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No landlord as defined herein, shall allow a dwelling or dwelling unit to be occupied by a person, persons, or tenant as defined herein, other than the record owner of the dwelling or dwelling unit unless the landlord holds a valid, current license as prescribed by this Chapter and issued by the Code Enforcement officer for the specified named and/or numbered regulated dwellings. Any change in the owner, as defined in this Chapter, shall require a new application for a license with respect to the property affected by the change of ownership, including re-inspection.
(a) Procedure and Schedule for Licensing.
(1) Every landlord as defined herein shall apply for a license for each dwelling or dwelling unit which is being rented, leased or is non-owner occupied or is vacant but is or will be made available for rent, lease or non-owner occupancy. A license once issued shall be valid for twenty-four (24) months unless revoked as herein provided.
(2) Any person as defined herein who comes into possession by any means whatsoever, or acquires a legal or equitable ownership interest in a dwelling or dwelling unit that is, or is to be, occupied by a tenant as defined herein or by a person or persons who are not the owners of said property, which is not validly licensed, shall make application for a license as prescribed by this Chapter within thirty (30) days from the date that they come into possession or acquire legal or equitable ownership interest in said dwelling or dwelling unit. The landlord shall thereafter be required to re-apply for a license in accordance with this Chapter.
(3) Every landlord shall make a separate application to the City of Sharon Code Enforcement officer for a license for each dwelling or dwelling unit owned. In the case of dwelling or dwelling units that have multiple units contained therein, including but not limited to, apartment complexes, duplexes, triplexes, residential care facilities, supervising care facilities, rooming houses or any or all combinations thereof, each separate unit contained therein that is occupied or available for occupancy by someone other than the owner shall be considered a dwelling or dwelling unit as defined herein and shall require its own separate license.
(4) Every landlord applying for a license shall complete the application form as provided by the City of Sharon and shall supply such information as required by the City, including but not limited to:
A. The name, address, telephone number of the owner or owners of the premises;
B. The name, address and telephone number of the local agent, if applicable, as provided for in Section 829.04, if applicable;
C. The address of the dwelling or dwelling unit;
D. The number of units in each building;
E. A drawing of the floor plan of the dwelling and/or dwelling units contained therein if the dwelling or dwelling unit consists of multiple units;
F. The form shall also state in a conspicuous place, in a conspicuous manner and in bold type that the landlord, by making application to the City for a license, consents to the City Code Officer entering the landlord’s rental unit(s) to complete the inspection as required by this Chapter.
(5) Every landlord shall pay a license fee in the following amount each time an application for a license is made:
A. Fifty dollars ($50.00) per dwelling for up to three (3) units contained therein;
B. Fifty dollars ($50.00) per dwelling plus an additional five dollars ($5.00) per unit in excess of three (3) units up to and including twenty (20) units per dwelling;
C. Fifty dollars ($50.00) per dwelling plus an additional two hundred dollars ($200.00) for all units in excess of twenty (20) but less than eighty (80) units;
D. Fifty dollars ($50.00) per dwelling plus an additional three hundred dollars ($300.00) for all units in excess of eighty (80) units.
(6) Upon receipt of the fully completed licensing application form, payment of the fee, and completed passing inspection, the Code Enforcement Officer or his designee shall, within ten (10) days, issue a license to the owner or responsible local agent, except in the event that the dwelling or dwelling unit has been determined by the Code Enforcement Officer to be in violation of this Chapter. The license shall be valid until re-application is required unless it is revoked or suspended pursuant to this Chapter. Upon expiration the dwelling(s) or dwelling unit(s) shall not be occupied by a tenant as defined herein unless the landlord re-applies, and is granted, a new license as required by this Chapter. At least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the license, the landlord shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer of the pending expiration and that the landlord wishes to schedule a time and date for a new “initial inspection” as defined herein.
A. Every dwelling or dwelling unit shall, after the landlord’s application for a license, be subject to the inspection provisions contained herein. Every landlord shall comply with and satisfy all requirements of this Chapter and any other requirements that the City may require from time to time.
B. Every license (in whatever form) shall at all times be maintained in a conspicuous place in the dwelling or dwelling unit and available for inspection by City officials, or, in the alternative, the City may, for properties with a single rental unit thereon, issue a sticker for placement on an outside door or window that is then conspicuously displayed at all times to City Officials and to the public.
(7) No license may be issued with respect to any application unless proof of comprehensive property insurance in an amount of not less that ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) or such higher amounts that may be reasonably necessary to cover the costs of demolition of any structure for which the application pertains is in force naming the City of Sharon as a certificate holder and further providing for not less than thirty (30) days notice to the City of any cancellation or modification or termination of the policy. Failure to obtain this required insurance coverage within fourteen (14) days after a tenant takes possession of a dwelling or dwelling unit and then maintains same during the complete term of the license issued shall be grounds for immediate revocation or suspension of the applicable license.
(1) The Code Enforcement Officer or his designee shall, upon the receipt of an application for a license, schedule the dwelling or dwelling unit as soon as possible for inspection. Said inspection shall hereinafter be referred to as the “initial inspection.”
(2) The Code Enforcement Officer or his designee is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to each dwelling or dwelling unit and each unit contained therein which the City receives an application for a license to determine the condition of the dwelling or dwelling unit, its rooms and premises in order that the Code Enforcement Officer may perform such duties necessary for safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of the dwelling or dwelling units and to the general public. For the purpose of making such inspections, the Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey during normal business hours, all dwelling or dwelling units contained therein, establishments and premises. The owner or occupant of every dwelling or dwelling unit, contained therein, shall give the Code Enforcement Officer access to such dwelling or dwelling unit and its premises at all reasonable times for the purposes of such inspection, examination and survey. Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall give the owner thereof, or his agent or employee, access to any part of the dwelling or dwelling unit or its premises at all reasonable times for the purposes of making such repairs or alterations that are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this Chapter. It shall be the responsibility of every landlord to provide access to each dwelling and/or dwelling unit for every inspection scheduled by the Code Enforcement Officer whether the dwelling and/or dwelling and/or dwelling unit is vacant or occupied.
(3) The Code Enforcement Officer shall, after the initial inspection, certify to the City that the dwelling or dwelling unit is in compliance with this Chapter.
(4) Inspection shall also occur which may be required in the investigation of complaints by tenants or reinspection of a dwelling or dwelling units that are not in compliance with this Chapter. It shall be unlawful for a landlord to transfer possession or occupancy of a dwelling or dwelling unit to a tenant without first notifying the City of Sharon in writing of the landlord’s intent to do so thereafter complying with all other provisions of this Chapter including, but not limited to the inspection and licensing provisions.
(5) If in the event that the City Code Enforcement Office receives a complaint from a tenant(s), the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the landlord or its responsible agent in writing that a complaint has been filed and that an inspection of the dwelling or dwelling unit is required. The notice shall contain the time and date of the scheduled inspection. The landlord shall make the premises available for inspection. If, after the inspection the Code Enforcement Officer finds that the problem complained of exists and that it is a violation of this Chapter, specifically Section 829.12, the landlord shall be ordered to correct the violation pursuant to the requirements of this Chapter and shall pay an inspection fee to the City in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00). If the landlord fails to bring the dwelling or dwelling unit into compliance within twenty (20) days, the landlord shall be subject to Section 829.09(b)(8) and all other provisions of this Chapter. If after inspection, the Code Enforcement Officer finds that the problem complained of does not exist, or if existent, does not violate the provisions of this Chapter, then in either said event, the complaining tenant(s) shall be billed fifty dollars ($50.00) by the City, one-half of which shall be remitted to the landlord upon collection thereof.
(6) For any inspection conducted by the City pursuant to the requirements of this Chapter as amended the following fees shall be chargeable:
A. For an initial inspection: fifty dollars ($50.00).
B. For a required first re-inspection: fifty-five dollars ($55.00).
C. For a required second re-inspection: sixty-five dollars ($65.00).
D. For a required third re-inspection: seventy-five dollars ($75.00).
E. For a required fourth and all subsequent re-inspections: one hundred dollars ($100.00) each.
(7) Any multiple-unit discount from a third party inspector will be passed on to the property owner.
(8) All scheduled inspection or re-inspection appointments not attended by the landlord or a designated property manager or tenant shall be treated as an inspection or re-inspection as the case may be and the appropriate fee pursuant to the inspection fee schedule shall be charged.
(9) In the event that a dwelling or dwelling unit fails to pass any inspection required by this Chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer shall reinspect the dwelling or dwelling unit as soon as conveniently possible, but shall occur no later than twenty (20) days after the dwelling or dwelling unit is deemed to be in violation of this Chapter. Until such time as the Code Enforcement Officer certifies that the dwelling or dwelling unit is in compliance with this Chapter, the dwelling or dwelling unit shall not be leased for non-owner occupancy or made available for the same. The landlord shall, at the landlord’s sole and absolute expense, re-locate any tenants occupying a dwelling unit for which a license, as required by this Chapter, has not been obtained or maintained.
(c) Alternative Inspections.
(1) Every landlord as defined herein shall have the option of securing a license by having a qualified inspector, other than the City Code Enforcement Officer, certify that their dwelling(s) or dwelling unit(s) as in compliance with this Chapter, including but not limited to Section 829.12 as set forth below. The landlord shall notify the City Code Enforcement Office in writing at least ten (10) days prior to the inspection of the proposed inspection date that they have elected an alternate inspector. The written notice shall designate the name, telephone number, qualifications of the alternate inspector and the date that the inspection is to occur. Thereafter, when the landlord reapplies for a new license on the applicable date from the issuance of the previous license, and the landlord elects to have the inspection done by an inspector other then the City Code Officer, the landlord shall notify the City Code Enforcement Office in writing not more than thirty (30) days but not less than ten (10) days prior to the expiration of the license of this election of an alternate inspector. All other provisions of this Chapter shall remain in full force and effect. The inspection, if done by an alternate inspector, shall be completed and submitted to the Code Enforcement Office no more then sixty (60) days from the date that the landlord makes application for a license.
(2) The alternate inspector chosen by the landlord shall be approved by the City Code Enforcement Officer prior to the inspector performing any inspections and shall have at least the following minimum requirements;
A. Be familiar with the provisions and requirements of the International Property Maintenance Code, and
B. Be a Pennsylvania State certified engineer or;
C. Be a Pennsylvania State certified Architect or;
D. Be a certified property maintenance inspector or;
E. Be approved by the City Code Enforcement Office because of extensive work or experience in property maintenance.
(3) If in any event the landlord chooses to have an inspector other than the Code Enforcement Office inspect dwelling(s) or dwelling unit(s), said landlord shall be responsible for all fees charged or otherwise due and owing to the inspector for any inspections that are required by this Chapter.
(Ord. 06-05. Passed 3-22-2005; Ord. 01-10. Passed 5-20-2010; Ord. 07-11. Passed 5-19-2011; Ord. 01-13. Passed 2-21-2013; Ord. 07-18. Passed 6-20-2018; Ord. 05-19. Passed 6-19-2019; Ord. 17-20. Passed 1-20-2021.)