Borough of Palmyra, PA
Lebanon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Palmyra as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Construction codes — See Ch. 145.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 270.
[Adopted 1-24-2012 by Ord. No. 741]

§ 277-1 Title.

This article shall be known as may be cited as the "Palmyra Borough Residential Rental Unit Registration Ordinance."

§ 277-2 Purpose and scope.

The purpose of this article and the policy of the Borough shall be to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens, to establish rights and obligations of owners relating to residential rental units in the Borough. As a means to these ends, this article provides for registration of residential rental units.

§ 277-3 Definitions and word usage.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purpose of this article, have the meanings indicated as follows:
BOROUGH
The Borough of Palmyra, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.
COUNCIL
The governing body of the Borough.
COUNTY
The County of Lebanon.
HOTEL UNIT
Any room or group of rooms located within a hotel, motel, or bed-and-breakfast forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping only on a transient basis for a period of less than 30 days.
OCCUPANT
Any person over 16 years of age living and sleeping in a residential rental unit or having actual possession of said residential rental unit for a period of 30 days during the calendar year.
OWNER
The person who holds record title and/or the equitable owner under an agreement of sale of a property upon which a residential rental unit is erected or maintained. If more than one person owns the residential rental unit as joint tenants, tenants in common, tenants by the entireties, or tenants in copartnership, each such person shall be considered an owner and shall have all of the duties of an owner under this article.
PERSON
A natural individual, unincorporated association, partnership, corporation, estate, trust or any other legally recognized entity, and the members of such partnership and the officers of such corporation.
PERSONAL CARE HOME
A premises in which food, shelter, and personal assistance or supervision are continually provided for four or more adults who are not relatives of the operator, who do not require the services in or of a licensed long-term facility, but who do require assistance or supervision in matters such as dressing, bathing, diet, financial management, evacuation of a residence in the event of an emergency, or medication prescribed for self-administration and which meets regulations of any applicable government licensing agency.
PREMISES
Any parcel of real estate within the Borough, including the land and all buildings and appurtenant structures, on which one or more residential rental units are located.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL REGISTRATION
A document issued by the Borough to the owner of a residential rental unit who has registered a residential rental unit with the Borough.
A. 
Means:
(1) 
A rooming unit;
(2) 
A dwelling unit let for rent; or
(3) 
A residential unit occupied by any persons other than one occupied solely by the owner and members of the owner's family.
B. 
Each individual townhouse dwelling, each individual apartment unit, each individual unit in a multifamily building, and each rooming unit shall be considered a separate residential rental unit. If a structure contains a rooming unit or if any portion of the structure is let for rent, it shall be considered a residential rental unit whether or not the owner or a relative of the owner also resides in the structure. A residential rental unit shall not include a hotel unit or a personal care home. A residential rental unit includes dwelling units under lease-purchase agreements, or long-term (greater than six months) agreements of sale.
ROOMING UNIT
A portion of a dwelling unit including any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking purposes. Granting of permission to use shared or common cooking facilities may be associated with the leasing of a rooming unit.

§ 277-4 Exemptions from registration requirements.

All property owned by the county or any housing authority created by the county which is inspected annually by those agencies to assess conformance with federal standards, or properties that are inspected annually for compliance with the requirements of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, regardless of the occupants, shall be exempt from the registration provisions of this article.

§ 277-5 Residential rental unit registration.

A. 
The owner of each residential rental unit shall register each residential rental unit by January 1 of each calendar year or within 60 days after a change in the occupancy of the residential rental unit. A residential rental unit registration shall be valid until December 31 of the year in which it is issued. The Borough, as a courtesy, may forward a notice that a residential rental registration will expire and must be renewed, but the failure of the Borough to send such notice or the failure of the owner to receive such notice shall not excuse the owner of a residential rental unit from making an application to and/or renewing a residential rental unit registration.
B. 
Prior to initial occupancy of newly constructed residential rental units, newly created residential rental units, or substantially rehabilitated residential rental units, the owner shall register each such residential rental unit with the Borough.
C. 
The Borough shall issue a residential rental unit registration if the owner pays the registration fee (if any is imposed by resolution of Council) and submits a complete and accurate occupant listing for the residential rental unit.
D. 
The Borough shall forward written notice to the owner if the Borough will deny, refuse to renew or revoke a residential rental unit registration. The notification shall:
(1) 
Identify the residential rental unit;
(2) 
Identify the grounds for the denial, nonrenewal or revocation, including the factual circumstances and the section of this article supporting such determination; and
(3) 
Inform the owner of the right to appeal the denial, nonrenewal or revocation of the residential rental unit registration to Council under this article.
E. 
The Borough may reinstate a residential rental unit registration if the owner corrects the reason for the revocation of the residential rental unit registration and has paid the residential rental unit registration reinstatement fee (if such a fee has been established by resolution of Council).

§ 277-6 Sale or transfer of residential rental units.

A residential rental unit registration shall not be transferred and shall immediately expire upon the change in ownership of the residential rental unit. In the case of registered residential rental units that are sold or transferred, the new owner shall seek a residential rental unit registration for each residential rental unit. Failure to seek a residential rental unit registration for each residential rental unit within 60 days of the date of sale or transfer of ownership shall be a violation of this article.

§ 277-7 Appeals.

An appeal from any decision of the Borough staff shall be taken to Council. Such appeal shall be made in writing within 10 working days after such decision has been made. The appeal shall be verified by an affidavit, shall state the grounds therefor and shall be filed with the Borough Secretary. The appeal shall be accompanied by any appeal fee which shall be established by ordinance or resolution of Council. The appellant or his representative shall have the right to appear and be heard, if such right is requested in the written appeal. Council shall make a prompt decision on such appeal. Council shall render a written decision, a copy of which shall be provided to the appellant.

§ 277-8 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Violations. It shall be a violation of this article to commit or to permit any other person to commit any of the following acts:
(1) 
To lease, let, or allow the occupancy of a residential rental unit without registering such residential rental unit where required by this article.
(2) 
To place false information on or to omit relevant information from an application for a residential rental unit registration.
(3) 
To fail to comply with any other provision of this article.
B. 
Penalties and remedies.
(1) 
Whoever violates any provision of this article shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and in default of payment thereof, shall be imprisoned for not more than 90 days.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
In addition to prosecution of persons violating this article, the Code Enforcement Officer, or any duly authorized agent of the Borough may take such civil or equitable remedies in any court of record of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, against any person or property, real or person, to effect the provisions of this article.
(3) 
The remedies and procedures in this article are not intended to supplant or replace, to any degree, the remedies provided to the Borough in Property Maintenance Code,[2] Chapter 380, Zoning, or any other Borough ordinance.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 270, Property Maintenance.