[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Northfield 5-20-1997 by Ord. No. 10-97 (Ch. 73, Art. I, of the 1974 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- DWELLING UNIT
- A building or part thereof having cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities designed for or occupied by one family and which is entirely separated from any other dwelling unit in the building by vertical walls or horizontal floors, unpierced, except for access to the outside or a common cellar.
- RENTAL UNIT
- Any dwelling unit which is leased or rented.
Position created. There is hereby created the permanent, part-time position of Housing Officer of the City of Northfield.
Hours of employment and compensation. The Housing Officer shall work no more than 15 hours per week unless expressly authorized by City Council, by duly adopted resolution, to work in excess of 15 hours per week. Compensation for services rendered by the Housing Officer shall be as provided for in the yearly Salary Ordinance adopted by the City Council of the City of Northfield.
All rental units, apartments and all dwelling units which are occupied by a person, persons or family other than the owner, the owner's family or people living with the owner as a family shall be registered by the owner with the Housing Officer or his designee on forms which shall be provided for that purpose and which shall be obtained from the Housing Officer or his designee. Such registration shall occur on an annual basis as provided herein.
Every owner of premises for rent, one or more rental units, apartments and/or dwelling units required to register the premises in accordance with Subsection A immediately above, unless excluded as a motel or hotel as set forth in Subsection D below, shall file under oath, with the Housing Officer of the City of Northfield or his designee, a registration certificate on forms which shall be provided for that purpose and which shall be obtained from the Housing Officer or his designee. Such registration certificate shall be filed annually as provided below. The registration certificate shall include the address of the premises, rental unit or units, apartments and/or dwelling units, the name and address of the owner, the name and address of the superintendent and/or the name and address of the agent in charge, the number of rental units, apartments and/or dwelling units in said premises, a description by number or letter of each such apartment in the premises and the number of tenants located within said premises, including a breakdown of the number of tenants 18 years of age and older and number of tenants 17 years of age and younger, on the date the registration certificate is prepared. If the owner is a corporation or other entity other than an individual, the registration certificate shall be made under oath by the president or secretary of the corporation or by a principal of such entity.
[Amended 7-13-2010 by Ord. No. 6-2010]
Each rental unit, apartment and/or dwelling unit required to be registered shall be registered annually. The registration term shall commence January 1 of each year and such registration shall be valid until January 15 of the following year, at which time it shall expire and a new registration shall be required. Any lease which has been executed prior to the adoption of this chapter shall not be affected, but the rental unit, apartment and/or dwelling unit must, nevertheless, be registered and inspected in accordance with this chapter.
A rental unit, apartment, or dwelling unit, as those terms are used in this section, shall not include any room or suite of rooms in a motel or hotel unless the units rented in said hotel or motel shall contain two or more units having eating and cooking facilities. In such event, the units containing such facility shall be considered rental units or dwelling units within the meaning of this section. This subsection shall not preclude the requirement that a certificate of occupancy be issued upon a sale of the hotel or motel specified herein.
Registration fee. The owner shall pay at the time of registration a fee of $65. An annual registration fee, due January of each subsequent year, shall be $65. If full payment is not received by March 1 of any year, a late fee of $25 shall be assessed.
[Amended 2-9-2010 by Ord. No. 2-2010]
Each rental unit, apartment and/or dwelling unit required to be registered hereunder shall be inspected every two years or before occupancy of a new tenant.
[Amended 5-28-2013 by Ord. No. 4-2013]
The inspection shall be for the purposes of determining compliance with Chapter 215, Land Use and Development, of the Code of the City of Northfield and any applicable laws of the City of Northfield, the State of New Jersey or the United States of America.
In the event that the inspection of a rental unit does not result in a satisfactory determination due to a violation of an ordinance of the City of Northfield or applicable laws of the State of New Jersey or the United States of America or because of a condition as set forth in § 275-5C below, such property shall not thereafter be certified as habitable and the owner of the property or his agent shall not lease or rent such property nor shall any tenant occupy the property until the necessary corrections have been made so as to bring the property and rental unit into compliance with the applicable laws and the property thereafter subsequently becomes certified as habitable. When unsatisfactory conditions are discovered, all such corrections shall be made as prescribed by the applicable codes or laws. In the event that said codes do not specify a date by which corrections shall be made, all corrections then shall be made within 30 days from the date of notification of the failed inspection, and if not made within that time period, the owner shall be deemed in violation of this chapter and every day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. If, however, the property is occupied at the time an inspection takes place, which inspection also results in an unsatisfactory condition being discovered, then the tenant/occupant shall be permitted to remain in the property, with the owner being given the time allowed by code or a thirty-day time period as mentioned above to correct the deficiency. If the deficiency is not corrected within that thirty-day period, the occupant/tenant shall be required to vacate. If at the time an inspection occurs an unsatisfactory condition is found and it is deemed to be an imminent hazard as determined by the inspecting agency, then that inspecting agency shall have the right to cause immediate vacation of the property in order to protect the occupant/tenant from any imminent hazard within the unit as inspected.
A charge, as provided in Chapter 128, Uniform Construction Codes, to cover the cost of the inspection in connection with said application shall be paid at the time the application is filed and shall not be refundable. Any reinspection of the subject premises caused by a lack of compliance with the provisions of this chapter or the provisions of the New Jersey State Housing Code shall require a fee as provided in Chapter 128, Uniform Construction Codes, to be paid prior to said inspection.
No agent, agent of an owner, real estate agent or broker, firm, company, partnership, corporation or person or persons shall sell, rent, transfer, grant, lease, let, mortgage with right of occupancy or otherwise dispose of the ownership or occupancy, whether or not for a consideration and whether such disposal or occupancy is temporary or permanent, of any dwelling unit, mobile home or apartment, unless a certificate of occupancy is obtained certifying that said dwelling unit or apartment is fit for human habitation and that said dwelling unit or apartment is in compliance with all ordinances of the City of Northfield, which shall first be obtained from the Construction Official, Housing Officer or his designee inspector who is authorized to issue a certificate of occupancy upon inspection and approval by the Construction Officer, Housing Officer or his designee inspector within 10 days from the date of the filing of the application for same.
No such vacated apartment or dwelling unit shall be rented or occupied in whole or in part by any new owner, occupant or tenant until an inspection has been made by the aforesaid public official as to whether said dwelling unit or apartment is in violation of any of the applicable laws of the City of Northfield, the State of New Jersey or the United States of America. If no such violation is found, the Building Department shall issue a certificate of occupancy; otherwise, it shall notify the owner, in writing, setting forth the specific violations found.
A dwelling unit or apartment shall be deemed to be unfit for human habitation where conditions exist therein which are dangerous to the health or safety of the occupants or residents of the municipality. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, defects increasing the hazard of fire, accidents or other casualties, lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities and dilapidation, disrepair or structural defects or uncleanliness.
The Construction Official, Housing Officer or his designee inspector shall cause to be prepared the appropriate application form for such a certificate of occupancy, which forms shall be available to applicants at the Building Department.
A charge, as provided in Chapter 128, Uniform Construction Codes, to cover the cost of the inspection in connection with said application shall be paid to the Building Department at the time the application is filed and shall not be refundable. Any reinspection of the subject premises caused by a lack of compliance with the provisions of this chapter or the provisions of the New Jersey State Housing Code shall require a fee as provided in Chapter 128, Uniform Construction Codes, to be paid prior to said inspection.
A dwelling unit or apartment, as those terms are used in this section, shall not include any room or suite of rooms in a motel or hotel unless the units rented in said hotel or motel shall contain two or more units having eating and cooking facilities. In such event, the units containing such facilities shall be considered multiple dwelling units; provided, however, that this subsection shall not preclude the requirement that a certificate of occupancy be issued upon a sale of the hotel or motel specified herein.
At the time of inspection of each dwelling unit or apartment prior to the issuance of said certificate of occupancy, the Building Department or Housing Officer shall post, in a conspicuous place in said apartment or dwelling, a notice stating the number of persons which shall be permitted to occupy said apartment or dwelling as residents therein, pursuant to the City of Northfield Code, and in no event shall residency in excess of said posted number be exceeded by either the landlord or the tenant. For the purpose of determining residency, any person who sleeps upon the premises or generally dwells therein for more than two successive days or nights shall be considered to be residing on the premises.
In the event that an application for a certificate of occupancy is made for a dwelling unit that is in an Adult Housing District as defined by Chapter 215, Land Use and Development, § 215-157, an affidavit of compliance will be required by both the landlord and tenant prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. The affidavit of compliance shall be in a form prepared by the Zoning Department of the City of Northfield, which shall confirm that the owner and tenant are aware of the fact that the dwelling is located in an Adult Housing District, and the affidavit of compliance shall indicate that the adult housing age is restricted to 55 years of age for the primary resident or one of the spouses with not more than one dependent child not less than 18 years of age. It shall be the responsibility of both the owner and any tenant that the adult housing laws are complied with. In the event that any owner or tenant violates this subsection, said owner and tenant shall be subject to the violation and penalty section contained in § 275-9.
[Added 12-18-2001 by Ord. No. 24-2001]
The Housing Officer or his designee shall index and file the rental registration form and make it reasonably available for public inspection. In doing so, the Housing Official or his designee shall follow the mandates of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28.1, as amended and supplemented, so that the filing of the rental registration form simultaneously satisfies the registration requirements of N.J.S.A. 46:8-28 to the extent that it applies to the property being registered and will also satisfy the rental registration requirements of this chapter. The Housing Officer or his designee shall maintain a master index of all such rental registration forms, and any person may obtain from the Housing Officer or his designee a list of all properly registered rental units, apartments and/or dwelling units upon payment of the appropriate fees.
Every person required to file a rental registration form pursuant to this chapter shall file an amended rental registration form within 20 days after any change in the information required to be included thereon.
No rental unit, apartment and/or dwelling unit shall be issued a certificate of occupancy unless all municipal taxes, sewerage and other municipal assessments are paid on a current basis.
In addition to the penalties set forth in N.J.S.A. 46:8-35, and as periodically amended, any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the City of Northfield or such other court having jurisdiction, be liable for a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment of a term not exceeding 90 days or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days or by any one or more of the above. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation subject to the penalty provisions of this chapter. The penalties and provisions contained in this chapter will automatically be deemed altered and amended in conjunction with any amendments to N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.