[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Union as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2-2007]
This article shall be known as the "Union Township Rental Unit Ordinance."
The purpose of this article is to establish certain requirements for rental units in reporting to the Township, as set forth herein.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A person designated, in writing, by the owner of a rental dwelling to act for or in place of the owner.
- BUILDING CODE
- The building codes officially adopted by the Township of Union for the regulation of construction, alteration, addition, repair, removal, demolition, use, location, occupancy and maintenance of buildings and structures.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The official appointed by the Township and charged with the administration and enforcement of the Building Code and/or this article.
- A structure utilized for residence or lodging for a period of no less than 30 days, whether utilized as a single-family or multifamily dwelling, and shall include stick-built and manufactured houses, trailers, apartment houses, conversion apartments, duplexes, triplexes, garden apartments, mobile homes, modular units, time shares or other space for human occupancy or habitation.
- DWELLING UNIT
- One or more rooms used for living and sleeping purposes, arranged for occupancy by one family or by one or more persons, which includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation, including but not limited to dwellings located at manufactured home parks or manufactured home subdivision or substantial improvements to existing manufactured home parks.
- One or more persons living together in a single dwelling unit as a traditional family or the functional equivalent of a traditional family. It shall be a rebuttable presumption that three or more persons living together in a single dwelling unit, who are not related by blood, adoption or marriage, do not constitute the functional equivalent of a traditional family. In determining the functional equivalent of a traditional family, one or more of the following criteria shall be present:
- A. The group shares the entire dwelling unit.
- B. The group lives and cooks together as a single housekeeping unit.
- C. The group shares expenses for food, rent, utilities or other household expenses.
- D. The group is permanent and stable, and not transient or temporary in nature.
- E. Any other factor reasonably related to whether the group is the functional equivalent of a family.
- MOBILE HOME
- A transportable, single-family dwelling intended for permanent occupancy, contained in one unit or in two or more units designed to be joined into one integral unit capable of again being separated for repeated towing, which arrives at a site complete and ready for occupancy except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations and constructed so that it may be used without a permanent foundation.
- MODULAR UNIT
- A unit transported on a removable or nonremovable frame, in which some or all of the component parts are fabricated, formed or assembled off site in a factory, transported to the site for assembly and installed on the building site. The term includes "module," "prefab," "factory-built," "panel-built" and similar terms. The completed unit shall comply with Building Code standards for conventionally constructed units; the modular unit is considered real property.
- The period of time during which a person rents, owns or uses certain premises or land.
- Any person, agent, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in real property.
- Any individual, partnership, association, firm or corporation for any other group acting as a unit.
- An improvement built upon land which is constructed for human occupancy.
Each owner of a rental dwelling shall submit to the Code Enforcement Officer of the Township a report, on a form supplied by the Code Enforcement Officer, which includes the following information:
List of the dwelling units located in the Township, whether occupied or not, in which owner has an interest, whether the interest be legal title, equitable title, or ownership;
Address of each dwelling unit;
Brief description of each dwelling unit;
If dwelling unit is a mobile or modular home, the VIN must be listed;
Whether or not said dwelling unit is occupied; and
Names of the occupants utilizing the aforementioned dwelling unit, if any.
After the effective date of this article, any person who becomes an owner of a rental dwelling located in the Township by agreement of sale, deed, articles of agreement or by any other means shall, within 30 days thereafter, report to the Code Enforcement Officer the information and data set forth in this article on forms to be provided by the Code Enforcement Officer.
After the effective date of this article, every owner of a rental dwelling within the Township shall report to the Code Enforcement Officer, on a report form to be supplied by the Code Enforcement Officer, any change in the use or occupancy of any dwelling unit. The report submitted shall include the name or names of new occupants of such dwelling unit, the date when such change was effected, the forwarding address of the old occupant or occupants, if known. An owner of a hotel, inn or boardinghouse shall not be required to report a person as an "occupant" until the person has resided in such owner's establishment exceeding 30 days. In the event that a dwelling unit was used or utilized by an occupant and becomes vacant, this change shall also be reported to the Code Enforcement Officer. All reports required by this section shall be made within 10 days after an owner has knowledge that such a unit has had a change in occupancy or has become vacant.
All owners of dwelling units, office buildings or other structures established for human occupancy shall secure an occupancy permit prior to permitting a unit to be occupied. Permits must be secured from the Code Enforcement Officer upon the occurrence of the following:
No occupancy permit shall be issued for occupancy unless the premises shall be inspected by the Code Enforcement Officer or his designee and meets the minimum requirements and standards for premises, structures, equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, protection from the elements, life safety, safety from fire and other hazards, and safe and sanitary maintenance in accordance with any applicable state law and/or Township ordinances, as amended;
Occupancy inspections shall at all times be arranged in accordance with the following procedures: The property owner or landlord shall contact the Code Enforcement Officer and/or his designee and arrange a mutually convenient time to conduct inspection of the property. The Code Enforcement Officer and/or his designee shall inspect the property and shall either issue an occupancy permit or shall issue a notice of violation with time prescribed for remedial actions to be taken in order for the occupancy permit to be issued.
No occupancy permit shall be issued until a completed application form is submitted and accompanied by payment of inspection fees as set forth by Township resolution or determined by the Board of Supervisors.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall:
Maintain a file in the Township offices containing a list of the names of the owners of the dwelling units in the Township. Said list shall include the names of the current occupants of said dwelling units; and
Maintain a supply of forms for owners to utilize in making reports to the Code Enforcement Officer as required by this article.
The Code Enforcement Officer will be looking for violations, such as, but not limited to, smoke detectors; sewage connections; operable heating and cooling systems; running water and proper electrical system in operation.
The Township's Code Enforcement Officer or his designee shall be the appointed officer to enforce the provisions of this article;
The Township's Code Enforcement Officer or his designee shall forward an enforcement notice via certified mail/return receipt requested to all owners of property who are in violation of any section of this article; and
The enforcement notice shall contain the following information:
The name of the owner of the record and any other person against whom the Township intends to take action.
The location of the property in violation.
The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this article or applicable code.
The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified will result in the sanctions identified in this article.
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this article shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this article that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense. In addition to said penalties, the Township shall reserve unto itself all of the available legal remedies for the compliance with this article, including an action in equity for the proper enforcement of this article. The imposition of a fine or penalties for any violation or noncompliance with this article shall not excuse the violation or noncompliance or permit the same to continue.