[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Manor Township as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-7-2015 by Ord. No. 3-2015]
This article shall be known as the "Manor Township Disruptive Conduct Ordinance."
The purpose of this article and the policy of Manor Township shall be to give the Manor Township Police Department another tool to handle complaints between neighbors when there is disruptive conduct involved. As a means to these ends, this article provides for a system to regulate disruptive behavior in residential rental units, and penalties.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- A person designated by the Township to enforce ordinances, including the appeals of disruptive conduct reports.
- DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT
- Any act by an occupant of a residential rental unit or by a person present at a residential rental unit involving public drunkenness, consumption of an alcoholic beverage in public, public urination or defecation, the unlawful deposit of trash or litter on public or private property, damage to or destruction of public or private property, the obstruction of public roads, streets, highways or sidewalks, interference with emergency or police services, unreasonable noise as defined Chapter 299, Noise, or the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, Section 5503, Disorderly Conduct Section (a)(2). Use of profane or obscene language or gestures, indecent exposure, fighting or quarreling, or any other act defined as "disorderly conduct" in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code or any act prohibited in Chapter 117, Alcoholic Beverages. Chapter 178, Curfew, and Chapter 299, Noise, of the Township Code or which otherwise injures or endangers the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the Township residing in the neighborhood or vicinity of the gathering. It is not necessary that such conduct, action, incident or behavior constitute a criminal offense nor that criminal charges be filed against any person in order for said person to have perpetrated, caused or permitted the commission of disruptive conduct, as defined herein; provided, however, that no disruptive conduct shall be deemed to have occurred unless a police officer shall investigate and make a determination that such did occur, and keep written records, including a disruptive conduct report, of such occurrences. The occupant and the owner and, if applicable, the manager shall be notified of any such occurrences in writing.
- DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT REPORT
- A written report of disruptive conduct to be completed by a police officer who actually investigates an alleged incident of disruptive conduct.
- A person retained by an owner to be responsible for one or more residential rental units within the Township.
- Any person over one year of age living and sleeping in a residential rental unit or having actual possession of said residential rental unit.
- 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 and 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.
- 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 the regulations of any applicable government licensing agency.
- Any parcel of real estate within the Township, including the land and all buildings and appurtenant structures, on which one or more residential rental units are located.
- RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNIT
- A rooming unit or a dwelling unit for rent or a residential unit occupied by any persons other than one occupied solely by the owner and members of the owner's family. 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 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. 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.
- The Township of Manor, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Editor's Note: See 18 Pa.C.S. § 5503(a)(2).
It shall be the duty of every owner to:
Keep and maintain all residential rental units in compliance with all applicable codes and provisions of all applicable state laws and regulations.
Be aware of and act to eliminate disruptive conduct in all residential rental units.
Employ policies to manage the residential rental units under his/her control in compliance with the provisions of this article, Township codes and applicable state laws.
Provide each tenant with a disclosure statement containing the requirements of this article, including the provisions relating to disruptive conduct. Provision of a copy of this article to each tenant will satisfy this requirement.
Each occupant of a residential rental unit shall have the following duties:
Comply with all obligations of this article and all applicable codes and Township ordinances as well as all state laws and regulations.
Conduct himself/herself and require other persons, including but not limited to guests on the premises and within their residential rental unit with their consent, to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the premises by others and that will not disturb the peaceful enjoyment of adjacent or nearby dwellings by people occupying the same.
Not engage in, nor tolerate, nor permit others on the premises to cause damage to the residential rental unit or engage in disruptive conduct or other violations of this article, codes, Township ordinances, or applicable state laws.
Not allow persons other than those identified on the lease to reside in the residential rental unit.
Not permit the possession of, serving to or consumption of alcohol by underage persons.
Police officers shall investigate alleged incidents of disruptive conduct. The police officer conducting the investigation shall complete a disruptive conduct report upon a finding that the reported incident constitutes disruptive conduct. The information filed in the disruptive conduct report shall include, if possible, the identity of the alleged perpetrator(s) of the disruptive conduct and identity of all tenants listed on the lease for the residential rental unit, whether each such tenant is present at the time of the disruptive conduct or is not present at that time. The information shall also set forth the factual basis of the disruptive conduct described in the disruptive conduct report. A copy of the disruptive conduct report shall be given or mailed to the occupant, the owner, and, if applicable, the manager within 10 working days of the occurrence of the alleged disruptive conduct event.
The occupant or the owner and, if applicable, the manager shall have 10 working days from the date of the filing of a disruptive conduct report to appeal the disruptive conduct report. The appeal shall be made in writing, verified by an affidavit, and shall state the grounds therefor and be submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer. The appeal shall be accompanied by the appeal fee, which shall be established by resolution of the Manor Township Supervisors. The appellant or his representative shall have the right to appear and be heard, if such right is requested in the written appeal. The Code Enforcement Officer shall make a prompt decision of such appeal. The Code Enforcement Officer shall render a written decision, within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, copies of which shall be provided to the Police Department and the appellant.
If the disruptive conduct report is not appealed or upheld after an appeal, the names of the people cited for the disruptive conduct will be placed on a list, stating the date of the offense, nature of the offense and location of the offense. This list shall be maintained by the Manor Township Police Department and the Code Enforcement Officer. The information on this list shall be made available to the general public when requested.
After three disruptive conduct incidents in any twelve-month period by an occupant documented by disruptive conduct reports, the owner and, if applicable, the manager shall have 10 working days from the date of the third disruptive conduct report to begin eviction proceeds against the occupants. Failure to take such action will result in the filing of a lien against the property by the Township and the notification of the Better Business Bureau regarding the owner's noncompliance. These actions shall not be reversed unless the Magisterial District Judge has ruled in the occupant's favor, the Magisterial District Judge has ruled in the owner's favor but has not ordered the eviction of the occupant(s), or the occupants have filed an appeal to a higher court or declared bankruptcy, thereby preventing their eviction. The disruptive occupants, upon eviction, shall not reoccupy any residential rental unit on the same premises involved or another owned by the same owner for a period of at least one year from the date of eviction. This subsection is not intended to limit or inhibit the owner's and, if applicable, the manager's right to initiate eviction actions prior to the issuance of the third disruptive conduct report in a twelve-month period. When an eviction occurs, the tenant's name will also be added to the list in Subsection E of this section.
The disruptive conduct report shall count against all occupants of the residential rental unit. More than one disruptive conduct report filed against the occupants of a residential rental unit in a twenty-four-hour period shall count as a single disruptive conduct report for the purpose of Subsection D of this section. The Code Enforcement Officer shall maintain a list of the names of all occupants evicted as a result of Subsection D of this section. The names shall remain on the list for a period of three years.
An appeal from any decision of the Code Enforcement Officer shall be taken to a board approved by the Manor Township Supervisors. This board shall consist of a Manor Township Supervisor, Township Manager and/or Assistant Manager and the Township Chief of Police. 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 Township Secretary. The appeal shall be accompanied by the appeal fee, which shall be established by resolution of the Manor Township Supervisors. The appellant or his representative shall have the right to appear and be heard, if such right is requested in the written appeal. The Township Supervisors shall make a prompt decision on such appeal. The Township Supervisors shall render a written decision, within 60 days of receipt of the appeal, copies of which shall be provided to the code official and the appellant.
Violations. It shall be a violation of this article to commit or to permit any other person to commit any of the following acts:
To fail to comply with any other provision of this article.
Penalties and remedies.
Whoever violates any other provision of this article shall, upon a first offense, be fined no less than $200 and not more than $1,000. The defendant shall also be liable for all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township. Upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a period of not more than 30 days.
Whoever violates any provision of this article shall, upon a second or subsequent offense, be fined no less than $500 and not more than $1,000. The defendant shall also be liable for all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township. Upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a period of not more than 60 days.
In addition to prosecution of persons violating this article, the Code Enforcement Officer, or any duly authorized agent of the Township, may take such civil or equitable remedies, in any court of record of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, against any person or property, real or personal, to effect the provisions of this article.