[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Wallingford 5-14-1991 by Ord. No. 396. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following general provisions shall apply to the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
There is hereby established a Code For Rental Housing for the Town of Wallingford pursuant to the provisions of Section 7-148 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the purpose of which is to:
Establish minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, heating and cooling; for safety from fire and accidents; for the use and location and amount of space for human occupancy; and or safe and sanitary maintenance;
Determine the responsibilities of owners, operators and occupants of dwellings; and
Provide for the administration and enforcement thereof.
Title. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Rental Housing Code."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
- A detached structure which is not used or not intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants, and which is located on the same premises with a dwelling.
- Approved by the local or state authority having such administrative authority.
- The residue from the burning of combustible materials (and the noncombustible portion of refuse loaded into an incinerator).
- A portion of a building located partly underground, but having less than half its clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
- A portion of a building located partly or wholly underground and having half or more than half of the clear floor-to-ceiling height below the average grade of the adjoining ground.
- CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM
- A single system supplying heat to one or more dwelling unit(s) or more than one rooming unit.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The official charged with the administration and enforcement of this chapter, or his authorized representative.
- Any enclosed space which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants, provided that temporary housing, as hereinafter defined, shall not be regarded as a dwelling.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.
- EGRESS WINDOW
- Every sleeping room shall have at least one operable window or exterior door approved for emergency egress or rescue.
- The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborages; by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food; by poisoning, spraying, fumigating or trapping or by any other recognized and legal pest elimination methods approved by the Health Officer.
- Any number of individuals related by blood or marriage or not more than six persons not so related living together in a dwelling or dwelling unit as a single housekeeping unit.
- FLUSH WATER CLOSET
- A toilet bowl flushed with water under pressure with a water-sealed trap above the floor level.
- A unit for measuring light or illumination. This measurement is done by a light meter.
- The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, serving and nonconsumption of food.
- GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER (GFCI)
- A safety device used to break the flow of electricity by opening the circuit automatically at the least amount of fault to prevent injury to persons using the appliance.
- Any person who shares a dwelling unit in a nonpermanent status for not more than 30 days in a calendar year.
- HABITABLE ROOM
- A room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, furnace rooms, pantries, kitchenettes and utility rooms of less than 50 square feet, foyers or communicating corridors, stairways, closets, storage spaces and workshops, hobby and recreation areas in unsealed or uninsulated parts of a structure below ground level or in attics, or hobby and recreation areas for communal use in buildings containing several dwelling units.
- HEALTH OFFICER
- The legally designated health authority of the Town of Wallingford, or his authorized representative.
- HEATED WATER
- Water heated to a temperature of not less than 120° F. at the outlet.
- The presence within or around a dwelling or other structure in large numbers of insects, rodents or other pests.
- KITCHEN or KITCHENETTE
- Any room containing any or all of the following equipment, or area of a room within three feet of such equipment: sink and/or other device for dish washing, stove or other device for cooking, refrigerator or other device for cool storage of food.
- A bowl or basin for washing the face and hands, or a room equipped with such a basin.
- LEAD PAINT
- Any pigmented, liquid substance applied to surfaces by brush, roller or spray, in which the total nonvolatile ingredient contains more than 1% of lead, by weight, calculated as metallic lead.
- MULTIPLE DWELLING
- Any dwelling containing more than two dwelling units.
- Any person, over one year of age, living, sleeping, cooking or eating in, or actually having possession of, a dwelling unit or a rooming unit, except that in dwelling units a guest will not be considered an occupant.
- Any person who has charge, care or control of a building, or part thereof, in which dwelling units or rooming units are let.
- Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:
- (1) Shall have legal title to any dwelling or dwelling unit, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or
- (2) Shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling or dwelling unit as owner or agent of the owner, or an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner. Any such person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter and of rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto to the same extent as if he were the owner.
- PERMISSIBLE OCCUPANCY
- The maximum number of persons permitted as family to reside in a dwelling unit or rooming unit based on the required square footage per person in habitable rooms.
- Includes any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership.
- Includes all of the following supplied facilities and equipment: gas pipes, gas-burning equipment, water pipes, garbage disposal units, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes washing machines, catch basins, drains, vents and other similar supplied fixtures, together with all connections to water, sewer, septic tank or gas lines.
- A plotted lot or part thereof or unplotted lot or parcel of land or plot of land, either occupied or unoccupied by any dwelling or nondwelling structure, and includes any such building or other structure thereon.
- The ability of a person or persons to carry out an activity commenced without observation, unwarranted interruption or unwarranted interference, either by sight or sound, by unwanted persons.
- A form of construction which will prevent the ingress or egress of rats to or from a given space or building, or gaining access to food, water or harborage. It consists of the closing and keeping closed of every opening in foundations, basements, cellars, exterior and interior walls, ground or first floors, roofs, sidewalk gratings, sidewalk openings and other places that may be reached and entered by rats by climbing, burrowing or other methods, by the use of materials impervious to rat gnawing and other methods approved by the appropriate authority.
- All putrescible and nonputrescible solids (except body wastes), including garbage, rubbish, ashes and dead animals.
- ROOMING HOUSE
- Any dwelling or that part of any dwelling containing one or more rooming units, in which space is let by the owner or operator to three or more persons who are not husband or wife, son or daughter, mother or father, or sister or brother of the owner, provided that hospitals, homes for the aged and other institutions licensed by the Connecticut State Department of Health under the General Statutes shall not be regarded as rooming houses.
- ROOMING UNIT
- Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes.
- Nonputrescible solid wastes (excluding ashes) consisting of both:
- The condition of being free from danger and hazards which may cause accidents or disease.
- SEPTIC TANK
- A receptacle, usually underground, to which sewage is drained and retained to effect disintegration of the organic matter by bacteria, and as defined in Section 19-13-B20A of the Connecticut Public Health Code.
- SPACE HEATER
- A self-contained, automatically controlled, vented, fuel-burning appliance of either the circulating type or the radiant type.
- Paid for, furnished, provided by or under the control of the owner or operator.
- TEMPORARY HOUSING
- Any tent, trailer, mobile home or any other structure used for human shelter which is designed to be transportable and is not attached to the ground, to another structure or to any utility system on the same premises for more than 30 consecutive days.
- The process of supplying or removing air by natural or mechanical means to or from any space. Such air may or may not have been conditioned.
- An open unoccupied space, on the same lot with a building, extending along the entire length of a street or rear or interior lot line, or other unoccupied space on a lot with a building.
Meaning of certain words.
Wherever the words "dwelling," "dwelling unit," "rooming house," "rooming unit," "premises," and "structure" are used in this chapter, they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words "or any part thereof." Words used in the singular include the plural and the plural the singular; the masculine gender includes the feminine and the feminine includes the masculine.
Workmanlike. Whenever the words "workmanlike state of maintenance and repair" are used in this code, they shall mean that such maintenance and repair shall be made in a reasonably skillful manner.
Certificate of compliance.
No dwelling or dwelling unit may be let until the dwelling or dwelling unit has been inspected by the Code Enforcement Officer and either a certificate of compliance has been issued or an extension of time has been granted under § 167-11B(3) for correction of any violations. A certificate of compliance shall expire after each tenant change and after five years with the same tenant. It shall be the responsibility of the owner (includes agents, executors, administrators, trustees and guardians) to notify the Code Enforcement Officer of all vacancies and after five years with the same tenant. Any such inspection shall be made within two working days after receipt of an application for a certificate of compliance, except that if the unit is to be relet immediately upon termination of the prior tenancy, such inspection shall be made on the last day of the prior tenancy, provided that the owner has given notice to the Code Enforcement Officer at least two days prior to the change in occupancy. A certificate of occupancy, however, should be rendered invalid if issued more than five months prior to occupancy. It shall be the responsibility of the owner to notify and schedule an inspection with the Code Enforcement Officer when a certificate of compliance expires after five years with the same tenant. The provisions of this section shall not apply to new construction.
Any new electrical or plumbing work that may be required to obtain a certificate of compliance must be done by a licensed electrician or plumber and receive the appropriate permits. Any new structural work that may be required to obtain a certificate of compliance must receive the applicable permits.
No person shall let to another person any vacant dwelling or dwelling unit unless the premises are clean, sanitary, fit for human occupancy and comply with all applicable legal requirements of the State of Connecticut and the Town of Wallingford.
Every owner of a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units shall maintain in a clean and sanitary condition the shared or public areas of the dwelling and premises thereof.
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall maintain in a clean and sanitary condition that part or those parts of the dwelling, dwelling unit and premises thereof that he occupies and controls.
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall dispose of all his rubbish in a clean, sanitary and safe manner.
Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall store and dispose of all his refuse and garbage and any other organic waste which might provide harborage or food for rodents or insects in a clean, sanitary and safe manner, and if a container is used for storage pending collection, it shall be rodentproof, insectproof and watertight.
Every owner of a dwelling containing three or more dwelling units shall supply facilities or containers for the sanitary and safe storage of rubbish and garbage and shall be responsible for the disposal of the same. In the case of single- or two-family dwellings, it shall be the responsibility of the occupant to furnish such facilities or containers if not supplied by the owner.
The owner of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall be responsible for providing and hanging all screens, storm doors and windows whenever the same are required under the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, except where an agreement between the owner and occupant has been arranged, in writing. In the absence of such an agreement, maintenance or replacement of screens, storm doors and windows, once installed in any one season, become the responsibility of the occupant.
Every occupant of a dwelling containing a single dwelling unit shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests therein or on the premises; and every occupant of a dwelling unit, in a dwelling containing more than one dwelling unit, shall be responsible for such extermination whenever his dwelling is the only one infested. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subsection, whenever infestation is caused by failure of the owner to maintain a dwelling in a ratproof or reasonable insectproof condition, extermination shall be the responsibility of the owner. Whenever infestation exists in two or more of the dwelling units in any dwelling, or in the shared or public parts of any dwelling containing two or more dwelling units, extermination thereof shall be the responsibility of the owner.
Every occupant of a dwelling unit or structure shall keep all plumbing fixtures and facilities therein in a clean and sanitary condition and shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care in the proper use and operation thereof.
Every owner of a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units and every occupant of a dwelling containing a single dwelling unit shall be responsible for preventing an accumulation on the premises of boxes, lumber, scrap metal or other such materials which may provide insect or rodent harborage or food. Owner shall be responsible for any vacant dwelling.
If any of the following items: all toxic materials, household poisons, such as ammonia, paint, gasoline, etc., are to be kept on the premises, they must be safely stored in a suitable facility to ensure safety for children in a residential environment.
It is the responsibility of the occupant to conform to any/all recycling regulations set forth by the Town of Wallingford.
All accessory structures, including detached garages, sheds, fences, retaining walls and private walkways, shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair.
No person shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purposes of living, sleeping, cooking or eating therein which does not comply with the following requirements:
Every dwelling unit shall have a room or portion of a room in which food may be prepared and/or cooked, and which shall be equipped with the following:
Cabinets and/or shelves for the storage of eating and drinking and cooking equipment and utensils, and of food that does not, under ordinary maximum summer conditions, require refrigeration for safe keeping; said cabinets and/or shelves shall be adequate for the permissible occupancy of the dwelling unit.
A stove or similar device for cooking food, and a refrigerator or similar device for the safe storage of food at temperatures less than 50° F., but more than 32° F., under ordinary maximum summer conditions, which are properly installed with all necessary connections for safe, sanitary and efficient operation, provided that such stove, refrigerator and/or similar devices need not be installed when a dwelling unit is not occupied and when the occupant is expected to provide the same on occupancy, and that sufficient space for the safe and efficient installation and operation of said stove, refrigerator and/or similar devices is provided.
Within every dwelling unit there shall be a nonhabitable room, affording privacy to a person within said room, which is equipped with a flush water closet which shall be connected to a water system that at all times provides an adequate amount of running water under pressure so as to cause the flush water closet to be operated properly, and a bathtub or shower and lavatory sink which may or may not be in the same room as the flush water closet or in close proximity. All must be in good working condition and shall be connected to a sewer system or septic tank which is approved by the appropriate authority. Each dwelling shall have a suitable facility for the safe storage of all medicines.
Every plumbing fixture and pipe, every chimney flue and smoke pipe and every other facility, piece of equipment or utility which is present in a dwelling unit or which is required under this chapter shall be constructed and installed in conformance with the applicable local or state codes and shall be maintained in satisfactory working condition. All sinks, bathtubs and/or showers must be supplied with an adequate amount of heated and unheated running water under pressure.
No habitable room, bathroom or water closet compartment which is accessory to a dwelling unit shall open directly into or shall be used in conjunction with a food store, public eating room, food preparation room, doctor's or dentist's examination or treatment room or office, or any similar room used for public purposes, or other areas as outlined in the State Public Health Code.
The roof shall be structurally sound, tight and have no defects which might admit rain, and roof drainage shall be adequate to prevent rainwater from causing dampness in the walls or interior portion of the building.
Every floor shall be reasonably weathertight, watertight and damp-free and shall be kept structurally sound and in good repair.
Every window, exterior door and basement hatchway or similar devices shall be rodentproof and reasonably watertight and shall be kept in sound working condition and good repair and shall be equipped with operating locks.
Every window sash shall be supplied with glass window panes or an approved substitute.
Every window located at or near ground level, or intended to be used for ventilation, and every other opening located at or near ground level which might provide entry for rodents shall be supplied with adequate gauge screen or such other devices as will effectively prevent their entrance.
During the portion of the year when there is a need for protection against mosquitoes, flies and other flying insects, every door except fire doors, opening directly from a dwelling unit to outside space, shall have supplied properly fitting screens having at least 16 gauge mesh and self-closing device.
Slide bolt and double key locks shall not be installed in egress doors in multiple and single-family dwellings.
No person shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the following requirements:
Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight facing directly outdoors. The minimum total window area, measured between stops, for every habitable room shall be not less than 10% of the usable floor area of such room. Wherever walls or other portions of structures face a window of any such room, and such light-obstructing structures are located less than three feet from the window and extend to a level above that of the ceiling of the room, such window shall not be deemed to face directly to the outdoors and shall not be included as contributing to the required minimum total window area. Whenever the only window in a room is a skylight-type window in the top of such room, the total window area of such skylight shall equal at least 10% of the total usable floor area of such room.
Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight which can be easily opened, or such other device as will adequately ventilate the room. The total of openable window area in every habitable room shall be equal to at least 45% of the minimum window area size, or minimum skylight-type window size, as required in Subsection A, except where there is supplied some other device affording adequate ventilation and approved by the appropriate authority.
Every bathroom and water closet compartment shall comply with the light and ventilation requirements for habitable rooms contained in Subsections A and B, except that no window or skylight shall be required in adequately ventilated bathrooms and water closet compartments equipped with a ventilation system which is in compliance with the Building Code.
Every dwelling unit and all public and common areas shall be supplied with electric service, outlets and fixtures which shall be properly installed, shall be maintained in good and safe working condition and shall be connected to the source of electric power in a manner prescribed by the ordinances, rules and regulations of the municipality. The capacity of such services, and the number of outlets and fixtures, shall be as follows:
Every habitable room shall have an electric service and outlets and/or fixtures capable of providing at least three watts per square foot of floor area.
Every habitable room shall have at least one floor- or wall-type duplex electric convenience outlet for each 60 square feet, or fraction thereof, of floor area.
Every water closet compartment, bathroom, kitchen or kitchenette, laundry room, furnace room and public hall shall contain at least one supplied ceiling- or wall-type electric light fixture and at least one floor- or wall-type electric convenience outlet, except that kitchens or kitchenettes shall have at least two duplex electric convenience outlets in addition to one dedicated for a refrigerator. All receptacle outlets installed within six feet of the kitchen sink, pantry sink and lavatory sink shall have ground fault circuit interrupted (GFCI) protection for personnel.
Convenient switches for turning on one light in each room or passageway shall be located so as to permit the area ahead to be lighted.
Every dwelling unit shall be supplied with a minimum of 60 amperes of electric service.
Every public hall and stairway in every multiple dwelling shall be adequately lighted by natural or artificial light at all times so as to provide at least six footcandles of light at the tread or floor level. Every public hall and stairway in structures containing not more than two dwelling units may be supplied with conveniently located light switches, controlling an adequate lighting system, which may be turned on when needed, instead of full-time lighting.
Every sleeping room shall have at least one operable window or exterior door approved for emergency egress or rescue. The units must be operable from the inside to a full clear opening without the use of separate tools. Where windows are provided as a means of egress or rescue, they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches above the floor. All egress or rescue windows from sleeping rooms must have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet. The minimum net clear opening height dimension shall be 24 inches. The minimum net clear opening width dimension shall be 20 inches.
No person shall let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit, for the purposes of living therein, which does not comply with the following requirements:
Every dwelling shall have heating facilities which are properly installed and are maintained in safe and working condition and are capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, kitchen or kitchenette, bathrooms and water closet compartments in every dwelling unit located therein at a distance of 60 inches above the floor level to a temperature of at least 70° F., with an outside temperature of 0° F. and a wind velocity of 15 miles per hours.
No person shall occupy or let to another for occupancy a dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not comply with the following requirements:
All exterior property areas shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, free from any accumulation of garbage, rubbish and other debris.
All premises shall be graded and maintained as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water thereon, or within any building or structure located thereon.
Every foundation, wall, roof and all other interior or exterior surfaces shall be maintained in a workmanlike state of maintenance and repair and shall be kept in such condition as to exclude rodents.
The foundation elements shall adequately support the building at all points.
Every exterior wall shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or rotting boards or timbers and any other conditions which might admit rain or dampness to the interior portions of the walls or to the occupied spaces of the building.
Stairs, porches, railings and other exit facilities shall be adequate for safety as provided by the State Building Code and shall comply with the following subsection:
Every flight of stairs which is more than three risers high shall have handrails which shall be located as required by the Building Code; and every porch which is located more than 30 inches higher than the adjacent area shall have guardrails and balustrades or other approved protection so located and of such design as required by the Building Code. Every guardrail and balustrades shall be firmly fastened and shall be maintained in good condition.
All walls, ceilings, exterior woodwork, doors and windows shall be kept free of flaking, peeling or loose paint.
No lead paint shall be used on any exterior surface accessible to children or on any wall, ceiling, floor, interior woodwork or on or around the interior or exterior surface of any door, window, fixture, stairs, railing or porch on any dwelling or dwelling unit.
Every foundation, roof, floor, exterior and interior wall, ceiling, inside and outside stair, every porch and every appurtenance thereto shall be safe to use and capable of supporting the loads that normal use may cause to be placed thereon, and be kept in sound condition and good repair.
Every water closet compartment, bathroom and kitchen floor surface shall be constructed and maintained so as to be reasonably impervious to water, and so permitting such floor to be easily kept in clean and sanitary condition.
No owner, operator or occupant shall cause any service, facility, equipment or utility which is required under this chapter to be removed from or shut off from or discontinued from any occupied unit let or occupied by him, except for such temporary interruption as may be necessary while actual repairs or alterations are in process or during temporary emergencies when discontinuance of service is approved by the appropriate authority.
All construction and materials, ways and means of egress and all installation and use of equipment shall conform to applicable state and local laws dealing with fire protection.
Every dwelling shall have one smoke detector located in the following areas: outside of each separate sleeping area; in the basement: each level of the stairways. Every owner of a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units shall be responsible for the maintenance of all smoke detectors in common areas as well as the basement. The owner is responsible for the replacement of all faulty equipment. The occupant shall be responsible for the operation and replacement of batteries in all smoke detectors in their individual unit.
Doors leading into an apartment from an interior common area (hallways) shall be at least twenty-minute fire rated.
No person shall let to be occupied any dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not comply with the following requirements:
Every dwelling unit shall contain at least 150 square feet of floor space for the first occupant thereof and at least 110 square feet of floor space for every additional occupant thereof, the floor space to be calculated on the basis of total habitable room space.
In every dwelling unit of two or more rooms, every room occupied for sleeping purposes shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor space for the first occupant and at least 30 square feet of floor space for each additional occupant thereof, and shall be no less than seven feet in width.
No dwelling or dwelling unit constructed or rehabilitated after 1945, containing two or more sleeping rooms, shall have such room arrangement that access to a bathroom or water closet compartment, intended for use by occupants of more than one sleeping room, can be had only by going through another sleeping room or a bathroom or water closet compartment.
At least 75% of the floor area of every habitable room shall have, in a dwelling or dwelling unit built after 1945, a ceiling height of no less than seven feet, and the floor area of that part of any room where the ceiling height is less than five feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area of the room for the purpose of determining the maximum permissible occupancy thereof. At least 50% of the floor area in attic rooms shall have a ceiling height of seven feet.
No space, located totally or partially below-grade, shall be used as a habitable room or dwelling unit unless:
The floor, and those portions of the walls below-grade, are of waterproof and dampproof construction.
The minimum window area, required in § 167-5A, is located entirely above-grade of the ground adjoining such window area or, if windows are located below-grade, that there be constructed a properly drained window well whose ground area shall be equal to or greater than the area of the window opening; the bottom of the window shall be below the top of the impervious masonry under this window; the minimum horizontal projections of the bottom of the window well shall be equal to or greater than the vertical dimension of this window opening, and no part of the window well, opposite this window, shall protrude above a line projected at a forty-five-degree angle from the bottom of the window opening at right angles to the outer wall.
The total openable window area in each room is equal to at least the minimum, as required under § 167-5B of this chapter, except where there is supplied some other device affording adequate ventilation and approved by the appropriate authority.
There are no pipes or other obstructions less than six feet eight inches above the floor level which interfere with the normal use of the room or area.
Every dwelling unit shall have adequate closet or other storage space for the personal effects of each permissible occupant. If it is lacking, an amount of space equal in square footage to the deficiency shall be subtracted from the area of habitable room space used in determining permissible occupancy.
A dwelling unit shall not be occupied by more than one family plus any guests or domestic employees.
Any entrance doorway to a bedroom shall have an operable door to afford privacy to its occupants.
Every dwelling or dwelling unit shall have one or more safe, unobstructed means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level, as required by the laws of this town and this state.
No person shall operate a rooming house unless he uses the structure as his principal permanent residence. No owner or other person shall occupy or let to another person any vacant rooming unit unless it is clean, sanitary and fit for human occupancy and in compliance with all applicable requirements of the Town of Wallingford.
No person shall operate a rooming house unless he holds a valid rooming house permit signed by the Code Enforcement Officer, Fire Marshal and, when applicable, the Sanitarian in the name of the operator and for the specific dwelling or dwelling unit specified therein. Any structure containing a rooming house shall subject the entire structure to inspection by the Fire Marshal. The operator shall apply to the Code Enforcement Officer only after the Fire Marshal has determined the rooming house to be in compliance with the applicable provisions of this chapter and with any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. This permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place within the rooming house at all times. No such permit shall be transferable. Every person holding such permit shall give notice, in writing, to the Code Enforcement Officer within 24 hours after having sold, transferred, given away or otherwise disposed of ownership of, interest in or control of any rooming house. Such notice shall include the name and address of the person succeeding to the ownership or control of such rooming house. Every rooming house permit shall expire at the end of the year following its date of issuance, unless sooner suspended or revoked as hereinafter provided.
At least one flush water closet, lavatory basin and bathtub or shower, properly connected to a water and sewer system or septic tank system, approved by the Health Officer and in good working condition, shall be supplied for each six persons, or fraction thereof, residing within a rooming house, including members of the operator's family, wherever they share the use of said facilities, provided:
That in a rooming house where rooms are let only to males, flush urinals may be substituted for not more than 1/2 the required number of water closets.
That all such facilities shall be so located within the dwelling as to be reasonably accessible from a common hall or passageway to all persons sharing such facilities.
That every lavatory basin and bathtub or shower shall be supplied with adequate hot water under pressure.
That no such facilities shall be located in a basement or cellar except by written approval of the Director of Public Health.
Cooking in a rooming unit shall be prohibited.
Communal cooking and dining facilities in a rooming house shall be prohibited, except as approved by the Director of Public Health, in writing.
Rooming unit doors shall have operating locks to ensure privacy.
The operator of every rooming house shall change supplied bed linen and towels therein at least once a week and prior to the letting of any room to any occupant, except where an arrangement exists between the owner and occupant, in writing. The operator shall be responsible for the maintenance of all supplied bedding in a clean and sanitary manner.
Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one person shall contain at least 80 square feet of floor space, and every room occupied for sleeping by more than one person shall contain at least 40 square feet of floor space for each additional occupant thereof, provided that no more than three occupants shall occupy the same room.
Every rooming unit shall have one or more safe, unobstructed means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level, as required by the laws of this town and this state.
Every window of every rooming unit shall be supplied with shades, draw drapes or other devices or material which, when properly used, will afford privacy to the occupant of the rooming unit.
Access to or egress from each rooming unit shall be provided without passing through any other rooming or dwelling unit. A bathroom or water closet compartment shall not be used as the only passageway to any hall, basement or cellar, or to the exterior of a dwelling unit.
Dwelling and dwelling units which are let shall be inspected when the occupant of the unit changes or after five years with the same tenant. All dwelling or dwelling units shall be inspected on a complaint basis or when, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, it is necessary.
The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections, as authorized by this chapter, by and with the consent of the owner, occupant or person in charge, to determine the condition of the dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises within this town for the purpose of determining compliance with the provisions of this chapter. For the purpose of making such inspections, the Code Enforcement Officer, with consent of the owner, occupant or person in charge, is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises, or at such other time mutually satisfactory to and agreed upon by the Code Enforcement Officer and the owner or occupant of a dwelling, dwelling or rooming unit, or the person in charge thereof. Such inspection, examination or survey shall not have for its purpose the undue harassment of said owner or occupant, and such inspection, examination or survey shall be made so as to cause the least amount of inconvenience to said owner or occupant, consistent with an efficient performance of the duties of the Code Enforcement Officer. To further ensure that the policy of this chapter, which is to achieve compliance through cooperation of owners and occupants, be successfully maintained, it shall be the practice of the Code Enforcement Officer, whenever practicable, to provide reasonable advance notice to owners and/or occupants of inspections. The Code Enforcement Officer shall make every effort to inspect a dwelling or dwelling unit no more than seven working days after the receipt of a complaint.
The owner or occupant of each dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises, or the person in charge thereof, upon presentation by the Code Enforcement Officer of proper identification, may give the Code Enforcement Officer entry to the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises, and free access to every part thereof, provided that no inspection shall be conducted except during the hours designated above, or at such time as is mutually satisfactory to and agreed upon by the Code Enforcement Officer and the owner, agent or occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit.
Whenever an owner, occupant or person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises shall deny the Code Enforcement Officer right of entry for the purpose of inspection, examination or survey, the Code Enforcement Officer shall not so enter until he presents a duly issued court order describing the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises to the owner, occupant or person in charge thereof.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the entry of the Code Enforcement Officer at any time when, in his judgment, an emergency tending to create an immediate danger to the public health, welfare or safety exits, or when such entry is requested by the owner, occupant or person in charge of the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises or when the Code Enforcement Officer presents a duly issued search warrant to said owner, occupant or person in charge thereof.
Any owner, occupant or person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises refusing to permit or impeding entry of and free access to any part of any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises for the purposes of inspection, examination or survey under the provisions of this subsection and Subsection A above shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer determines that conditions exist which cause any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises to fail to meet the minimum standards provided for in this chapter or regulations pursuant thereto, he shall issue a notice setting forth the alleged failure or failures and requiring that such failures be corrected. The notice shall:
Be in writing.
Set forth the alleged violation or violations of this chapter, or of the rules and regulations pursuant thereto, and describe the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises where the violation is alleged to exist or to have been committed.
Provide a reasonable time for the correction of any violation alleged; such time shall not exceed 30 calendar days.
Be served upon the owner, occupant,or person in charge of the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises by personal service, by the Code Enforcement Officer or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, deliver to addressee only.
Inform the owner, operator or person in charge that any evidence of a violation of any provision of this chapter, or any regulation pursuant thereto, may form the basis of criminal prosecution.
A copy of said notice may be put on the land records of the Town of Wallingford and indexed by the Clerk in the grantor index under the name of the then owner of the property.
If one or more persons to whom such notice is addressed cannot be found, after diligent effort to do so, service may be made upon such person or persons by posting a notice in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit or premises described in this notice.
In the event consent to reinspection is refused, and where the Code Enforcement Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of any provision of this chapter or any regulation pursuant thereto has occurred, or is occurring, he shall apply to the Superior Court for the Judicial District of New Haven, or any judge thereof, for an order directing the owner, operator or occupant of the premises to permit him to make such inspection. In the event of refusal to obey such order, in addition to other remedies, the permit for the occupancy of such premises shall be revoked.
There is hereby created a Housing Code Board of Appeals, which shall consist of five electors of the Town of Wallingford, appointed by the Mayor. Each member so appointed shall serve for a term of three years, except that of those appointed immediately following enactment of this code, only two shall be appointed for three years. One shall be appointed for two years, and two shall be appointed for one year. Upon expiration of these terms of office the Mayor shall make new appointments, each for three years. If any vacancy should occur on the Housing Code Board of Appeals, the Mayor shall appoint an elector to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. A Chairman and Secretary shall be appointed by said committee.
No member of the Housing Code Board of Appeals shall participate as a member of the Board in the hearing in an appeal involving premises in which he has an interest direct or indirect.
Any person aggrieved by a notice of the Code Enforcement Officer issued in connection with any inspection, examination or survey pursuant thereto may request, and shall be granted, a hearing on the matter before the Housing Code Board of Appeals, provided that such person shall file in the office of the Housing Code Board of Appeals a written petition requesting such a hearing and setting forth the grounds therefor within 20 days after the notice of the Code Enforcement Officer was served upon such person. Within 10 days of the receipt of such petition the Housing Code Board of Appeals shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. Such notice shall be by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. At the hearing the petitioner shall have the opportunity to show cause why the notice should be modified or withdrawn. The hearing shall take place within 30 days after the receipt of the petition by the Housing Code Board of Appeals.
A majority of the Housing Code Board of Appeals, after full hearing is had, shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice. Variances from the provisions of this chapter may be granted where circumstances warrant and, in the judgment of the Housing Code Board of Appeals, no harm to the public health, welfare and safety will result from such variance.
During the time any notice of the Code Enforcement Officer is under appeal, it shall be suspended.
All proceedings at such hearings, including the findings of fact and decision, shall be reduced to writing and shall be a matter of public record and, as such, shall be recorded and certified in the office of the Town Clerk as provided by the laws of this state.
Whenever, in the judgment of the Code Enforcement Officer, an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, welfare or safety, he may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of the emergency and requiring such action as he deems necessary to eliminate it. Anyone receiving such an order shall comply as soon as possible, but shall be given a hearing, if requested, within 24 hours.
The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized, with consent of the owner, occupant or person in charge, to enter, inspect, examine and survey all rooming houses between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Whenever, upon inspection of any rooming house, the Code Enforcement Officer finds that conditions or practices exist which are in violation of any provisions of this chapter, or of any applicable rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the Code Enforcement Officer shall give notice, in writing, to the operator of such rooming house that unless such conditions are corrected within a reasonable time, the operator's permit shall be suspended. At the end of such period of time the Code Enforcement Officer shall reinspect such rooming house, under the conditions of his first entry and inspection as set forth in this subsection above; and, if he determines that such conditions have not been corrected, he shall issue an order suspending the operator's permit.
Any person whose permit to operate a rooming house has been suspended by order of the Code Enforcement Officer may petition for and shall be granted a hearing on the matter in the manner prescribed by § 167-12 on hearings. If no such petition is forthcoming within 10 days following the day on which a permit was suspended, said permit shall be deemed revoked, except that at any time within 10 days following such suspension, any person whose permit has been suspended shall have the opportunity to demonstrate to the Code Enforcement Officer that his rooming house has been put in compliance with this chapter and with all regulations pursuant thereto. Where such compliance is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer, the suspension of the rooming house permit shall be withdrawn.
The Housing Code Board of Appeals is hereby authorized to make, adopt, revise and amend such rules and regulations as it deems necessary for the carrying out of the provisions of this chapter. No such rule or amendment or revision thereof shall become effective until a public hearing has been held thereon. Notice of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town of Wallingford at least five days before the date of such hearing.
Any person who shall willfully refuse or fail to obey any order properly issued by the Code Enforcement Officer or any order of the Housing Code Board of Appeals shall be fined no less than $25 nor more than $100 for each such violation. Each day's failure or refusal to obey such an order shall constitute a separate violation.
The designation of dwellings or dwelling units as unfit for human habitation, and the procedure for the condemnation and placarding of such unit dwellings or dwelling units, shall be carried out in compliance with the following requirements:
Any dwelling or dwelling unit which shall be found to have any of the following defects shall be condemned as unfit for human habitation and shall be so designated and placarded by the Code Enforcement Officer:
One which is so damaged, decayed or dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe or vermin-infested that it creates a serious hazard to the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
One which lacks illumination, ventilation or sanitation facilities adequate to protect the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
One which, because of its general condition or location, is unsanitary or otherwise dangerous to the health or safety of the occupants or of the public.
Any unit condemned as unfit for human habitation, and so designated and placarded by the Code Enforcement Officer, shall be vacated within 30 days. Every reasonable effort shall be made by the Town of Wallingford to assist in the relocation of families of such units.
No dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit that has been condemned and placarded as unfit for human habitation shall be used again for human habitation until written approval is secured from and such placard is removed by permission of the Code Enforcement Officer. The Code Enforcement Officer shall permit removal of such placard by the owner, occupant or person in charge of the dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit whenever the defect or defects upon which the placarding action was based have been eliminated.
No person shall willfully deface or remove the placard from any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit which has been condemned as unfit for human habitation, and placarded as such, except when such action has been authorized by the Code Enforcement Officer, as provided for in Subsection C above. Whoever violates this provision shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $50.
Any person aggrieved by any order involving the placarding of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit may request, and shall be granted, a hearing under the conditions specified in § 167-12.
Where no corrective action is taken by the owner, occupant or person in charge of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit designated as unfit for human occupancy within 30 days following the date of the placarding action, and when no hearing is pending, the Code Enforcement Officer shall order the structure in violation to be demolished as soon as practicable.
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with any existing code, ordinance or regulation of this Town of Wallingford, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail.
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter be declared invalid for any reason whatever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.