Ventnor City, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Ventnor City 7-14-1969 by Ord. No. 21-1969. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 86.
Unfit buildings — See Ch. 89.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 98.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 110.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 122.
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 132.
Nuisances — See Ch. 158.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 178.
Removal of ice and snow — See Ch. 197, Art. IV.

§ 138-1 Designation of enforcement officer.

[Amended 6-4-1979 by Ord. No. 7904; 10-4-1983 by Ord. No. 8333]
The Building Inspector or his designee inspector shall be and he is hereby designated as the officer to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter and to enforce the provisions thereof. All references hereafter in this chapter to the Building Inspector shall relate to and include the person or persons designated by the Building Inspector as job designee inspector.

§ 138-2 Adoption of standards.

Pursuant to the provisions of P.L. 1946, c. 21 (N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1), the New Jersey State Housing Code as approved by the Departments of Health and Conservation and Economic Development and filed in the Secretary of State's office is hereby accepted, adopted and established as a standard to be used as a guide in determining whether dwellings in this municipality are safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation and rental. A copy of the New Jersey State Housing Code is annexed to this chapter, and three copies of the same have been placed on file in the office of the City Clerk and are available to all persons desiring to use and examine the same.

§ 138-3 Inspections; grant of access.

[Amended 6-4-1979 by Ord. No. 7904]
The Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the conditions of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises located within the City of Ventnor City in order that he may perform his duties of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public.
A. 
For the purpose of making such inspections, the Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises.
B. 
The owner or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or the person in charge thereof shall give the Enforcement Officer free access to such dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit and its premises at all times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey.
C. 
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall give the owner thereof or his agent or employee access to any part of such dwelling or dwelling unit or its premises 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 with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 138-4 Notice of violation.

[Amended 6-4-1979 by Ord. No. 7904]
Whenever the Enforcement Officer determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor as hereinafter provided.
A. 
Such notice shall:
(1) 
Be put in writing.
(2) 
Include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued.
(3) 
Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires.
(4) 
Be served upon the owner or his agent or the occupant, as the case may require, provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent or upon such occupant if a copy thereof is served upon him personally or if a copy thereof is sent by registered mail to his last known address or if a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this state.
B. 
Such notice may contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.

§ 138-5 Hearings; emergency conditions.

[Amended 6-4-1979 by Ord. No. 7904]
A. 
Any person affected by any notice which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Enforcement Officer, provided that such person shall file in the office of the Enforcement Officer a written petition requesting such hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within 10 days after the day the notice was served. Upon receipt of such petition the Enforcement Officer shall set the time and place for such hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. At such hearing the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why such notice should be modified or withdrawn. The hearing shall be commenced not later than 10 days after the day on which the petition was filed, provided that upon application of the petitioner the Enforcement Officer may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond such ten-day period if, in his judgment, the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for such postponement.
B. 
After such hearing the Enforcement Officer shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice, depending upon the findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with. If the Enforcement Officer sustains or modifies such notice, it shall be deemed to be in order. Any notice served pursuant to this chapter shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the Enforcement Officer within 10 days after such notice is served.
C. 
The proceedings at such hearing, including the findings and decision of the Enforcement Officer, shall be summarized, reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Enforcement Officer. Such record shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter.
D. 
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Enforcement Officer may seek relief therefrom in any court jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of the state.
E. 
Whenever the Enforcement Officer finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health or safety, he may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but upon petition to the Enforcement Officer shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon his findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Enforcement Officer shall continue such order in effect or modify it or revoke it.

§ 138-6 Authority of enforcement officer.

[Amended 6-4-1979 by Ord. No. 7904]
A. 
The Enforcement Officer shall be the Mayor, Chief of Police, Building Subcode Official, Plumbing Subcode Official or Health Officer or Fire Marshal of the City of Ventnor City.
B. 
The Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized and empowered to make and adopt such written rules and regulations as he may deem necessary for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this chapter nor in any way alter, amend or supersede any of the provisions thereof. The Enforcement Officer shall file a certified copy of all rules and regulations which he may adopt in his office and in the office of the Clerk of the City of Ventnor City.

§ 138-7 Certificate of occupancy.

[Amended 10-4-1983 by Ord. No. 8333]
A. 
No owner or occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, apartment or premises (hereinafter dwelling) and no person or entity on behalf of the owner or occupant shall sell, rent, transfer or otherwise dispose of any ownership interest or occupancy thereof, whether or not for a consideration and whether or not such disposal is temporary or permanent, unless a certificate of occupancy is previously issued by the Building Inspector. Such certificate shall state that the dwelling is fit for human habitation and is in compliance with all ordinances of the City of Ventnor City and all applicable laws of the State of New Jersey and the United States Government.
B. 
No dwelling shall be occupied in whole or in part by any person or persons until the Building Inspector shall issue a certificate of occupancy. In cases where the property is being sold as is, the seller is not held responsible for violations of the Housing Standards Code, Chapter 138 of the Code of the City of Ventnor City, New Jersey. The new owner of the property shall be held responsible for the proper upgrading of the property to code compliance before a certificate of occupancy shall be issued.
[Amended 6-6-1985 by Ord. No. 8511]
C. 
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued where an inspection discloses that the dwelling is unfit for human habitation or where conditions exist therein which are dangerous to the health, safety or welfare of the occupants thereof or the residents of the municipality. Such conditions may include but are not limited to those which create a fire hazard, danger of accident or casualty, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of light or sanitary facilities, dilapidation, disrepair or structural defects, uncleanliness and the like.
D. 
The Building Inspector shall cause to be prepared an appropriate form for application for a certificate of occupancy, which forms shall be available to applicants at the office of the Building Inspector. It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector to conduct an inspection of the dwelling within 10 days of the date that the application is filed in the office of the Building Inspector. Thereafter, the Building Inspector shall issue a certificate of occupancy or notify the applicant, in writing, as to the reasons why such certificate has not been issued. However, failure of the Building Inspector to conduct his inspection within the time period stated herein shall not permit any applicant to sell, rent, transfer or otherwise dispose of the ownership or occupancy of any dwelling without issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
E. 
A charge of $50 shall be paid to the Building Inspector with each application for a certificate of occupancy. No application shall be complete without payment of this fee.
[Amended 2-7-1985 by Ord. No. 8503; 2-4-1988 by Ord. No. 8803; 7-27-2000 by Ord. No. 2005; 10-7-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-9]
F. 
A "dwelling," as that term is used in this section, shall not include any room or suite of rooms in a motel or hotel, unless the room or suite rented in said hotel or motel shall contain eating and cooking facilities; provided, however, that this subsection shall not preclude the requirement that a certificate of occupancy be issued upon a sale of the hotel or motel specified herein.
G. 
Every owner of premises for rent or of premises containing a room or rooms for rental, which premises is not excluded by virtue of Subsection F of this section, shall file, under oath, with the Building Inspector or his designee inspector of the City of Ventnor City, a statement containing the name, address and telephone number of the superintendent and/or the name, address and telephone number of the agent in charge of the premises, the number of apartments in said premises, a description by number or letter of each such apartment in the premises and the name of the tenant located within said premises on the date the statement was prepared. If the owner of said premises is a corporation or other entity other than an individual, said statement shall be made under oath by the President, Vice President or Secretary of said corporation or by a principal of such entity.
H. 
For the purpose of determining residency, any person who sleeps under the premises or generally dwells therein for more than three successive days or nights shall be considered to be residing on the premises.
I. 
A new certificate of occupancy will be required any time the occupants living in a dwelling shall change so that the occupants living in said dwelling are different than the occupants listed on the certificate of occupancy that has been filed with the City of Ventnor.
[Added 12-23-1993 by Ord. No. 9328]
J. 
When any owner or occupant receives a notice of violation pursuant to this chapter; said notice of violation shall be considered proper, valid and enforceable notice for any violations of the provisions of this chapter and of the BOCA National Property Maintenance Code and BOCA National Building Code. Whenever a notice of violation in any form is served concerning a specific property, no further notice of violation need be served concerning subsequent violations of the same nature.
[Added 12-23-1993 by Ord. No. 9328]
K. 
A seasonal certificate of occupancy may be procured for a charge of $50 payable to the construction official for any dwelling to be occupied in whole or in part for the period of time extending from May 15 to September 15 of each year (summer season). Said certificate of occupancy shall be known as a "seasonal certificate of occupancy" for which the appropriate registration form shall be prepared and made available for application by the Construction Official or his designee. Any change in occupants living in a dwelling for which a seasonal certificate of occupancy has been issued shall be communicated within 48 hours of said change to the Construction Official office on forms provided by said office. The purpose and intent of a seasonal certificate of occupancy is to permit the change over of occupants for dwelling units devoted to occupancy during all or a portion of the aforestated summer season without the necessity of a reinspection and additional charge. Failure to abide by the within provision shall subject any owner or occupant to the violation and penalty provisions of § 138-9. Any occupancy occurring on one or more days after September 15 through May 14 shall require a certificate of occupancy, in addition to the aforestated seasonal certificate of occupancy.
[Added 2-27-1997 by Ord. No. 9705]

§ 138-8 Deconversion of illegally converted property.

[Added 7-7-1988 by Ord. No. 8818[1]]
The Building Code Official of the City of Ventnor City shall hereinafter be authorized to set forth criteria for deconversion of any house, apartment or dwelling unit in the City of Ventnor City that shall be or has been illegally converted to create more units than permitted in a designated zone in which the property is located without first having secured appropriate approvals from the City for said construction. The criteria for deconversion shall be approved by resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the City of Ventnor City. Any amendments to said criteria shall thereinafter be approved by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Ventnor City.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former § 138-8, Violations and penalties, as § 138-9.

§ 138-9 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 10-4-1983 by Ord. No. 8333; 2-2-1989 by Ord. No. 8903]
Any person, firm or corporation who violates any provision of this chapter or of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or by both. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues. In addition to or as a substitute for the previously mentioned fine, the imposition of community service shall be authorized as an additional penalty, which community service shall not exceed 90 days.

§ 138-10 Revocation of certificate of occupancy.

[Added 2-25-1993 by Ord. No. 9302]
Any person, firm or corporation who fails to appear, upon proper notice, before the Municipal Court of the City of Ventnor City for charges arising and relating to violations of housing standards shall be subject to the following in addition to other violations and penalties of this chapter. Upon the issuance of a bench warrant by the Municipal Court for the failure of any person, firm or corporation to appear, the Building Code Official of the City of Ventnor City shall revoke any and all certificates issued. The certificate of occupancy shall not be reinstated until satisfaction of any and all violations indicated by the Building Code Official of the City of Ventnor City. Any and all relocation assistance required shall be assessed to the owner of the property by way of a lien as though it were a tax by the City of Ventnor City.