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Borough of Pine Grove, PA
Schuylkill County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Pine Grove as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-21-1990 by Ord. No. 305]
The following words when used in this article shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
LESSEE
That person or persons who has the use of real estate of a lessor and is responsible for the giving of any type of consideration therefor, but excluding those who are lessees for a period of less than 30 days.
LESSOR
Any person who grants a lease or otherwise permits the use of his real estate or portion thereof for a consideration, monetary or otherwise.
PERSON
Any natural person, partnership, association, firm or corporation.
All lessors, within 30 days after the effective date of this article, or in case of real estate thereafter acquired or thereafter rented or becoming available for rental, within 30 days after the acquisition, rental or availability for rental thereof, as the case may be, shall report to the Borough Secretary, in writing, addressed to her at the Borough Office, the number of parcels or units of real estate presently or hereafter rented and available for rental, a description (by address, number and/or some other meaningful method) of the said parcels or units, and the names of its lessees at the time of such report, together with a designation as to which unit or parcel is occupied by each.
Any change in the occupancy of real estate rented or leased or in the identity of the lessee from that shown in the report of the lessor as required in § 139-2 hereof shall be reported by lessor to the Borough Secretary within 10 days after such change. It is intended hereby that lessors shall report a new lessee or a lessee who rents or leases a different unit or parcel of lessor's real estate and when a unit or parcel of their real estate becomes vacant.
The Borough Secretary may prepare a form report entitled "Status of Occupancy Report" which form report may require that information set forth above and such other pertinent information that the Council by resolution may direct the Borough Secretary to incorporate into the said report form. The failure to have such report forms, however, shall not excuse the obligation of lessors to provide the information required herein.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Any lessor violating any of the provisions of this article or who furnishes false information to the Borough or who uses a false name or address in any report required by this article shall be punishable for each offense by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, by imprisonment for not more than 30 days.
[Adopted 7-20-2017 by Ord. No. 402]
The following terms shall have the following meanings in this article unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
AGENT
A natural person retained by the owner to be responsible for one or more rental units within the Borough.
BOROUGH
The Borough of Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The person or other legal entity appointed by Pine Grove Borough Council as its Code Enforcement Officer or as its assistant Code Enforcement Officer.
CODES
Any state, federal, county or local statute, regulation or ordinance adopted, enacted or in effect in and for the Borough, including, but not limited to, Chapter 88, Construction Codes, Uniform; Chapter 133, Property Maintenance; Chapter 136, Quality of Life; and the Zoning Ordinance for Schuylkill County.
NATURAL PERSON
A person that is an individual human being, as opposed to a legal person, which may be a private or public organization or entity such as but not limited to an association, partnership, limited liability company, fictitious name or corporation.
OWNER
Any person or other legal entity having a legal or equitable interest in a parcel of real property; or any person or other legal entity holding title to a parcel of real property as recorded in the official records of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or Schuylkill County; or any person or legal entity having control over a parcel of real property, including the guardian of the estate of a person, or the executor or administrator of the estate of a person. If more than one person or other legal entity owns the rental unit as joint tenants, tenants in common, tenants by the entireties, or tenants in copartnership, each such person or legal entity shall be considered an owner and shall have all of the duties and responsibility of an owner under this regulation.
RENTAL OCCUPANCY PERMIT
A document issued by the Borough Secretary to the owner of a rental unit.
RENTAL UNIT
Each structure or separately secured portion thereof offered by the owner of the real property on which such structure stands to a person or persons who is/are not the owner thereof for residential purposes in return for the payment of rent or some other consideration. The term does not include a tenancy which lasts for less than 30 days.
STRUCTURE
The building located on a parcel of real property in which a tenant will reside, or in which a tenant will reside in a separately secured portion thereof.
A. 
The owner of each rental unit in the Borough, within 30 days after the effective date of this article, or, in case of a rental unit thereafter acquired or determined, within 30 days after the acquisition or availability for rental thereof, shall apply to the Borough Secretary, on a form approved by the Borough from time to time by resolution, for a rental occupancy permit. On the application form, in addition to all other information requested, the owner shall list the names of all prospective tenants at the time of such application. This application shall be supplemented with the names of tenants if such names were not available at the time of the application, but become available thereafter.
B. 
The owner of each rental unit in the Borough, having obtained a rental occupancy permit following application pursuant to Subsection A, shall submit a new application with the Borough Secretary within 30 days following the expiration of the rental occupancy permit.
C. 
Any change in the occupancy (such as a previously rented rental unit becoming vacant) of the rental unit, or in the identity of the tenants thereof from that stated on the application required by Subsections A or B, shall be reported by the owner of the rental unit to the Borough Secretary, in writing, within 10 days after such change.
D. 
Any owner of a rental unit who is not a natural person shall name an agent, who shall be a natural person, with an address and phone number, on the application required by Subsections A or B, who may be contacted by the Borough to deal with issues pertaining to the rental unit, and who may be subject to being cited for any violations of this article. Any such agent shall sign the application form and thereby acknowledge his/her legal obligations under this article.
E. 
The Borough may charge an application fee, which shall be determined from time to time by resolution, which must be paid in order for the application to be considered complete.
F. 
Utilities. No rental occupancy permit will be issued if there are any delinquent property taxes or assessments, water and sewer utilities on the residential rental unit or any other residential rental unit in which the same owner has an interest.
G. 
Each owner who is not an owner-occupant, or who does not reside in the Borough of Pine Grove or within a 20 mile air radius of the Borough limits, shall appoint an agent, who shall reside in the Borough or within a 20 mile air radius of the Borough limits. No rental occupancy permit shall be issued to any owner residing more than 20 miles from the municipal limits of the Borough unless the owner provides the Borough Secretary with the name, mailing address and telephone number of the agent residing within the twenty-mile radius, authorized to accept service of process on behalf of the owner. For the purpose of this subsection, a post office box is not acceptable for the agent's address.
H. 
If the owner has appointed an agent, the agent shall be jointly responsible to fulfill all of the obligations set forth in this article. No owner may relieve himself of the responsibility to perform the duties set forth in this article by appointing an agent.
A. 
The owner of each rental unit shall allow an inspection of the rental unit and the structure in which it is located to occur within 30 days of the date of the owner either applied for a rental occupancy permit under § 139-7 of this article or should have applied under § 139-7 of this article. The inspection shall be conducted by the Code Enforcement Officer or other designee of the Borough, and the purpose of the inspection shall be to ensure compliance with the building and property maintenance codes of the Borough and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
B. 
If the Code Enforcement Officer or other designee of the Borough determines that the rental unit and the structure in which it is located are in compliance with all applicable codes, the officer/designee shall issue a rental occupancy permit to the owner. The rental occupancy permit will be valid for a period of two years from the date of issuance. The rental occupancy permit shall be on a form established by the Borough from time to time by resolution.
C. 
If the Code Enforcement Officer or other designee of the Borough determines that the rental unit or the structure in which it is located is not in compliance with all applicable codes and/or this article, the Officer/designee shall issue a certificate of noncompliance to the owner. The certificate of noncompliance can be on a form determined by the officer/designee, but shall be in writing, contain the words "certificate of noncompliance" and a reference to this article, state the condition or conditions which are in violation of an applicable code, state the code which is being violated, and give the owner a reasonable number of days to cure the condition(s). The Code Enforcement Officer or other designee of the Borough may declare any violations to constitute an emergency condition and require immediate action to mitigate the danger if the violations are of a serious enough character to constitute a danger to the public health.
D. 
If a certificate of noncompliance has been issued, the owner shall make the rental unit and the structure in which it is located available for an inspection within 30 days of a request by the Code Enforcement Officer or other designee of the Borough after the expiration of the days given the owner to cure the condition(s) on any certificate of noncompliance issued pursuant to Subsection C. After the inspection mandated by this subsection, the Officer/designee shall either issue a rental occupancy permit pursuant Subsection B or a certificate of noncompliance pursuant to Subsection C. If the latter, the procedure of this subsection repeats itself until the violations are cured or the owner removes the rental unit form consideration for lease.
E. 
Following the expiration of the rental occupancy permit after two years, the owner shall follow the procedures of § 139-8B of this article and allow an inspection of the rental unit and the structure in which it is located to occur within 30 days of a request by the Code Enforcement Officer or other designee of the Borough. The procedures of Subsections A through D are thereafter repeated.
F. 
A fee schedule for charges due to the Borough by the Owner for the inspections required by this section can be adopted from time to time by resolution. Any fee charged for an inspection shall apply not only to the inspection pursuant to Subsection A, but also to any followup inspection pursuant to Subsection D, and also to any inspection(s) pursuant to Subsection E.
G. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall deny and may revoke any rental occupancy permit if the owner fails to comply with this article or fails to cure any conditions of noncompliance at such time as all tenants must vacate the rental unit.
A. 
No owner shall lease or rent to a tenant without having filed an application with the Borough pursuant to § 139-7 of this article and having received a valid, current rental occupancy permit.
B. 
No owner shall lease or rent a rental unit to a tenant without allowing an inspection of the rental unit and the structure in which it is located and obtaining a valid rental occupancy permit issued pursuant to § 139-8 of this article.
C. 
In order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the Borough, it is hereby declared that the Borough shall require hazard and general liability insurance for all property owners renting property for occupancy in the Borough.
(1) 
Minimum coverage; use of insurance proceeds. All owners shall be required to obtain a minimum of $100,000 in general liability insurance, and hazard and casualty insurance in an amount sufficient to either restore or remove the building in the event of a fire or other casualty. Further, the event of any fire or loss covered by such insurance, it shall be the obligation of the owner to use such insurance proceeds to cause the restoration or demolition or other repair of the property in adherence to the Borough Code and all applicable ordinances.
(2) 
Property owners to provide Borough with insurance information. Owners shall be required to place their insurance company name, policy number and policy expiration date on their rental property registration form, to provide the Office with a copy of a certificate of insurance. A rental occupancy permit shall not be issued to any owner or agent unless the aforementioned information has been provided to the Office. The Office shall be informed of any change in policies for a particular rental property and rental unit within 30 days of said change or cancellation.
A rental occupancy permit shall not be transferred. In the case of rental units that are sold or transferred, the new owner shall secure a rental occupancy permit for each rental unit consistent with § 139-7. Failure to secure a rental occupancy permit within 30 days of the date of sale or transfer of ownership shall result in the revocation of the rental occupancy permit. If the owner of any rental unit who holds a rental occupancy permit from the Borough transfers legal title of the rental unit to another person or legal entity prior to the expiration of the rental occupancy permit, said owner/transferor shall notify the Borough Secretary, in writing, of the transfer within five business days following the transfer. Said notice shall include the name and contact information of the transferee.
This article may be enforced by, and citations for violations of this article may be filed by any police officer employed by the Borough, by the Mayor, Fire Chief, or by the person or legal entity appointed by the Borough as its Code Enforcement Officer.
Nothing in this section shall preclude a Code Enforcement Officer or other designee of the Borough from, simultaneously with enforcing this article, issuing against the owner a notice of violation, citation or any other document to enforce an applicable building or property maintenance code of the Borough or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The issuance of a rental occupancy permit is not a representation by the Borough that the rental unit and/or the Structure in which it is located is in compliance with all building or property maintenance codes of the Borough or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. No tenant, prospective tenant or any other person should view this article, or any rental occupancy permit issued pursuant to this article, as a warranty or representation by the Borough that the rental unit or the structure in which it is located is free from any or all dangers, whether known, unknown, obvious or hidden. Borough is not making any warranty or representation to any person that the rental unit or the structure in which it is located is safe or habitable. By this article, the Borough is not assuming any liability not otherwise imposed upon it by law.
A. 
Any person violating any provision of this article is subject to prosecution by action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. Any person found in violation of any provision of this article shall pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000, plus court costs, and/or may be imprisoned either for a violation of any provision of this article or for failure to pay a fine or costs for a term not to exceed 90 days.
B. 
A separate offense shall arise for each day or portion thereof in which a violation of any provision of this article exists.
C. 
The Borough may enforce this article through an action in equity.
If any section, part, sentence, clause or portion of this article is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be illegal or unenforceable, the rest and remainder of this article shall be given full force and effect as if adopted by the Borough without the section, part, sentence, clause or portion found illegal or unenforceable.
All prior Borough ordinances or portions thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this article are hereby repealed to the extent necessary to give effect to this article.
This article shall be effective immediately upon enactment or on the first day allowed by law thereafter, whichever comes first.