Borough of Baden, PA
Beaver County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of Baden 11-20-2013 by Ord. No. 929. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Construction codes — See Ch. 71.
Health standards — See Ch. 110.
Housing standards — See Ch. 113.
Neighborhood blight reclamation and revitalization — See Ch. 126.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 141.
Registration of tenants — See Ch. 170.
[Adopted 11-20-2013 by Ord. No. 929]
The Borough of Baden recognizes the need for an inspection and registration program for residential rental units located within the Borough in order to ensure rental units meet all applicable building, existing structures, fire, health, safety, and zoning codes and to provide an efficient system for compelling both absentee and local landlords to correct violations and maintain, in proper condition, rental property within the Borough. The Borough recognizes that the most-efficient system is the creation of a program requiring the inspection and registration of residential rental units within the Borough as defined in this article, so that an inventory of rental properties and a verification of compliance can be made by Borough officials.
As used in this article, the following terms and words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended:
BOROUGH
The Borough of Baden, its Secretary and his/her designees and the public safety and code enforcement officers of the Borough.
DWELLING UNIT
A building, or portion thereof, designed for occupancy for residential purposes and having cooking facilities and sanitary facilities.
LANDLORD
Any person who owns or controls a dwelling, dwelling unit, or rental unit and rents such unit, either personally or through a designated agent, to any person.
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Shall have the meaning as set forth in the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
LICENSE OFFICER
The Code Enforcement Officer and/or Borough Secretary.
OWNER
The legal title holder of a rental unit or the premises within which the rental unit is situated.
OWNER-OCCUPIED RENTAL UNIT
A rental unit that is occupied in whole or in part by an individual whose name specifically appears on the deed for the property where the rental unit is located.
PERSON
Any natural individual, firm, partnership, association, joint-stock company, joint venture, public or private corporation or receiver, executor, personal representative, trust, trustee, conservator or other representative appointed by order of any court.
PREMISES
A lot, plot, or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon, which also includes dwelling units and dwellings.
RENTAL UNIT
Any dwelling unit or residential structure containing sleeping units, including, but not limited to, hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfast establishments, boardinghouses, or sleeping rooms, which is leased or rented from the owner or other person in control of such unit to any tenant, whether by day, week, month, year, or any other term. Hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfast establishments shall be exempt from this article.
RESPONSIBLE LOCAL AGENT
A natural person having his or her place of residence in the State of Pennsylvania and/or a professional, licensed real estate management firm with an office located in the State of Pennsylvania which has been granted legal authority by the property owner in accordance with the laws of the commonwealth as the agent responsible for operating such property in compliance with the ordinances adopted by the Borough.
TENANT
Any individual who has the temporary use and occupation of real property owned by another person in subordination to that other person's title and with that other person's consent; for example, a person who rents or leases a dwelling, dwelling unit, or rental unit from a landlord.
No person shall lease, rent, occupy, or otherwise allow a rental unit within the Borough to be occupied without first obtaining a rental permit from the license officer.
A. 
A permit can be acquired after the owner of the rental unit shall have registered the rental unit with the Borough by fully completing and filing a current registration form either on-line or in paper form with the Borough, as provided in § 144-4 of this article.
B. 
A permit will be denied unless all of the following requirements are met:
(1) 
All requirements of § 144-5 pertaining to inspection are met;
(2) 
All fees charged by the Borough for the registration of the rental unit shall be paid in full;
(3) 
All real estate, business taxes and housing court judgments are paid in full;
(4) 
The owner or responsible local agent of the rental unit shall provide the Borough a document which states the name(s), and telephone number(s) of the leaseholders who will occupy the unit. It shall also provide the length of their occupancy. This information shall be supplied annually in accordance with § 144-4.
No person shall lease, rent, occupy, or otherwise allow a rental unit within the Borough to be occupied without first registering the rental unit with the Borough and designating a responsible local agent.
A. 
Registration forms. Registration shall be made upon forms furnished by the Borough and shall require all of the following information:
(1) 
The street address and block and lot number of the rental unit(s);
(2) 
The number and types of rental units within the rental property;
(3) 
The name, residence address, telephone number, and, where applicable, an e-mail address, mobile telephone number, and facsimile number of all property owners of the rental unit(s);
(4) 
The name, residence address, telephone number, and, where applicable, an e-mail address, mobile telephone number, and facsimile number of the responsible local agent designated by the owner;
(5) 
The maximum number of tenants permitted for each rental unit;
(6) 
The name, address, telephone number and, where applicable, an e-mail address, mobile telephone number, and facsimile number of the person authorized to collect rent from the tenants;
(7) 
The name, address, telephone number and, where applicable, an e-mail address, mobile telephone number, and facsimile number of the person authorized to make or order repairs or services for the property, if in violation of Borough or state codes, if the person is other than the owner or the responsible local agent;
(8) 
The name, address and telephone number of any lienholder(s) on the rental unit or the real property on which the rental unit is located at the time of annual registration;
(9) 
The name and telephone number of all leaseholders, the number of occupants and the termination date of the lease;
(10) 
A copy of a current, valid occupancy permit for the property shall be provided at the initial application but shall not be necessary unless there is a transfer of property.
B. 
Accurate and complete information. All information provided on the registration form shall be accurate and complete. No person shall provide inaccurate information for the registration of a rental unit or fail to provide the information required for such registration. The registration form shall be signed by the property owner(s) or the designated responsible local agent, where applicable. When the owner is not a natural person, the owner information shall be that of the president, general manager or other chief executive of the organization. When more than one person has an ownership interest, the required information shall be provided for each owner.
C. 
Change in registration information or transfer of property.
(1) 
Except for a change in the registered local agent, the property owner of a rental unit registered with the Borough shall reregister within 60 calendar days after any change occurs in the registration information.
(2) 
If the property is transferred to a new owner, the new property owner of a registered rental unit shall reregister the rental unit within 60 calendar days following the transfer of the property.
(3) 
Property owners shall notify the Borough of any change in the designation of the registered local agent, including a change in name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, mobile telephone number or facsimile number of the designated registered local agent, within five business days of the change.
(4) 
A change in the lienholder or tenants shall be made upon annual registration.
D. 
Registration term and renewals. Registration of a rental unit shall be effective for one year. All registrations shall expire on September 30 of each year. The property owner shall reregister each rental unit with the Borough 30 calendar days prior to the expiration of the registration of the rental unit (August 31 of each year).
E. 
Responsible local agent. The designated responsible local agent shall be responsible for all of the following:
(1) 
Operating the registered rental unit in compliance with all applicable Borough ordinances;
(2) 
Providing access to the rental unit for the purpose of making any and all inspections necessary to ensure compliance with the applicable Borough ordinances;
(3) 
Maintaining a list of the names and number of occupants of each rental unit for which he or she is responsible; and
(4) 
Accepting all legal notices or services of process with respect to the rental unit.
A. 
Basis for inspections. Inspections may be made to obtain and maintain compliance with the standards of this article based upon one of the following:
(1) 
A complaint received by the Borough of Baden, or any law enforcement agency, indicating that there is a violation of the standards or the provisions of any ordinance adopted by the Borough, county, or any state law;
(2) 
An observation by any law enforcement officer or any member of the Baden Fire Department of a violation of the standards or the provisions of any ordinance adopted by the Borough or any state law;
(3) 
A report or observation of a dwelling unit that is unoccupied and unsecured or a dwelling that is damaged by fire;
(4) 
The failure to register or comply in any manner with the provisions as required by this article;
(5) 
The need to determine compliance with a notice or an order issued by the Borough;
(6) 
An emergency observed or reasonably believed to exist;
(7) 
A request for an inspection by the property owner; or
(8) 
Requirements of law where a dwelling is to be demolished by the Borough or where ownership is to be transferred to the Borough.
B. 
Inspection procedures.
(1) 
Once the Borough of Baden has determined that a rental unit is in compliance with all of the ordinances adopted by the Borough and state law, the inspection required for issuance of a certificate of safety shall be satisfied. The inspection shall then be valid for a period of two years from the date the certificate of safety is issued.
(2) 
If, upon completion of an inspection, the premises are found to be in violation of one or more provisions of applicable Borough and state codes and ordinances, the Borough shall provide the registered local agent and/or owner with written notice of such violations. The Borough of Baden shall set a reinspection date before which such violation shall be corrected. If such violation has been corrected within that period, the inspection required for issuance of a certificate of safety and rental permit shall be satisfied. If such violations have not been corrected within that period, the Bureau of Building Inspection shall not issue the certificate of safety and rental permit and may take any action necessary to enforce compliance with applicable Borough and state codes and ordinances.
(3) 
If there is a complaint filed on a property with the Borough of Baden, the owner and/or responsible local agent will be notified in writing. In the event that the complaint is of an emergency nature, as determined by the Borough, it will require immediate compliance with the adopted Building Code. If the complaint is not of an emergency nature, the owner will have a period of time as legally prescribed by the Borough to correct such violation, after which a reinspection or written verification from owner and/or responsible local agent and complaining party that the violation has been corrected will be required.
(4) 
If an inspection is initiated by a complaint and no violation is found to exist, no inspection fee will be assessed against the owner of the inspected rental unit in compliance.
(5) 
Where a reinspection must be made to ensure conformity with this article for those rental units that have been issued violation notices, the Borough will charge a separate inspection fee for every inspection when the violation has not been abated or corrected. This fee may not be waived.
(6) 
If an inspection is scheduled and the owner or responsible local agent fails to appear, an inspection fee shall be assessed against the owner and/or the responsible local agent, and no inspection shall be completed until the inspection fee is paid in full.
(7) 
Access to property for inspection shall be made in accordance with state and federal laws.
A. 
The rental permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place in each rental unit at all times, along with the name, address and telephone number of the responsible local agent.
B. 
If the owner does not comply with this article, a notice of noncompliance may be placed on the building in a manner determined by the Borough.
A. 
An owner of a registered rental property may obtain a certificate of safety from the Borough, providing there are no violations, by voluntarily having their property inspected by the Borough for a fee or a private inspection firm that has been preapproved by the Borough.
B. 
The certificate of safety shall contain the specific items that the property has been inspected for and shall be performed in a manner determined by the Borough.
C. 
The certificate of safety shall be valid for a period of two years.
D. 
The Borough shall maintain no liability in regards to the certificate of safety.
A. 
The Borough Council shall establish, by resolution, an appropriate fee for rental permit registration and inspections and may review and increase such fees on an annual basis.
B. 
If an inspection is initiated by a complaint and no violation is found to exist, no inspection fee will be assessed against the owner of the inspected rental unit in compliance.
C. 
Where a reinspection must be made to ensure conformity with this article for those rental units that have been issued violation notices, the Borough will charge a separate inspection fee for every inspection only when it is found that the violation has not been abated or corrected.
D. 
Fee schedule:
(1) 
Annual rental registration permit: $_____ per unit (plus applicable charges).
(2) 
Building inspection fee: $_____ per unit for first unit (or single-family home); $_____ for second unit within same building; $_____ per unit for all subsequent units within same building.
(3) 
Replacement of certificate of safety or a valid rental permit: $_____.
(4) 
Certificate of safety with use of private inspection firm: $_____.
E. 
In order to assure that funds are available to provide an adequate number of staff for appropriate enforcement and enactment of this article, all fees shall be deposited in a Rental Permit Program Trust Fund that shall be established by the Borough Council.
All records, files and documents pertaining to the rental registration and licensing and rental unit inspection program shall be maintained by the Borough and all or portions of such documents shall be made available to other appropriate Borough departments and the public in accordance with the applicable provisions of Pennsylvania law.
Initial implementation shall begin no later than _____ in a manner determined by the Borough, but in any case all rental permit registrations must be completed and paid in full no later than __________.
Violation of this article shall be a summary offense. The fine for each separate violation shall be a fine not to exceed $1,000 per each unit per each month that a rental unit is not registered or inspected as required by this article, plus any fees that have been charged for inspection, if applicable. Inspection fees shall not be waived or reduced.
A. 
This article and the various parts, sections, subsections, sentences, phrases and clauses thereof are hereby declared to be severable. If any part, section, subsection, sentence, phrase or clause is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the article shall not be affected thereby.
B. 
The captions included at the beginning of each section are for convenience only and shall not be considered a part of this article.
A. 
All resolutions, ordinances, orders or parts thereof in conflict in whole or in part with any of the provisions of this article are, to the extent of such conflict, hereby repealed.
B. 
In addition, it is the specific intent of the Borough Council that Ordinance No. 923, enacted on March 20, 2013, known as the "Disruptive/Nuisance Properties Ordinance,"[1] and that Ordinance No. 924, enacted on May 15, 2013, known as the "Registration of Tenants Ordinance,"[2] NOT be repealed as those ordinances are NOT inconsistent with the terms of this article and should be construed and interpreted as consistent herewith.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 135, Art. V.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 170.