Village of Clayton, WI
Polk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Clayton 2-4-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Building construction — See Ch. 200.

Fair housing — See Ch. 247.

§ 396-1
Title. 

§ 396-2
Purpose and scope. 

§ 396-3
Definitions. 

§ 396-4
Inspection and licensing of rental units. 

§ 396-5
Enforcement; service of notices and orders; hearings. 

§ 396-6
Minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities. 

§ 396-7
Minimum standards for light, ventilation and heating. 

§ 396-8
Requirements regarding safe and sanitary maintenance. 

§ 396-9
Minimum space, use and location requirements. 

§ 396-10
Minimum water heating, electrical and screening requirements; smoke detectors. 

§ 396-11
Designation of unfit rental dwellings; condemnation. 

§ 396-12
Violations and penalties. 

§ 396-13
Codes adopted by reference. 

This chapter shall be known as the "Rental Housing Code of the Village of Clayton."

The purpose of this rental housing code (this "chapter") is to insure that residential rental properties conform to minimum safety, health and maintenance standards. This chapter shall include all single-family and multifamily residential rental properties within the Village of Clayton.

A. 

The following definitions apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:

BASEMENT
A space of full story height below the first floor which is not designed or used primarily for year-round living accommodations. Space, partly below grade, which is designed and finished as habitable space, is not defined as basement space.
BUILDING INSPECTOR
The person, or his authorized representative, who is minimally certified to conduct occupancy or use inspections based on the requirements of the Building Code of the Village,
Editor's Note: See Ch. 200, Building Construction.
designated the title by appointment of the Village President and the confirmation of the Village Board.
EXTERMINATION
The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places, by removing or making inaccessible materials which may serve as their food, by poisoning, spraying, fumigating, trapping or by other recognized and legal pest elimination methods approved by the Health Office.
GARBAGE
The animal or vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
HABITABLE ROOM
A room or other enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, pantries, foyers or corridors, closets and storage space.
INFESTATION
The presence within or around a dwelling of any insects, rodents or other pests.
LANDLORD
The building owner or his authorized agent, or the person authorized to rent or lease the building.
MULTIPLE RENTAL DWELLING
Any dwelling containing two or more rental dwelling units.
OCCUPANT or TENANT
Any person living, sleeping, cooking or eating in or having actual possession of a dwelling unit or rooming unit.
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care or control of a building, or part thereof, in which dwelling units or rooming units are offered for rent.
OWNER
Any individual, firm, association, copartnership, cooperation or trust or any other legal entity who alone, jointly or severally with others holds sufficient proprietary interest.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, trust, partnership, public or private, association or corporation, company, organization, municipality, joint-stock company, society, group, joint venture, unincorporated association, county or state agency within Wisconsin, the federal government or any combination thereof.
PLUMBING
All of the following supplied facilities and equipment: gas pipes, gas burning equipment, water pipes, garbage disposal equipment, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes washing machines, catch basins, drains, vents, floor drains, laundry traps, drinking fountains, gutters, downspouts, area drains, lines, sanitary and storm sewer systems; also subsoil drainage and any other supplied fixtures together with all connection to water, sewer or gas lines.
RENTAL DWELLING
Any building which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants.
RENTAL DWELLING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.
RENTAL PROPERTY
Property which is rented or leased to any person other than the owner or members of his immediate family.
ROOMING UNIT
Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitat unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping but not for cooking or eating purposes.
RUBBISH
Combustible or noncombustible waste materials, except garbage; and the term shall include the residue from the burning of wood, coal, coke and other combustible material, paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood excelsior, trimmings, leaves, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery or dust.
SUPPLIED
Anything paid for, furnished or provided by or under the control or the owner or operator.
B. 

Clarification. Whenever the words "dwelling," "dwelling unit," "rooming house," "rooming unit" or "premises" are used in this chapter, they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words "or any part thereof."

A. 

Inspections. The Building Inspector shall make triannual inspections to coincide with the three-year license issuance and any subsequent license renewals to determine the condition of rental dwellings, rental dwelling units and premises located within the Village, in order that he/she may perform his/her duty of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of rental dwellings and of the general public. For the purpose of making such inspections, the Building Inspector may enter, examine and survey, at proper time after due notice, all rental dwelling units, rooming units and premises. The owner or occupant of every rental dwelling, rental dwelling unit and rooming unit, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the Building Inspector access to such rental dwelling, rental dwelling unit or rooming unit and its premises, at proper times after due notice, for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey. Every occupant of a rental dwelling unit or rental dwelling shall give the owner thereof, or his/her agent or employee, access to any part of such rental dwelling or rental dwelling unit, or its premises, at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to affect compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

B. 

Licensing.

(1) 

License required for rental dwellings. Any owner of a rental dwelling, rental dwelling unit or dwelling unit or premises shall have a rental housing license issued by the Village. Application for such license shall be on a form approved by the Village. Any owner, or the owner's agent, heirs or assigns, shall not rent any property within the Village limits without having been issued a rental housing license by the Village.

(2) 

Eligibility. An owner or manager of a rental property is eligible to obtain a rental license upon satisfaction of the following provisions:

(a) 

Completion of an application form provided by the Village.

(b) 

Payment of license application and inspection fees as provided in Subsection B(5), below.

(c) 

No outstanding orders or notices of violations under this chapter exist.

(d) 

An inspection of the property has been conducted by the Building Inspector not less than once every three years.

(3) 

License term. Licenses shall be issued for a period of three years and are nontransferable without further application.

(4) 

Inspections required for licensing.

(a) 

Initial inspections. Every property rented or leased to another after December 31, 2014, shall be initially inspected by the Building Inspector and found to be in compliance with this chapter prior to issuance of a rental license or occupancy by a tenant, except that any dwelling or building where the commencement of construction started after December 31, 2011, will not be subject to the rental dwelling unit license fee for a period of three years from the date of final inspection by the Building Inspector. It is the intent of this chapter to be fully effective and enforced on January 1, 2015, with voluntary compliance recommended and encouraged commencing on January 1, 2014.

(b) 

Inspections required for license renewal. Every renewal of a rental license is subject to an inspection for compliance with this section 90 days prior to the date of expiration of the license. Properties found to be out of compliance during such renewal inspection(s) shall be brought into compliance prior to issuance of a new license.

(c) 

Interim inspections to assure compliance during license period. The need for additional or interim inspections will be left to the discretion of the Building Inspector, except that properties receiving written complaint by a tenant or nontenant complainant shall be inspected by the Building Inspector within 10 days of receipt of the written complaint or as soon as reasonably possible after receipt if danger to the health, safety and welfare to the tenant seems imminent.

(d) 

Notification of inspections. The Building Inspector will notify each current licensee, by regular mail to the assessment roll address at least seven business days prior to a regular inspection, or as close thereof as possible prior to an initial or interim inspection.

(5) 

Fees. All rental housing license fees, inspection fees, appeal fees or other administrative fees assessed under the chapter shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Village Board. A schedule of fees is available in the office of the Village Clerk-Treasurer.

A. 

Notice. Whenever the Building Inspector receives a signed written complaint and determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that violations of this chapter exist, he shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefore, and to any known agent of such person, as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall:

(1) 

Be put in writing.

(2) 

Include a statement of the grounds for issuance of the violation notice.

(3) 

Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act which the notice requires.

(4) 

Contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

(5) 

Be personally served upon the owner or his/her agent, or the occupant, as the case may require. Such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent, or upon such occupant, if a copy thereof is served upon him personally, or if a copy is left with a responsible person at the residence or office of the person to be served. If personal service cannot be accomplished, substitute service is allowed. Such service shall be deemed to be accomplished if a copy of the notice is sent by registered mail to the last known address of the person to be served and a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling which is affected by the notice, or is published in the official newspaper of the Village of Clayton. Any other method of service authorized or required under the laws of this state shall be sufficient if personal service cannot be accomplished and if substitute service is deemed to be ineffective to give notice. A copy of the notice shall also be served upon the Village of Clayton.

(6) 

The cost of the review and inspection shall be assessed to and be the responsibility of the owner.

B. 

Appeals. Determinations of the Building Inspector under this section may be appealed to the Board of Appeals using the procedures prescribed in Chapter 510, Zoning, Article XIV, of the Code.

C. 

Emergency orders. Consistent with the requirements of § 66.0413, Wis. Stats., whenever the Building Inspector finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, he/she may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he/she deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately; but upon petition to the Board of Appeals for relief, the person subject to the order shall be afforded a hearing as soon as practicable after receipt of the petition. After such hearing, depending on the findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter have been complied with, the Board of Appeals shall continue such order in effect or modify it or revoke it or issue a variance from this chapter.

No person shall lease, rent or otherwise let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living, sleeping, cooking or eating therein, which does not comply with the following requirements:

A. 

Kitchen sink. Every dwelling unit shall contain a kitchen sink in good working condition and properly connected to a water and sanitary sewer system as approved by the Building Inspector.

B. 

Bathroom. Every dwelling unit shall contain a room within its walls, separate from the habitable rooms, which affords privacy to a person within said room and which is equipped with a flush water closet, a lavatory basin and a bathtub or shower and the necessary fixtures and accessories therefore in good working condition and properly connected to hot and cold water lines and sanitary sewer system as approved by the Building Inspector.

C. 

Connection of facilities. Every tub or shower required under this chapter and every sink, lavatory basin and bath shall be connected with water and sewer lines.

D. 

Garbage disposal facilities. Every dwelling unit shall have adequate garbage disposal facilities or garbage storage containers.

E. 

Egress. Every dwelling unit shall have two safe and unobstructed means of egress, as required by the Wisconsin Uniform Building Code and the ordinances of the Village. Unless subject to an applicable exception under the Wisconsin Uniform Building Code, every building which is remodeled into multifamily dwelling units, after the effective date of this chapter, shall provide at least two approved exits from each dwelling unit.

No person shall occupy as owner/occupant or let to another person for occupancy any rental dwelling or rental dwelling unit, for the purpose of living there, which does not comply with the following requirements:

A. 

Window area. Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight facing directly to the outdoors. The minimum total window area, measured between stops for every habitable room, shall be 8% of the floor area of such room.

B. 

Openable window area. Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight which can easily be opened or such other device as will adequately ventilate the room. The total of openable window area in every habitable room shall be equal to not less than 3.5% of the floor area, except where there is supplied mechanical device affording adequate ventilation.

C. 

Bathrooms and water closets. Every bathroom and water closet compartment shall comply with the light and ventilation requirements for habitable rooms contained in Subsections A and B, except that no window or skylight shall be required in bathrooms and water closet compartments equipped with a mechanical ventilation system. All structures constructed after 1980 shall be equipped with a mechanical ventilation system.

D. 

Heating facilities. Every rental dwelling shall have heating facilities which are properly installed, maintained in safe and good working conditions, and capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms and water closet compartments in every rental dwelling unit located therein to a temperature of at least 68° F., at a distance of 30 inches above floor level, under ordinary minimum winter conditions.

E. 

Basement windows. Every basement shall receive natural and artificial light and shall be ventilated according to requirements of the Building Code of the Village.

Editor's Note: See Ch. 200, Building Construction.
Every basement or cellar window used or intended to be used for ventilation, and every other opening to a basement which might provide an entry for rodents, shall be supplied with a screen or such other device as will effectively prevent their entrance.

No person shall occupy as owner/occupant or let to another for occupancy any rental dwelling or rental dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the following:

A. 

Foundations, floors, ceilings, roofs. Every foundation, floor, wall, ceiling and roof shall be reasonably weathertight, watertight and rodentproof; shall be capable of affording privacy; and shall be kept in good repair.

B. 

Skylights, exterior doors, basement hatchways. Every window skylight, exterior door and basement hatchway shall be reasonably weathertight, watertight and rodentproof, and shall be kept in sound working condition and good repair.

C. 

Stairs, porches and appurtenances. Every inside and outside stairs, porch and appurtenance thereto shall be so constructed as to be safe to use and capable of supporting any load that normal use may cause to be placed thereon, and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair.

D. 

Plumbing fixtures and water waste pipes. Every plumbing fixture and water waste pipe shall be properly installed and maintained in good sanitary working condition, free from defects, leaks and obstructions.

E. 

Bathroom floor surface. Every water closet compartment floor surface and bathroom floor surface shall be constructed and maintained so as to be reasonably imperious to water and as to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

F. 

Safe installation required. Every supplied facility, piece of equipment or utility which is required under this section shall be so constructed or installed that it will function safely and effectively, and shall be maintained in satisfactory working condition.

G. 

Disconnection of utilities prohibited. No owner, operator or occupant shall cause any service facility, equipment or utility which is required under this section to be removed from or shut off from or discontinued for any occupied rental dwelling let or occupied by him/her except for such temporary interruption as may be necessary while actual repair or alterations are in progress, or during temporary emergencies or when discontinuance of service is approved by the Building Inspector.

H. 

Rented premises to be fit for human occupancy. No owner shall occupy or let to any other occupant any vacant rental dwelling unit unless it is clean, sanitary and fit for human occupancy as required and provided under § 66.0413, Wis. Stats.

No person shall occupy or let to another for occupancy any rental dwelling or rental dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the following requirements:

A. 

Gross floor area. Every rental dwelling unit shall contain a minimum gross floor area of not less than 150 square feet for the first occupant, 100 square feet for the second occupant, and 75 square feet for each additional occupant. The floor area shall be calculated on the basis of the total area of all habitable rooms.

B. 

Sleeping rooms. In every rental dwelling unit of two or more rooms, every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 80 square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain at least 40 square feet of floor space for each occupant thereof over 12 years of age and at least 30 square feet for each occupant thereof under 12 years of age.

C. 

Ceiling heights. At least 1/2 of the floor area of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of at least seven feet, and the floor area of that part of any room where the ceiling height is less than five feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total floor area of the room for the purpose of determining the maximum permissible occupancy thereof.

D. 

Basement rental dwelling. No basement or cellar space shall be used as a rental dwelling unit.

A. 

Water heating facilities. Every rental dwelling unit shall be supplied with water heating facilities which are installed in an approved manner, properly maintained and capable of heating water to such temperature as to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every required kitchen sink, lavatory basin, bathtub, shower and laundry facility or other similar units, at a temperature of not less than 110° F. at any time needed.

B. 

Electrical receptacle outlets.

(1) 

Where there is electric service available to the building, every habitable room of a rental dwelling unit shall contain at least two separate and remote receptacle outlets, one of which may be a ceiling or wall-type electric light fixture. Every public hall, bathroom, laundry room or furnace room shall contain at least one electric light fixture. In addition, every bathroom and laundry room shall be provided with at least one electric receptacle outlet.

(2) 

In wet or damp areas, GFI receptacle outlets shall be installed.

(3) 

All kitchen countertops shall have at least one receptacle outlet per each four linear feet and at least one receptacle outlet per each island or peninsula counter.

C. 

Screen requirements. From May 1 to October 1, every rental dwelling unit, for protection against mosquitoes, flies and other insects, shall have supplied and installed screens and a self-closing device for every door opening directly from a rental dwelling unit to outdoor space; and every window or other device with openings to outdoor space, used or intended to be used for ventilation, shall likewise be supplied with screens installed.

D. 

Fire extinguishers. Each rental unit shall have a minimum of one fire extinguisher available within the unit, maintained in proper working order.

E. 

Smoke detectors.

(1) 

Scope. Consistent with applicable requirements of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, the provisions of this subsection shall apply to all new and existing housing rental units, including, but not limited to, apartments, rooming houses and dwellings containing rooming units, university residence halls, hotels, motels, group homes, day-care nurseries, homes for the aged and infirm, convalescent homes, one- and two-family rental units, mobile home rental units and other places of abode for which rent or a fee is obtained.

(2) 

Smoke detector defined. A smoke detector is a device which detects particles or products of combustion other than heat and carbon monoxide.

(3) 

Requirement. The owner of any building or housing rental unit within the scope of this subsection shall install and maintain, within 90 days of the effective date hereof, a smoke detector in each sleeping area, at the head of every open stair, and at the door leading to every enclosed stair on each floor level.

(4) 

Installation and maintenance.

(a) 

Smoke detectors required under this subsection shall be approved by Underwriters' Laboratory, Inc., which, when activated, shall provide an audible alarm.

(b) 

Smoke detectors shall be installed according to the directions and specifications of the manufacturer and maintained in good working order.

(5) 

Tampering/removal. No person other than the owner shall tamper with, alter or remove any smoke detector, fire extinguisher, fire apparatus or alarm from any building or unit, or a battery therefrom.

(6) 

Enforcement.

(a) 

No owner or operator shall be allowed to rent or allow the occupancy of any property in violation of the provisions of this subsection.

(b) 

The Village shall not issue a rental license to any owner or operator found to be in violation of the provisions of this subsection.

(7) 

Penalties.

(a) 

The Building Inspector, Housing Inspector or Fire Inspector shall have the power to issue citations for violations of this subsection.

(b) 

Any person violating any of the terms of this subsection shall, upon conviction, be subject to forfeiture as prescribed in § 396-12, together with the costs of prosecution, provided that each day a violation is continued shall be construed to be a separate violation.

A. 

Requirement to condemn. The designation of rental dwellings or rental dwelling units as unfit for human habitation and the procedure for the condemnation and placarding of such unfit rental dwelling or rental dwelling units shall be carried out in compliance with the following requirements:

(1) 

Any rental dwelling or rental dwelling unit which shall be found to have any of the following defects outlined in Subsection A(2) through (4) below shall be condemned as unfit for human habitation and shall be so designated and placarded by the Building Inspector.

(2) 

One which is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe or vermin-infested that it creates a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.

(3) 

One which lacks illumination, ventilation or sanitary facilities adequate to protect the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.

(4) 

One which, because of its general condition or location, is unsanitary or otherwise dangerous to the health of safety of occupants or of the public.

B. 

Vacating premises. Any rental dwelling or rental dwelling unit condemned as unfit for human habitation, and so designated and placarded by the Building Inspector, shall be vacated within 30 days as ordered by the Building Inspector.

C. 

Reoccupation of premises. No rental dwelling or rental dwelling unit which has been condemned and posted as unfit for human habitation shall again be used for human habitation until a permit is secured from the Building Inspector after a new application has been filed and the premises has been reinspected as provided under this chapter.

A. 

Type of penalty. Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter or fails to comply with any order, rule or regulation made hereunder shall be subject to a penalty as provided under Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-4, of the Village Code.

B. 

Continued violations. When the Building Inspector determines that the same violations are being repeated or continuing without regard to orders, he/she shall refer the landlord to the Village Board for revocation of the rental license.

C. 

License revocation. Should the Village Board revoke a rental license, the dwelling or dwelling units in question must be vacated in 30 days. A new license must be approved by the Village Board prior to reoccupancy.

D. 

Termination of utilities. Any rental unit occupied in defiance of an order to vacate shall have the water utility terminated until such time as the building is brought into compliance consistent with the requirement of the order to vacate issued by the Building Inspector.

The standards contained in the following codes when referenced by this Code are hereby adopted and made part of this chapter by reference as if set forth completely herein:

A. 

Village Building Code, currently Chapter 200 of the Village Code, and all other applicable ordinances of the Village of Clayton.

B. 

Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code.

C. 

Wisconsin Administrative Code.

D. 

Wisconsin Plumbing Code.

E. 

Wisconsin Building and Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Code.

F. 

Wisconsin Rental Weatherization Standards under applicable provisions of § 101.122, Wis. Stats.

G. 

All other applicable provisions and requirements of Wisconsin Statutes.