[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Collingdale as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Inspection of Rental Properties
[Adopted 11-12-2007 by Ord. No. 657]
This article is enacted to establish a procedure of inspection and certification for all rental units and the occupancy, sales or transfers of property, and to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the residents of the Borough of Collingdale.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a difference in meaning clearly appears from the context:
- The portion of any dwelling unit located partly underground but having less than 1/2 its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
- BUSINESS UNIT
- A parcel of real estate, with or without improvements located thereon, utilized by any person or persons for any commercial activity purpose.
- DWELLING UNIT
- One or more rooms used for living and/or sleeping purposes arranged for occupancy by one family or by one or more persons, but in no case will any basement area be used for sleeping purposes.
- One or more persons living in a single dwelling unit and functioning as a common household sharing household expenses and joint use of the entire dwelling unit. If a dwelling unit is rented, in order to qualify as a "family," there shall not be more than one lease among the occupants. A "family" shall not include more than four persons who are not related to each other.
- A lessor or owner or person who acts as an agent for the lessor or owner of any parcel of real estate located in the Borough of Collingdale; a lessor or seller or person who acts as agent for the lessor or owner of any improvements on real estate or any building located within the Borough of Collingdale.
- MULTIPLE DWELLING
- Any building, including an apartment or condominium building, containing four or more dwelling units.
- Any individual, partnership, association, firm or corporation.
- A person who has the use, either by himself or with others, of a dwelling unit or business unit owned by a person other than himself for a period exceeding 30 days.
Within 30 days from the effective date of this article, each landlord owning, managing or operating a dwelling unit and/or business unit shall not rent, lease, let out or permit the same to be occupied without first applying for and securing the following:
Annual rental dwelling license for each occupied and/or vacant business or dwelling unit(s), issued pursuant to the provisions of this article and other applicable ordinances, rules and regulations enacted by the Borough Council.
The annual rental dwelling license must be conspicuously displayed inside each rental/business unit within three feet of the principal means of ingress and egress to the property. In addition to the issuance of the rental dwelling license, each owner or landlord shall be issued a decal, which shall be permanently affixed to the door through which access is gained to the property or in a window of the rental or business dwelling in such a way that the decal is visible from the exterior of the property in which the rental or dwelling business is located. The failure to affix the decal as required by this article shall constitute a violation hereof.
Upon application for an annual rental dwelling license, each landlord shall provide the Administrative Officer, in writing, the following information:
List of all units owned by the landlord located within the Borough, whether they are occupied or not, whether business or dwelling unit(s).
Address of each dwelling unit and/or business unit.
Brief description of each business unit and/or dwelling unit; list sleeping, cooking and bathroom areas, and on what floor located.
Indicate whether dwelling and/or business unit is occupied, vacant or utilized by tenants.
Name(s) of all tenant(s) utilizing the aforementioned unit(s).
Number of occupants occupying or utilizing each unit(s).
After the effective date of this article, any person who becomes a landlord within the limits of the Borough of Collingdale by agreement of sale, deed or by any other means shall, within 30 days thereafter, obtain an annual rental dwelling license, providing the Administrative Officer the information and data set forth as required by § 422-3 of this article.
After the effective date of this article, each and every landlord of property located within the Borough of Collingdale shall obtain a use and occupancy permit whenever there is a change of ownership, structural modification or structural addition to any residential structure or business unit or change in the use and/or occupancy of any dwelling and/or business unit owned by said landlord. A landlord shall provide the Administrative Officer with written notice of the new use and/or the name of the new tenant of each unit, the date when each change is effective, and the forwarding address of the previous tenant(s). All vacancies shall also be reported.
The Administrative Officer and/or other inspector(s) designated by Borough Council under the authority of this article shall be authorized to inspect on an annual basis each dwelling or business unit upon a sale, change in ownership, vacancy, rental, use and/or occupancy, prior to the occupancy of the next owner or tenant, to confirm the following:
That all units have the appropriate fire/heat/smoke detectors and fire-suppression systems installed and all are in proper working order, and that all multiple-dwelling units and business units have properly marked fire exit routes, fire exit signs and emergency lighting;
That all windows operate properly, have no broken, cracked or missing glass and have appropriate screening installed and in satisfactory condition;
That all stairways, both interior and exterior, are unobstructed and clear of all trash and debris; all stairways with three or more stairs must have appropriate handrails installed;
That all doors, including garage doors, are in proper working order;
That all elevators, if any, are in operating condition and display the latest certificate of inspection and capacity;
That all porches, balconies or decks are in safe condition and in good repair and have appropriate railings installed;
That the unit meets the applicable parking requirements of the current Zoning Ordinance, except if such unit was functioning in its current use prior to the requirements of Chapter 610, Zoning;
That all parking lots, driveways and parking spaces are in good condition and free of all debris;
That no cars, trucks, motorcycles, motorbikes or other motor vehicles be left on the property with expired tags, inspection and/or emission stickers, and that no fuel-driven motors are stored inside the dwelling unit(s);
That curbs, sidewalks, steps, stairways and walkways are in good condition and repair;
That gutter and downspouts are in good condition and repair and are not connected to the sanitary sewer, nor are there any sump pumps connected to the sanitary sewer;
That all heating and/or air-conditioning devices or units, hot water heating devices, plumbing fixtures are working satisfactory;
That all fencing is in good repair;
That all lawn areas are trimmed so that the height does not exceed six inches, and that all trees, hedges, and bushes are properly trimmed;
That the property is clear of all debris;
That all electrical outlets and switches are in satisfactory working order and that GFI outlets are installed where necessary and working properly;
That all exterior walls are in good repair;
That the painting of exterior surfaces is in satisfactory condition;
That all exterior units contain exterior address numbers in front and rear of units at least four inches in height and all interior units be properly designated; and
That all units exceeding two stories above grade shall provide a minimum of two independent exits, with one exit being accessible from the third or higher story.
Inspections for the requirements of this article shall be completed as follows:
Upon satisfying the aforementioned conditions, each landlord will be provided a certificate of occupancy from the Borough of Collingdale for each unit. No dwelling unit(s) or business unit(s) may be occupied without a valid certificate of occupancy.
If the Administrative Officer finds that any unit fails to satisfy the above conditions, the landlord shall be directed to repair the unsatisfactory condition(s) within 30 days. At the expiration of this thirty-day period, said unit shall be reinspected.
The landlord shall pay to the Borough of Collingdale the cost for each permit and inspection, as follows:
A rental dwelling license fee of $75 per unit;
A reinspection fee charge of $40 per unit per reinspection.
A use and occupancy permit fee of $100 per unit.
A reinspection fee charge of $40 per unit per reinspection.
Upon written request, the Collingdale Borough Council by a majority vote may consider a waiver or reduction in the aforementioned fees upon evidence of hardship or other cause, as may be deemed appropriate by the Borough Council.
All rental dwelling licenses and use and occupancy permits for rentals, leased or subleased, single- or multiple-family dwellings and business units shall be valid for a period of one year unless revoked for noncompliance of any Borough ordinance or nonpayment of Borough sanitary sewer or trash collection fees. Such license or permit shall be renewable for successive periods of one year from the original date of issuance upon reinspection and compliance with the provisions of this article. Licenses and permits shall not be transferable.
The Borough Council for the Borough of Collingdale shall appoint the Borough Manager, Borough Administrative Officer, Property Maintenance Official or any other such individual or organizations qualified to enforce the provisions of this article.
The appropriate Borough officials are hereby authorized and directed to process all applications for use and occupancy permits and rental dwelling licenses and, prior to the issuance of same, determine by inspection that all of the requirements of this article and/or any other applicable ordinance, rules and regulations enacted by the Borough Council have been met.
Upon display of proper identification, the Code Enforcement Officer or the authorized agent of the Borough, or other representative of the Borough, is authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition, occupancy and/or use of any business or dwelling unit rented or available for let within Collingdale Borough in order to safeguard the health and safety of the occupants thereof and the general public.
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to enter the same for the purposes of examining and surveying all areas of any such business and/or dwelling units at reasonable times, which shall be determined to be between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. prevailing time. Each owner or occupant of any such dwelling or business unit shall extend to the Code Enforcement Officer or other authorized individual access to such dwelling or business unit for the purposes of making any inspection, examination or survey thereof.
In the event that permission to enter any such dwelling or business unit for the purpose of inspection, examination or survey is denied, the Code Enforcement Officer or other authorized Borough representative may apply, upon a showing of probable cause to the appropriate Magisterial District Judge, for an administrative search warrant.
It shall be unlawful for any owner, manager, agent or other person in control of any dwelling or business unit(s) to which this article applies, other than an owner-occupied single-family building, to allow occupancy of any dwelling or business unit(s) on the premises by another or to represent to the general public that such premises or any part thereof is for rent, lease or occupancy unless such owner, operator, agent or other person in control of said property has been issued a valid rental dwelling license and use and occupancy permit for such dwelling or business unit(s), and such license or permit has not been suspended or revoked.
When the Code Enforcement Officer determines that there exists a violation of any provision of this article, he shall serve written notice of such violation to the person or persons responsible as herein provided. Such notice shall state the nature and scope of the violation and allow for 20 days for the performance of any repairs to bring the property in compliance with this article. In the event that the violations are not cured within 20 days, the Code Enforcement Officer shall have the right to pursue all legal remedies provided under the penalties and violations sections of this article.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer finds that there exists any violation of this article which creates an emergency requiring immediate correction to protect the health, safety and welfare of any occupant of a dwelling or business unit, he may issue an order citing the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he deems necessary and appropriate to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this article, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately but, upon petition to the Borough Council, shall be afforded a hearing on such order as soon as practical.
The owner, operator, manager, agent or other person in control of the property within the Borough of Collingdale who violates any provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $1,000 plus costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, shall be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 30 days. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues without abatement.
In addition to all other remedies and penalties provided by this article and other Borough of Collingdale ordinances, the Borough Solicitor may bring suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to seek an injunction or other appropriate relief to halt any violation of this article. Such action may include seeking a temporary restraining order or temporary injunction and other appropriate temporary relief. Nothing in this article shall be deemed to restrict a suit for damages on behalf of the Borough or on behalf of any other person or entity.