[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Mansfield by Ord. No. 11-78 (§ 8-2 of the 1975 General Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Construction Official of the Township shall be and is hereby designated as the public officer to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter. The Construction Official shall serve in such capacity without any additional salary.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1 et seq., New Jersey State Housing Code, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.1 et seq., shall be enforced in the Township and be used as a standard and a guide in determining whether dwellings in this Township are safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation and rental. A copy of the New Jersey State Housing Code is on file in the office of the Township Clerk and shall be available to all persons desiring to use and examine the same.
The Construction Official shall be authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, lodging units, and premises located within the Township in order that (s)he may perform his/her duty of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public.
For the purpose of making such inspections, the Construction Official shall be authorized to enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times all dwellings, dwelling units, lodging units, and premises. The owner or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit, and lodging unit, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the Construction Official free access to such dwelling, dwelling unit or lodging unit and its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey. 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.
Whenever the Construction Official determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this section, 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. Such notice shall:
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, or if he is served with such notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this state.
Such notice may contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, shall affect compliance with the provisions of this section and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
Any person affected by any notice which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Construction Official, provided such person shall file in the office of the Construction Official 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 Construction Official shall set a 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 Construction Official 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.
Orders. After such hearing, the Construction Official shall sustain, modify, or withdraw the notice, 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. If the Construction Official sustains or modifies such notice, it shall be deemed to be an order. Any notice served pursuant to this section shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the Construction Official within 10 days after such notice is served. The proceedings at such hearing, including the findings and decision of the Construction Official shall be summarized, reduced to writing, and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Township Clerk. Such record shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter.
Appeal. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Construction Official may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of the state.
Emergency orders; appeal.
Whenever the Construction Official 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 an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, such order shall be effective immediately.
Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but upon petition to the Construction Official shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon his findings as to whether the provisions of this section and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Construction Official shall continue such order in effect, or modify it, or revoke it.
The Construction Official 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 section, except that such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this section, nor in anywise alter, amend or supersede any of the provisions thereof. The Construction Official shall file a certified copy of all rules and regulations which he may adopt in his office and in the office of the Township Clerk.
The Construction Official is hereby authorized and empowered to delegate any other officer of the building department to aid the Construction Official in the exercise of the powers prescribed by this section.
No person shall rent to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not conform to the provisions of the New Jersey State Housing Code established hereby and as modified herein as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.