Village of Groton, NY
Tompkins County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Groton 11-14-1988 as L.L. No. 5-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Code Correction Rehabilitation Program — See Ch. 9.
For the purpose of providing and ensuring fair housing opportunities for all within the Village of Groton, the Village Board of the Village of Groton in the County of Tompkins, State of New York, under the authority of the General Municipal and Village Laws, hereby obtains, enacts and publishes this chapter.
A. 
General. For the purpose of this chapter, certain words or phrases herein shall be interpreted as follows, except where the context clearly indicates the contrary: words used in the singular include the plural, words used in the present tense include the future tense, the word "person" includes a corporation as well as an individual, and the word "shall" is always mandatory.
B. 
Specific words or phrases. For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms or words herein shall be interpreted as follows:
DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICE
An act that is unlawful under §§ 93-3, 93-4 and 93-5.
DWELLING
Any building, structure or portion thereof which is occupied as or designed or intended for occupancy as a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location of any such building, structure or portion thereof.
FAMILY
Includes a single individual.
PERSON
Includes one or more individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, labor organizations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, receivers and fiduciaries.
TO RENT
Includes to lease, to sublease, to let and otherwise to grant for a consideration the right to occupy premises not owned by the occupant.
[Amended 3-15-1993 by L.L. No. 1-1993]
Except as exempted by § 93-6, it shall be unlawful within the Village of Groton:
A. 
To refuse to sell or rent after the making of an otherwise acceptable bona fide offer or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of or otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap.
B. 
To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale or rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap.
C. 
To make, print or publish or cause to be made, printed or published any notice, statement or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.
D. 
To represent to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available.
E. 
For profit, to induce or attempt to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap.
[Amended 3-15-1993 by L.L. No. 1-1993]
It shall be unlawful within the Village of Groton for any bank, building and loan association, insurance company or other corporation, association, firm, person or enterprise whose business consists in whole or in part in the making of commercial or residential real estate loans to deny a loan or other financial assistance to a person applying therefor for the purpose of purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing or maintaining a dwelling or to discriminate against such person in the fixing of the amount, interest rate, duration or other terms or conditions of such loan or other financial assistance because of the race, color, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap of such person or of any person associated with him in connection with such loan or other financial assistance or the purposes of such loan or other financial assistance or of the present or prospective owners, lessees, tenants or occupants of the dwelling or dwellings in relation to which such loan or other financial assistance is to be made or given; provided, however, that nothing contained in this section shall impair the scope or effectiveness of the exemption contained in § 93-6.
[Amended 3-15-1993 by L.L. No. 1-1993]
It shall be unlawful within the Village of Groton to deny any person access to or membership or participation in any multiple-listing service, real estate broker's organization or other service, organization or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings, or to discriminate against such person in the terms or conditions of such access, membership or participation, on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap.
A. 
Sales/rentals by owners.
(1) 
The provisions of § 93-3 of this chapter, with the exception of § 93-3C, shall not apply to the following:
(a) 
The sale or rental of a single-family house by its owner, provided that such owner is not in the business of renting or selling dwellings as defined below. This exemption shall not apply and an owner shall be subject to the terms and provisions of this chapter if such private individual owner owns more than three such single-family houses at any one time or if there is owned or reserved on his behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to any right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of more than three such single-family houses at the time of such sale. Further, with respect to the sale or sales of non-owner-occupied single-family residences, this exemption shall apply to only one such sale within any twenty-four-month period; provided, further, that the sale or rental of any such single-family house shall be exempted from the application of this chapter only if such house is sold or rented without the use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sales or rental services of any real estate broker, agent or salesman or of such facilities or services of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings or of any employee or agent of any such broker, agent, salesman or person and without the publication, posting or mailing, after notice, of any advertisement or written notice in violation of § 93-3C of this chapter. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the use or employment of attorneys, escrow agents, abstractors, title companies, surveyors and other such professional assistance as may be necessary to perfect or transfer the title.
(b) 
The rental of rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as his residence.
(2) 
For the purpose of this exemption, a person shall be deemed to be in the business of selling or renting dwellings if:
(a) 
He has, within the preceding 12 months, participated as principal in three or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest therein;
(b) 
He has, within the preceding 12 months, participated as agent, other than in the sale of his own personal residence, in providing sales or rental facilities or sales or rental services in two or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest therein; or
(c) 
He is the owner of any dwelling designed or intended for occupancy by or occupied by five or more families.
B. 
Sales/rentals by religious organizations. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a religious organization, association or society or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society from limiting the sale, rental or occupancy of dwellings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion or from giving preference to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap, nor shall anything in this chapter prohibit a private club not in fact open to the public which, as an incident to its primary purpose or purposes, provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.
[Amended 3-15-1993 by L.L. No. 1-1993]
A. 
Authority and responsibility. The authority and responsibility for publicizing, administering and enforcing this chapter shall be in the village's Fair Housing Officer, to be designated by the Mayor of the Village of Groton.
B. 
Violations. Violations of this chapter shall be reported in person or in writing to the village's Fair Housing Officer.
C. 
Enforcement. Where the Fair Housing Officer determines that sufficient cause exists to believe that the terms of this chapter have been violated, the Fair Housing Officer may commence an action in the Village of Groton Justice Court in accordance with the provisions of Article 100 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York, as the same may be amended from time to time.
D. 
Penalties. A violation of this chapter shall be an unclassified misdemeanor as defined in the Penal Law of the State of New York. Where a person or organization has been found guilty of a violation of this chapter, a fine shall be imposed on such person or organization, not to exceed $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for each additional offense. The minimum fine for violations of this chapter shall be $100 for a first offense and $250 for each additional offense. Each and every separate violation of this chapter shall be deemed a separate offense for the purposes of imposing the appropriate fine.
The Village Board may, on its own initiative or on petition, amend, supplement or repeal the provisions of this chapter in conformity with applicable law after public notice and hearing.
In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be minimum requirements, adopted for the promotion of the public health, morals, safety or the general welfare. Whenever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations or ordinances, the most restrictive, or that imposing the highest standards, shall govern.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Village of Groton Fair Housing Law."