Borough of Penns Grove, NJ
Salem County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Penns Grove as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Certificates of occupancy — See Ch. 213.
Noise — See Ch. 315.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 347.
[Adopted 11-3-1999 by Ord. No. 99-21 (Ch. 179A, Art. I, of the 1986 Code)]
Unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, the following words or phrases when used in this article shall have the following meaning:
AGENT
The individual or individuals designated by the owner as the person(s) authorized by the owner to perform any duty imposed upon the owner by this article. The term does not necessarily mean a licensed real estate broker or salesman of the State of New Jersey as those terms are defined by N.J.S.A. 45:15-3; however, such term may include a licensed real estate broker or salesman of the State of New Jersey if such person designated by the owner as his agent is so licensed.
APARTMENT COMPLEX
Two or more buildings, each containing two or more apartments, which are located within close proximity to each other and are owned by the same owner.
APARTMENT or DWELLING
Any apartment, cottage, bungalow, any room or rooms in a rooming/boarding house or other dwelling unit consisting of one or more rooms occupying all or part of a floor or floors in a building, whether designed with or without housekeeping facilities for dwelling purposes and notwithstanding whereto the apartment be designed for residence, for office, or the operation of any industry or business, or for any other type of independent use.
LICENSE
The license issued by the Borough Clerk or designee attesting that the rental unit has been properly registered in accordance with this article.
LICENSEE
The person to whom the license is issued pursuant to this article. The term "licensee" includes within its definition the term "agent" where applicable.
OWNER
Any person or group of persons, firm, corporation, or officer thereof, partnership, association, or trust which owns, operates, exercises control over or is in charge of a rental facility.
PERSON
An individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, trust or other legal entity, or any combination thereof.
RENTAL FACILITY
Every building, group of buildings of a portion thereof which is kept, used, maintained, advertised or held out to be a place where living accommodations are supplied, whether furnished or unfurnished, for pay or other consideration, to one or more individuals and is meant to include apartments and apartment complexes.
RENTAL UNIT
A dwelling unit which is available for lease or rental purposes and is meant to include apartments and apartment complexes.
All rental units shall hereafter be registered with the Borough Clerk or designee of the Borough of Penns Grove or such other person designated by the Borough Council on forms which shall be provided for that purpose and which shall be obtained from the Borough Clerk or designee. Such registration shall occur on an annual basis as provided herein. Upon registration, a license will issue allowing the landlord to rent that property if all conditions are met.
Each rental unit shall be registered on an annual basis. If there is a change of occupancy within that year, the registration form must be updated. It is a violation of present Borough law to change tenants at any time without obtaining a new certificate of occupancy pursuant to Chapter 213, Certificates of Occupancy, of the Code of the Borough of Penns Grove. The initial registration shall occur within 45 days following the adoption of this article and will be in effect for one year. Any lease which has been executed prior to the adoption of this article must nevertheless be registered, inspected and licensed in accordance with this article, although the tenant need not vacate pending this procedure. No rental unit shall hereafter be rented unless the rental unit is registered and licensed in accordance with this article.
Without in any way intending to infringe upon the requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28, all rental units shall be registered and licensed as provided herein. Every owner shall file with the Borough Clerk or designee of the Borough of Penns Grove or such other person as designated by the Borough Council a registration from for each unit contained within a building or structure, which shall include the following information:
A. 
The name and address of the record owner or owners of the premises and the record owner or owners of the rental business if not the same persons. In the case of a partnership, the names and addresses of all general partners shall be provided, together with the telephone numbers for each of such individuals indicating where such individual may be reached both during the day and evening hours. If the record owner is a corporation, the names and addresses of the registered agent and corporate officers of said corporation shall be provided, together with the telephone numbers for each of such individuals indicating where such individual may be reached both during the day and evening hours.
B. 
If the address of any record owner is not located in Penns Grove or in Salem County, the name and address of a person who resides in Salem County and who is authorized to accept notices from a tenant and to issue receipts therefor and to accept service of process on behalf of the record owner.
C. 
The name and address of the agent of the premises, if any.
D. 
The name and address, including the dwelling unit number, of the superintendent, janitor, custodian or other individual employed by the owner or agent to provide regular maintenance service, if any.
E. 
The name, address and telephone number of an individual representative of the owner or agent who may be reached or contacted at any time in the event of an emergency affecting the premises or any unit of dwelling space therein, including such emergencies as the failure of any essential service or system, and who has the authority to make emergency decisions concerning the building and any repair thereto or expenditure in connection therewith.
[Amended 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-5]
F. 
The name and address of every holder of a recorded mortgage on the premises.
G. 
If oil is used to heat the building and the landlord furnishes the heat in the building, the name and address of the fuel oil dealer servicing the building and the grade of fuel oil used.
H. 
As to each rental unit, a specification of the exact number of sleeping rooms contained in the rental unit. In order to satisfy the requirement of this provision, an owner shall submit a floor plan which shall become part of the application and which shall be attached to the registration form when filed by the Borough Clerk or designee.
I. 
Such other information as may be prescribed by the Borough.
The Borough Clerk or designee shall index and file the registration forms. In doing so, the Borough Clerk or designee shall follow the mandates of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28.1 as amended and supplemented so that the filing of the registration form will simultaneously satisfy the registration requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28 to the extent that it applies to the property being registered and will also satisfy the registration requirements of this article.
Every person required to file a registration form pursuant to this article shall file an amended registration form within 20 days after any change in the information required to be included thereon. No fee shall be required for the filing of an amendment except where the ownership of the premises is changed.
A. 
Each rental unit shall be inspected at least once every twelve-month period.
B. 
Such inspections shall be performed by such person, persons or agency duly authorized and appointed by the Borough of Penns Grove, and inspections made by persons or an agency other than the duly authorized and appointed person, persons or agency of the Borough of Penns Grove shall not be used as a valid substitute.
C. 
Such inspection shall be for the purpose of determining compliance with Chapter 450, Zoning, and, to the extent applicable, to determine if the property complies with the Uniform Construction Code and International Property Maintenance Code 2015.
[Amended 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-5]
D. 
Unsatisfactory inspection. In the event that the inspection(s) of a rental unit does not result in a satisfactory inspection, such property shall not thereafter be registered, nor shall a license issue, and the owner of the property, or his agent, shall not lease or rent such property, nor shall any tenant occupy the property until the necessary corrections have been made so as to bring the property and rental unit into compliance with the applicable code and the property is thereafter subsequently inspected, registered and licensed. In the event that the property is occupied when such conditions are discovered, all such corrections shall be made within 60 days, and if not made within that time period, the owner shall be deemed in violation of this article, and every day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct violation, subject to the penalty provisions of § 359-18 of this article. The owner is responsible for relocating the tenant if the property is uninhabitable pending repairs.
A. 
The inspection officers are hereby authorized to make inspections to determine the condition of rental facilities, rental units and rooming/boarding houses in order that they may promote the purposes of this article to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants of rental facilities, rental units and rooming/boarding houses and of the general public. For the purposes of making such inspections, the inspecting officers are hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey rental facilities, rental units and rooming/boarding houses at all reasonable times. The owner or occupant of every rental facility, rental unit and rooming/boarding house shall give the inspecting officer free access to the rental facility, rental unit and rooming/boarding house at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspections, examinations and surveys.
B. 
Every occupant shall give the owner of the rental facility, rental unit and rooming/boarding house access to any part of such rental facility, rental unit and rooming/boarding house at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this article or any lawful order issued pursuant thereto.
C. 
Complaints. Within 10 days of receipt of a complaint alleging a reported violation of this article, an inspecting officer shall conduct an inspection as hereinbefore provided.
[Amended 4-4-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-15]
The Borough reserves the right to set meetings with all licensed landlords in the Borough with mandatory attendance. If the landlord cannot attend, an authorized representative must appear on the landlord's behalf. If the rental property is owned by a corporation, an officer of the corporation must be present. All meetings will be held in the Borough, and at least 30 days' notice of such a meeting will be provided.
Upon the filing of a completed registration form, and payment of the prescribed fee, and a satisfactory inspection, the owner shall be entitled to the issuance of a license commencing on the date of issuance and expiring on the same date of the next calendar year. A registration form shall be required for each rental unit, and license shall issue to the owner for each rental unit, even if more than one rental unit is contained in the property.
At the time of the filing of the registration form and prior to the issuance of a license, the owner or agent of the owner must pay a fee in accordance with the following:
A. 
An annual registration fee of $15 per year, per unit.
B. 
A reinspection fee of $15 for each subsequent year, per unit.
C. 
If the owner of the property is a senior citizen who resides in a unit of the property and rents out the remaining unit and would otherwise qualify under the State of New Jersey property tax deduction under N.J.S.A. 54:4-8.41, there shall be no fee.
D. 
In the case of a properly licensed rooming/boarding house, the fee of $15 will apply to the entire structure and not to each room individually.
E. 
If any fee is not paid within 30 days of its due date, a late fee surcharge of $50 per unit will be assessed. The due date shall be calculated as follows: years registered plus 30 calendar days from date of initial registration.
[Amended 4-4-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-15]
Every owner shall provide each occupant or tenant occupying a rental unit with a copy of the registration form required by this article. This particular provision shall not apply to any hotel, motel, or guesthouse registered with the State of New Jersey pursuant to the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Act as defined in N.J.S.A. 55:13A-3. This provision may be complied with by posting a copy of the registration certificate in a conspicuous place within the rental unit(s).
[Amended 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-5]
The maximum number of occupants shall be posted in each rental unit. It shall be unlawful for any person, including the owner, agent, tenant or registered tenant, to allow a greater number of persons than the posted maximum number of occupants to sleep in or occupy overnight the rental unit for a period exceeding 29 days. Any person violating this provision shall be subject to the penalty provisions of § 359-18 of this article.
No rental unit may be registered and no license shall issue for any property containing a rental unit unless all municipal taxes, water and sewer charges and any other municipal assessments are paid on a current basis.
[Amended 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-5]
All dwelling units shall be maintained in accordance with the Uniform Construction Code and the International Property Maintenance Code 2015.
A. 
Occupants. Only those occupants whose names are on file with the Borough Clerk as provided in the article may reside in the licensed premises. It shall be unlawful for any other person to reside in said premises, and this provision may be enforced against the landlord, tenant, or other person residing in said premises.
B. 
Nuisance prohibited. No rental facility shall be conducted in a manner which shall result in any unreasonable disturbance or disruption to the surrounding properties and property owners or of the public in general such that it shall constitute a nuisance as defined in the ordinances of the Borough of Penns Grove.
C. 
Compliance with other laws. The maintenance of all rental facilities and the conduct engaged in upon the premises by occupants and their guests shall at all times be in full compliance with all applicable ordinances and regulations of the Borough of Penns Grove and with all applicable state and federal laws.
D. 
Penalties. Any landlord, tenant or other person violating the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalty provisions of § 359-18 of this article.
A. 
Grounds. In addition to any other penalty prescribed herein, an owner may be subject to the revocation or suspension of the license issued hereunder upon the happening of one or more of the following:
[Amended 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-5]
(1) 
Conviction of a violation of this article in the Municipal Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) 
Determination of a violation of this article at a hearing held pursuant to Subsection B herein.
(3) 
Continuously renting the unit or units to a tenant or tenants who are convicted of a violation of Chapter 315, Noise, of the Code of the Borough of Penns Grove.
(4) 
Continuously permitting the rental unit to be occupied by more than the maximum number of occupants as defined in this article.
(5) 
Maintaining the rental unit or units or the property of which the rental unit is a part in a dangerous condition likely to result in injury to person or property.
B. 
Procedure; written complaint; notice; hearing.
(1) 
A complaint seeking the revocation or suspension of a license may be filed by any one or more of the following: Chief of Police, Construction Code Official, Housing Inspector, Zoning Officer, the membership of the Penns Grove Police Department, or any other person or office authorized to file such complaint. Such complaint shall be in writing and filed with the Borough Clerk or designee. The complaint shall be specific and shall be sufficient to apprise the licensee of the charges so as to permit the licensee to present a defense. The individual(s) filing the complaint may do so on the basis of information and belief and need not rely on personal information.
[Amended 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-5]
(2) 
Upon the filing of such written complaint, the Borough Clerk or designee shall immediately inform the Borough Council and a date for a hearing shall be scheduled which shall not be sooner than 10 nor more than 30 days thereafter. The Borough Clerk or designee shall forward a copy of the complaint and a notice as to the date of the hearing to the licensee and the agent, if any, at the address indicated on the registration form. Service upon the agent shall be sufficient.
(3) 
The hearing required by this section shall be held before the Borough Council unless, in its discretion, the Borough Council determines that the matter should be heard by a hearing officer; such officer shall transmit his findings of fact and conclusions of law to the Borough Council within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. Borough Council shall then review the matter and may accept, reject, or modify the recommendations of the hearing officer based on the record before such hearing officer. In the event that the matter is not referred to a hearing officer and is heard by the Borough Council, then the Borough Council shall render a decision within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. Following the hearing, a decision shall be rendered dismissing the complaint, revoking or suspending the license, or determining that the license shall not be renewed or reissued for one or more subsequent license years.
(4) 
A stenographic transcript shall be made of the hearing. All witnesses shall be sworn prior to testifying. The strict rules of evidence shall not apply and the evidential rules and burden of proof shall be that which generally controls administrative hearings.
(5) 
The Borough Solicitor or his designee shall appear and prosecute on behalf of the complainant in all hearings conducted pursuant to this section.
C. 
If the license is revoked or suspended, the landlord must remove the tenants from the property within 30 days. It is the responsibility of the landlord to relocate the tenant as a result of a violation of this article. If the Borough decides to relocate the tenant for emergent reasons, the landlord will have to reimburse the Borough for the expense.
D. 
Defenses. It shall be a defense to any proceeding for the revocation, suspension or other disciplinary action involving a rental license by demonstrating that the owner has taken appropriate action and has made a good faith effort to abate the conditions or circumstances giving rise to the revocation proceeding, including but not limited to the institution of legal action against the tenant(s), occupant(s), or guests for recovery of the premises, eviction of the tenant(s) or otherwise.
[Amended 7-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-5]
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the Borough of Penns Grove or such other court having jurisdiction, be subject to a penalty as provided in § 1-2 of this Code.