Effective upon adoption of this article, each residential rental unit shall be inspected prior to each and every change of occupancy to determine if said residential rental unit is habitable based on the requirements of this article. The habitability inspection shall be made within 10 business days of submission of a properly completed application for inspection.
The Township shall not inspect any residential rental unit which has become occupied in violation of this article. The property owner shall be required to vacate the property and then schedule an inspection. Each day a residential rental unit is occupied in violation of this article shall be considered a separate offense.
Such inspection shall be for the purposes of determining compliance with the 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.
In the event that any inspection, reinspection, or secondary reinspection of a rental unit does not result in a satisfactory determination (i.e., the dwelling or residential rental unit is not habitable or otherwise violates codes, ordinances and/or statutes), such property shall not thereafter be licensed as a habitable residential rental unit, and the owner of the property or his agent shall not occupy, lease, or rent such property, nor shall any tenant occupy the property, until the necessary corrections have been made so as to bring the property and residential rental unit into compliance with the applicable codes and the property thereafter subsequently becomes licensed as habitable. When unsatisfactory conditions are discovered, all such corrections shall be made as prescribed by the applicable codes referred to in this article. In the event that said codes do not specify a date by which corrections shall be made, then in that event all corrections shall be made within 60 days from the date of notification of a failed inspection, reinspection, or secondary reinspection; and if not made within that time period, the owner shall be deemed in violation of this article, and every day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. If, however, the property is occupied at the time any inspection, reinspection or secondary reinspection takes place, which inspection, reinspection, or secondary reinspection results in an unsatisfactory condition being uncovered, then in that event the tenant/occupant shall be permitted to remain in the property, with the owner being given the allowed-by-code or a sixty-day period, as mentioned above, to correct the deficiency. If the deficiency is not corrected within the sixty-day period, then in that event the tenant/occupant shall be required to vacate. If, at the time the inspection, reinspection or secondary reinspection occurs, an unsatisfactory condition is found, which unsatisfactory condition is deemed to be an imminent hazard as determined by the inspector, then in that event the inspector shall have a right to cause immediate vacation of the property in order to protect the tenant/occupant from any imminent hazard within the unit inspected.
Prior to scheduling a habitability inspection of a residential rental unit, the owner shall pay $125 for inspections which occur during the 2012 calendar year license term. This fee includes $50 for the fire inspection, which is already being charged as required in a separate ordinance.
The annual residential rental unit license fee shall entitle the owner to one reinspection without charge each year. If additional reinspections are required, prior to scheduling this additional reinspection of a residential rental unit, the owner shall pay $50 for each additional reinspection.
This fee 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 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.
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 over this article.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both, at the discretion of the Municipal Judge, and each day the violation shall continue shall be deemed a separate offense.