[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Phoenix as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-6-2011 by L.L. No. 2-2011]
This article shall be known as the "Registration and Inspection of Rental Properties."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A representative of a property owner who shall actually reside and be domiciled within the designated boundaries of Onondaga, Oswego, Jefferson or Cayuga County and shall be legally authorized in a signed and notarized writing by the property owner delivered to the Village not less than 30 days from the due date of registration and identified in such correspondence to the Village to act in the property owner's behalf in matters regarding (a) the rental unit(s). Upon application to the Village Board an agent outside of such areas may be designated provided that the Village Board makes a reasonably based finding based upon the information provided by the applicant, that the past history of the rental unit, other rental units of the applicants, and/or such applicants' business reputation is such that it appears likely that the rental unit can be properly managed even though such agent is not within the counties named herein. The Village shall maintain a form for such purposes and such form shall be the official executed and delivered authorization form required hereunder. Permission for any such outside agent designation may be revoked by the Village Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the Code Enforcement Officer, if subsequent to such designation violations occur which are not cured within the allotted time, or activity(ies) constituting a crime or public nuisance are determined by the Board of Trustees, upon consideration with the Code Enforcement Officer, to be conducted in the rental unit as a result of the absence of by reasonable property owner oversight.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- A staff member of, or appointed, employed or retained by, the Village of Phoenix for the purpose of enforcement of this article, including without limitation the Village Code Enforcement Officer, or other person, including third-party independent contractors.
- OCCUPANCY (OCCUPYING, OCCUPIED or OCCUPY)
- The act, state, or condition of being or becoming a tenant, licensee, squatter, or being or living in, taking up quarters or space in or on, or being in possession of all or part of any real property.
- Any person who is in occupancy of all or part of any real property.
- Any rental unit occupied by a property owner.
- PROPERTY OWNER
- Any owner of real property or other person who offers, contemplates, or is able to offer a rental unit for occupancy to anyone other than the owner. Property owner shall include the title or equitable owner, mortgagee or receiver/referee in possession or control of the property, landlord, rental or management agent or any other person or entity in apparent ownership, management, or control of the real property. A property owner's designated agent (as such term is defined hereunder) shall be deemed the property owner for all purposes hereunder.
- RENTAL PERMIT
- A (final) permit issued by the Village of Phoenix stating that the referenced rental unit, to the best of the Village's knowledge and belief, conforms to the standards of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the Code of the Village of Phoenix and that the structure or rental unit is permitted for occupancy use. Any special circumstances or conditions under which occupancy is permitted may be specified on such rental permit.
- RENTAL UNIT
- Any real property, or part thereof, occupied, intended to be occupied, or able to or contemplated for occupancy by persons, businesses or other commercial enterprises other than the owner and their immediate family within or on the premises or part thereof whether or not such occupancy or intended occupancy is in consideration of a rental or similar payment. Each separate occupied, possessed, or separable living or working unit within a parcel of real property is considered a separate rental unit, all and each of which are subject to the provisions hereof. A unit contained within a one- to four-family dwelling occupied by an owner's immediate family for no rental payment or similar consideration shall not be deemed a rental unit for purposes hereof. Any unit claimed by the owner to not be a rental unit, and therefore exempt from the provisions hereof, shall be supported by the sworn statement described at § 148-3B.
- TEMPORARY RENTAL PERMIT
- The temporary permit issued upon initial registration pending a satisfactory inspection and issuance of a rental permit, all as per § 148-3.
- UNSAFE RENTAL UNIT
- When a rental unit is found to be unsafe, unfit for human occupancy or found otherwise unlawful including in violation of any federal, New York State, Oswego County or Village of Phoenix law, regulation or code relating to the condition, use or occupancy of the unit.
- The Village Board of Trustees, or the Village Mayor where such authority is vested in the Mayor.
Rules of registration. No rental unit shall be occupied until a rental permit has been obtained for such rental unit. A temporary rental permit will be issued upon initial registration, and that temporary permit will be valid until such time as an initial inspection is conducted and thereafter until the allotted time has expired, unless extended by the Village or Code Enforcement Officer, or a (final) rental permit is issued. After satisfactory inspection, the Village will issue the property owner a rental permit. Following the adoption of this article, all rental unit occupancy shall be prohibited without a (temporary or final) rental permit. Rental unit occupancy without a valid permit shall result in the issuance of an "Order to Vacate" to all occupants of (a) the rental unit(s).
Rental permit. Any property owner who allows occupation of a residential rental unit within the Village of Phoenix shall register for and obtain a rental permit from the Village. All rental units must be registered with the Village of Phoenix within 60 days of the adoption of this article, and each and every calendar year or third year thereafter, as provided at § 148-3I hereof, thereafter on or before December 31 (commencing the first full calendar year following adoption), on a registration form provided by the Village of Phoenix substantially in the form attached. All fees and the registration form shall be submitted. Except as provided for at § 148-2, property owners whose business or legal residence is outside Onondaga, Oswego, Jefferson or Cayuga County must register an agent on their behalf whose business or legal residence is in Onondaga, Oswego, Jefferson or Cayuga County and who shall be deemed responsible for the rental unit. Any property owner claiming an exemption from registration or payment of all or part of a registration/inspection fee shall file a sworn statement supporting its claim of exemption with the Village Clerk in form provided by the Village of Phoenix.
Inspections. The Code Enforcement Officer shall be authorized, in the performance of his or her duties, to conduct inspections of rental units, at such times and in such manner as they may find necessary, with the consent of the property owner or occupant. Upon registration all such inspections shall be scheduled by the Code Enforcement Officer and such inspections thereafter completed, and with all issues and violations cited therein, cured, not later than the allotted time. The allotted time shall be that time for cure of all violations as imposed by the Code Enforcement Officer upon inspection taking into consideration the severity, complexity and number/volume of violations, the likely cost to cure same, the time necessary to complete such cure(s), the type of property and similar relevant criteria. Except where such violations present emergency or similar dangerous conditions justifying a shorter period to cure, or requiring that such premises be immediately vacated as unfit for occupancy, or otherwise where initially or subsequently extended by the Code Enforcement Officer or extended by timely request to the Village Board, based on the foregoing criteria, the allotted time shall be 120 days. All extensions of the allotted time shall be in writing and signed by the Code Enforcement Officer.
Independent special inspections. As scheduled by the Code Enforcement Officer or as required by this article or other provisions of law where there is reasonable question of safety, property owners shall be responsible for the inspection and testing of systems, materials and workmanship that are critical to the integrity of the building structure and safety of all occupants.
Qualified personnel. Independent special inspections and tests shall be made by qualified persons who, because of experience or education, are recognized as competent by the Code Enforcement Officer. Reports of inspections and tests, signed by the tester and a witness, together with a statement of any remedial measures to be taken, shall be filed with the Village of Phoenix Clerk within 10 days after each inspection and test. If any equipment or system is found to be defective or not in proper operating condition upon inspection or test, the property owner shall promptly remedy such defect or condition.
Notice of violations. The Code Enforcement Officer shall, in his discretion, determine the severity of any code violations following an inspection. If a property owner and/or occupant is cited with a code violation, the Code Enforcement Officer will notify the property owner of the violation and the allotted time within which it must be corrected. This provision shall not apply to emergency or similar exigent situations. If the violations are not corrected by the date indicated by the Code Enforcement Officer and unless extended by the Code Enforcement Officer upon request made prior to such expiration date, an appearance ticket may be issued and the temporary rental permit or rental permit may be revoked. The Code Enforcement Officer may grant reasonable extensions of the allotted time upon request of the property owner made prior to the expiration date of the allotted time and provided that the property owner has previously acted within such period diligently and in good faith to cure the same.
Order to vacate premises. Whenever a notice of violation, as provided in § 148-3F herein, has not been complied with, or the determination has been made that a rental unit is unsafe, the Code Enforcement Officer may order the rental unit(s) to be vacated within such time as the Code Enforcement Officer shall direct. The Code Enforcement Officer's order to vacate (including the time period within which the rental unit must be vacated may take into account the severity of the violation(s), the fault of and/or potential detriment or prejudice to occupants of the rental unit, and the actual prior notice to occupants or the property owner of the violation, suspected violation or request to inspect the rental unit.
Approval to occupy. No such rental unit(s) previously ordered to be vacated shall be occupied until a rental permit is secured from the Code Enforcement Officer.
Rental permit term. The term of a rental permit shall be three years from the initial inspection date for those rental units that received a (final) rental permit within the allotted time imposed from a prior inspection (including as same may have been extended). All other property owners and rental units shall be subject to a one-year (from the initial inspection date) renewal requirement.
The Village of Phoenix reserves the right to revoke or suspend any rental permit at any time due to violations of any laws, codes, ordinances, and regulations of New York State, County of Oswego or the Village of Phoenix.
Fees. The initial registration and inspection fee through December 31, 2011, shall be $20 per rental unit for residential properties and $25 per rental unit for all other properties. Thereafter, any increase in registration and inspection fees shall be set by resolution of the Village of Phoenix Board of Trustees. In the event of a failure to timely register, schedule or be present for a scheduled inspection, or to pay registration and inspection fees registration date the costs incurred by the Village in enforcement of these provisions may be levied against and added as a special assessment to the subject property. The procedures for such levy shall be as provided for at §§ 148-8 and 148-9 of the Village of Phoenix Code.
Penalty for offenses. Any person, firm or corporation who violates, disobeys, neglects or refuses to comply with any of the terms of this legislation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000. Each week a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense. Such fine may be levied against and added as a special assessment to the subject property. The procedure for such levy shall be as provided for at §§ 148-8 and 148-9 of the Village of Phoenix Code.
Prior payment. All such fees and penalties shall be paid prior to the issuance of any rental permit.
In the event of a refusal to cooperate with an inspection request, after being provided reasonable notice, in the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer an administrative search warrant may be requested from the courts and the Code Enforcement Officer may return with the warrant and police personnel to make the inspection.
The Village of Phoenix Board of Trustees shall establish by resolution and may periodically amend administrative rules, procedures, fees and other provisions of this article.
In the event of any action or proceeding commenced by Village, service by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, upon the property owner or agent, at the last designated address, shall be deemed good and sufficient service and shall be legally sufficient in lieu of any requirement of service of process under the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules or Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law. The Village shall be reimbursed for the expenses (including without limitation legal fees, costs and disbursements incurred) of such action or proceeding commenced by direction of the Village Board and in addition, for the costs of any mitigation, remediation, repair, replacement or maintenance required hereunder or as a result of a violation of any other Village Code provision pertaining to the rental unit or premises of which it is part, plus a twenty-percent administration cost, by assessment and levy upon the lots or parcel of land the rental unit is situate, and the expenses so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Village charges.
Whenever the Village has ordered the reimbursement for the costs of the work performed or services rendered as hereinabove provided in § 148-8 by assessment and levy upon the lot, parcel of lands within which the rental unit is situate and whereon such work was performed or such services rendered, the Village Clerk may cause a notice of intent to levy such costs and expenses against said lot or parcel of land in a form approved by the resolution of the Village Board from time to time hereinafter, to be recorded in the records of the Oswego County Clerk's Office in order that such notice shall be indexed against the said premises or parcels of land as notice to subsequent transferees or other acquiring any interest in said lot or parcel of land of the intention by the Village to assess and levy the amount of such expenses upon said lots or parcels of land. Any recorded fees of the Oswego County Clerk shall be included in the costs and expenses assessed and levied upon such lots or parcels. The failure of the Village Clerk to record such notice of intent to levy shall not, however, affect or impair the validity of any lien or assessment of such costs and expenses later imposed against such lots or parcels of land, the owner(s) hereof or any subsequent transferees or others acquiring any interest in such lots or parcels of land.
The Village Board of Trustees shall review such orders, requirements, decisions or determinations of the Code Enforcement Officer hereunder or otherwise interpret the provisions hereof, including without limitation the extension of any allotted time upon request of the property owner or Code Enforcement Officer. The property owner may request such an interpretation or review of the written order, decision or determination that was made by the Code Enforcement Officer by the Board of Trustees. Such request must be made in writing no later than 60 days from the date that a written order, decision or determination was made by the Code Enforcement Officer or such interpretation issue otherwise arises.