Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Atlantic City 9-13-1989 by Ord. No. 43-1989.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 111.
Firesafety — See Ch. 128.
Rental property — See Ch. 209A.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 207.
Rooming and boarding houses — See Ch. 211.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 194, Occupancy Permits, adopted 11-30-1983 by Ord. No. 74-1983, as amended.

§ 194-1 Permit required; exceeding maximum occupancy prohibited.

[Amended 8-3-1994 by Ord. No. 55-1994; 5-24-1995 by Ord. No. 34-1995; 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996]
A. 
No owner, agent of an owner, broker, firm, company, partnership, corporation, person or persons shall rent, transfer, receive, grant, lease, let with right of occupancy, or occupy, whether or not for consideration, a building, condominium, dwelling unit or apartment or any rooming unit or apartment within a boardinghouse or rooming house, unless an occupancy permit is issued certifying that said building, condominium, dwelling unit or apartment or rooming unit or apartment within a boardinghouse or rooming house is in compliance with all other ordinances of the City of Atlantic City.
[Amended 6-24-1998 by Ord. No. 31-1998; 9-29-1999 by Ord. No. 42-1999]
B. 
The owner of any residential property shall obtain an occupancy permit prior to the sale of such property involving a new occupancy of any unit of dwelling space, provided that no occupancy permit shall be required for the sale of vacant properties, but shall be required prior to such time as a new occupancy occurs.
C. 
The owners and/or managers of every residential building and structure in the City which is rented or leased shall register with the City Clerk the names and addresses of the owner, lessor and agent in charge of the premises residing in the municipality or county together with such other information the issuing agent shall require for the enforcement of this chapter.
D. 
No owner shall rent or allow the occupancy of any dwelling unit overnight by greater than the maximum number of occupants permitted for said unit.
E. 
For purposes of this chapter, "owner" means the person who owns, manages or exercises control of any residential rental property, including an agent appointed by the owner, in writing, to manage the property and tenants, where applicable, but shall not include any of the following:
(1) 
A real estate agent, including a realtor, a New Jersey licensed broker or a New Jersey licensed salesperson, whose function is limited to procuring purchasers and/or tenants on behalf of an owner.
(2) 
A person whose function is limited to acting as a repository for rents on behalf of an owner.
(3) 
The registered agent set forth in § 194-1C above, unless said registered agent has been designated by the owner in a separate writing to manage the property.
F. 
No occupancy permit shall be required on the rental of a dwelling unit in a building containing multiple dwelling units which is owned and operated by the United States, the State of New Jersey or the Atlantic City Housing Authority so long as such respective governmental entity enforces its own property maintenance code or otherwise regulates and maintains the habitability standards of its rental units.
G. 
The owner of any rooming house or boardinghouse shall obtain an occupancy permit for each rooming unit prior to the occupancy of that unit. A new occupancy permit shall be required after the expiration of one year. Multiple tenancies shall not affect the duration of the occupancy permit for the rooming unit.
[Added 9-29-1999 by Ord. No. 42-1999]

§ 194-2 Issuance and denial of permits.

[Amended 12-19-1990 by Ord. No. 93-1990; 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996]
A. 
Inspection required.
[Amended 9-29-1999 by Ord. No. 42-1999]
(1) 
Permits shall be issued only upon an inspection by the Division of Code Enforcement finding that a dwelling unit, apartment, rooming house and boardinghouse or any other space or place of residence is in compliance with the Property Maintenance Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 207, Property Maintenance.
(2) 
Permits for rooming houses and boardinghouses shall be issued only upon an inspection by the Division of Code Enforcement finding that the rooming unit contained within a rooming house or boardinghouse is in compliance with N.J.S.A. 55:13B-1 et seq., the Rooming and Boarding House Act, and N.J.A.C. 5:27-1 et seq., the Regulations Governing Rooming and Boarding House Standards.
B. 
The issuing agent shall deny a permit if he or she determines that a dwelling, apartment or rooming unit within a rooming house or boardinghouse or other place of residence is unfit for human habitation, if he or she finds that conditions exist in such dwelling, apartment or rooming unit within a rooming house or boardinghouse or other place of residence which are dangerous or injurious to the health, welfare or safety of the occupant or occupants thereof, the occupancy of neighboring dwelling apartments or rooming unit within a rooming house or boardinghouse or other structures or to residents or the municipality. Such conditions may include, without being limited to, defects increasing the hazard of fire, accident or other calamities; lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities; dilapidation, disrepair or structural defects; and uncleanliness.
[Amended 9-29-1999 by Ord. No. 42-1999]
C. 
The issuing agent shall complete action on an application within 10 business days after the application for an occupancy permit has been filed with the issuing agent. In the event that action is not completed within 10 business days, the issuing agent shall immediately issue a temporary occupancy permit, provided that the failure to complete action on an application was not caused by the action or inaction of the owner. Said temporary occupancy permit shall allow occupation until such time as an inspection is performed and an occupancy permit is either issued or denied in accordance with the other provisions of this chapter. In the event of the denial of an occupancy permit after a temporary occupancy permit has been issued under this subsection, the owner is solely liable for correcting the violations or removing the residents within the required time period. If the issuing agent determines that the unit is unfit for human habitation, the owner shall be liable for the enhanced penalties of § 194-9 immediately.
D. 
In the event of denial of an occupancy permit or the issuance of a conditional permit, a report listing the deficiencies of the dwelling unit and applicable sections of the Code shall be prepared and sent to the applicant. The applicant shall have the right to appeal any of the findings under the procedures already in place for the respective code violations or other deficiencies found within 30 days of receipt of the report if a property maintenance violation or within the times provided by other respective chapters of the City Code as required.

§ 194-3 Applications.

[Amended 8-3-1994 by Ord. No. 55-1994; 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996]
Applications for permits shall be made in writing on the forms prescribed by the issuing agent and shall state the name and address of the owner, the name and address of the renting agent and a description of the premises to be occupied, the street address, the number of persons who shall occupy the property and such other information as the issuing agent deems necessary for the enforcement of this chapter.

§ 194-4 Fees.

[Amended 8-3-1994 by Ord. No. 55-1994; 5-24-1995 by Ord. No. 34-1995; 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996; 9-29-1999 by Ord. No. 42-1999; 4-20-2016 by Ord. No. 20-2016]
A. 
The fee for the filing of an application of an occupancy permit to sell a residential property shall be in the sum of $50 per building structure (residential) or $50 for each unit in buildings with two or more dwelling units. Each reinspection shall be an additional fee of $30 per dwelling unit.
B. 
The fee for the filing of an application for an occupancy permit for a rental shall be the sum of $50 per dwelling unit.
C. 
No fee shall be required where the premises are owned by the United States of America, the State of New Jersey, the City of Atlantic City or any of their political subdivisions.

§ 194-5 Multiple dwellings.

[Amended 5-24-1995 by Ord. No. 34-1995; 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996]
A. 
Hotels, motels are excluded from this chapter. An occupancy permit shall be obtained prior to the rental of any apartment contained within any hotel or motel, rooming house or boardinghouse or any multiple-dwelling building. Any changes of tenancy in the apartment would constitute circumstances for obtaining a new occupancy permit under § 194-1.
[Amended 9-29-1999 by Ord. No. 42-1999]
B. 
Where there are one or more dwelling units or separately occupiable spaces in a building, a separate occupancy permit must be obtained for each said unit or space prior to occupancy.
C. 
A new occupancy permit is required for each apartment or dwelling unit prior to a change of tenants.
D. 
In a building with multiple dwelling units or spaces where the common elements have been inspected within the last six months, the issuing agent may, upon his or her discretion, require only an inspection of the dwelling unit itself which is to be rented or otherwise occupied.
E. 
Occupancy permits shall be required for the common elements of properties with one or more occupied units and any occupied units in such property on the sale or transfer of a building containing multiple dwelling units.
F. 
Occupancy permits shall be required for each rooming unit to be rented in any rooming house or boardinghouse. Such occupancy permits for each rooming unit shall be valid for a period of one year, regardless of the number of tenancies.
[Added 9-29-1999 by Ord. No. 42-1999]

§ 194-6 Seasonal permits.

[Amended 8-3-1994 by Ord. No. 55-1994; 5-24-1995 by Ord. No. 34-1995; 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996; 4-12-2013 by Ord. No. 20-2013; 6-12-2013 by Ord. No. 34-2013; 11-26-2013 by Ord. No. 64-2013; 4-20-2016 by Ord. No. 20-2016]
A. 
In lieu of a regular occupancy permit, dwelling units, rooms or other spaces which are occupied on a seasonal and/or transient rental basis may obtain a seasonal permit prior to the first occupancy of the season for that unit. A season shall include the months of winter, spring, summer and fall.
B. 
The fee schedule shall be indicated below based on the occupancy load per dwelling unit, regardless of the number of changes of tenancy. The occupancy load shall be determined by Housing Inspectors of the Department of Licensing and Inspections using the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC).
Season
Months
Fee
(per dwelling unit)
Winter/Spring
January 15 to May 14
$300
Summer
May 15 to September 14
$300
Fall
September 15 to January 14
$300

§ 194-7 Conditional permits.

[Amended 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996]
A. 
The issuing agent may, in his or her discretion, not to be unreasonably withheld, issue a conditional occupancy permit upon finding that only minor violations exist, such as exterior or common area violations, but which number and scope of violations and deficiencies do not so seriously affect safety to prevent habitation for a limited time. Such conditional permit may be issued for a period not to exceed 30 days, including extensions, permitting conveyance or rental upon the express condition that the violation(s) are cured within the time specified. The issuing agent shall not issue a conditional permit if he or she finds that the City of Atlantic City may become responsible for relocation costs of occupants if the violations are not cured or may require a bond to be posted in such amount that shall cover relocation costs.
B. 
In addition to the above, conditional occupancy permits may be issued for major exterior renovations of multifamily or high-rise buildings, provided that the safety of the occupants and the public is not affected. Major renovations shall include new windows on the entire structure, new siding, painting of the entire structure, new electrical service for the building or other such projects. However, in no case may the amount of time, including extensions, exceed 180 days.

§ 194-8 Issuing agent.

[Amended 12-19-1990 by Ord. No. 93-1990; 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996]
A. 
The occupancy permit, and all other permits authorized by this chapter, shall be issued by the Code Official. The Code Official shall be the City official charged with enforcement of the Property Maintenance Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 207, Property Maintenance.
B. 
The issuing agent shall have such powers as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter, including the following:
(1) 
To investigate the dwelling conditions in the City of Atlantic City in order to determine which dwelling(s), apartment(s) or other places of residence therein are unfit for human habitation.
(2) 
To administer oaths, affirmation, to examine witnesses and to receive evidence.
(3) 
To enter upon the premises for the purpose of making examination.
(4) 
To delegate any of his or her functions and powers to such officers and agents as he may designate or who may be designated as subordinate to him or her by the City Code.

§ 194-9 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 6-17-1992 by Ord. No. 67-1992; 8-3-1994 by Ord. No. 55-1994; 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996; 11-25-2008 by Ord. No. 104-2008]
A. 
Any person or entity violating any of the terms of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both, for each violation, at the discretion of the Municipal Judge before whom such case shall be brought, except that where a violation of this chapter occurs involving actual occupancy in a dwelling unit which is declared unfit for human habitation, the person or entity responsible shall be subject to a minimum fine of $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail for each violation.
B. 
Notwithstanding Subsection A of this section, a person who manages or exercises control of any residential property (hereinafter referred to as "agent") shall not be liable for a violation of this chapter if:
(1) 
Within seven business days of receiving notice of such violation, including receipt of a summons, the agent sends written notice, together with a copy of the notice of violation or summons, by regular and certified mail or personal delivery to the owner with a copy to the issuing agent, stating that such agent terminates the management function; or
(2) 
Such agent lacks written delegated authority and is without the funds generated from the property to remedy the violation; however, if the agent has the written delegated authority to remedy the violation and the funds generated from the property necessary to remedy the violation and fails to remedy the violation, then the agent shall be liable for such violation notwithstanding resignation by such agent pursuant to § 194-9B(1).

§ 194-10 Reports.

[Amended 12-19-1990 by Ord. No. 93-1990]
The Code Official or his officer or agent shall, upon the completion of an inspection, prepare a report of the same, which shall be kept on file in his office for a period of five years from the date of said inspection.

§ 194-11 Purpose.

This chapter is enacted for regulation purposes and not for revenue.

§ 194-12 Notices.

[Added 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996]
Unless otherwise provided by this Code or applicable law, all notices required to be sent to any owner, lessor or agent from the City shall be sufficient to said owner, lessor or agent if posted upon a conspicuous place on the premises where the owner or lessor has failed to register the premises and failed to designate an agent or where such agent has been designated but cannot be found at the address given.

§ 194-13 Severability.

[Added 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996]
The provisions of this chapter are severable, and should any part thereof be declared unlawful, the remaining provisions shall continue in full force and effect.

§ 194-14 Saved from repeal.

[Added 6-5-1996 by Ord. No. 29-1996]
Prior § 194-1 of this chapter, prohibiting sales, rentals, etc., of any "[. . . .] building, condominium, dwelling unit or apartment (unless it is) in compliance with all other ordinances, including but not limited to the Land Use Ordinance of the City of Atlantic City," is saved from repeal until the conclusion of litigation in the matter of A.C. Landlords v. City of Atlantic City, Docket No. ATL-L-1856-95, including any appeals, but enforcement is stayed subject to the issuance of appropriate future orders of the Superior Court of New Jersey allowing enforcement of said provision.