City of Bordentown, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Bordentown 3-12-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-04.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Nuisances — See Ch. 202.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 210.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 216.
Zoning — See Ch. 300.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 187, Landlord Registration and Rental Inspection, adopted 5-9-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-10.
Unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, the following words or phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:
AGENT
The individual or individuals designated by the owner or landlord as the person(s) authorized by the owner or landlord to perform any duty imposed upon the owner or landlord by this chapter. The term does not necessarily mean a licensed real estate broker or salesman 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 if such person designated by the owner or landlord as his agent is so licensed.
APARTMENT COMPLEX
Two or more buildings, each containing two or more apartments, which are located within close proximity of each other and are owned by the same owner or landlord.
APARTMENT or DWELLING
Any apartment, cottage, bungalow, single-family dwelling, any room 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 whether the apartment be designed for residence, for office, or the operation of any industry or business, or for any other type of independent use.
CHANGE IN TENANCY
A change in the tenant(s) renting or leasing a rental property or a portion thereof.
HABITABLE SPACE
The space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, storage or utility space in similar areas are not considered habitable space.
LANDLORD
The legal entity listed upon the title as it appears in the public records after the deed is properly recorded. In the case of rental property which lies within the jurisdictional limits of the City of Bordentown, and is owned by a legal entity rather than an individual, the entity shall designate and identify the managing member of the legal entity to serve as landlord and to accept service of notices.
LANDLORD AND RENTAL PROPERTY REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE
"Registration certificate." A landlord and rental property registration form obtained from the City of Bordentown, which has been submitted by an owner or landlord of rental property to the City of Bordentown, and which has been deemed complete by the City's Code Enforcement Officer or authorized designee. Such certificates shall expire and require renewal upon the certificate's annual expiration date of December 31. All registration certificates shall expire annually on December 31. It is the responsibility of the landlord or owner of the rental property to renew the registration certificate annually with the City's Code Enforcement Officer or authorized designee. It is the responsibility of the landlord or owner of the rental property to file a registration certificate amendment request to the City of Bordentown's Code Enforcement Official upon each change in tenancy or ownership of the rental property. No rental property owner or landlord shall rent, lease, let, sublet or permit the same to be occupied or rerented by another without first securing from the City Code Enforcement Officer, or an authorized designee, a certificate of occupancy and a rental property registration certificate for said dwelling unit.
OWNER
Any person or group of persons, firm, corporation or officer thereof, partnership, association, or trust, who owns, operates, exercises control over or is in charge of a rental property which lies within the jurisdictional limits of the City of Bordentown.
PERSON
An individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, trust or other legal entity, or any combination thereof.
RENTAL PROPERTY
A property commonly known by a single street address, in which one or more dwelling unit(s) is/are available for lease or rental purposes, or a portion of any real property 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/tenants, and is meant to include apartments and apartment complexes.
TENANT
Any person, including minors, except children below the age of two years old, who reside in a rental property on a continuous basis for more than 180 days.
A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to create a registration process to ensure that residents of the City are living in decent, safe, and sanitary rental housing. Ensuring compliance with the regulations of the New Jersey State Housing Code (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.1 et seq.), the City Code's chapters pertaining to zoning (Chapter 300), property maintenance (Chapter 216), and housing codes (Chapter 130), benefits the public health, safety, and welfare of the City and all its inhabitants.
B. 
No person, group of persons, association, partnership, business or corporation or any combination thereof, who owns, manages, conducts or operates a dwelling unit, shall rent, lease, let, sublet or permit the same to be occupied or re-rented by another without first securing from the City Code Enforcement Officer, or an authorized designee, a certificate of occupancy and a rental property registration certificate for said dwelling unit.
C. 
This chapter specifically applies to all rental dwelling units, including those subject to the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Real Estate Assessment Center ("REAC") program, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Bureau of Housing Inspections, and/or the New Jersey Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law, N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq. This chapter further specifically applies to all low and moderate income rental housing. This includes apartments as well as privately owned houses, duplexes, condominiums, and townhouses in the City.
A. 
Rental property registration certificates issued by the City of Bordentown shall be obtained by an applicant owner or landlord of rental property within 90 days of the effective date of this chapter, which registration certificates shall expire on December 31, 2018. Thereafter, annual registration for all rental properties will be fully enforced by the City beginning January 1, 2019.
B. 
All registration certificates shall be amended upon each change in tenancy or ownership of the rental property. If a rental property does not undergo a change in tenancy over the course of a year (January 1 to December 31), then the owner or landlord shall only be required to renew his/her registration certificate by the certificate's annual expiration date of December 31. It is the responsibility of the landlord or owner of the rental property to renew the registration certificate annually with the City's Code Enforcement Officer or authorized designee upon the certificate's annual expiration date.
C. 
All registration certificates must subsequently be renewed on an annual basis by December 31, and must be amended by the landlord or owner upon each change in tenancy or ownership of the rental property.
D. 
Amendments to rental property registration certificate. Every owner or landlord required to obtain a registration certificate shall file an amended registration form with the City Code Enforcement Officer within 30 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 tenancy of the premises is changed.
E. 
A registration certificate shall apply to an entire rental property, regardless of the number of dwelling units comprising the rental property.
F. 
A rental property registration certificate obtained from the City shall require the landlord or owner to certify that the rental property or rental unit(s), premises, or combination thereof, is fit for human habitation and complies with the requirements of all ordinances of the City of Bordentown and all regulations of the New Jersey State Housing Code (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.1, et seq.).
G. 
Registration of rental property.
(1) 
No rental property shall be occupied by tenants unless a valid rental property registration certificate has been issued by the City.
(2) 
The City Clerk, Code Enforcement Officer, or an authorized designee shall develop and provide the applicable registration form required by this chapter, which shall require the owner or landlord to provide the information set forth at §§ 187-3I(1) through 187-3I(12) and such other information as the City Clerk, Code Enforcement Officer, or an authorized designee shall deem necessary and proper in order to properly register the rental property(ies). Any lease which has been executed prior to the adoption of this chapter shall not be affected, but the rental property must nevertheless be registered in accordance with this chapter. No rental property shall hereafter be rented unless the rental property is registered in accordance with this chapter.
(a) 
Owners or landlords of a rental property which is subject to regulation and inspection by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Bureau of Housing Inspection, pursuant to Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law, N.J.S.A. 44:13A-1, et seq., are responsible for providing a copy of any and all inspection reports produced by the Department of Community Affairs pertaining to the rental property to the City's Code Enforcement Officer or authorized designee upon receipt of said report(s).
H. 
Inspection of rental property.
(1) 
The City's Code Enforcement Officer, Building Official, or an authorized designee shall inspect each rental property within the City:
(a) 
Upon initial registration of the rental property with the City. In the event that a rental property contains more than one single-family dwelling unit, all dwelling units shall be subject to inspection by the City's Code Enforcement Officer, Building Official, or an authorized designee, upon a landlord or owner's initial rental property registration; and/or
(b) 
Upon an owner or landlord's request for a certificate of occupancy for a single dwelling unit or multiple dwelling units, as required by Chapter 300 of the City's Code; and/or
(c) 
Upon a change in ownership or tenancy relating to a single dwelling unit or multiple dwelling units, as required by Chapter 124 of the City's Code.
(2) 
Inspections of rental property by the City's Code Enforcement Officer, Building Official, or an authorized designee, are not required upon annual expiration and renewal of a registration certificate if there has been no change in ownership or tenancy relating to a single dwelling unit or multiple dwelling units comprising the rental property.
I. 
Registration forms; filing; contents. Without in any way infringing upon the requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28, all rental properties shall be registered as provided herein. An application form for a registration certificate shall be available from the City inspection office and shall not be deemed complete unless the applicant provides the following information for each rental property owned by the landlord or owner within the City and occupied by one or more tenants:
(1) 
Name, address, and phone number of the owner or landlord. If the owner or landlord is a legal entity rather than an individual, the owner or landlord shall designate and identify the managing member of the legal entity to serve as landlord and to accept service of notices on behalf of the owner or landlord.
(2) 
Address of each rental property owned within the City or other identifying information for the rental property(ies).
(3) 
The name and address, including the dwelling unit number, of the superintendent, janitor, custodian, or other individual employed by the owner or landlord to provide regular maintenance service, if any.
(4) 
The name, address and telephone number of an individual representative of the owner or landlord 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 future 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.
(5) 
The name and address of every holder of a recorded mortgage on the premises.
(6) 
If fuel 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.
(7) 
For each rental property:
(a) 
Identify the total number of units available for lease on the property.
(b) 
Identify each unit number (if more than one unit) or other identifying information.
(c) 
Total number of tenants permitted in each rental unit (if more than one unit).
(d) 
Identify the primary tenant(s) of each unit (if more than one unit).
(e) 
The date tenancy commenced or will commence of each unit (if more than one unit).
(8) 
Payment of registration fees.
(9) 
The owner or landlord shall provide a certification to the City as to permitted occupancy per rental unit.
(10) 
The owner or landlord shall provide a certification to the City stating that the rental property or rental unit, premises, or combination thereof, is fit for human habitation and complies with the requirements of all ordinances of the City of Bordentown and all regulations of the New Jersey State Housing Code (N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.1 et seq.).
(11) 
In the event of a change in owner of a rental property, an application for a new rental property registration certificate shall be filed with the City inspection office.
(12) 
For each rental unit on a rental property, the name, mailing address and phone number of the tenant named in the lease. If the tenant is a corporate entity, the entity shall designate an individual contact to fulfill this identification obligation.
J. 
Registration form; indexing and filing; public inspection. The City Clerk shall index and file the registration forms and make them reasonably available for public inspection. In doing so, the City Clerk 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 section.
A. 
At the time of initial registration of a rental property, and/or upon annual renewal of an expiring registration certificate as required by § 187-3, the owner or landlord thereof must pay a fee in accordance with the following schedule prior to the City's issuance of a new or renewed rental property registration certificate:
(1) 
Rental property consisting of a single-family home.
(a) 
A registration fee of $50 shall be assessed to an owner or landlord upon initial registration of a rental property consisting of a single-family home. Said registration fee shall thereafter be assessed on an annual basis upon the registration certificate's December 31 expiration date.
(2) 
Rental property consisting of two or three apartments or dwelling units.
(a) 
A registration fee of $75 shall be assessed to an owner or landlord upon initial registration of a rental property consisting of two or three apartments or dwelling units. Said registration fee shall thereafter be assessed on an annual basis upon the registration certificate's December 31 expiration date.
(3) 
Rental property consisting of four to 10 apartments or dwelling units.
(a) 
A registration fee of $100 shall be assessed to an owner or landlord upon initial registration of a rental property consisting of four to 10 apartments or dwelling units. Said registration fee shall be assessed on an annual basis upon the registration certificate's December 31 expiration date.
(4) 
Apartment complexes.
(a) 
A registration fee of $150 shall be assessed to an owner or landlord upon initial registration of a rental property consisting of an apartment complex (defined above). Said registration fee shall thereafter be assessed on an annual basis upon the registration certificate's December 31 expiration date.
(5) 
All amendments to registration certificates due to change in ownership or tenancy, regardless of the number of dwelling units.
(a) 
In the event of a change in ownership or tenancy of the rental property or any individual dwelling unit comprising the rental property, the landlord or owner shall be assessed a $25 fee when submitting a rental property registration certificate amendment request.
(b) 
In the event of a change in ownership or tenancy of the rental property or any individual dwelling unit comprising the rental property, the landlord or owner shall fully comply with the requirements of Chapter 124 of the City's Code, which requires that a rental property or dwelling unit be inspected, and that a certificate of occupancy be obtained.
(c) 
The reduced rate described in this section shall not be applicable to requests for registration certificate renewal due to a certificate's annual expiration on December 31. Instead, the rates enumerated in §§ 187-5A(1) through (4) shall apply to annual renewals.
(6) 
Prepayment of these fees shall not be penalized.
(7) 
Upon the full payment of the registration or renewal fee(s) assessed per rental property address, the City will update its records and provide a receipt, if requested.
(8) 
Registrations fees are due immediately upon registering a rental property with the City. Fees not paid shall be subject to a late fee of $50 per month.
(9) 
Reduced registration fees for qualified senior citizens. If the owner or landlord of the rental property is a senior citizen who resides in a unit of the property and rents/leases out the remaining unit(s), and would otherwise qualify under the State of New Jersey property tax deduction under N.J.S.A. 54:4-8.41, the annual registration and renewal fee(s) assessed to a senior citizen owner or landlord shall be reduced by 50% from the standard fees in the schedule above. Said fees shall be assessed upon every change in tenancy and upon the registration certificate's December 31 date of expiration.
(10) 
The failure of an owner or landlord to register property(ies) in accordance with the terms of this chapter shall be subject to enforcement actions and penalties outlined in § 187-13A and B.
In an effort to ensure decent, safe and sanitary housing within the City of Bordentown, the following restrictions shall be enforced.
A. 
Nuisance prohibited. No rental property shall be conducted or kept in a manner which shall result in any unreasonable disturbance or disruption to the surrounding properties and/or property owners or of the public in general, such that it shall constitute a nuisance as defined in Chapters 202, Nuisances, and 210, Peace and Good Order, of the City Code.
B. 
Compliance with other laws. The maintenance of all rental properties 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 City and with all applicable state and federal laws.
No person shall hereafter occupy any rental property, nor shall the owner permit occupancy of any rental property within the City which is not registered and for which a certificate of occupancy has not been issued in accordance with this chapter.
Any tenant renting a premises in the City of Bordentown who occupies the premises prior to obtaining an approved rental property registration certificate shall be subject to immediate removal from the premises. Any costs associated with the removal and subsequent relocation of tenants that are incurred by the City of Bordentown shall be the responsibility of the owner, landlord, and/or tenant.
A. 
The maximum number of persons which may inhabit a rental property shall be computed in accordance with applicable building and fire codes and certified by the owner or landlord in the rental property registration certificate. Individual rental units shall not be occupied by more occupants than permitted, and the maximum number of tenants inhabiting a dwelling unit rented for residential purposes shall be stated in the approved rental property registration certificate and/or registration form.
B. 
Procedure upon increase of occupants. Every owner or landlord shall use his/her best efforts by adopting rental policies and procedures to monitor the number of tenants in each rental unit. When an owner or landlord becomes aware of a violation of its occupancy policies, the owner or landlord will advise the City inspection office within 10 days of an increase in the number of tenants beyond that permitted in the approved rental unit registration certificate.
C. 
Maximum number of occupants; posting. The maximum number of occupants shall either be posted in each rental unit or set forth in the lease agreement. It shall be unlawful for any person, including the owner, landlord, 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 180 days. Any person violating this provision shall be subject to the penalty provisions set forth in this section.
D. 
Violation of occupancy requirements; enforcement.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful and in violation of this section for a landlord, owner, or a tenant of a rental unit to allow a greater number of people than the permitted maximum number of tenants listed in the rental property registration certificate to rent or occupy any rental unit.
(2) 
It shall also be unlawful and in violation of this section for a tenant, landlord, or an owner to allow a number of people greater than the maximum number of people permitted to occupy the deck, balcony, or porch of said rental unit.
(3) 
The Code Enforcement Officer and/or his/her designee is authorized to issue summons for violations of this section to any owner, landlord, or tenant found to be in violation of this chapter.
Every owner or landlord shall provide each occupant or tenant occupying a rental unit with a copy of the property registration certificate required by this chapter, and any applicable amendments thereto. This provision may be complied with by posting a copy of the rental property registration certificate in a conspicuous place within the rental unit(s).
A. 
It shall be unlawful and in violation of this section for an owner or landlord of a rental property or tenant of a rental unit:
(1) 
To knowingly permit or allow people to reside in a rental unit in a number in excess of the number of people for which sleeping accommodations are provided in accordance with this chapter.
(2) 
To lease or rent a rental unit where the number of tenants exceeds the total number of sleeping accommodations as certified to in the registration form.
(3) 
To knowingly permit a number of people, greater than the maximum number of occupants or tenants permitted, to occupy a rental unit.
(4) 
For the owner or landlord to fail to file with the City inspection office a rental property registration form as required by this chapter for each rental property owned by him/her in the City.
(5) 
To violate any section of this chapter.
A. 
Any person who is found to have submitted false information, documentation, or identification in connection with an application for a rental property registration certificate shall pay a minimum fine of $250 (plus court costs) for the first offense; a minimum fine of $1,000 (plus court costs) for a second offense; and a minimum fine of $2,000 (plus court costs) for each offense thereafter, for each document containing false information, documentation, or identification. Any person who submits a false certification or documentation shall be subject to criminal prosecution, in addition to the penalties contained herein.
B. 
In addition to the penalties set forth in § 187-13A, any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $2,000, and/or a term of community service or imprisonment for not more than 90 days. Each day such violation continues shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation, and each violation of this chapter shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation. In a municipal court proceeding, an owner or landlord shall not be found to be in violation of this chapter during such period of time as the owner or landlord shall be proceeding to evict the tenants in accordance with all statutory procedures pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1, et seq.
The Mayor, Code Enforcement Officer, an authorized designee, and/or the Police Department of the City of Bordentown, is empowered to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
No rental property or dwelling unit may be registered for any property containing a rental unit unless all municipal taxes, water, sewer charges, and any other municipal assessments associated with the rental property are paid on a current basis.