As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The individual or corporate officer designated by the owner as the person authorized by the owner to perform any duty imposed upon the owner by the terms of this article or other pertinent ordinances, statutes or regulation, either municipal or state.
- Any building or structure or part thereof used for human habitation, use or occupancy, and includes any accessory buildings and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
- CHANGE IN OCCUPANCY
- Where the tenant vacates the property and a new tenant agrees to possess or reside in the dwelling.
- CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY INSPECTION
- An inspection which is conducted when a change of tenancy has occurred in a residential rental unit. A change in occupancy inspection shall be conducted before such time as the dwelling unit becomes occupied by a new tenant.
- CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE
- Certified mail, return receipt requested, and simultaneously by regular mail, mailed through the United States Postal Service to the owner or agent.
- Any apartment, cottage, bungalow, house, townhouse, row house, duplex or other dwelling unit consisting of a room or a suite of rooms, with or without housekeeping facilities, for dwelling purposes, regardless of whether or not the unit occupies one or more floors and regardless of whether or not the unit occupies the entire building or only a part of the building. "Dwelling" specifically includes a single-family home and multifamily units.
- A dwelling which is safe and fit for humans to live, sleep, eat and cook in and is not in violation of any code, ordinance or statute, incorporated in this article by reference, including, without limitation, the International Property Maintenance Code, and is not an unsafe structure, as defined in the International Property Maintenance Code, § 108.1.1, and is not a structure unfit for human occupancy, as defined in the International Property Maintenance Code, § 108.1.3.
- HABITABLE ROOM
- A room or enclosed floor space within a dwelling unit used or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, pantries, foyers or communicating corridors, closets and storage space.
- INITIAL INSPECTION
- The first inspection each year for a specific property to obtain a residential rental unit license or a change of occupancy inspection.
- LICENSED DWELLING UNIT
- Any dwelling unit duly registered and licensed with the Bureau of Fire Prevention of the Township of Hamilton and complying with all of the local, municipal, state and federal laws.
- LODGING UNIT
- A room or group of rooms containing no cooking facilities, used for living purposes by a separate family or group of persons living together or by a person living alone, within a building.
- Any use, possession or control of real property by persons, entities or personal property.
- Any individual who lives or sleeps in, or has actual possession of, a dwelling unit.
- The individual, person or, in the case of a corporation, the corporate officer designated by said corporation who leases a dwelling to a tenant, as defined herein, and/or who is the legal owner of record or authorized representative of said corporation and is empowered to receive construct notice as defined in this article.
- An individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, trust or other legal entity, or any combination thereof.
- The inspection which occurs after a failed initial inspection.
- A. Any dwelling, as defined above, which the owner rents or leases to any third party for the purposes of that third party or parties to reside in the premises for a period in excess of 30 days, regardless of the term of any written or verbal lease. This shall include, but is not limited to, any dwelling occupied by any tenant who occupies the dwelling for more than 30 days.
- B. Any room or rooms, suite or a part thereof, whether furnished or unfurnished, which is occupied or intended, arranged or designed to be occupied for sleeping or dwelling purposes by one or more persons, including but not limited to the owner thereof or any other servants, agents or employees.
- C. This definition applies only to those dwelling units, including single-family residences, which are available for lease or rental purposes.
- SECONDARY REINSPECTION
- Any inspection which occurs after a failed reinspection.
- SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS
- The number of individuals who may be properly accommodated in the beds and other sleeping facilities located within a residential rental unit.
- The person, persons or corporation to whom a dwelling is leased, rented or occupied by other than the owner.
The provisions of the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.; Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70-2 et seq.; and the International Property Maintenance Code, as may be approved and adopted subsequent thereto by the Department of Community Affairs of the State of New Jersey, are hereby accepted, adopted and established as standards to be used as a guide in determining whether dwellings and buildings in this Township are safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation and/or rental. A copy of said codes and regulations, and any amendments subsequent thereto, has been placed on file in the office of the Township Clerk and is available for inspection by all persons desiring to use and examine same.
All residential dwelling units which were rented on or after January 1, 2012, shall be required to apply for, and obtain a residential rental unit license issued by the Bureau of Fire Prevention on forms which shall be provided for that purpose.
Any owner permitting the occupancy of a residential rental unit without said license after June 30, 2012, shall be in violation of this article, and each and every day thereafter shall be deem a separate offense.
Without in any way intending to infringe upon the requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28, all residential rental units shall be licensed as provided herein. Every owner, either personally or through his agent, shall file with the Bureau of Fire Prevention a residential rental unit licensing application for any residential rental unit located within the Township of Hamilton. Said licensing form shall include the following information:
The name and address of the record owner(s) of the premises and the record owner(s) of the rental business, if not the same person(s). In the case of a partnership, the names and addresses of all general partners shall be provided, together with the telephone numbers for each of such individuals, indicating where such individuals may be reached both during the day and evening hours.
If the record owner is a corporation, the name and address of the registered agent and the name and address of the person to be contacted for any reason regarding the residential rental unit, if other than the registered agent.
If the address of any record owner is not located in Atlantic County, New Jersey, the owner shall designate an agent who resides in Atlantic County, New Jersey, who is authorized by the owner to perform any duty imposed upon the owner by this article.
The name, address and telephone number of an individual representative of the record owner or agent located in Atlantic County who may be reached or contacted at any time in the event of an emergency affecting the premises or any residential rental unit therein, including such emergencies as the failure of any essential service or system, and who has the authority and the responsibility to make emergency decisions concerning the building and any repair thereto or expenditure in connection therewith.
The lot, block, and address of the residential rental unit.
If fuel oil is used to heat the building and the landlord furnishes the heat in the building, the name and address of the fuel oil dealer servicing the building and the grade of fuel oil used.
As to each residential rental unit, specification of the exact number of sleeping rooms contained in the residential rental unit and the exact number of sleeping accommodations contained in each of the sleeping rooms, identifying each sleeping room specifically by number and location within the residential rental unit and by the square footage thereof. In order to satisfy the requirements of this provision, an owner shall submit a floor plan which shall become a part of the residential rental unit licensing application and which shall be attached to the residential rental unit licensing form when filed with the Bureau of Fire Prevention.
A certification section to read as follows:
"By signing below, I certify to the best of my knowledge and belief that the statements contained in this application are true and correct; and I further certify to the best of my knowledge and belief that the unit for which the residential rental unit license is being applied for, is in compliance with Municipal Land Use and Development Chapter 203, the Housing Code and/or the UCC Code, the Uniform Fire Code of the State of New Jersey and/or the International Property Maintenance Code."
Names of the tenants/lessees 18 years of age and older and the total number of children 17 years of age and younger.
Such other information as may be prescribed from time to time by the Township.
Upon the filing of a completed and approved residential rental unit license application form and payment of applicable fees, an owner shall be entitled to the issuance of a residential rental unit license by the Bureau of Fire Prevention.
The term of all residential rental licenses issued shall commence January 1 of each year, and such license shall be valid until December 31 of said year, at which time it shall expire and a renewal license shall be required. Prorating for licenses obtained for a portion of a year shall not be permitted.
This article provides an extended period of time from January 1, 2012, through June 30, 2012, to obtain the 2012 licenses. Licenses obtained or renewed for 2013 and thereafter must be obtained on or before January 31 of each year the license is for. No residential rental unit shall hereafter be rented unless the residential rental unit has been licensed in accordance this article. Notwithstanding the term listed in this subsection, a residential rental unit license shall expire immediately upon the expiration of any time limit placed on the unit for repairs by the Township that remain uncompleted.
It shall be the responsibility of the owner to secure the required rental license. Failure to license the property within the time frame provided shall be a violation of this article.
Every owner or agent shall hereafter be required, within 15 days from receipt of constructive notice from the Township of Hamilton, to commence and thereafter diligently prosecute eviction proceedings against a tenant who has been convicted of violating the occupancy limits outlined in Chapter 222 and/or three violations of Chapter 217, Nuisances, or Chapter 214, Noise.
The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall index and file the rental license and registration forms and make them reasonably available for public inspection. In doing so, the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall follow the mandates of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28.1, as amended and supplemented, so that the filing of the residential rental unit license form will simultaneously satisfy the registration requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28 to the extent that it applies to the property being licensed and will also satisfy the residential rental unit license requirements of this article. The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall maintain a master index of all such residential rental unit licenses and registration forms, and any person may obtain from the Bureau of Fire Prevention a list of all properly licensed residential rental units upon payment of the appropriate fees.
Every person required to file a residential rental unit license registration form pursuant to this article shall file an amended residential rental unit license registration form within 20 days after any change in the information required to be included thereon.
Every owner shall provide each occupant or tenant occupying a residential rental unit with a copy of the residential rental unit license required by this article. This particular provision shall not apply to any hotel, motel or guest house registered with the State of New Jersey pursuant to the Hotel/Motel Multiple Dwelling Act as defined in N.J.S.A. 55:13A-3. The Tenant must maintain a copy of the residential rental unit license on the premises at all times and present it to any duly appointed Township enforcement official upon request.
No residential rental unit shall be issued a residential rental unit license unless all municipal taxes, water charges, sewer charges, other municipal assessments or any fees owed pursuant to this article are paid on a current basis.
Grounds. In addition to any other penalties prescribed herein, an owner may be subject to a revocation or suspension of a residential rental unit license issued hereunder upon the happening of one or more of the following:
Conviction of a violation of this chapter in the Municipal Court of the Township of Hamilton or any other court of competent jurisdiction.
A residential rental unit is permitted to be occupied by more than a maximum number of occupants as permitted under this article.
Maintaining the residential rental unit or units or the property in which the residential rental unit is a part in a dangerous condition likely to result in injury to person or property.
Procedures; written complaints; notice; hearing.
A complaint seeking revocation or suspension of the residential rental unit license may be filed by any one or more of the following: Chief of Police, Construction Code Official, Zoning Enforcement Officer or Fire Prevention Official. Such complaints should be in writing, filed with the Township Administrator or his designee. The complaint should be specific and should be sufficient to apprise the owner or tenant of the charges so as to permit a proper defense. The individual filing the complaint may do so on the basis of information and belief and need not rely on personal information.
Upon the filing of such written complaint, the Township Administrator shall set a date for hearing, which shall not be sooner than 10 nor more than 30 days thereafter. The Township Administrator or his designee shall forward a copy of the complaint and a notice as to the date of the hearing to the owner, manager or agent, if any, at the address indicated on the license form. Notice served upon the manager or agent shall be deemed sufficient for the purposes of this article.
The hearing required by this article shall be held before the Township Administrator unless, in his discretion, the Township Administrator determines that the matter should be heard by a hearing officer who shall be appointed by the Township Administrator. If the matter is referred to a hearing officer, such officer shall transmit his findings of fact and conclusions of law to the Township Administrator within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. The Township Administrator shall then review the matter and may accept, reject or modify the recommendations of the hearing officer based on the record before such hearing officer. In the event that the matter is not referred to a hearing officer and is heard by the Township Administrator, then the Township Administrator shall render a decision within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. Following the hearing, a decision shall be rendered dismissing the complaint, revoking or suspending the residential rental unit license or determining that the residential rental unit license shall not be renewed or reissued for one or more subsequent license years.
A tape recording of the hearing shall be kept for a period of 45 days after said hearing. A transcript of said hearing will be supplied upon request to the Township of Hamilton and upon payment of an appropriate fee as determined by the length of the hearing. All witnesses shall be sworn prior to testifying. The strict rules of evidence shall not apply, and evidential rules and burden of proof shall be that which generally control administrative hearings.
The Chief of Police, Construction Code Official, Zoning Enforcement Officer or Fire Prevention Official, or his/her designee shall appear and prosecute all hearings conducted pursuant to this section. The Township Solicitor will be available to advise in this process as needed.
Prior to the issuance of a residential rental unit license, the owner shall pay to the Township an amount established by the Township Committee through resolution annually as to the cost of licenses during that calendar year.
Prior to the issuance of a residential rental unit license, the owner shall pay the fee, as established by resolution, for the licenses issued for license year 2013 and thereafter.
A late fee of $50 shall be charged in addition to the above fee for all residential rental unit licenses obtained after the required due date.
Fees for new residential rental unit licenses shall not be prorated for a partial year, however, on or after December 1 of each year, the license issued for a new unit shall be for the following year. A "new unit" is a unit that did not require a residential rental unit license, as outlined in this article prior to the date it is applied for.
The fees shall be reviewed annually to assure that the funds projected to be collected are approximately equal to the expenses related to implementing the requirements of this article. This requirement does not prohibit the Township Committee from creating a reasonable reserve, for related but unanticipated expenses.
No revenues collected from the fees established in this article shall be used for purposes other than those related to enforcing the codes and other requirements outlined in this article.
The annual fee for a residential rental unit license shall be established annually by the Township Committee and shall be established by resolution of the Township Committee without the need to further amend this article.
Police officers, code enforcement officers, and Bureau of Fire Prevention officers of the Township of Hamilton are authorized to issue a summons for a violation of this article.
The Municipal Court of the Township of Hamilton shall have jurisdiction to enforce this article.
In addition to the penalties set forth in N.J.S.A. 46:8-35, any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the Township of Hamilton or such other court having jurisdiction, be liable for a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or by any one or more of the above. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation subject to the penalty provisions of this article. The penalties provisions contained in this article will automatically be deemed altered and amended in conjunction with any amendments to N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.