[1971 Code §§ 6-3.1, 6-3.2; New]
In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1, the New Jersey State Housing Code as approved by the Department of Community Affairs, is 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 may be found on file in the Office of the Borough Clerk and will remain on file there for the use and examination of the public.
[1971 Code § 6-3.3; New]
The administrative and enforcing authority for the provisions of this section shall be the County Health Officer.
[1971 Code § 6-3.4]
This section shall constitute the standards to guide the County Health Officer in determining the fitness of any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises for human habitation, use or occupancy.
[1971 Code § 6-3.5]
The County Health Officer 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.
[1971 Code § 6-3.6]
The County Health Officer or his agents or employees shall make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises located within the Borough. For the purpose of making inspections, the County Health Officer or his agents are authorized to enter and examine any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises at reasonable hours as the circumstances of the case permit. This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the entry of the County Health Officer 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.
[1971 Code § 6-3.7]
Upon presentation of proper identification, the owner, occupant or person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit shall give the County Health Officer 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 section.
[1971 Code § 6-3.8]
The County Health Officer or his agents may, upon affidavit, apply to the Judge of the Municipal Court of the Borough 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. Search warrants may also be obtained in connection with a general program of inspection.
[1971 Code § 6-3.9]
Whenever the County Health Officer 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 or persons responsible therefor as 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 the owner or agent or upon the 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 is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice; or if he is served with the 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.
[1971 Code § 6-3.10]
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 County Health Officer, provided such person shall file in the Office of the County Health Officer, 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 County Health Officer 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 date on which the petition is filed; provided that upon application of the petitioner, the County Health Officer may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond the 10 day period, if in his judgment the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for the postponement. After the hearing, the County Health Officer 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 County Health Officer 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 County Health Officer within 10 days after the notice is served. The proceedings at the hearings, including the findings and the decision of the County Health Officer, shall be summarized, reduced to writing, and entered as a matter of public record in the Office of the County Health Officer. 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 County Health Officer may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of the State. Whenever the County Health Officer 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 action be taken as he deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, the order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom an order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but upon petition to the County Health Officer 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 County Health Officer shall continue the order in effect, or modify it, or revoke it.
[1971 Code § 6-3.11]
Whenever a petition is filed with the County Health Officer by a public authority as defined in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.4, or by at least five residents of the Borough charging that any dwelling is unfit for human habitation as defined in the Housing Code, or whenever it appears to the County Health Officer on his own motion that any dwelling is unfit for human habitation, he shall if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of, and parties in interest in the dwelling a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the County Health Officer at a place therein fixed not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days after the serving of the compliant; 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 County Health Officer.
[1971 Code § 6-3.12]
If after notice and hearing, the County Health Officer determines that the dwelling 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 this 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, to vacate or to have the building vacated and closed within the time set forth in the order.
If the building is in 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 County Health Officer may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved, or to be vacated and closed; that the County Health Officer 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 County Health Officer 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 Borough.
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 the building or from any contract for removal or demolition thereof, shall be a municipal lien against the real property upon which cost was incurred.
If the building is removed or demolished by the County Health Officer, he shall sell the materials of the building. There shall be credited against the cost of removal or demolition the proceeds of any sale of materials or any sum derived from any contract for the removal or demolition of the building. If there are no credits, or if the sum total of costs exceeds the total of such credits, a detailed statement of the aforesaid costs and the amount due shall be filed with the Municipal Tax Assessor or other custodian of the records of tax liens and a copy shall be forwarded to the owner by certified mail. If the total of the credits exceeds the costs, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the County Health Officer, shall be secured in a manner as may be directed by the 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 the Court; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the Borough 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.
[1971 Code § 6-3.13]
Complaints or orders issued by the County Health Officer 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 Health Office in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the County Health Officer 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 Borough. A copy of the complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order, and a copy of the complaint or order shall be duly recorded or lodged for record with the County Recording Officer.
[1971 Code § 6-3.14]
The County Health Officer 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 granted:
To investigate the dwelling conditions in the Borough in order to determine which dwellings 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 a manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession.
To appoint and fix the duties of any officers, agents and employees as he deems necessary to carry out the purpose of this section.
To delegate any of his functions and powers under this section to such officers and agents as he may designate.
[1971 Code § 6-3.15]
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 as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.
[Ord. No. 04-02, Preamble]
N.J.S.A. 46:8-28.1 mandates the registration of rental units within the State of New Jersey or within the municipality wherein the rental unit is situated; and municipalities are authorized to regulate buildings used for sleeping, lodging and occupancy purposes, including, but not limited to, boarding houses, rooming houses, rental housing or living units under N.J.S.A. 40:52-1 et seq.
N.J.S.A. 40:82-2.12(a) authorizes the Governing Body of any municipality to make, amend, repeal and enforce ordinances to regulate buildings and structures, and their use and occupation, to prevent and abate conditions therein harmful to the health and safety of the occupants of the buildings and the general public in the municipality. The Mayor and Borough Council have received numerous complaints related to rental properties located within the Borough and it is come to their attention that a number of rental units within the Borough are overcrowded and unsupervised by the landlord, thereby creating conditions harmful to the health and safety of the occupants and the general public.
The problems are exacerbated by absentee landlords who do not properly manage or supervise their rental properties; and conditions such as overcrowding, noise complaints, and code violations have caused and continue to cause the Borough to incur considerable expense in its enforcement efforts and to have a deleterious effect on the quality of life of Borough residents.
In an effort to contain the many problems represented by poorly managed rental units, the Borough has established a Rental Property Regulation which is to be administered by the Housing Official and Housing Inspector.
It is the express intention of the Governing Body to hold landlords accountable for unsafe and unsanitary conditions and for units which experience disturbances, damage, and incur public expense resulting from inadequately supervised rental units, and which disturb the peace and tranquility of the general public. The Mayor and Council have determined that it is necessary to require persons who engage in the business of offering property for rent to obtain a license for each building and file a Rental Registration Application for every rental unit in order to protect the public health and safety. To assist the Housing Official in effectively fulfilling his responsibilities, it is necessary to identify all rental properties and the number and names of all tenants therein in order to properly regulate the rental properties, enforce all laws, ordinances and regulations, safeguard the health and safety of all residents of Matawan, and ensure proper management of rental properties.
It is the intention of the Borough to use the information contained in the Rental Registration Application to create a data base which may be supplied to the Police Department, Fire Department and Code Enforcement Office to better oversee rental properties, enforce violations, and protect the tenants in the rental units.
The Mayor and Council believe it is in the public interest to license all landlords of rental properties and to provide for the establishment of additional regulations of rental properties which will identify all rental properties, owners, managing agents and tenants in order to ensure the safety of all tenants and the quality of life for all residents in the Borough of Matawan.
[Ord. No. 04-02 § 1]
As used in this Article:
- Shall mean and include that portion of a dwelling unit, rented or offered for rent for living and dwelling purposes, to one individual or family unit, together with all privileges, services, furnishings, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use occupancy of such portion of the property.
- AVAILABLE FOR RENT TO TENANT
- Shall mean fit to habitation as defined by the Statutes of the State of New Jersey, and the Codes and Ordinances of the Borough of Matawan.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Shall mean and include that portion of a building or structure rented or offered for rent to one or more tenants or family units.
- INDIVIDUAL CONDOMINIUM UNITS
- Shall mean and be treated as separate and individual rental properties.
- OCCUPANTS OF RENTAL UNITS OR TENANTS
- Shall mean those persons who have leased the unit from the owner regardless of the type of tenancy under which they occupy the unit.
- OWNER OR LANDLORD
- Shall mean any person who owns any legally cognizable interest in any apartment complex including, but not limited to, outright ownership, ownership through a partnership, corporation or limited liability company.
- OWNER OCCUPIED
- Shall mean the primary residential living unit of the owner.
- MAINTENANCE OR PROPERTY MAINTENANCE
- Shall mean the cleanliness and proper working order and upkeep of all areas used by tenants and the public.
- RENTAL PROPERTY
- Shall mean any structure or building which contains one or more individual residential rental units.
- RENTAL UNIT
- Shall mean and include that portion of a dwelling, building or structure rented or offered for rent, for living and dwelling purposes to individuals or to family units.
- Shall mean and include that portion of a dwelling, building or structure rented or offered for rent for living and dwelling purposes to individuals or family units.
[Ord. No. 04-02 § II, 1]
No person(s) corporation or business entity shall offer any residential property for rent, or shall rent, lease or let any residential property to any person or persons without first obtaining a license by way of completing a Rental Property Registration Application.
[Ord. No. 04-02 § II, 2]
The applicant shall provide the information required on the application form.
[Ord. No. 04-02 § II, 3]
The annual nonrefundable license fee shall be as follows:
Year 1: $250. This fee shall entitle landlord to one Continuous Certificate of Occupancy (CCO) with no additional fee. However, in the event there is a change in tenancy during the year, the landlord shall be required to update the Rental Property Registration Application and complete a new application for a Continuous Certificate of Occupancy at the current CCO fee. In the event, at the time of the initial Rental Property Registration, the landlord has a current and/or existing CCO, the landlord is not required to obtain a new CCO. There shall be no credit or adjustment of the initial Rental Property Registration fee due to the landlord holding a current CCO.
Year 2: $125 provided that, in the past year, the licensee has not received any violation of this chapter or any other Borough ordinances, Statutes or regulation concerning rental property. In the event of any such violation, the annual fee shall remain $250. The annual fee shall not decrease unless the landlord and all units in the rental property have been violation-free for a period of a year. This fee shall entitle landlord to one Continuous Certificate of Occupancy (CCO) with no additional fee. However, in the event there is a change in tenancy during the year, the landlord shall be required to update the Rental Property Registration Application and complete a new application for a Continuous Certificate of Occupancy at the current CCO fee. In the event, at the time of the initial Rental Property Registration, the landlord has a current and/or existing CCO, the landlord is not required to obtain a new CCO. There shall be no credit or adjustment of the initial Rental Property Registration fee due to the landlord holding a current CCO.
Year 3 and every year thereafter: $75 provided that, in the past year, the licensee has not received any violation of this chapter or any other Borough ordinances, Statute or regulation concerning rental property. In the event of any such violation, the annual fee shall revert back to $250. The annual fee shall not decrease unless the landlord and all units in the rental property have been violation-free for a period of a year. The fee shall entitle landlord to one Continuous Certificate of Occupancy (CCO) with no additional fee per registration year. However, in the event there is a change in tenancy during this year, the landlord shall be required to complete a new application for a Continuous Certificate of Occupancy at the then CCO fee. In the event, at the time of the initial Rental Property Registration, the landlord has a current and/or existing CCO, the landlord is not required to obtain a new CCO. There shall be no credit or adjustment on the initial Rental Property Registration fee due to the landlord holding a current CCO.
In the event that ownership of the property is transferred, the new owner shall apply for a license by completing a new Rental Property Registration Application and the applicable fee within 10 days of transfer.
The annual fee is to be paid on an annual basis within 20 days on which it was first filed (anniversary date).
[Ord. No. 04-02 § II, 4]
In the event of a violation(s) of this or any other Borough ordinance, Statute or regulation concerning rental property in the Borough of Matawan by a licensee of rental property, the Mayor and Council may revoke the license after notice is given and the opportunity for a hearing is had. A license shall not be revoked until five days prior notice of the grounds therefor is served on this licensee and a reasonable opportunity is given to the licensee to be heard thereon.
[Ord. No. 04-02 § III, 1; Ord. No. 05-29]
The owner of every rental property within the Borough of Matawan shall file a Rental Property Registration Application with the Borough Clerk. The form may be requested from the Borough Clerk. The Borough Clerk shall provide a copy of the completed form to the Housing Official and/or Fire Official. When providing a copy of the completed form to any other person or entity requesting same, the Municipal Clerk shall redact the names and addresses, age and gender of the tenants.
The Rental Property Registration Application shall be filed on an annual basis on or before the anniversary date of each year. Failure to do so will result in a penalty.
The Rental Property Registration Application shall include:
The names and addresses of record owners of the rental property, including all general partners in the case of partnership and all members in the case of a limited liability company and all shareholders in the case of a corporation;
The name and address of a person who resides in Monmouth County and who is authorized to accept notices from a tenant or a municipality, to issue receipts for these notices, and to accept the service of process on behalf of the record.
The name, address and telephone number of the owner of record or representative of same, or managing agent who may be reached or contacted at any tine in the event of an emergency affecting the dwelling or any dwelling unit, including such emergencies as the failure of any essential service or system, and who has authority to make emergency decisions concerning the building or unit, including the making of repairs;
The name, age and gender of each and every tenant in each unit, including children. The information contained in the Rental Property Registration Application must set forth information for each unit within the rental property.
The names and addresses of all holders of recorded mortgages on the property;
If fuel oil is used to heat the unit, the name and address of the fuel oil dealer servicing the unit and the grade of oil used;
As to each unit, the owner shall provide a floor plan of each rental unit which shall depict the number, dimensions and locations of each room in the unit identifying each room including both its designed and actual use. No space shall be used for sleeping purposes which has not been so designated as a sleeping area on the sketch provided by the owner and approved by the Housing Official and/or Fire Official, which shall be on file with the Housing Official; and
Such other information as may be required by the Borough.
In the event the tenancy changes during the year, the landlord, owner or managing agent, shall, within 10 days of the change in tenancy, file for a new CCO for the change of tenancy. A change in tenancy shall mean the addition of any person not included in the annual Application or the deletion of any person on the annual Application.
[Ord. No. 04-02 § IV]
The provisions of this Article shall not apply to Public Housing Authorities, Not for Profit Housing Corporations, and rental property restricted to senior housing or housing for the developmentally disabled.
[Ord. No. 04-02 § V; Ord. No. 05-29]
All rental units shall be inspected by persons or agencies duly authorized by the Borough for inspections for purposes of determining Zoning Ordinance compliance and to determine if the rental property, unit or complex complies with all laws, including, but not limited to the Property Maintenance Code, Uniform Construction Code, Health Code, Housing Code, and Fire Code.
In the event that the inspection(s) of a rental unit does not result in a satisfactory inspection, the owner or agent shall cause all necessary repairs or corrections to be made within the time prescribed by the applicable official or code, and if not made within the time period, the owner shall be deemed in violation of this Article, and every day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct violation subject to the penalty provisions herein.
All rental units subject to this Article shall be subject to inspections to determine their condition in order to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of such rental units and of the general public and to determine compliance with this Article. The owner, operator, agent and occupant shall make the units available for such inspections and are required to provide the necessary arrangements to facilitate such inspections. Inspections shall be made with the consent of the occupant, who is of legal age to grant such consent, or, absent consent, with an administrative search warrant, unless there is reason to believe that a violation exists which poses an immediate threat to health or safety, requiring inspection and abatement without delay. Reasonable attempts shall be made to obtain consent of the occupant.
An inspection will be required when petitioned by a tenant, occupant, landlord or a representative of a rental dwelling unit, provided that the petitioner:
Is the tenant or occupant of the premises in the petition;
Files the petition with the Housing Official and/or Fire Official or the Borough Clerk and with the property owner, specifying a violation under this Article;
Agrees to provide access to the premises under his control for the purposes of inspection and for abatement of any violations found to exist.
In the event that a petition is so made, the property owner shall have 10 days to correct the violation and to notify the Housing Official and/or Fire Official of his action. If a petitioner still requests an inspection and the violation still exists, the proper owner shall pay the petitioned inspection fee. If the violation has been corrected, the petitioner shall pay the petitioned inspection fee. The inspection will be made within 10 working days.
In the event the inspection reveals violations of such a nature so as to render occupancy unsafe, the owner shall be responsible for the reasonable moving cost and temporary dwelling cost of the tenant until the premises are made safe for occupancy.
Temporary Certificate of Occupancy.
If, in the opinion of the Inspecting Officer, only minor violations are found to exist after the inspection, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) can be issued, permitting a new occupant to conditionally occupy the premises. This shall specify that the owner or operator has agreed that the violations exist and to make all required repairs within 10 days after the receipt of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO). For the purposes of the subsection, "minor violation" shall be construed to mean violations whose corrections, which do not present an immediate danger to health, safety or welfare of the occupancy.
Time of Inspections. Inspections shall be completed as posted in the Fire Prevention Office.
In the event of a refusal of entry in inspection, the Inspection Officer may, upon affidavit, apply to the Judge of the Municipal Court for a search warrant, setting forth the reasonable basis for believing that a nuisance exists which constitutes a violation of this Article.
[Ord. No. 04-02 § VI; New]
No person shall occupy any rental unit, nor shall the owner permit occupancy of any rental unit unless the unit is registered in accordance with this Article.
Pursuant to the BOCA 1996 Property Maintenance Code, 1996, Schedule 40-5.5, "Overcrowding," it shall be unlawful for any person, including the owner, agent or tenant, to allow a greater number of persons than the posted maximum number of occupants to reside in the rental unit.
Only those persons whose names are on file as required in this Article may reside in the registered premises. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this Article for any other person to reside in the premises. This provision may be enforced against the landlord and tenant and/or other person residing in the premises.
No rental property or unit shall be conducted or maintained in such a manner as to constitute a nuisance.
In every written lease for each rental unit, the landlord shall include the following:
[Ord. No. 04-02 § VII]
Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall result in the imposition of a fine in the amount of $1,250.
In addition to the fine set forth above, the Court may impose imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or both.
It shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation, subject to the penalty provisions of this chapter, for each and every day that such violation continues and for each and every rental property and/or rental unit for which the violation continues.
[Ord. No. 04-02 § VIII; Ord. No. 05-29]