Township of Muhlenberg, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Muhlenberg as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Commercial and industrial premises — See Ch. 60.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 109.
Rental property — See Ch. 112.
Zoning — See Ch. 154.
[Adopted 2-16-2004 by Ord. No. 391]

§ 110-1 Definitions.

Whenever the following words and phrases appear in this article they shall be attributed the following meanings:
DWELLING UNIT
A building or portion thereof providing one or more rooms arranged for the use of one or more individuals living together as a single housekeeping unit, and having no cooking or sanitary facilities in common with any other unit.
MULTIPLE-FAMILY DWELLING
A building or group of buildings arranged, designed and intended to be occupied exclusively by more than one family as a residence. Individual dwelling units may share up to three party walls with other units and either have common outside access areas or have individual outside access areas.
[Amended 9-17-2007 by Ord. No. 440]
SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING
A building arranged, intended or designed to be occupied exclusively as a residence for one family.
[Amended 9-17-2007 by Ord. No. 440]
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Muhlenberg, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

§ 110-2 Property transfer use and occupancy certificate.

[Amended 8-17-2009 by Ord. No. 474]
No existing multiple-family dwelling or single-family dwelling shall be occupied by a tenant or new owner after the transfer of title by deed or other legal means until an inspection has been completed by the Township Code Enforcement Officer or other designated agent of the Township and a use and occupancy permit issued, except the following transfers or changes of ownership shall not be subject to inspection under this section: transfers between parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, and between siblings; new homes built within the previous months; and transfers within 12 months after inspection and approval under this section for a prior property transfer.

§ 110-3 Issuance.

A use and occupancy permit shall be issued in accordance with the following standards and procedures.

§ 110-4 Application.

[Amended 8-17-2009 by Ord. No. 474]
Applications for issuance of a use and occupancy permit shall be filed with the Muhlenberg Township Code Enforcement Officer by the seller, buyer, or agent for the seller or buyer of the property, at the time of signing the agreement of sale, but in any event no later than 30 business days prior to settlement and/or transfer of ownership between buyer and seller. Applications shall contain such information as the Code Enforcement Officer or other designated agent of the Township may require.

§ 110-5 Fees.

[Amended 8-17-2009 by Ord. No. 474]
A fee may be charged for each property inspected or reinspected, and said fee must accompany the application form when it is submitted. A fee schedule shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Township Board of Commissioners.

§ 110-6 Inspection procedure.

A. 
Upon receipt of a completed application, the Code Enforcement Officer or other designated agent of the Township shall, within 15 business days, conduct an inspection of the property to determine compliance with minimum standards and requirements as follows:
(1) 
Each dwelling unit must have a smoke detector installed on each floor level and in the bedroom area(s);
(2) 
An existing acceptable 60 ampere service, or a minimum 100 ampere three-wire electric service, must be installed for the dwelling;
(3) 
All kitchen countertop receptacles and bathroom receptacles must be ground-fault circuit-interrupter-protected;
(4) 
All sidewalks and curbs must be in good repair, free of large cracks and crevices, missing bricks and tripping hazards;
(5) 
All properties must be supplied with numbers outside the property, in clear view of the street, designating the street number of the property;
(6) 
The property must be in compliance with all other aspects of the International Property Maintenance Code adopted by the Township.
B. 
All hazardous building, safety, fire, plumbing and electrical violations cited at the time of inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer or other designated agent of the Township shall be corrected in the time specified by the Code Enforcement Officer or other designated agent of the Township.

§ 110-7 Reinspection procedure.

[Amended 8-17-2009 by Ord. No. 474]
A. 
Upon correction of all violations, the applicant shall notify the Township in writing for a follow-up inspection, which shall be conducted within 15 business days from notification. If, following the follow-up inspection, the property is determined to be in compliance with the standards, a use and occupancy permit will be issued to the applicant. If additional follow-up inspections are required due to the fact that the applicant did not comply with the violation report, the applicant will be charged an additional reinspection fee as established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners from time to time.
B. 
If the inspection completed prior to the transfer of title discloses minor compliance violations, in the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer, the buyer and seller may enter into a written agreement with the Township for the completion of the work required to bring the property into compliance and a conditional use and occupancy permit may be issued to the applicant and transfer of title may proceed upon advance payment of the reinspection fee required in § 110-7A. Such agreement shall provide that all of the outstanding compliance items shall be completed to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer within 90 days after the execution of the agreement, the buyers shall be liable for any deficiency, and noncompliance will result in revocation of the conditional use and occupancy permit and penalties provided in § 110-9. (NOTE: See the property transfer agreement.)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said agreement form is available in the Township offices.

§ 110-8 Miscellaneous.

The validity of the use and occupancy permit is contingent upon compliance with applicable Township ordinances, and it is revocable upon violation of those ordinances. The use and occupancy permit does not warrant or guarantee on the part of the Township or any officer, agent or employee of the Township, the soundness, fitness, safety or adequacy of the facilities inspected. The use and occupancy permit shall not be deemed to give rise to any liability on the part of the Township or any officer, agent, employee or designee thereof. All such liability, and any remedy therefor, shall remain that of the seller or transferor of any structure covered hereby.

§ 110-9 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 8-17-2009 by Ord. No. 474]
A. 
Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay not less that $100, but not more than $1,000, and costs of prosecution or, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days, provided that each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense and notice to the offender shall not be necessary in order to constitute an offense.
B. 
The Township may seek an injunction to delay settlement and/or transfer of ownership of property until an inspection occurs and violations are remedied to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer where there has been a failure to file an application pursuant to § 110-4 at least 30 business days prior to settlement and/or transfer of ownership.
C. 
A failure to file an application pursuant to § 110-4 at least 30 business days prior to settlement and/or transfer of ownership is deemed a failure of all persons involved in the transaction, including the seller, buyer, or agent for the seller or buyer of the property, who are each subject to the fines and penalties listed above.

§ 110-10 Applicability.

This article shall have no application to a valid agreement of sale for real estate entered into and dated prior to the effective date of this article.