Township of Canton, PA
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 11-101 Definitions.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated, unless different meaning clearly appears from the context:
AGENT
A person designated, in writing, by the owner of a rental dwelling to act for or in place of the owner.
BUILDING CODE
The building codes officially adopted by the Township of Canton for the regulation of construction, alteration, addition, repair, removal, demolition, use, location, occupancy and maintenance of buildings and structures.
CODE OFFICIAL
The official appointed by the Township and charged with the administration and enforcement of the Building Code.
DWELLING
A structure utilized for residence or lodging, for a period of no less than 30 days, whether utilized as a single-family or multi-family dwelling, and shall include stick-built and manufactured houses, trailers, apartment houses, conversion apartments, duplexes, triplexes, garden apartments, mobile homes, modular units, time shares or other space for human occupancy or habitation.
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms used for living and sleeping purposes arranged for occupancy by one family or by one or more persons, which includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation including, but not limited to, dwellings located at manufactured home parks or manufactured home subdivisions or substantial improvements to existing manufactured home parks.
A. 
An individual, or two or more persons related by blood, marriage, adoption or foster child care, including domestic servants or gratuitous guests thereof; or a group of not more than three unrelated persons living together without supervision in a dwelling unit; or not more than five persons living together in a group living arrangement with supervision; provided, that the group living arrangement meets all of the following criteria:
(1) 
It provides non-routing support services, including supervision, personal care, social or counseling services, and transportation, to persons who need such assistance in order to use and enjoy a dwelling or to avoid being placed within an institution, because of physical disability, old age, mental retardation or other "handicap" or "disability" as defined by the Fair Housing Amendments Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(2) 
It provides for the joint occupancy of a dwelling unit where the residents maintain a common household and practice, on a permanent or long-term basis, a joint economic, social and cultural life.
(3) 
It does not involve the housing of persons on a transient basis.
(4) 
It does not involve the housing or treatment of persons accepted for residence in the group living arrangement on the basis of their status as criminal offenders, juvenile offenders or delinquents, or who would otherwise quality for residence by virtue of having been found by any governmental tribunal, court or agency to be a danger to society or are on release or under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system, a government bureau of corrections or similar institution.
B. 
"Family" shall not include persons living together in a group care facility, personal care boarding home or transitional dwelling, as defined herein, or any other supervised group living arrangement for persons not protected by the Fair Housing Act or for any persons who constitute a direct threat to others or their physical property.
LET FOR OCCUPANCY OR LET
To permit possession or occupancy of a dwelling, dwelling unit, building or structure by a person who shall be legal owner of record thereof, or such owner's agent, pursuant to a written or unwritten lease, agreement or license, or pursuant to recorded or unrecorded articles of agreement for the sale of the land.
MOBILE HOME
A transportable, single-family dwelling intended for permanent occupancy, contained in one unit, or in two or more units designed to be joined into one integral unit capable of again being separated for repeated towing, which arrives at a site complete and ready for occupancy except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations, and constructed so that it may be used without a permanent foundation.
MODULAR UNIT
A unit transported on a removable or non-removable frame, in which some or all of the component parts are fabricated, formed or assembled off-site in a factory, transported to the site for assembly and installed on the building site. The term includes "module," "prefab," "factory-built," "$1 panel-built," and similar terms. The completed unit shall comply with building code standards for conventionally constructed units; the modular unit is considered real property.
OCCUPANCY
The period of time during which a person rents, owns or uses certain premises or land.
OWNER
Any person, agent, firm, or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in real property.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, association, firm or corporation for any other group acting as a unit.
RENTAL
A dwelling unit occupied by an occupant or occupants under a rental agreement.
RENTAL AGREEMENT
A written or verbal agreement with the owner or landlord and occupants or tenant embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a specified dwelling unit.
STRUCTURE
An improvement built upon land which is constructed for human occupancy.

§ 11-102 General Reporting Requirements.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
1. 
Each owner of a rental dwelling shall submit to the Secretary of the Township a report on a form supplied by the Township Secretary, which includes the following information:
A. 
List of the dwelling units located in the Township, whether occupied or not, in which owner has an interest, whether the interest be legal title, equitable title, or ownership.
B. 
Address of each dwelling unit.
C. 
Brief description of each dwelling unit.
D. 
Whether or not said dwelling unit is occupied.
E. 
Names of the occupants utilizing the aforementioned dwelling unit, if any.

§ 11-103 Reports by Persons Upon Becoming Owners.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
After the effective date of this Part, any person who becomes an owner of a rental dwelling located in the Township by agreement of sale, deed, articles of agreement, or by any other means, shall within 30 days thereafter, report to the Treasurer of the Township the information and data sets forth in § 11-102 on forms to be provided by the Treasurer of the Township.

§ 11-104 Reports of Changes in Use or Occupancy.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
After the effective date of this Part, every owner of a rental dwelling within the Township shall report to the Township Treasurer, on a report form to be supplied by the Township Treasurer, any change in the use or occupancy of any dwelling unit. The report submitted shall include the name or names of new occupants of such dwelling unit, the date when such change was effected, the forwarding address of the old occupant or occupants, if known. An owner of a hotel, inn or boarding house shall not be required to report a person as an "occupant" until the person has resided in such owner's establishment exceeding 30 days. In the event that a dwelling unit was used or utilized by occupants and becomes vacant, this change also to be reported to the Township Treasurer. All reports required by this section shall be made within 10 days after an owner has knowledge that such a unit has had a change in occupancy or has become vacant.

§ 11-105 Occupancy Permit Requirements.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
1. 
All owners of dwelling units, office buildings or other structures established for human occupancy shall secure an occupancy permit prior to permitting a unit to be occupied. Permits must be secured from the Zoning Officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer of the Township upon the occurrence of the following:
A. 
Initial occupancy and subsequent sale.
B. 
Subsequent vacancy and reoccupancy.
C. 
Let or re-letting.

§ 11-106 Conditions for Issuance of Permit.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
1. 
No occupancy permit shall be issued for occupancy unless the premises shall be inspected by the Township's Zoning Officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer and Fire Chief or his designee and meet the minimum requirements and standards for premises, structures, equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, protection from the elements, life safety, safety from fire and other hazards, and safe and sanitary maintenance in accordance with the Building Code.
2. 
Occupancy inspections shall at all times be arranged in accordance with the following procedures:
A. 
The property owner or landlord shall contact the Township's Zoning Officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer and arrange a mutually convenient time to conduct inspection of the property. The Zoning Officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the property and shall either issue an occupancy permit or shall issue a notice of violation with time prescribed for remedial actions to be taken in order for the occupancy permit to be issued.
B. 
Should the property owner or landlord fail to obtain an occupancy permit prior to the re-letting of a unit, the inspection shall take place according to the following procedure:
(1) 
The Zoning Officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall forward to the appropriate owner, via certified United States mail/return receipt requested, a written request to arrange a mutually convenient time and date for a meeting. If attempts pursuant to this method of communication shall fail, then:
(2) 
The Zoning Officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer may cause a citation to be issued for the property owner's failure to secure an occupancy permit or permit entry to the unit.

§ 11-107 Fees.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
1. 
No occupancy permit shall be issued until a completed application form is submitted and accompanied by payment of inspection fees as follows:
1 and 2 family dwellings
$30 per unit
3 or more units
$30 per unit
Residential complete remodeling
$50
Residential new construction
$50
Commercial properties less than 5,000 square feet
$100
Commercial properties 5,000 - 7,500 square feet
$125
Commercial properties 7,500 square feet - 10,000 square feet
$165
Commercial properties 10,000 square feet or greater
$250
2. 
The occupancy fees may be amended by resolution of the Township Board of Supervisors.

§ 11-108 Duties and Responsibilities of the Township.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
1. 
The Township Treasurer shall:
A. 
Maintain a file in the Township offices containing a list of the names of the owners of the dwelling units in the Township. Said list shall include the names of the current occupants of said dwelling units.
B. 
Maintain a supply of forms for owners to utilize in making reports to the Township Treasurer as required by §§ 11-102, 11-103 and 11-104.
C. 
Notify the Fire Department of the Township of the address and description of any dwelling unit which is vacant or unoccupied.

§ 11-109 Enforcement Procedures.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
1. 
The Township's Zoning Officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer and Fire Chief or his designee shall be the appointed officer to enforce the provisions of this Part.
2. 
The Township's Zoning Officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer and Fire Chief or his designee shall forward an enforcement notice, via certified mail/return receipt requested, to all owners of property who are in violation of any section of this Part.
3. 
The enforcement notice shall contain the following information:
A. 
The name of the owner of the record and any other person against whom the Township intends to take action.
B. 
The location of the property in violation.
C. 
The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this Part or applicable Code.
D. 
The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
E. 
That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified will result in the sanctions identified in § 11-110.

§ 11-110 Penalties.

[Ord. 4-2002, 10/16/2002, § 2]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this Part shall, upon summary conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or be subject to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days. Each day during which any violation of any provision of this Part occurs shall constitute a separate offense. In addition to said penalties, the Township shall reserve unto itself all of the available legal remedies for the compliance with this Part, including an action in equity for the proper enforcement of this Part. The imposition of a fine or penalties for any violation or noncompliance with this Part shall not excuse the violation or noncompliance or permit the same to continue.