[Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.]
[1993 Code § 77-1]
Established; Composition. There is hereby established a State Uniform Construction Code Enforcing Agency, to be known as the "West Caldwell Uniform Construction Code Enforcing Agency," consisting of a Construction Official, Building Subcode Official, Plumbing Subcode Official, Electrical Subcode Official, Fire Protection Subcode Official and such other subcode officials for such additional subcodes as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, State of New Jersey, shall hereafter adopt as part of the State Uniform Construction Code. The Construction Official shall be the chief administrator of the Enforcing Agency.
Each official position created by paragraph a hereof shall be filled by a person qualified for such position pursuant to P.L. 1975, c. 217, as amended, and N.J.A.C. 5:23, provided that, in lieu of any particular subcode official, an outside inspection agency may be retained by contract pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:23. More than one such official position may be held by the same person, provided that such person is qualified pursuant to P.L. 1975, c. 217, and N.J.A.C. 5:23 to hold each such position.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.
The public shall have the right to do business with the enforcing agency at the Township Office location, except for emergencies and unforseen or unavoidable circumstances.
[1993 Code § 77-2]
[1993 Code § 77-3]
Cooperation of Other Officials. The Construction Official may request and shall receive, so far as may be necessary in the discharge of his duties, the assistance and cooperation of other officials of the township, the Township Engineer, the Police Department and the Fire Department. He shall receive a report monthly with reference to building or structural fires from the Fire Chief. He shall also fully cooperate with all other township officials if and when requested by them.
Right of Entry. The Construction Official, in the discharge of his duties and upon proper identification, shall have authority to enter any building, structure or premises at a reasonable hour after obtaining permission of the owner. If permission is denied and the Construction Official has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of this code or other codes or ordinances under the jurisdiction of the Construction Official may exist, he shall take such steps as may be necessary to obtain a search warrant to assist him in the performance of his duties.
[1993 Code § 77-4]
The Construction Official or any employee charged with the enforcement of the Code, acting in good faith and without malice for the township in the discharge of his duties, shall not thereby render himself liable personally, and he is hereby relieved from all personal liability for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or by reason of any act or omission in the discharge of his duties. Any suit brought against the Construction Official or employee because of such act or omission performed by him in the enforcement of any provisions of the Code shall be defended by the Legal Department of the township until final termination of the proceedings.
[1993 Code § 77-6; New; Ord. No. 1365 §§ 1-6; Ord. No. 1628; Ord. No. 1663; Ord. No. 1695; Ord. No. 1746]
The fee for plan review, computed as a percentage of the fee for a construction permit, shall be paid at the time of application for a permit. The amount of this fee shall then be deducted from the amount of the fee due for a construction permit, when the permit is issued. Plan review fees are not refundable.
The fee to be charged for a construction permit will be the sum of the basic construction fee plus all applicable special fees, such as elevator or sign fees. The fee shall be paid before a permit is issued.
The fee to be charged for a certificate of occupancy shall be paid before a certificate is issued. The fee shall be in addition to the construction permit fee.
Building Department Fees.
Plan review fee. The fee for plan review shall be 20% of the amount to be charged for a new construction permit.
Elevator fees shall be those as established by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
The basic construction permit fee shall be the sum of the parts computed on the basis of the volume or cost of construction, the number of plumbing fixtures and pieces of equipment, the number of electrical fixtures and rating of electrical devices and the number of sprinklers, standpipes, and detectors (smoke, heat, and any other safety detectors) at the unit rates provided herein plus any special fees. The minimum fee for a basic permit covering any or all of building, plumbing, electrical, or fire protection work shall be $68.
Building volume or cost. The fees for new construction or alteration are as follows:
Fees for new construction shall be based upon the volume of the structure. Volume shall be computed in accordance with the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code. The new construction fee shall be in the amount of $0.040 per cubic foot of volume for buildings and structures of all use groups and types of construction as classified and defined in Articles 3 and 4 of the building subcode; except that the fee shall be $0.029 per cubic foot of volume for use groups F-1, F-2, S-1 and S-2, and the fee shall be $0.0009 per cubic foot for structures on farms, including commercial farm buildings under the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, with the maximum fee for such structures on farms not to exceed 1,289.
Fees for renovations, alterations and repairs or site construction associated with pre-manufactured construction and the external utility connection for pre-manufactured construction shall be based upon the estimated cost of work. The fee for R-3 and R-5 structures shall be in the amount of $30 per $1,000 of estimated cost for the first $50,000. From $50,001 to and including $100,000 the additional fee shall be $30 per $1,000 of estimated cost above $50,000. Above $100,000, the additional fee shall be in the amount of $23 per $1,000 of estimated cost above $100,000. The fee for other than R-3 and R-5 structures shall be $34 per $1,000 of estimated cost. For the purpose of determining estimated cost, the applicant shall submit to the Construction Official such cost data as may be available produced by the architect or engineer of record, or by a recognized estimating firm, or by the contractor. A bona fide contractor's bid, if available, shall be submitted. The Construction Official shall make the final decision regarding estimated cost.
Fees for additions shall be computed on the same basis as for new construction for the added portion.
Fees for combination renovations and additions shall be computed as the sum of the fees computed separately in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2) above.
The fee for a permit for demolition of a building or structure shall be $85 for structures of use groups R-3 and R-5 under 5,000 square feet of floor area and under 30 feet high; and $250 for all other use groups.
The fee for a permit to construct a sign shall be $1.36 per square foot of surface area of the sign computed on one side only for double-faced signs, with a minimum fee of $68.
The fee for a permit for the removal of a building or structure from one lot to another or to a new location on the same lot shall be $23 per $1,000 of the sum of the estimated costs for moving and for placement in a completed condition in the new location. The fee for a permit to construct a new foundation shall be determined as detailed in paragraph b3(a)(1) above.
When a building or structure is removed and travels on a public street, a bond of $1,000 shall be posted with the township. Before any such removal is started, after the moving permit is issued, the Chief of Police shall be notified and written permission shall be procured from the Chief before occupancy or encroachment of any township streets. The time and route shall be designated by the Chief.
The fee for a permit to install a fuel oil storage tank shall be $75 for each tank with a capacity up to 999 gallons, $100 for tanks with a capacity between 1,000 gallons and 1,999 gallons, $150 for tanks with a capacity between 2,000 gallons and 5,000 gallons, and $250 for tanks with a capacity in excess of 5,000 gallons.
The fee for a permit to remove or abandon a fuel oil storage tank shall be $85 for R-3 and R-5 use groups and $175 for all other use groups.
The fee for special or overtime inspections shall be $85 per hour with a minimum $281 fee.
The fee for a permit for temporary structures shall be $85.
The fee for an application for a variation in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:2.10 shall be $563 for Class I structures, $225 for Class II structures, and $89 for Class III residential structures.
The fee for a permit to erect a fence shall be $68 for R-3 and R-5 use groups, and $225 for all other use groups.
The fee for a permit to construct a pool shall be $68 for an above ground pool. Fees for in ground pools shall be determined as outlined in paragraph b3(a)(2).
The fee for roofing or siding shall be $68 for R-3 and R-5 use groups. The fee for siding for all other use groups shall be determined as outlined in paragraph b3(a)(2). The fee for roofing for all other use groups shall be $500.
The fees for retaining walls shall be as follows:
The fee for a retaining wall with a surface area greater than 550 square feet that is associated with a Class 3 residential structure shall be $175;
The fee for a retaining wall with a surface area of 550 square feet or less that is associated with a Class 3 residential structure shall be $85;
The fee for a newly constructed retaining wall of any size at other than a Class 3 residential structure shall be based on the cost of the construction.
The fee for the annual electrical inspection of swimming pools, spas or hot tubs shall be $68.
The fee for asbestos hazard abatement shall be $98.
The fee for lead hazard abatement work shall be $165.
Plumbing fixtures and equipment. The fees shall be as follows:
The fee shall be in the amount of $18 per fixture connected to the plumbing system for all fixtures and appliances except as listed in paragraph (b)(2) below.
The fee shall be $85 per special device for the following: grease traps, oil separators, refrigeration units, utility service connections, backflow preventers; equipped with test ports (double check value assembly, reduced pressure zone and pressure vacuum breaker backflow preventers), steam boilers, hot water boilers (excluding those for domestic water heating), active solar systems, sewer pumps and interceptors. There shall be no inspection fee for gas service entrances.
Electrical fixtures and devices. The fees shall be as follows:
For from one to 50 receptacles, fixtures or devices, the fee shall be in the amount of $68; for each additional block of up to 25 receptacles, fixtures or devices, the fee shall be in the amount of $12. For the purpose of computing this fee, receptacles, fixtures or devices shall include lighting fixtures, wall switches, convenience receptacles, sensors, dimmers, alarm devices, smoke and heat detectors, communications outlets, light-standards eight feet or less in height including luminaries, emergency lights, electric signs, exit lights or similar electric fixtures and devices rated 20 amperes or less including motors or equipment rated less than one horsepower (hp) or one kilowatt (kW).
For each motor or electrical device rated from one hp or one kW to 10 hp or 10 kW; for each transformer or generator rated from one kW or one kva to 10 kW or 10 kva; for each replacement of wiring involving one branch circuit or part thereof; for each storable pool or hydro massage bath tub; for each underwater lighting fixture; for household electric cooking equipment rated up to 16 kW, for each fire, security or burglar alarm control unit; for each receptacle rated from 30 amperes to 50 amperes; for each light standard greater than eight feet in height including luminaries; and for each communications closet, the fee shall be $23.
For each motor or electrical device rated from greater than 10 hp or 10 kW to 50 hp or 50 kW; for each service equipment, panel board, switch board, switch gear, motor-control center, or disconnecting means rated 225 amperes or less; for each transformer or generator rated from greater than 10 kW or 10 kva to 45 kW or 45 kva; for each electric sign rated from greater than 20 amperes to 225 amperes including associated disconnecting means; for each receptacles rated greater than 50 amperes; and for each utility load management device, the fee shall be $84.
For each motor or electrical device rated from greater than 50 hp or 50 kW to 100 hp or 100 kW; for each service equipment, panel board, switch board, switch gear, motor-control center or disconnecting means rated from greater than 225 amperes to 1,000 amperes; and for each transformer or generator rated from greater than 45 kW or 45 kva to 112.5 kW or 112.5 kva, the fee shall be $139.
For each motor or electrical device rated greater than 100 hp or 100 kW; for each service equipment, panel board, switch board, switch gear, motorcontrol center or disconnecting means rated greater than 1,000 amperes; and for each transformer or generator rated greater than 112.5 kW or 112.5 kva, the fee shall be $563.
The fee charged for electrical work for each permanently installed private swimming pool as defined in the building subcode, spa, hot tub or fountain shall be a flat fee of $68 which shall include any required bonding, and associated equipment such as filter pumps, motors, disconnecting means, switches, required receptacles, and heaters, etc., excepting panel boards and underwater lighting fixtures. For public swimming pools, the fee shall be charged on the basis of the number and rating of electrical devices involved in accordance with paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(5) above.
The fee charged for the installation of single-station and multiple-station smoke or heat detectors and fire, burglary or security alarm systems shall be charged on the basis of the number and rating of electrical devices involved in accordance with paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(5) above.
For installations consisting of multimeter stacks, the fee shall be based on the ampere rating of the main bus and not the number of meters or rating of disconnects on the meter stack. Individual load side panel boards shall be charged in accordance with paragraphs (c)(3) through (c)(5) above.
For motors or similar devices requiring concurrent installation of individual controls, relays and switches, the fee shall be based only upon the rating of the motor or device. There shall be no additional fee charged for the concurrent installation of individual circuit components, for example controllers, starters, and disconnecting means.
For electrical work requiring replacement of service entrance conductors or feeder conductors only, the fee shall be based on the designated ampere rating of the overcurrent device of the service or feeder as follows:
The fee charged for process equipment shall be based on the ampere rating of the overcurrent device protecting the conductor feeding the process equipment of the cutoff device.
For the purpose of computing these fees, all electrical and communication devices, utilization equipment and motors which are part of premises wiring, except those which are portable plug-in type, shall be counted.
Fire protection and other hazardous equipment. The fees for sprinklers, standpipes, pull stations, visible alarm indicating devices, audible alarm indicating devices, detectors (smoke, heat, or other safety detectors), pre-engineered suppression systems, gas and oil fired appliances not connected to the plumbing system, kitchen exhaust systems, incinerators and crematoriums shall be as follows:
The fee for 20 or fewer devices (including but not limited to suppression system heads or nozzles, pull stations, visible alarm indicating devices, audible alarm indicating devices, or detectors) shall be $84; for 21 to and including 100 devices, the fee shall be $168; for 101 to and including 200 devices, the fee shall be $281; for 201 to and including 400 devices, the fee shall be $675; for 401 to and including 1,000 devices, the fee shall be $956; for over 1,000 devices, the fee shall be $1,238. In computing fees for independent suppression or alarm systems, the number of devices shall be counted separately and a separate permit and accompanying fee shall be charged for each system.
The fee for each standpipe shall be $281.
The fee for each independent pre-engineered system shall be $225.
The fee for each gas, oil, or wood fired appliance that is not connected to the plumbing system shall be $84.
The fee for each kitchen exhaust system shall be $225.
The fee for a mechanical inspection shall be $68, plus $18 for each additional device.
The fees for an annual construction permit shall be the same as state annual construction permit fees.
For cross connections and backflow preventers that are subject to testing, requiring reinspection annually, the fee shall be $56 for each device when they are tested.
The fees for certificates shall be as follows:
Asbestos Hazard Abatement Certificate $20.
Lead Hazard Clearance Certificate $31.
Change of Use Certificate of Occupancy $112.
The fee for copies of reports or other documents shall be in accordance with subsection 2-31.2 of this Code.
The fee for copies of photographs will be the cost of development plus $3.
State Training Surcharge Fees shall be charged and collected in accordance with the requirements of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code.
Records and Reports. The Construction Official shall keep a record of permits issued and complaints received. The Construction Official shall also, at the regular meeting of the Township Council, make a report of all permits issued for the erection and alteration of buildings during the previous month, together with the estimated cost of such work and the fees received for the same.
Biannual Report of Fees. The Construction Official shall, with the advice and consent of the subcode officials, prepare and submit a biannual report to the Mayor and Council. Such report shall recommend a fee schedule based on the operating expenses of the agency and any other expenses of the municipality fairly attributable to the enforcement of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code.
[1993 Code § 120-1]
In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1, the New Jersey State Housing Code, as approved by the Departments of Health and Conservation and Economic Development and filed in the Secretary of State's office on January 31, 1962, is hereby adopted as a standard governing supplied utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to making dwellings safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation, occupancy or use and governing the condition of dwellings. A copy of the New Jersey State Housing Code is attached to and made a part of this section without the text being included herein.
[1993 Code § 120-2]
Three copies of the New Jersey State Housing Code have been placed on file in the office of the Township Clerk/Administrator and will remain on file there for the use and examination of the public.
[1993 Code § 120-3]
The administrative and enforcing authority for the provisions of this chapter shall be the Construction Official.
[1993 Code § 120-4]
This section shall constitute the standards to guide the Construction Official in determining the fitness of any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises for human habitation, use or occupancy.
[1993 Code § 120-5]
The Construction Official may make rules and regulations which interpret or amplify any provision of this section or for the purpose of making the provisions of this section more effective. No regulation, however, shall be inconsistent with or alter or amend any provision of this section, and no regulation shall impose any requirement which is in addition to or greater than the requirements that are expressly or by implication imposed by any provision of this section. Rules and regulations shall be subject to the same penalty as other violations of this section.
[1993 Code § 120-6]
The Construction Official or his agents or employees shall make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises located within the township. For the purpose of making inspections, the Construction Official or his agents are authorized to enter and examine any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises at such reasonable hours as the circumstances of the case permit. This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the entry of the Construction Official or his agents at any time when an actual emergency exists which tends to create a danger to public health or safety or at any time when an inspection is requested by an owner or occupant.
[1993 Code § 120-7]
Upon presentation of proper identification, the owner, occupant or person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit shall give the Construction Official or his agents free access to the premises for the purpose of inspection or of making any repairs or alterations which are necessary to effect compliance with this chapter.
[1993 Code § 120-8]
The Construction Official or his agents may, upon affidavit, apply to the Judge of the Municipal Court of the township for a search warrant setting forth factually the actual conditions and circumstances that provide a reasonable basis for believing that a nuisance or violation of this section exists on the premises, and if the Municipal Judge is satisfied as to the matter set forth in the affidavit, he shall authorize the issuance of a search warrant permitting access to and inspection of that part of the premises on which the nuisance or violation may exist.
[1993 Code § 120-9]
Whenever the Construction Official determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this section or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he shall give notice of the alleged violation to the person responsible therefor as hereinafter provided. The notice shall:
Be put in writing.
Include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued.
Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires.
Be served upon the owner or his agent or the occupant, as the case may require, provided that notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent or upon such occupant if a copy thereof is served upon him personally or if a copy thereof is sent by certified mail to his last known address or if a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice or if he is served with such notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this state. The notice may contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this section and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
[1993 Code § 120-10]
Any person affected by any notice which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provisions of this section or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Construction Official, provided that such person shall file in the office of the Construction Official a written petition requesting a hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within 10 days after the day the notice is served.
Upon receipt of the petition, the Construction Official shall set a time and place for the hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof.
At the hearing the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why the notice should be modified or withdrawn. The hearing shall be commenced not later than 10 days after the day on which the petition is filed, provided that, upon application of the petitioner, the Construction Official may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond the ten-day period if, in his judgment, the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for the postponement.
After the hearing the Construction Official shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice, depending upon his findings as to whether the provisions of this section and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with. If the Construction Official sustains or modifies the notice, it shall be deemed to be an order. Any notice served pursuant to this section shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the Construction Official within 10 days after the notice is served.
The proceedings at the hearings, including the findings and the decision of the Construction Official, shall be summarized, reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Construction Official. The record shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Construction Official may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of the state.
Whenever the Construction Official finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect public health or safety, he may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately but upon petition to the Construction Official, shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon his findings as to whether the provisions of this section and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Construction Official shall continue such order in effect or modify it or revoke it.
[1993 Code § 120-11]
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Shall mean any building, structure or part thereof, whether used for human habitation or otherwise, and includes any outhouses and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually used therewith.
- Shall mean the holder of the title in fee simple.
- PARTIES IN INTEREST
- Shall mean all individuals, associations and corporations who have interests of record in a dwelling and any who are in possession thereof.
- PUBLIC AUTHORITY
- Shall mean any housing authority or any officer who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the Township of West Caldwell relating to health, fire, building regulations or to other activities concerning dwellings in the township.
[1993 Code § 120-12]
Whenever a petition is filed with the Construction Official by a public authority as defined in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.4 or by at least five residents of the township charging that any building is unfit for human habitation as defined in the Housing Code or is otherwise so old, dilapidated or has become so out of repair to be dangerous, unsafe or unsanitary or whenever it appears to the Construction Official on his own motion that any building is in such condition, he shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of, and parties in interest in, such building a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the Construction Official at a place therein fixed not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days after the serving of the complaint; that the owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person or otherwise and give testimony at the time and place fixed in the complaints; and that the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling in hearings before the Construction Official.
[1993 Code § 120-13]
If, after notice and hearing, the Construction Official determines that the building under consideration is unfit for human habitation as defined in the Housing Code, he shall state in writing his findings of fact in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof and parties in interest an order requiring:
The repair, alteration or improvement of the building to be made by the owner, within a reasonable time, which shall be set forth in the order or, at the option of the owner, vacating or having the building vacated and closed within the time set forth in the order.
If the building is in such a condition as to make it dangerous to the health and safety of persons on or near the premises and the owner fails to repair, alter or improve the building within the time specified in the order, that the owner shall remove or demolish the building within a reasonable time as specified in the order of removal.
If the owner fails to comply with an order to repair, alter or improve or, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the building, the Construction Official may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved or to be vacated and closed; that the Construction Official may cause to be posted on the main entrance of any building so closed a placard with the following words: "This building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use; the use or occupation of this building is prohibited and unlawful."
If the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the building, the Construction Official may cause such building to be removed or demolished or may contract for the removal or demolition thereof after advertisement and receipt of bids therefor.
The amount of the cost of the filing of legal papers, expert witnesses' fees, search fees and advertising charges incurred in the course of any proceeding taken under this section determined in favor of the township and the cost of repairs, alterations or improvements or vacating and closing or removal or demolition, if any, or the amounts of the balance thereof remaining after deduction of the sum, if any, realized from the sale of materials derived from such building or from any contract for removal or demolition thereof shall be a municipal lien against the real property upon which such cost was incurred.
If the building is removed or demolished by the Construction Official, he shall sell the materials of such building. There shall be credited against the cost of removal or demolition thereof the proceeds of any sale of such materials or any sum derived from any contract for the removal or demolition of the building. If there are no such credits or if the sum total of such costs exceeds the total of such credits, a detailed statement of the aforesaid costs and the amount so due shall be filed with the Municipal Tax Assessor or other custodian of the records of tax liens, and a copy thereof shall be forthwith forwarded to the owner by certified mail. If the total of the credits exceeds such costs, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the Construction Official, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by such Court and shall be disbursed according to the order or judgment of the Court to the persons found to be entitled thereto by final order or judgment of such Court; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the township to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings or otherwise. Any owner or party in interest may, within 60 days from the date of the filing of the lien certificate, proceed in a summary manner in the Superior Court to contest the reasonableness of the amount or the accuracy of the costs set forth in the municipal lien certificate.
[1993 Code § 120-14]
Complaints or orders issued by the Construction Official pursuant to this section shall be served upon persons either personally or by certified mail, but if the whereabouts of such persons is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the Construction Official in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the Construction Official shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of the complaint or order upon such persons may be made by publishing the same once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper having circulation in the township. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order, and a copy of such complaint or order shall be duly recorded or lodged for record with the Essex County recording officer.
[1993 Code § 120-15]
The Construction Official is hereby authorized and empowered to exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this section, including the following, in addition to others herein granted:
To investigate the dwelling conditions in the township in order to determine which dwellings therein are unfit for human habitation.
To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.
To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examination, provided that such entries shall be made in such manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession.
To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and employees as he deems necessary to carry out the purpose of this section.
To delegate any of this functions and powers under this section to such officers and agents as he may designate.
[1993 Code § 120-16]
No person shall occupy as owner or occupant, or rent to another for occupancy, any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not conform to the provisions of the New Jersey State Housing Code established hereby as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.
[1993 Code § 120-17]
The owner of any building located within the limits of the township who desires to demolish the same shall first obtain a permit for that purpose from the Construction Official and shall pay a fee of $25 for each building or structure to be demolished. The fee shall be paid prior to the issuance of any such permit. A permit shall be required, but no fee payable, for demolishing any structure less than 150 square feet in area.
[1993 Code § 152-1]
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BASE RENT
- Shall mean the lawful rent in force and effect for any housing space in a dwelling on August 31, 1988, and thereafter shall include any increases or decreases permitted under the terms of this section.
- CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT
- Shall mean an improvement, addition or alteration of housing space, other than repair or restoration of the housing space to its original condition, which under ordinarily accepted accounting procedures, would entitle the landlord to depreciate the cost of said improvement, addition or alteration on said landlord's United States Internal Revenue Service income tax return.
- Shall mean any building or structure containing housing space units which are rented or offered for rent. A "dwelling" shall not include rooms in a motel or hotel, one-family houses, two- or three-family owner-occupied houses and rooms rented by nonprofit organizations.
- HOUSING SPACE
- Shall mean and shall include that portion of a dwelling rented or offered for rent for living and dwelling purpose to one individual or family unit, together with all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment, garage parking, parking areas and such other facilities and improvements connected with the use of occupancy of such portion of the property.
[1993 Code § 152-2]
From and after the effective date of this section, establishment of the rent for housing space in any dwelling shall be governed by all of the terms and provisions hereof, and it shall be unlawful for any landlord of any dwelling to demand, receive or collect any rent therefor in excess of the base rent for such housing space, except increases as may be granted hereafter under subsections 13-4.4, 13-4.5 and 13-4.6.
[1993 Code § 152-3]
It shall be unlawful for any landlord of a dwelling to demand, receive or collect any rental increase for housing space except at the expiration of a lease of a periodic tenant or the anniversary date of a month-to-month tenant nor more than once in any twelve-month period.
As of the effective date of this section, no landlord may demand, receive or collect any increase in rent for any housing space in excess of a maximum of 5 1/2% above the base rent, except as such further increases may be permitted under this section.
Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, the rent for any housing space in a dwelling which becomes vacant by reason of the vacating of the housing space by the tenant voluntarily may be increased without limitation, except as hereinafter provided. Any rent increase pursuant to this subsection shall be in addition to the annual rent increase provided for in paragraph b above, but only one such additional increase shall be allowed in any twelve-month period, irrespective of the number of vacancies occurring or different housing space agreements which were in effect for the vacant housing space during said twelve-month period.
Increases permitted under this section may be rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
All increased percentages permitted in this section of this chapter shall be reviewed at least annually by the governing body of the Township of West Caldwell.
An affected tenant may apply to the Rent Leveling Board if an increase in excess of that permitted by this section is demanded, received or collected by the landlord. Such application shall set forth the base rent of the affected housing space, the maximum increase permitted by this section, the amount of the increase demanded, collected or received by the landlord and the effective date thereof. A notice of such application setting forth the basis for such application and the place and date scheduled for the hearing thereof shall be served by the tenant by certified mail upon the landlord not less than 15 days in advance of the date scheduled for the hearing or such application.
[1993 Code § 152-4]
A landlord may seek additional rental for any capital improvement or any substantial increase in the services rendered to the tenants by application to the Rent Leveling Board. Such application shall set forth the total cost of the completed capital improvement, the number of years of useful life as claimed by the landlord, the average annual cost of the improvement or service, the total square footage of rental living space in the dwelling in which any housing space is situated, the total number of square footage of rental living space occupied by each affected tenant and the capital improvement or service increase surcharge which the landlord is seeking from each tenant. The tenant shall not be liable for a capital improvement or service increase surcharge exceeding the same ratio to the total annual cost thereof as the number of square footage of rental living space occupied by said tenant bears to the total rental square footage of living space in the dwelling in question. The Rent Leveling Board shall determine whether any such improvement is a capital improvement or if such service increase is a substantial service increase and the amount of the surcharge to each tenant. Any landlord shall be entitled to a classification and determination of such capital improvement or substantial increase in service. Commencing with the month succeeding the date of the granting of any such capital improvement or service increase surcharge, each tenant affected thereby shall have his monthly rental increased by one-twelfth of the portion of such surcharge allocated to him by application of the calculation hereinabove set forth. A notice of such application setting forth the basis for such application and the place and date scheduled for the hearing thereof shall be served by the landlord by certified mail upon all tenants affected not less than 15 days in advance of the date scheduled for the hearing of such application.
The cost of the landlord of interest expense required to finance capital improvements may be included as a part of the total cost of said capital improvements in application to the Rent Leveling Board for rent adjustments under paragraph a.
[1993 Code § 152-5]
A landlord whose current rentals are insufficient to provide a fair return based on either the assessed value of the real estate or the landlord's investment in said property may apply to the Rent Leveling Board for a hardship increase to permit a fair, just and reasonable rate of return. A notice of such application setting forth the basis for such application and the place and date scheduled for hearing thereof shall be served by the landlord, by certified mail, upon all tenants affected not less than 15 days in advance of the date scheduled for the hearing of such application.
The landlord shall have the burden of proving that the rate of return is less than reasonable under this section.
[1993 Code § 152-6; Ord. No. 1379 § 1]
The Rent Leveling Board within the Township of West Caldwell is hereby continued in existence. Said Board shall consist of five members, composed of one landlord or his appointed agent, one tenant who must be a resident of the township, two other residents of the township and one full-time township employee, who shall be designated executive secretary of the Rent Leveling Board. Members of the Rent Leveling Board shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Township Council. The term of each member shall be three years, commencing January 1, 1999. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be made for the unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments.
The executive secretary of the Rent Leveling Board shall supervise the daily administration of this section and process complaints alleging noncompliance with any of the provisions of this section and, where appropriate, schedule hearings before the Rent Leveling Board.
The Rent Leveling Board shall select one of its members to act as Chairman. Three members of the Rent Leveling Board shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of its business. A majority vote of the full Rent Leveling Board shall be required to render any decision pursuant to this section.
[1993 Code § 152-7]
The Rent Leveling Board is hereby granted and shall have and exercise, in addition to other powers herein granted, all the powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and execute the purpose of this section, including but not limited to the following:
To issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to implement the purpose of this section, which rules and regulations shall have the force of law until revised or amended from time to time by the Rent Leveling Board in the exercise of its discretion, provided that such rules, regulations, revisions or amendments are approved by resolution of the governing body of the Township of West Caldwell.
To supply information and assistance to landlords and tenants to help them comply with the provisions of this section.
To require landlords and/or tenants to provide all records or information which the Board deems reasonably necessary to reach a decision on any matter brought before the Board.
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from landlords and tenants for establishment of rents provided herein.
To hold hearings in order to interpret and/or classify capital improvements or substantial service increases as such under the provisions of this section.
To give both landlord and tenant reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard before making any determination.
To render its decisions in writing within 30 days after the close of a hearing.
[1993 Code § 152-8]
All determinations of the Rent Leveling Board, except those pursuant to subsection 13-4.3f hereof, shall be prospective in nature only and shall be effective as of the date of the determination without retroactivity. An application shall not be submitted to amend or modify a determination of the Board, unless more than 12 months have passed from the date of the determination on the original application.
Either landlord or tenant may appeal the findings and determinations of the Rent Leveling Board to a court of appropriate jurisdiction.
[1993 Code § 152-9]
During the term of this section, every landlord shall maintain substantially the same standards of service and maintenance and shall provide substantially the same furniture, furnishings and equipment in the dwelling and housing space covered hereby as was maintained and provided on the effective date of this section, except as hereinafter provided.
Landlords shall be required to keep a rental log book for each apartment and garage in their dwellings. The rental log shall include the apartment or garage number, the name of the tenant and the rental paid each month. This log book must be produced for all housing space units upon request of the Rent Leveling Board.
A landlord may make application to the Rent Leveling Board for a reduction in the standards of service rendered to the tenants, provided that the affected tenants receive a proportionate decrease in rental for such loss. Said application shall set forth the cost of the services to be rendered, the total number of square footage of rental living space in the dwelling in which any affected housing space is situated, the total number of square footage occupied by the affected tenant and the amount of the reduction in rental which is proposed for each tenant. The tenant shall receive a reduction in rent in the same proportion of the total annual reduction in rent as the square footage occupied by said tenant bears to the total square footage of rental space in the dwelling in question. In no event shall the Rent Leveling Board grant any reduction in service which would violate any other ordinance of the Township of West Caldwell or any laws of the State of New Jersey. Commencing with the first of the month next succeeding the completion of the reduction in services, each tenant affected thereby shall receive the proportionate reduction in the base rent as provided by the decision of the Rent Leveling Board. A notice of such application setting forth the basis for such application and the place and date scheduled for the hearing thereof shall be served by the landlord, by certified mail, upon all tenants affected not less than 15 days in advance of the date scheduled for the hearing of such application.
[1993 Code § 152-10]
The owner of any dwelling rented or offered for rent for the first time subsequent of the effective date of this section shall not be restricted hereby in fixing the amount of the initial rent charged for any housing space in said dwelling.
[1993 Code § 152-11]
Any person found guilty of violating any provision of this section or of willfully filing with the Rent Leveling Board any material misstatement of fact shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. A violation affecting two or more housing space units shall be considered a separate violation as to each housing space unit.
[1993 Code § 152-12]
This section being necessary for the welfare of the township and its inhabitants shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.
[1993 Code § 152-13; Ord. No. 1252]
This section shall take effect after final passage and publication as required by law and shall remain in full force and effect for a period not to exceed three years from said effective date and shall automatically terminate, cease and be of no further force and effect upon the expiration of said three-year period; provided, however, that the terms of this section may be extended for succeeding terms of three years each by the Township of West Caldwell of an ordinance extending the terms of this section for a term up to three years, which said ordinance shall be adopted by the Township Council prior to the date of expiration of this section and each expiration date thereafter.
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 1252 provided for an extension for a further term of three years, until August 1, 1997.
[1993 Code § 44-1]
Pursuant to Chapter 226 of the Public Laws of New Jersey of 1981, adopted July 27, 1981, also known as N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.22 et seq. and all regulations adopted thereunder, the following fee is hereby fixed for the services indicated: For each apartment building or project being converted from a rental status to a condominium, an administrative fee of $35 per apartment unit within the building or project for the initial processing of applications for protected tenancy for senior citizens or disabled persons living in the building or project being converted, payable by the sponsor of the apartment conversion.
[1993 Code § 44-2; Ord. #1379, § 2]
Pursuant to the statutes and regulations referred to in subsection 13-5.1 thereof, there is hereby created an Appeal Board, to be known as the "Township of West Caldwell Protected Tenancy Appeal Board," consisting of three members who may be employees of the Township of West Caldwell and not necessarily residents of the township or nonemployee resident citizens of the township. The members of the Appeal Board shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Township Council. The term of office of each member shall be three years, commencing January 1, 1999. The Appeal Board may adopt such rules and regulations as it may deem appropriate and as may be provided by law and consistent therewith. Appeal Board members shall serve without compensation.