[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Clarion as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Rental Unit Licensing; Occupancy Reports
[Adopted 11-4-1981 by Ord. No. 81-608]
[Amended 12-20-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-798]
The following definitions apply to the interpretation and enforcement of this article:
- A room within a dwelling unit containing a toilet, lavatory and a bathtub, shower or tub-shower and equipped with a lockable door for privacy.
- An arrangement of rooms in a structure intended for occupancy for living purposes, whether or not containing cooking facilities or separate sanitary facilities, normally occupied on a temporary basis by students attending a public or private college, university or preparatory school. This term shall not include dormitory facilities which are wholly owned by said college, university or preparatory school located on property owned by said institution and leased only to individuals attending said institution on a full-time, part-time or graduate basis. The term "dormitory" shall include the term "dorm suite."
- A building arranged, designed or used as the living quarter for one or more families, as families are defined in Chapter 210, Zoning, living independently and completely separate from each other. The term "dwelling" shall not be deemed to include the term "hotel," "motel," "rooming house" or "tourist home" unless used in the manner defined previously.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A building or portion thereof containing one or more rooms for living purposes, together with separate cooking and sanitary facilities, accessible from the outdoors either directly or through a common entrance hall shared with other dwelling units, completely separate and independent from other dwelling units and intended to be used by one family, as "family" is defined in Chapter 210, Zoning.
- HABITABLE SPACE
- A room or space located within a building or structure used for living purposes, including areas for eating, cooking and sleeping. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage and utility spaces and similar areas shall not be considered habitable space.
- An area used for the preparation of food.
- LICENSE FEES
- License fees will be established each year by resolution at the time Council shall enact it annual budget ordinance.
- LIVING SPACE
- All areas within a dwelling unit used for recreation, relaxation, eating, sleeping, bathing, washing, cooking, and sanitation purposes.
- MULTIFAMILY DWELLING
- A building or structure containing three or more dwelling units.
- Includes any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership.
- RENTAL DWELLING UNIT
- Any single-family, two-family or multifamily dwelling, leased dwelling, rooming house or dormitory, including any occupancy utilized for any period of time for residential living purposes by anyone other than the owner, for which compensation in any form is received by the owner of the property or the agent of the owner of the property. Compensation shall include rental monies paid or the payment of utilities or building upkeep, the payment of property taxes or any remuneration offered by the occupant or lessee in exchange for occupying a dwelling unit for living purposes.
- RENTAL LICENSE OR PERMIT
- A document issued by the Borough of Clarion permitting a specific residential structure or a structure containing multiple dwelling units to be occupied on a rental or leased basis.
- ROOMING HOUSE
- Any privately owned residential building or structure containing two or more rooms or group of rooms intended for living and sleeping purposes, containing no cooking facilities and providing separate sanitary facilities, and having a common entrance, for which compensation is received for a specified term on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. The term "rooming house" shall include the term "boardinghouse."
- SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING
- A building or structure containing one dwelling unit.
- A single-family dwelling unit constructed in a group of three or more attached dwelling units in which each unit extends from foundation to roof with a yard or public way on at least two sides.
- TWO-FAMILY DWELLING
- A building or structure containing two dwelling units attached side by side or stacked one over the other.
[Amended 12-20-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-798]
No person shall operate a rental or leased dwelling, including single-family, two-family or multifamily dwellings, rooming houses or dormitory, or any building or structure used for living purposes, without holding a current and unsuspended rental unit license issued by the Borough in his, her or its name for a specific rental or leased dwelling, rooming house or dormitory.
Every operating license shall be issued for a period of one year and may be renewed for successive periods of not to exceed one year, beginning January 1 and expiring December 31. Rental licenses issued after June 30 in any calendar year and applying to new rental dwelling units shall be assessed at 50% of the yearly licensing fee.
The Borough Manager or designated agent upon application shall issue new rental unit licenses and renewals thereof in the names of the applicants, owners or operators of multiple dwellings, leased dwellings, rooming houses and dormitories. No such licenses shall be issued unless the multiple dwellings, leased dwellings, rooming houses or dormitories in connection with which the license is sought are found, after inspection, to meet all requirements of this article, the property maintenance ordinance and applicable rules and regulations.
No rental unit license shall be issued or renewed unless the applicant, owner or operator has first made application therefor on an application form provided by the Borough Manager or his designated agent. The Borough Manager or designated agent shall develop such forms and make them available to the public.
No rental unit license shall be issued or renewed unless the applicant, owner or operator agrees in his application to an inspection as the Borough Manager or designated agent may require to determine whether the multiple dwelling, leased dwelling, rooming house or dormitory in connection with which such license is sought is in compliance with the provisions of this article and with applicable rules and regulations. The license applicant, owner or operator shall be notified in advance of the time and date of all inspections.
No rental unit license shall be issued or renewed unless the completed application form is accompanied by payment of the license fee. Clarion Borough Council shall set the fees for the rental unit license, which shall be valid for one year, by resolution, at the time that said Council shall enact its annual budget ordinance. If Clarion Borough Council shall not set a fee regulated by this article at the time that it enacts its annual budget ordinance, then in such case the fees which were in effect for the preceding year and not changed shall remain in effect for the subsequent year.
No rental unit license shall be issued or renewed for an applicant unless such applicant has first designated an agent for the receipt of service of violations of the provisions of this article and for service of process pursuant to this article, when said applicant is absent from the Borough of Clarion for 30 or more days. Such a designation shall be made in writing, and shall accompany each application form. The applicant may designate any person residing within 25 miles of the Borough as agent for this purpose.
Each rental unit license shall be made available by the owner or operator for inspection upon request. The license shall be transferable to another person, but not to another multiple dwelling, leased dwelling, rooming house or dormitory. Every person holding a rental unit license shall give notice, in writing, to the Borough Manager or designated agent within seven days after having transferred or otherwise disposed of the legal control of any licensed multiple dwelling, leased dwelling, rooming house or dormitory. Such notice shall include the name and address of the person or persons succeeding to the ownership or control of such multiple dwelling, leased dwelling, rooming house or dormitory.
Every owner or operator of a licensed multiple dwelling, leased dwelling, rooming house or dormitory shall keep, or cause to be kept, a complete and accurate list of all occupants of said units. Such records shall be made available by the owner or operator to the Borough Manager or designated agent for inspection and copying upon request.
The Borough shall inspect each rental unit by arranging a suitable time with the property owner. Written notice confirming the time and date of the inspection will be sent via first class mail to the property owner. Failure to cancel a scheduled inspection within 24 hours of the date and time of said inspection, or failure to appear for such inspection, shall result in the imposition of a missed inspection fee to be set by resolution of Council when adopting its annual budget ordinance. A separate missed inspection fee will be charged for each rental unit for which an inspection was missed.
Whenever, upon inspection of the licensed multiple dwelling, leased dwelling, rooming house or dormitory, the Borough Manager or designated agent finds that conditions or practices exist which are in violation of the provision of this article or of any applicable rules and regulations or ordinances pursuant thereto, he shall serve the owner or operator with notice of such violation. Notice means written notice, given by personal service upon the addressee or given by United States Mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified at his last known address. Service of such notice shall be effective upon the completion of personal service or upon the placing of the same in the custody of United State Postal Service. Such notice shall state that, unless the violations cited are corrected within a period not to exceed 30 calendar days, a citation will be issued.
At the end of the time he has allowed for correction of any violation cited, the Borough Manager or designated agent shall reinspect the multiple dwelling, leased dwelling, rooming house or dormitory, and if he determines that such conditions have not been corrected, he shall issue a citation.
The Borough Manager or designated agent shall maintain a record of all citations, complaints and warning notices issued by him and the Police Department. The owner shall be notified of all citations for violations of Borough ordinances or other laws committed upon or in his rental units.
The owner or operator of any rental unit shall not evict or cause the tenant to suffer any financial loss because of a tenant complaint about a possible violation of the Property Maintenance Code. This shall not prohibit the owner or operator from evicting the tenant for reasons unrelated to the complaint specified above.
[Added 12-20-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-798]
[Amended 12-20-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-798]
Any person who shall violate any section of this article shall be guilty of a summary violation and, upon conviction thereof by a Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced as follows:
The first conviction shall be punishable by a maximum fine of $200 and the costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, imprisonment for not less than two nor more than four days.
The second conviction shall be punishable by a maximum fine of $400 and the costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, imprisonment for not less than four and not more than eight days.
The third and subsequent conviction(s) shall be punishable by a maximum fine of $600 and the costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, imprisonment for not less than eight nor more than 30 days.
The provisions of this article, so far as they are the same as those of ordinances and regulations in force immediately prior to the enactment of this article, are intended as a continuation of such ordinances and regulations and not as new enactments. The provisions of this article shall not affect any act done or liability incurred, nor shall they affect any suit of prosecution pending or to be instituted to enforce any of these repealed ordinances or regulations.