[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Buena 5-27-1975 by Ord. No. 193; amended in its entirety 9-2-1997 by Ord. No. 446. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Housing Authority — See Ch. 24.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 88.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 120.
Housing standards — See Ch. 136.
Land use — See Ch. 150.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 181.
There is hereby created within the Borough of Buena a position known as "Occupancy Inspector." The Occupancy Inspector shall be appointed by the Council of the Borough of Buena and shall hold office for a term of one year. Such Occupancy Inspector shall have the duty of enforcing the property maintenance code which is being adopted by the Council of the Borough of Buena pursuant to Ordinance No. 446 and of issuing occupancy permits for all dwellings in the Borough of Buena, including but not limited to dwelling units, rooming units, dormitory units, rooming houses, single- and two-family dwellings and all other dwellings as defined in the property maintenance code which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Occupancy Inspector. The salary of the Occupancy Inspector shall be as provided in the Salary Ordinance of the Borough of Buena.
No owner, agent or purchaser under an installment sales contract shall hereafter rent or lease or suffer or allow any person or persons to live in or inhabit as a tenant any dwelling as defined in the Borough of Buena property maintenance code, including any dwelling unit, rooming unit, dormitory or rooming house (hereinafter collectively referred to as "rental structure") in the Borough of Buena unless said owner or agent or installment contract purchaser shall have annually registered said rental structure with the Borough of Buena and obtained from the Borough's Occupancy Inspector or his designee an occupancy permit in accordance with this chapter. The occupancy permit provisions of this chapter shall apply upon initial rental to any rental structure and upon each rerental, except that no occupancy permit shall be required during the initial occupancy of any such rental structure where a certificate of occupancy has been issued for such rental structure by the Construction Code Official of the Borough of Buena.
Where there is more than one dwelling unit, rooming unit or dormitory room in a rental structure, each such dwelling unit, rooming unit or dormitory room must be separately registered and a separate occupancy permit must be obtained for each such unit or room.
The above registration provisions shall not apply where the person or persons living in or inhabiting a rental structure are members of the immediate family of the owner or purchaser under an installment contract or members of the immediate family of a principal stockholder or corporate owner. For purposes of this chapter, a principal of a corporation shall be a person who, together with his or her spouse, owns 50% or more of the stock of the corporation. Members of an immediate family shall be those persons who, together with the owner, are living and cooking together on the premises as a single housekeeping unit.
Annual registration statements.
Registration of rental structures, together with the required fee, shall be made annually to the Occupancy Inspector of the. Borough of Buena during the period of January 1 through February 28 of each calendar year. Registration shall be on forms prescribed and furnished by the Occupancy Inspector. Each registration shall include:
The name, address and telephone number of the owner.
The name, address and telephone of the lessor, if other than the owner.
The name, address and telephone number of the agent or manager in charge of the premises, if other than the owner of lessor.
The number of rental units available in a building.
The name of the tenant occupying each dwelling unit available for rent in the building.
The registration date and total amount of registration fee.
Annual registration statements shall be signed by the applicant and submitted to the Occupancy Inspector along with the required fee for the units which are being registered pursuant to said application. Registrations shall be transferable for the calendar year in which the application fee has been paid.
The Occupancy Inspector shall deliver the original registration to the Borough Clerk for filing. A copy of the registration certificate shall be provided to the owner or applicant of the rental units, and a copy shall be retained by the Occupancy Inspector.
Upon registration of a rental structure, the Occupancy Inspector shall use his best efforts to inspect the rental structure which is the subject of each application during the course of the year and, upon inspection, shall issue an occupancy permit for each unit or room located within such rental structure, provided that each unit or room meets the requirements of this chapter. When the rental structure has been registered within the time required by this chapter, no additional charge shall be made for the issuance of an occupancy permit after inspection; provided that, in the event that a rental structure or unit fails inspection, and the reason for failure has not been corrected by the owner or applicant at the time of reinspection, the owner or applicant shall pay an additional fee for every subsequent reinspection as provided in § 82-14.
Any person who owns a rental structure in the Borough of Buena as defined in this chapter, or any agent of any owner or any purchaser under installment sales contract, who desires to rent to same or any portion thereof to another person shall first obtain an occupancy permit from the Occupancy Inspector of the Borough of Buena, or his designee, before allowing any person to live in, occupy or inhabit any rental structure or any portion thereof.
The purchaser of any home or rental structure in the Borough of Buena which has been previously occupied by a prior owner or tenant shall notify the Occupancy Inspector of the Borough of Buena of such purchase and shall apply for and obtain an occupancy permit prior to occupying said home or rental structure, or prior to allowing tenant to occupy such home or rental structure. The purchaser of a dwelling in which the purchaser will reside as owner shall not be required to annually register said home as a rental structure and shall therefore pay a one-time fee as provided for herein upon inspection and issuance of an occupancy permit.
The purchaser of a rental structure which has been registered during the calendar year of purchase shall be entitled to a transfer of said registration, and no additional fee shall be charged for the issuance of an occupancy permit during the calendar year in which the rental structure is purchased. However, such purchaser shall be obligated to comply with the registration requirements of this chapter as an owner commencing with the next ensuing calendar year. The purchaser of a rental structure which has not been previously registered by the owner shall be obligated to register same and to pay the registration fee during the year of purchase and shall thereupon be entitled to an occupancy permit upon inspection, provided that such rental structure complies with the requirements of this chapter.
No occupancy permit shall be issued for any dwelling as defined in the Borough of Buena property maintenance code, including any dwelling unit, rooming unit, mobile home, rooming house or dormitory room unless said living unit or rental structure complies with the property maintenance code adopted by the Borough of Buena pursuant to § 181-1.
In the case of multiple-family dwellings or hotels, no occupancy permit shall be issued for any dwelling unit located therein unless the Occupancy Inspector first finds that the dwelling unit is in full compliance with the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law of the State of New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq., as amended, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, together with all applicable ordinances of the Borough of Buena.
If upon inspection the Occupancy Inspector finds that the dwelling unit in question complies with the requirements of this chapter, and of other applicable ordinances in the Borough of Buena, he shall issue the occupancy permit within three working days after the date of inspection.
In the event that violations are found to exist, the Occupancy Inspector shall, within three working days after the date of inspection, notify the owner and require correction thereof prior to issuing a occupancy permit.
An occupancy permit which is issued by the Occupancy Inspector of the Borough of Buena or his designee shall remain in full force and effect for the calendar year in which it is issued and until a new certificate is issued by the Occupancy Inspector, after inspection; except that, where a unit within a rental structure has been vacated by the tenant or occupant residing there at the time of inspection or where the rental structure or home has been sold to a new owner or upon conviction for violation of this chapter, state health regulations or for violation of the Uniform State Construction Code, the owner of the property shall apply for and obtain, upon inspection, a new occupancy permit. No additional fee shall be charged for the issuance of a new occupancy permit, provided that the unit in question was previously registered as required herein and the annual registration fee paid. Where the unit is a home which was occupied by an owner, and therefore not registered as a rental structure, the new owner shall pay an inspection fee for an occupancy permit only, which permit shall be issued provided that the home in question meets the requirements of this chapter. In the event that the unit is a rental structure which was not previously registered as required by this chapter, said unit shall be registered, a fee paid and an occupancy permit shall issue upon inspection, provided that the unit complies with the provision of this chapter.
The owner of every home or rental unit shall maintain said occupancy permit and make the same available to the Occupancy Inspector and to an existing occupant or tenant.
[Amended 12-27-2004 by Ord. No. 517; 12-17-2012 by Ord. No. 598; 4-11-2016 by Ord. No. 636]
Each rental unit shall be registered annually with the Borough Clerk on or before February 28 of each calendar year. Upon registration of each rental unit, the owner/applicant shall pay a registration fee of $75 for each rental unit, which includes one inspection.
Prior to the re-renting to a subsequent tenant of any rental unit, the owner/applicant shall pay a new inspection fee of $75 per unit for the inspection.
In the event that subsequent inspections are necessary because of the failure of a rental unit to comply with the requirements of this chapter, the owner/applicant shall pay a reinspection fee of $50 for each inspection after the first inspection.
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, in the event that the unit is a rental unit which was not tenant-occupied or registered in the previous year as required by this chapter and is thereafter registered subsequent to February 28 of the year in which it is registered as required by this chapter, the initial registration and inspection fee shall be $75, which shall be prorated to December 31 of the year registered.
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, regarding annual fee increases, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 10-10-2017 by Ord. No. 659.
To effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, the Occupancy Inspector shall have the right to exercise such powers as may be necessary to carry out a proper inspection, including but not limited to the following, and including all other powers which may be granted by law:
To investigate dwelling conditions in the Borough of Buena in order to determine which dwellings, dwelling units or other places of residence therein are unfit for human habitation.
To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations at all reasonable hours.
To delegate any of his functions and powers to the Construction Code official of the Borough of Buena, or to a subcode official of the Borough of Buena, as he may designate in order to carry out the registration and/or inspection requirements of this chapter.
In the absence of the Occupancy Inspector, or in circumstances where an inspection by the Occupancy Inspector might constitute a conflict of interest, or where another Borough inspector is required by another ordinance or by state law or regulation to inspect a dwelling or rental structure for compliance with that ordinance, law or regulation, the Construction Code Official of the Borough of Buena, or the Building, Plumbing, Electrical or Fire Subcode official of the Borough of Buena, is hereby designated to register rental structures and to make inspections of dwelling or rental structures in order to enforce this chapter. The Construction Code Official, or any subcode official designated herein to make inspections required by this chapter which are otherwise made by the Occupancy Inspector, shall have all of the same duties and powers as are granted by this chapter to the Occupancy Inspector. In such event, the Construction Official or other subcode official shall be entitled to appropriate compensation from the Borough of Buena for the performance of such registration and/or inspection.
The Occupancy Inspector or his designee shall, upon completion of an inspection, issue an occupancy permit where the home or rental structure complies with the requirements of this chapter. When a home or rental structure does not comply, so that an occupancy permit cannot be issued, the Occupancy Inspector or his designee shall prepare a report and issue same to the owner or applicant of the home or rental structure which has been inspected, setting forth the deficiencies to be corrected prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit. A copy of said inspection report shall be retained by the Occupancy Inspector and a copy thereof issued to the owner or applicant. Upon issuance of an occupancy permit, a copy of said permit shall be retained by the Occupancy Inspector and a copy provided to the Borough Clerk to be filed in such office with the registration certificate of the rental structure which is the subject of said inspection. Where an occupancy permit is issued for a home which is not a rental structure, said occupancy permit shall be issued to the owner or applicant and a copy retained by the Occupancy Inspector.
At the request of any person desiring a copy or copies of any registration statement, occupancy permit or inspection report, the same shall be made available to said person as a public record, and a charge for each such copy shall be made and remitted to the Borough Treasurer in accordance with such ordinance or resolution as has been or will be adopted by the Borough of Buena and as permitted by the laws of the State of New Jersey.
After the effective date of this chapter, the owner of any rental structure who has not registered said rental structure with the Occupancy Inspector of the Borough of Buena as required by Chapter 82 of the Borough Code prior to its amendment by this Ordinance shall comply with the registration requirements of this chapter by June 30, 1995. Any owner or other person obligated to register a rental structure as required by this chapter during the year 1995, who fails to do so by June 30, 1995, shall be in violation of this chapter and shall be obligated to pay a late fee as required by § 82-9D.
Where a dwelling unit is not granted a occupancy permit for reasons set forth in this chapter, the Occupancy Inspector shall not charge an additional fee for a first reinspection where he has set forth the violations, in writing, to the owner or other person requesting such inspection. However, should the dwelling unit not pass inspection on a first reinspection for failure to correct any condition of which the owner or other person was notified in writing, the Occupancy Inspector shall be entitled to charge an additional inspection fee as set forth herein for a second reinspection and for each additional reinspection thereafter until all conditions originally set forth by the Occupancy Inspector are corrected and a occupancy permit is issued.
The Assessment Clerk of the Borough of Buena shall set forth on any assessment search which he provides to a prospective buyer of real estate a notice that the buyer of any dwelling unit in the Borough of Buena is required to obtain a occupancy permit before occupying said premises. The failure, however, of the Assessment Clerk to provide a prospective buyer with such notice shall not excuse any person purchasing real estate from first obtaining a occupancy permit before occupying said premises.
Any farm building or other building in the Borough of Buena which is subject to inspection pursuant to federal or state law and which is actually inspected by a federal or state inspector shall be exempt from the requirement for a occupancy permit under this chapter and from the fees connected with the issuance of said certificate.