[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Riverton 7-14-60 as Ord. No. 257. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Terms defined. The following words, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:
- The Borough of Riverton.
- BOROUGH COUNCIL
- The Borough Council of the Borough of Riverton.
- Any person, as herein defined, who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal title to the premises where any rooming house, as herein defined, is operated or intended to be operated, or is an authorized agent of such owner or an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of such owner.
- A corporation, association, firm and partnership, as well as an individual.
- PERSON OPERATING A ROOMING HOUSE (or words of similar import)
- A person, herein defined, who carries on the business of, or conducts, a rooming house as herein defined, as owner, lessee or sublessee of the premises where such rooming house is operated, or who operates, carries on the business of or conducts a rooming house by or through an agent or manager.
- ROOMER or ROOMERS
- Any person or persons not a member of the family or related by blood, marriage or legal adoption to the operator of a rooming house, to whom space is provided for sleeping purposes for pay.
- ROOMING HOUSE
- Any dwelling, or that part of any dwelling, of which three (3) or more rooms are used, maintained, advertised or held out to the public as a place where sleeping accommodations are offered for pay, and shall include any premises designated as "boardinghouse," "lodging house," "tourist home" and by similar designation.
Word usage. Whenever in this chapter any word importing the singular number or masculine gender is used in describing or referring to any person, party, matter or thing, the same shall include and apply to several persons or parties as well as to one (1) person or party, to females as well as males and to several matters or things as well as to one (1) matter or thing.
No person shall operate a rooming house in the borough without having first obtained a license therefor. Application for such license shall be made to the Borough Clerk and shall be signed by both the owner of the premises where such rooming house is operated or intended to be operated and by the person operating or intending to operate the same. No license shall be issued except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and the Zoning Ordinance of the borough.
Such application shall accurately state:
The location of the premises where such rooming house is operated or intended to be operated.
The names and addresses respectively of the owner of such premises and the person operating or intending to operate such rooming house.
The number of rooms on each floor of such premises, including any basement rooms.
The number of rooms on each floor of such premises for occupation by roomers, the size and height of each of such rooms and the size and location of each window in each of such rooms.
The sanitary facilities available for use by the roomers, of what they consist and their location in such premises.
The means of egress from each floor of such premises.
The maximum number of roomers such rooming house is designed to house.
The person operating or intending to operate such rooming house shall state whether he has ever been convicted of a crime.
Each original application shall be accompanied by a fee of ten dollars ($10.). All licenses shall expire on the last day of each calendar year and shall be renewable annually. The fee for each renewal shall be five dollars ($5.).
Every application made for a renewal of a license shall state in detail all changes, alterations, additions or improvements made since the first application or the last renewal application, as the case may be, and the maximum number of roomers such rooming house will, by reason thereof, accommodate.
All applications for a license or a renewal of a license shall be referred to the Health Officer of the Board of Health of the Borough, the Fire Marshal and the Building Inspector of the borough, for inspection and report. No application shall be approved unless the Health Officer issues a certificate to the effect that the premises fully complies with the sanitary laws, ordinances and rules and regulations of the state and borough and also with the provisions of this chapter, and the said Fire Marshal reports in writing that no fire hazard exists, and the said Building Inspector reports in writing that the premises does not violate the Building Code of the borough.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 55, Building Construction.
The Health Officer, the Fire Marshal and the Building Inspector, or their respective authorized agents, are hereby authorized and directed to make periodic inspections to determine the condition of the rooming house in order that they may perform their duty of safeguarding the health, safety and morals of the roomers thereof and of the general public. For such purpose, the aforesaid officials are hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey, at all reasonable times, the rooming house and its rooms. The owner of the premises, the person operating the rooming house and all roomers of such rooming house shall give the said officials free access to such rooming house and its rooms for the purpose of such inspection. Every roomer of such rooming house shall give the owner of the premises and the person operating such rooming house, and their respective agents and employees, access to any part of such rooming house and its rooms for the making of such repairs, alterations or performing such other work as may be necessary to comply with the provisions of this chapter or any rules or regulations made by the Borough Council pursuant to this chapter, and no roomer as aforesaid shall interfere with or prevent the said owner or the person operating said rooming house, or their respective agents or employees, from complying with the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation made by the Borough Council pursuant to this chapter.
The Borough Council may, after reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard, revoke or suspend any license issued hereunder for failure of the owner of the premises or the person operating such rooming house to comply with any requirements of this chapter; provided, however, that whenever the Borough Council finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, safety or morals, it may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such emergency and requiring such action to be taken as it deems necessary to meet the emergency. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but upon petition to the Borough Council shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible, after which, depending upon the findings, said order may be continued, modified or revoked.
No person shall occupy, nor shall any person operating such rooming house let or lease to any person, or the owner of the premises permit the operator of such rooming house to let or lease to any person, a room in such rooming house which does not comply with the following requirements:
Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one (1) roomer shall contain at least one hundred (100) square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one (1) roomer shall contain an additional sixty (60) square feet of floor space for each additional roomer. Not more than four (4) roomers shall occupy any one (1) room for sleeping purposes.
Room arrangements shall be such that access to a sleeping room can be had without going through another sleeping room or a bathroom or a water closet compartment.
Room arrangements shall be such that access to a bathroom or water closet compartment intended for use by roomers of more than one (1) sleeping mom can be had without going through another sleeping room.
Every sleeping room shall have a ceiling height of at least seven and one-half (7 1/2) feet in at least one-half (1/2) of its area. Any floor area of that part of any sleeping room where the ceiling height is less than five (5) feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total floor area of such sleeping room for determining the maximum permissible occupancy thereof.
No basement space shall be used as a habitable room for roomers.
Every sleeping room, bathroom and water closet compartment shall have at least one (1) window facing directly to the outdoors, which can be easily opened and closed. The size of each window in each bedroom shall be not less than eight (8) square feet, and the size of each window in each bathroom and water closet compartment shall be not less than three (3) square feet, unless provided with a vent of at least forty (40) square inches.
There shall be at least one (1) complete bathroom, having a toilet in good working order at all times, a wash basin with adequate running hot and cold water at all times and a tub or shower, with adequate hot and cold water at all times, for every four (4) roomers or fraction thereof.
No cooking facilities shall be provided nor shall any cooking be permitted in any room.
Clean towels, washcloths and bed linen shall be supplied to each roomer when he first becomes a roomer and at least twice a week thereafter.
Anything in this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, no roomers of such rooming house, or any other persons, shall sleep in shifts, or take turns sleeping in the same beds, in any sleeping room occupied by or used for roomers. The owner of the premises where such rooming house is operated and the person operating such rooming house shall not permit any roomers, or any other persons, to sleep in shifts, or take turns sleeping in the same beds, in any sleeping room occupied by or used for roomers.
The owner of said premises and the person operating such rooming house are both charged with the duty to and they shall keep the said premises and rooming house in a clean and sanitary condition and good state of repair, free from rodent, bug and insect infestation and free from foul and ill-smelling odors.
Said premises and rooming house shall not be used for immoral purposes, and the owner of said premises and the person operating such rooming house shall not permit said premises or rooming house to be used for immoral purposes.
No person shall operate a rooming house who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
No room shall be let or leased to any person who is unable to ascend and descend stairs unassisted, dress and bathe without assistance or leave the premises without assistance, care or supervision.
Every corridor, stairway or hallway, on every floor of the premises used for ingress and egress, shall be kept adequately lighted by the person operating a rooming house from the time of sunset each evening until the time of sunrise the following day.
The operator of the rooming house shall maintain in such rooming house the names and previous addresses of all persons having or leasing a room, and the names and addresses of the persons who should be notified in cases of emergency, which register shall be available at all times for examination by the Borough Council and the members of the Police Department of the borough.
The Borough Council is hereby authorized to make written rules and regulations for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. Such rules and regulations shall have the same force and effect as the provisions of this chapter, and the penalty for the violation thereof shall be the same as the penalty for the violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Nothing herein contained shall apply to an apartment building, which shall be considered to be a building containing more than two (2) apartments, each of which shall have its separate and individual bathroom and kitchen, and each of which is designed for one-family occupancy.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the payment of a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days, or both.