[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Atlantic City 5-26-1999 by Ord. No. 18-1999; amended in its entirety 4-8-2015 by Ord. No. 23-2015. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by regulating the condition and habitability of rooming and boarding houses.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- The Department of Licensing and Inspections, Department of Code Enforcement.
- Any person, including any corporation or association of persons and any agency or instrumentality of state or local government, which operates or proposes to operate a rooming or boarding house.
- The holder of title in fee simple and/or a leasehold interest pursuant to an assignment of a lease in and to the premises, and any lessor or sublessor of whom an operator is or proposes to become a sublessor in connection with an application for a license, or for renewal thereof, pursuant to this chapter.
- The most recent population count reported by the Department of Labor.
- ROOMING OR BOARDING HOUSE
- A rooming or boarding house licensed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:13B-1 et seq. A rooming house is defined as a boarding house wherein no personal or financial services are provided to the residents [N.J.S.A. 55:13-3(h)].
The responsibility for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter shall be with the Department of Licensing and Inspections, Division of Code Enforcement (hereinafter referred to as the "licensing authority").
No rooming house or boarding house shall be hereafter located or operated in the City of Atlantic City except on a premises licensed for that purpose by the licensing authority as established herein.
Any rooming or boarding house that is in lawful operation on the date of the enactment of this chapter shall be entitled to continue in operation for one year from the date and, if the owner of the premises applies for licensure not later than the 60th day next preceding the expiration of that year, until a final determination is made upon that application.
Application for an annual license pursuant to this chapter shall be made by the owner to the licensing authority. The application shall be in such form and shall contain such information and declarations as may be prescribed by the licensing authority. The application, together with the application fee of $100, shall be filed with the Division of Code Enforcement, City Hall, Room 102. In addition to all the required documents to be submitted with the application, a processing fee of $25 shall be included, at the time the application is submitted, for the cost of acquiring the application necessary for a New Jersey State background check. In the event that the owner is a corporation, each officer of the corporation shall submit to the background check, with a separate background application fee for each corporate officer. In the event that the applicant is an officer in multiple corporations which are owners of rooming or boarding houses, the applicant shall submit to one background check for the licensing period. The application shall also designate who the operator/manager of the premises shall be. Any operator/manager of the premises shall also submit to a background check, with the payment of a fee of $25. Should your operator/manager change during the year, he/she will be subject to a background check and will need to obtain an application from the licensing authority with the payment of a fee of $25.
In the event that the application for a rooming and boarding house license is denied, 90% of the application fee shall be refunded and 10% retained to defray the expenses of the City of Atlantic City in carrying out its functions under this chapter. The City will retain the fee in full for the background check application.
All applications by a natural person, partnership or unincorporated association of natural persons shall be duly sworn to by each of the applicants. An application by a corporation shall be duly sworn to be the president or vice president of the corporation. All statements in the application shall be deemed material, and any person who knowingly misstates any material facts therein shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:52-10.
The licensing authority shall review any such application made pursuant to this chapter as may be necessary to establish:
With respect to the premises for which a license is sought:
That they are in compliance with all applicable federal, state, county and City regulations, including but not limited to the City Building Code, Land Use Code, Property Maintenance Code and any other housing, health and safety codes and regulations. An inspection performed by a municipal enforcement agent under a contractual agreement with the Department of Community Affairs pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:13B-1 et seq., and may be deemed by the licensing authority to satisfy the investigation requirements of this section; such inspection shall be performed by and be under the jurisdiction of the licensing authority.
That the location of the premises will not be within 1,000 feet of the boundary line of any other premises for which a license is in force, except that this provision shall not apply where a rooming or boarding house has been in lawful operation prior to the enactment of this chapter.
That all real estate taxes, sewer, water, user and connection fees and all other municipal liens and charges are current up to and including the quarter within which the application shall take place. If it is determined through the investigation of the licensing authority that any such municipal charges are outstanding, then this shall disqualify the application until such time as the municipal charge are paid current.
There is an annual inspection for each rentable room enumerated on your license to own and/or operate a rooming and boarding house issued by the Department of Community Affairs pursuant to 55:13B-7.
The initial annual inspection fee for each rentable room is $30, regardless of the number of changes in tenancy. The entire property will also be inspected during annual inspections, which will include all common areas, exterior of the property, etc.
[Amended 3-2-2016 by Ord. No. 8-2016]
There will be a reinspection fee of $20 per rentable room, $50 for common areas, and $50 for the exterior of the property.
With respect to the owner or owners of the premises:
If a natural person or persons, that he, she or they are 21 years of age or older, and never convicted, in this state or elsewhere, of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any crime under any law of this licensing or regulating a rooming or boarding house and have never had a license required pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:13B-1 et seq., revoked.
If a corporation, that all officers and members of the board of directors, and every stockholder holding 10% or more of the stock of the corporation, directly or indirectly having a beneficial interest therein, have the same qualifications as set forth in this subsection for an applicant who is a natural person.
With respect to the operator/manager or the proposed operator/manager, that he/she meets the requirements for licensure by the Department of Community Affairs and requirements for licensure of a natural person under this section.
That unless the owner has paid all municipal property taxes due and owning on the rooming and boarding house or any other rooming or boarding house located within the municipality and owned by the owner, or in the case of an initial application, unless the applicant has paid all municipal property taxes due and owning on the rooming and boarding house or any due and owning on any other rooming and boarding house located within the municipality and owned by the applicant, no application for license may be considered by the licensing authority, provided that the owner or applicant has received written notice of any payment delinquency which has remained unpaid for more than 120 days.
That the applicant has complied with the regulations adopted in accordance with N.J.S.A. 55-13B-1 et seq., the Rooming and Boarding Act of 1979.
No license shall be issued which would result in increasing the total number of persons authorized to be residents in rooming or boarding houses within the City of Atlantic City to more than 1/2 of 1% of the population of the City of Atlantic City. Nothing in this subsection shall warrant refusal of a license or license renewal of premises where a rooming or boarding house has been in lawful operation prior to the enactment of this chapter.
No license shall be issued for premises when any part of the boundary line of the premises is within 1,000 feet of the boundary line of any other premises for which a license is in force. Nothing in this subsection shall warrant refusal of a license or a license renewal of premises where a rooming or boarding house has been in lawful operation prior to the enactment of this chapter.
The licensing authority shall determine, in accordance with the requirements under §§ 211-5, 211-6 and 211-7 of this chapter, whether to grant the license. A license, when issued, shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance and until such time as the licensing authority has acted upon an application for renewal, unless sooner terminated by revocation pursuant to the terms of this chapter.
Not later than the 60th day preceding the anniversary date of issuance, the holder of a license shall make application to the licensing authority has acted upon an application for renewal, unless sooner terminated by revocation pursuant to the terms of this chapter.
The licensing authority may revoke or refuse to renew a license granted under this chapter for any of the following reasons:
A finding that there was a misstatement of a material fact in the application upon which the license was issued.
The occurrence of any fact which, had it occurred and been known to the licensing authority before the issuance of the license, would have resulted in the denial of the application.
Repeated violations, or prolonged failure of at least 60 days to correct any violations, of any applicable federal, state, county and/or regulations of the Atlantic City Building Code, Land Use Code, Property Maintenance Code and all other housing, health or safety code regulations, including municipal regulations adopted in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:52-10.
Refusal to allow access to any portion of the licensed premises at all reasonable times, with or without advance notice, in order that officers or agents of the Site Licensing Board or any official charged with enforcement within the municipality of the building, housing, health or safety code or regulations applicable to the premises may determine compliance with such codes or regulations.
Revocations by the Department of Community Affairs of the operator's license or other authorization to operate a rooming or boarding house on the premises.
Notification by the Department of Community Affairs that the premises are not or are no longer suitable for operation of a rooming or boarding house on the premises.
Failure or refusal to comply with any lawful regulation or order of the licensing authority.
A determination by the licensing authority that the issuance or renewal of a license to such a person would be contrary to the best interests of the residents of any rooming or boarding house or the public generally based upon the regulations and conditions set forth in this chapter.
A license shall not be revoked until five days' prior notice of the grounds therefor has been served upon the licensee, either personally or by certified mail addressed to the licensee at the licensed premises, or, if the owner is a corporation, at the corporate address, and a reasonable opportunity be given to the licensee to be heard by the Director of Licensing and Inspections.
Upon determination by the licensing authority to refuse the granting or renewal of a license or to revoke a license, the licensee affected shall be entitled to appeal that decision within 30 days by filing a written notice of appeal with the Director of Licensing and Inspections. The Director shall conduct a hearing at which time evidence may be presented by either party. The Director's decision may be appealed by the licensee to a court of competent jurisdiction.
If an applicant for license renewal has made timely and sufficient application for a renewal in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the rules of licensing pursuant thereto, his license shall not expire until any appeals under this section have been finally determined and finalized.
Any person, firm or corporation who violates or neglects to comply with any provision of this chapter or any rule, regulation or directive promulgated pursuant thereto shall be punished, upon conviction thereof in the Municipal Court of the City of Atlantic City, by a fine of not less than $500 and not to exceed $2,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail.
This chapter, being necessary for the welfare of the City and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.