord. No. 779]
(6) 
The schedule of fees may be amended from time to time, at the sole discretion of Borough Council, by resolution or by ordinance.
[Added 2-4-2013 by Ord. No. 779]
B. 
Penalties.
[Amended 2-4-2013 by Ord. No. 779]
(1) 
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $100 for each offense, and a separate offense shall be committed for each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues to exist. In addition to any criminal prosecution for violation of this article, the Borough public official or any duly authorized agent of the Borough may take such civil or equitable remedies in any court of record of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, against any person or property, real or person, to enforce the provisions of this article.
(2) 
The schedule of penalties may be amended from time to time by Borough Council, at the sole discretion of Borough Council, by resolution or by ordinance.

§ 326-12 Appeals.

A. 
Any party in interest aggrieved by any decision of the Borough public official may appeal to the Hellertown Rental Property Maintenance Appeals Board. Any appeal shall be in writing to the Hellertown Rental Property Maintenance Appeals Board for a review of the action of the Borough public official in accordance with the appeal procedures set forth in this section; provided, however, that such person delivers a copy of such written appeal to the Borough public official within 10 days after being served with notice of violation or order. Except for an emergency as set forth in § 326-12B(5), an appeal by the aggrieved person shall stay the enforcement provisions of this article. Except as provided herein for an emergency situation, compliance with the notice of violation shall not be required during the time an appeal is pending before the Hellertown Rental Property Maintenance Appeals Board or the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County.
B. 
The Rental Property Maintenance Appeals Board shall be a body of five members, who shall be appointed by the Borough, one of whom shall be a citizen of the Borough who has specific knowledge and expertise in the field of construction and maintenance of property and may also have specific knowledge regarding the requirements of the state Uniform Construction Code; another shall be a landlord and resident of the Borough; two shall be residents of the Borough; and one member of the Board shall be an elected official serving on Borough Council. A member shall serve for a term of two years from the time of appointment or reappointment by Borough Council or until his successor shall take office. The Board shall have legal counsel attend the hearings and report to the Board. The Board shall have the following powers:
(1) 
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Borough public official in the enforcement of the provisions of this article or any other Borough ordinance that has applicability to the establishment and maintenance of proper standards, including, but not limited to, fire prevention, health or buildings;
(2) 
To modify any notice of violation or order and to authorize a variance from the terms of this article when, because of special circumstances, undue hardship would result from literal enforcement, and where such variance substantially complies with the spirit and intent of the article;
(3) 
To grant a reasonable extension of time for the compliance of any order where there is a demonstrated case of hardship and evidence of an actual undertaking to correct the violation together with a bona fide intent to comply within a reasonable time period;
(4) 
In exercising the above-mentioned powers, the Board shall act with reasonable promptness and seek to prevent unwarranted delays prejudicial to the party involved and to the public interest; provided, however, that the Board shall file its written decision within 10 days after the appeal hearing. The Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as justice would require and, to that end, shall have all the powers of the Borough public official; provided, however, that the Board shall be bound by this article and shall not ignore the clear provisions and intent of this article.
(5) 
Whenever the public official finds that there exists any violation of this article which creates an emergency requiring immediate correction to protect the health or safety of any occupant of a dwelling or the public, the Borough public official may issue a notice of violation stating the facts which constitute the emergency and requiring necessary action to be taken immediately. Any person to whom such notice is directed shall comply immediately, even though an appeal is taken to the Board or the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas. Any person aggrieved by such notice of violation may appeal to the Board, as provided in this article, and the Borough shall give priority to such appeal, which shall be held within five business days from the date action was taken by the Borough public official ordering the property vacated or to remain vacant.
C. 
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Board may appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County within 30 days from the date of the Board's decision. Such appeal shall be made by a duly verified petition which shall set forth the factual and legal basis upon which the decision of the Board is alleged to be illegal, in whole or in part. Such petition shall be presented to the Court of Common Pleas, and a notice thereof must be given to the Board within 30 days after the filing of the Board's decision.
D. 
If no appeal is filed within the appropriate time frame, within five days after the expiration of the time for compliance as stated on the notice of violation or within five days after any appeal period has expired for any decision by the Board or the Court of Common Pleas, the Borough public official shall reinspect the premises to determine compliance. If the violation has not been corrected, the Borough public official shall institute prosecution for the violation.
E. 
Every notice of violation and all records of all proceedings occurring subsequent to the notice of violation and until the final disposition of the matter outlined in the notice of violation shall be public and available for inspection; provided, however, that the Borough public official may prescribe reasonable regulations regarding the time and manner of inspection consistent with the Borough's open records policy.