Village of Port Jefferson, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Port Jefferson 10-7-2013 by L.L. No. 11-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 101.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 220.
Zoning — See Ch. 250.

§ 205-1 Legislative intent.

The Village Board of the Village of Port Jefferson has determined that there exist in the Village of Port Jefferson serious conditions arising from the rental of dwelling units that are substandard or in violation of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and other codes and ordinances applicable within the Village of Port Jefferson; are inadequate in size, overcrowded and dangerous; that such dwelling units pose hazards to life, limb and property of residents of the Village of Port Jefferson and others; tend to promote and encourage deterioration of the housing stock of the Village of Port Jefferson; create blight, excessive vehicle traffic and parking problems; and overburden municipal services. The Board finds that current Code provisions are inadequate to halt the proliferation of such conditions and that the public health, safety, welfare and good order governance of the Village of Port Jefferson will be enhanced by enactment of the regulations set forth in this article, which regulations are remedial in nature and effect.

§ 205-2 Applicability; more restrictive provisions to prevail.

A. 
Scope. This article shall apply to all rental dwelling units located within the Village of Port Jefferson, whether or not the use and occupancy thereof shall be permitted under the applicable use regulations for the zoning district in which such rental dwelling unit is located, as provided in this article. Any dwelling unit, rooming house unit, boardinghouse unit or any other premises subject to this article shall be presumed to be rented for a fee and a charge made if said premises are not occupied by the legal owner thereof.
B. 
Applicability. The provisions of this article shall be deemed to supplement applicable state and local laws, codes and regulations. Nothing in this article shall be deemed to abolish, impair, supersede or replace existing remedies or existing requirements of any other provision of state or local law or code or regulation. In case of conflict between any provision of this article and any applicable state or local law, code or regulation, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail. The issuance of any permit or the filing of any form under this article does not make legal any action or state of facts that is otherwise illegal, unlawful or unpermitted, or otherwise in contravention of any other applicable law, code, rule or regulation.

§ 205-3 Definitions and word usage.

A. 
Definitions. Any term not defined below shall be construed in accordance with § 250-8 of the Village Code. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING AND HOUSING DEPARTMENT
The Building and Housing Department of the Village of Port Jefferson or any agent or officer of such Department.
BUILDING INSPECTOR
The Building Inspector of the Village of Port Jefferson or any person duly appointed as such Inspector.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Building Inspector, Housing Inspector, any Fire Marshal, Fire Inspector or Chief of the Fire Department, or their delegates or assistants.
CONVENTIONAL BEDROOM
A room designed as a bedroom or, as in the case of a studio apartment, a common room used for sleeping purposes. Rooms having other purposes, such as dens, living rooms or hallways, are not to be interpreted as "conventional bedrooms." A room may not be converted to a conventional bedroom without the permission of the Building and Housing Department.
KITCHEN
Any assembly of cabinets, appliances, countertops or plumbing used in connection with the storage, preparation or cooking of food.
NEW PERMIT
A permit that is issued to the owner of an intended rental dwelling unit where such premises do not possess a rental permit that is valid and in force prior to the date that the application is submitted for said rental permit.
NONCONFORMING BUILDING OR USE
One that does not conform to the applicable building, zoning or other relevant regulations of the district in which it is situated.
NONHABITABLE SPACE
Space used as kitchenettes, pantries, bath, toilet, laundry, rest, dressing, locker, storage, utility, heater, boiler and recreation rooms, closets and other space for service and maintenance of the building, and those spaces used for access and vertical travel between stories and specifically excluding any rooms used for sleeping, eating and cooking, other than kitchenettes. The presence of a bed or bed frame in a room is presumptive evidence that the room is being used for sleeping purposes.
OWNER
Any person, partnership, corporation or other entity who, alone or jointly with others, shall have legal title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or who shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling unit as a cooperative shareholder or as executor, administrator, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate or as a mortgagee in possession, title or control; including but not limited to a bank or lending institution, regardless of how such possession, title or control was obtained.
OWNER-OCCUPIED
Occupation of a dwelling unit, other than a multiple-apartment unit, condominium or cooperative, by the owner and/or his family.
RENEWAL PERMIT
A permit that is issued to the owner of a rental dwelling unit where such premises does possess a rental permit that is valid and in force prior to the date that the application is submitted for said rental permit.
RENT
A return in money, property or other valuable consideration (including payment in kind or for services or other thing of value) for use and occupancy or the right to use and occupancy of a dwelling unit, whether or not a legal relationship of landlord and tenant exists between the owner and the occupant or occupants thereof.
RENTAL DWELLING UNIT
A dwelling unit established, occupied, used or maintained for rental occupancy as a one-, two- or three-family dwelling or multiple-apartment unit or condominium or cooperative, under or by virtue of a rental or lease agreement, verbal or written, or where any sum or thing is paid for occupancy or a charge is made for use and/or occupancy, or where occupancy is pursuant to a contract of sale or installment payment contract, or free of payment by the occupant where payment is made by another individual, organization or agency, or any other occupancy or arrangement for charge of any kind.
RENTAL OCCUPANCY
The occupancy or use of a dwelling unit by one or more persons as a home or residence under an arrangement whereby the occupant or occupants thereof pay rent for such occupancy and use. A renter or lessee subletting or reassigning any part or all of any dwelling or dwelling unit shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor for, and shall assume and have joint responsibility over, the portion of the premises sublet or assigned by said lessee.
RENTAL OCCUPANCY PERMIT
A permit which is issued upon application by the Building and Housing Department for a rental dwelling unit.
RENTAL OCCUPANCY REGISTRATION
The registration of a rental dwelling unit on a form that is approved by the Building and Housing Department.
B. 
Word usage. Words used in the singular number shall include the plural, and vice versa; the word "shall" is mandatory.

§ 205-4 Rental occupancy permit required; application.

A. 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any person or entity who owns or rents a dwelling unit in the Village of Port Jefferson to use, establish, maintain, operate, let, lease, sublease, rent or suffer or permit the occupancy and use thereof as a rental occupancy without first having obtained a valid rental occupancy permit therefor. Failure or refusal to procure a rental occupancy permit hereunder shall be deemed a violation.
(1) 
Rebuttable presumption of rent. Any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit or any other premises subject to this chapter shall be presumed to be rented for a fee and a charge made if said premises are not occupied by the legal owner thereof.
B. 
Application for a rental occupancy permit for a rental dwelling unit shall be made in writing by the owner of the property to the Building and Housing Department on a form provided therefor. Such application shall be filed and shall contain:
(1) 
The name, residence address, mailing address and telephone number, if any, of the owner of the dwelling unit intended for rental occupancy.
(2) 
The street address and Tax Map designation (section, block and lot or lots) of the premises intended for rental occupancy or the premises in which the rental dwelling units intended for occupancy are located.
(3) 
A description of the structure, including the number of rental dwelling units in the structure.
(4) 
The number of persons intended to be accommodated by, and to reside in, each such rental dwelling unit.
(5) 
The number of rooms and the dimensions and use of each room in the structure but outside of the rental dwelling units.
(6) 
For each rental dwelling unit, a description of the unit, including the number of rooms in the rental dwelling unit and the dimensions of each such room.
(7) 
A property survey of the premises, drawn to a scale not greater than 40 feet to one inch, if not shown on the survey, a site plan, drawn to scale, showing all buildings, structures, walks, drives and other physical features of the premises and the number, location and access of existing and proposed on-site vehicle parking facilities.
(8) 
A copy of the certificate of occupancy and/or certificate of zoning compliance and any certificates of nonconforming use as recorded by the Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson for the premises on which the rental dwelling unit intended for occupancy is located.
C. 
Each application shall be executed by and sworn to by the owner of the premises.
D. 
Notwithstanding the above, no rental occupancy permit shall be required for a residential care facility established under New York State guidelines.

§ 205-5 Fees.

A. 
A nonrefundable biannual permit application fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees shall be paid, upon filing an application for a rental occupancy permit, in accordance with the schedule of rental dwelling units per structure:
(1) 
Owner-occupied:
(a) 
One or two bedrooms.
(b) 
Three bedrooms.
(c) 
Four bedrooms.
(d) 
Five bedrooms.
(e) 
More than five bedrooms.
(2) 
Non-owner-occupied:
(a) 
One or two bedrooms.
(b) 
Three bedrooms.
(c) 
Four bedrooms.
(d) 
Five bedrooms.
(e) 
More than five bedrooms.
B. 
The fee required by this section shall be waived for any applicant which demonstrates that it is a not-for-profit housing development corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York, and that it is providing housing for senior citizens or other designated special populations subject to income guidelines established by either federal or state regulation.
C. 
Any commercial hotel/motel business operating exclusively and catering to transient clientele, that is, customers who customarily reside at these establishments for short durations for the purpose of vacationing, travel, business, recreational activities, conventions, emergencies and other activities that are customary to a commercial hotel/motel operation, shall pay a biannual fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees per application. For the purpose of this article, a "short duration" shall be defined as not more than 21 consecutive days. This section shall not apply to any commercial motel/hotel whose primary purpose is to provide permanent residences to their customers. For the purposes of this article, "permanent residence" shall be defined as more than 21 consecutive days.
D. 
Any owner who operates a multiple apartment unit, boardinghouse or rooming house shall pay a biannual permit application fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees based upon the number of rental units, as follows:
(1) 
Four to 10.
(2) 
Eleven to 25.
(3) 
Twenty-six to 50.
(4) 
Fifty-one to 100.
(5) 
One hundred one to 200.
(6) 
Over 200.

§ 205-6 Application review; inspection of premises.

A. 
The Senior Building Inspector, or his designee, shall review each application for completeness and return incomplete applications or advise the owner that the application is complete within two weeks of receipt of the application by the Village. Within 30 days of receiving notice from the Village of Port Jefferson of receipt of a complete application, the owner of the rental dwelling unit shall, at the owner's election: arrange for an inspection of the unit or units and the premises on which the same are located by a Code Enforcement Officer employed by the Village; or shall provide to the Village sufficient evidence, certified by a licensed engineer, that the structure and the dwelling units contained therein meet all applicable housing, sanitary, building, electrical and fire codes, rules and regulations.
B. 
Upon completion of the inspection by a Village Code Enforcement Officer, he shall issue findings in a written report, the format of which will be provided by the Village Building and Housing Department.
C. 
Upon completion of the inspection by a licensed engineer hired by the owner, he shall issue findings in a written report, the format of which will be provided by the Village Building and Housing Department.
D. 
The inspection and report shall be completed and filed with the Village Building and Housing Department within 120 days of the notice of completion of the application. If the report states that the proposed rental dwelling unit or units, as well as the premises in which the same are located, comply fully with all applicable state and local laws, rules and regulations, and that such rental dwelling unit or units do not create an unsafe or dangerous condition, the Senior Building Inspector or his designee shall issue the permit, which shall state the name and address of the owner of the subject property, the maximum number of occupants and the number of conventional bedrooms for the structure.

§ 205-7 Term.

All permits issued pursuant to this article shall be valid for a period of two years from date of issuance.

§ 205-8 Register of permits.

It shall be the duty of the Senior Building Inspector to maintain a register of permits issued pursuant to this article. Such register shall be kept by street address, showing the name and address of the permittee, the number of rental dwelling units at such street address, the number of rooms in each such rental dwelling unit and the date of expiration of permit for such unit.

§ 205-9 Revocation of permit.

[Amended 11-7-2016 by L.L. No. 9-2016]
A. 
The Senior Building Inspector may recommend to the Board of Trustees the revocation of a rental occupancy permit where he or she finds that the permit holder has caused, permitted, suffered or allowed to exist and remain upon the premises for which such permit has been issued, for a period of 14 days or more after written notice has been given to the permit holder or the managing agent of such rental dwelling unit, a violation of the Multiple Residence Law, New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code or a violation of this article or other chapter of the Village Code.
B. 
Upon the recommendation of the Senior Building Inspector and after 10 days' written notice by certified mail to the owner, the Village Board shall hold a public hearing on such recommendation within 60 days after such recommendation, and after such hearing, shall make written findings, a conclusion and a decision.

§ 205-10 Rental registration required.

It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York for any owner to permit any tenant(s) or other person(s), to take up residence by a rental occupancy in any dwelling unit without the owner's first having completed and filed with the Code Enforcement Officer a rental registration form approved by the Senior Building Inspector, and bearing the signature of the owner acknowledging the requirements of such permit.

§ 205-11 Broker's responsibility prior to listing.

A. 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article, and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York, for any real estate broker or agent to list, advertise, show or otherwise offer for lease, rent or sale on behalf of the owner as a residence with a rental dwelling unit or units any residence or residential dwelling unit for which a current rental occupancy permit is not in force. It shall be the real estate broker's or agent's duty to verify the existence of a valid rental occupancy permit before acting on behalf of the owner.
B. 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article, and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York, for any real estate broker or agent to list, advertise, show or otherwise offer for lease, rent or sale on behalf of the owner any residential dwelling in a manner inconsistent with the use reflected on the certificate of occupancy, certificate of zoning compliance, certificate of existing use or special permit issued for the premises. It shall be the real estate broker's or agent's duty to verify the legal status of the premises before acting on behalf of the owner.
C. 
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article, and an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York, for any real estate broker or agent to list, advertise, show or otherwise offer for lease, rent or sale on behalf the owner or such other person acting in the owner's behalf any residential dwelling in a manner inconsistent with the number of rooms, bedrooms, kitchens or units, identified on the property card for the premises maintained by the Village of Port Jefferson for such structure. It shall be the real estate broker or agent's duty to verify the legal status of the premises before advertising the premises on behalf of the owner, or such other person acting in the owner's behalf.

§ 205-12 Penalties for offenses.

Any person, association, estate, trust, firm or corporation or other entity which violates any provision of this article or assists in the violation of any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation as that term is defined in the New York Penal Law and which is punishable:
A. 
By a fine not exceeding $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both, for a conviction of a first offense, and by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both for any additional offense(s) of this article that are charged.
B. 
Each month that the violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
C. 
The Building Inspector or his designee shall be responsible for investigating and documenting violations of any case of illegal over-occupancy within the Village or for failure to comply with the provisions of this article with regard to illegal advertisements.
D. 
The Village Attorney shall be authorized to institute an action in the Supreme Court for the State of New York, County of Suffolk, for appropriate relief, including injunctive relief, and may seek the imposition of all costs related to such action to be charged against the property, which such charges shall be collected as additional tax.