Ordinance 2016-17: Minimum Housing Standards for Residential Properties in the Village

ORDINANCE NO. 2016-17

 

AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING MINIMUM BUILDING STANDARDS FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN THE VILLAGE OF ANTWERP, OHIO

 

WHEREAS, the Village of Antwerp (the “Village”) believes it is in the best interest of the residents of the Village and the public health, safety and general welfare of the Village that minimum housing standards for residential properties be established and enforced.

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF ANTWERP, COUNTY OF PAULDING, OHIO:

 

Section 1.  LEGISLATIVE FINDING.

It is hereby found that there exists and may in the future exist within the Village premises, dwellings, dwelling units, accessory buildings, or parts thereof, which by reason of their structure, equipment, sanitation, maintenance, use or occupancy affect or are likely to affect adversely the public health, safety, and general welfare. To correct and prevent the existence of such adverse conditions, and to achieve and maintain such levels of residential environmental quality as will protect and promote public health, safety, and general welfare, it is further found that the establishment and enforcement of minimum housing standards are required.

 

Section 2.  PURPOSE.

It is hereby declared that the purpose of this Ordinance is to protect, prevent, and control the incidence of communicable diseases, to reduce environmental hazards to health, to regulate privately and publicly owned dwellings for the purpose of maintaining adequate sanitation and public health, and to protect the safety of the people and to promote the general welfare by legislation which shall be applicable to all dwellings now in existence or hereafter constructed. It is hereby further declared that the purpose of this Ordinance is to insure that the quality of housing is adequate for protection of public health, safety, and general welfare including:

(a)                Establishment of minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, and thermal conditions, for safety from fire and accidents, and for an adequate level of maintenance;

(b)               Determination of the responsibilities of owners, operators, and occupants of dwellings; and

(c)                Provision for the administration and enforcement thereof.

 

Section 3.  SCOPE.

The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply uniformly to the construction, maintenance, use, and occupancy of all residential buildings and structures where applicable, and shall apply uniformly to the alteration, repair, equipment, use, occupancy and maintenance of all existing residential buildings and structures, within the jurisdiction of the Village irrespective of when or under what code or codes such buildings or structures were originally constructed or rehabilitated.

 

 

 

Section 4.  TITLE.

This Ordinance shall be known and may be cited as “The Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Regulation of the Village of Antwerp,” hereinafter referred to as “this ordinance.”

 

Section 5.  RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENT; FINDINGS.

Council finds that a residential environment should include the following:

(a)                Sanitation and Maintenance.

(1)   Materials and equipment to facilitate clean, orderly, and sanitary maintenance of the dwelling.

(2)   Water piping of adequate size and approved, safe materials, supplying fixtures within each living unit in a manner which avoids introducing contamination.

(3)   Adequate, private, sanitary, water-flushed toilet facilities within family units.

(4)   Plumbing and drainage system designed, installed, and maintained so as to protect against leakage, stoppage, overflow and escape of odors.

(5)   Sanitary disposal of food, waste, storage of refuse and sanitary maintenance of premises to reduce the hazard of vermin and nuisances is the responsibility of the occupant.

(6)   Arrangements for proper drainage of roofs, yards, and premises, and for conducting such drainage from the buildings and premises.

(7)   Maintenance to exclude and facilities control of rodents and insects.

(8)   Program to assure maintenance of structure, facilities, and premises in good repair and in a safe and sanitary condition.

(b)               Safety and Injury Prevention.

(1)   Construction, installation, materials, facilities, and maintenance to minimize danger of explosions and fire and their spread.

(2)   Maintenance to facilitate ready escape in case of fire or other emergency.

(3)   Protection against all electrical hazards including shocks and burns.

(4)   Installation and maintenance of fuel-burning and heating equipment to minimize exposure to hazardous undesirable products of combustion, prevent fires or explosions, and protect persons against related hazards.

 

Section 6.  DEFINITIONS.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this ordinance.

(a)                “Dwelling” means any enclosed space wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.

(b)               “Dwelling unit” means a room or group of rooms located within a dwelling forming a single habitual unit with facilities used or intended to be used by a single family for living, sleeping, cooking and eating purposes.

(c)                “Infestation” means the presence within or around a dwelling of any insects, rodents, or other pests.

(d)               “Multiple dwelling” means any dwelling containing more than two dwelling units.

(e)                “Occupant” means any individual over one year of age living, sleeping, cooking, or eating in or having possession of a dwelling unit, except that a guest shall not be considered an occupant.

(f)                “Operator” means any person who has charge, care, control or management of a residential building, or part thereof, in which dwelling units are let.

(g)               “Premises” means a platted lot or part thereof or unplatted lot or parcel of land or plot of land, either occupied or unoccupied by any dwelling or non‑dwelling structure, and includes any such building, accessory structure or other structure thereon.

 

Section 7.  MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR BASIC EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES.

No person shall occupy as owner or occupant, or 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:

(a)                Kitchen Area. Every dwelling unit shall have a room or portion of a room in which food may be prepared and/or cooked, which shall have adequate circulation area, and which shall be equipped with the following:

(1)   Kitchen sink. A kitchen sink in good working condition and property connected to the Village’s water supply system which provide at all times an adequate amount of heated and unheated running water under pressure, and which is connected to the Village’s sewer system.

(b)               Bathroom. Within every dwelling unit, there shall be a room which affords privacy to a person within said room, and which is equipped with a toilet in good working condition. Said toilet shall be equipped with easily cleanable surfaces, be properly connected to the Village’s water system that at all times provides an adequate amount of running water under pressure to cause the toilet to be operated properly, and shall be properly connected to the Village’s sewer system.

(c)                Bathroom Sink. Within every dwelling or dwelling unit there shall be a lavatory sink. The lavatory sink shall be in good working condition and properly connected to the Village’s water supply system which provides at all times an adequate amount of heated and unheated water under pressure, and which is properly connected to the Village’s sewer system. Water inlets for lavatory sinks shall be located above the overflow rim of these fixtures.

(d)               Bathtub; Shower. Within every dwelling unit there shall be a room which affords privacy to a person within said room and which is equipped with a bathtub or shower in good working condition. Said bathtub or shower may be in the same room as the toilet or in another room, and shall be properly connected to the Village’s water supply system which provides at all times an adequate amount of heated and unheated water under pressure, and which is connected to the Village’s sewer system. Water inlets for bathtubs shall be located above the overflow rim of these fixtures.

(e)                Exits. All exits including exit stairways are to be kept in a good state of repair. Floors, treads and risers must be sound and furnish a reasonably smooth surface. Risers of unequal height, broken tread noses, structurally unsafe surfaces, excessive warping, holes and cracks all constitute serious safety hazards. Doors must be readily openable from the inside as well as the outside.

(f)                Private Entrance. Access to or egress from each dwelling unit shall be provided without passing through any other dwelling unit.

(g)               Door Lock.  All exterior doors of the dwelling or dwelling unit are to be equipped with functioning locking devices.

 

 

 

Section 8.  MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR LIGHT.

No person shall occupy as owner, occupant or let another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the requirements of this section:

(a)                Electrical Outlets and Fixtures. Every dwelling unit and all public and common areas shall be supplied with electrical service, outlets, and fixtures which shall be properly installed, shall be maintained in good and safe working condition.

(b)               Temporary wiring and extension cords. Temporary wiring or extension cords shall not be used as permanent wiring.

(c)                Hallways and stairs. Every public hall and stairway in every multiple dwelling shall be adequately lighted by natural or artificial light at all times. 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.

 

Section 9.  MINIMUM THERMAL STANDARDS.

No person shall occupy as owner, occupant or let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the following requirements:

(a)                Furnace. Every dwelling shall have primary heating devices supplied by the owner or operator. If such primary heating devices operate by a combustion process and which by design require venting as required by the manufacturer, such primary heating devices shall be vented to a properly installed chimney which is in good working order. The heating system shall be maintained in a good working condition and shall be capable of heating all habitable rooms within the dwelling to a temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  Space heaters which operate by a combustion process and which by design require venting, must be properly vented to a chimney or duct leading to the outdoors.  Space heaters with smoke pipes shall be equipped with guards made of nonflammable materials at the point where the pipe goes through a wall, ceiling, or partition.

 

Section 10.  SAFE AND SANITARY MAINTENANCE OF PARTS OF DWELLINGS AND DWELLING UNITS.

No person shall occupy as owner, occupant or let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling units for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the following requirements:

(a)                Structurally Sound. 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 shall be kept in sound condition and good repair.

(b)               Doors and Windows.  Every dwelling and dwelling unit shall have functioning exterior doors and windows kept in sound condition and good repair.  All mobile dwellings must have adequate exterior skirting.

(c)                Infestation. Every dwelling, multiple dwelling, or accessory structure and the premises on which it is located shall be kept free of sources of breeding, harborage and infestation by insects, vermin or rodents.

 

Section 11.  HOUSING INSPECTOR.

The Housing Inspector may develop additional rules to fully implement this ordinance. Such rules shall be in full force and effect at such time as they are approved by Council and the Mayor. A violation of any rules established by the Housing Inspector shall constitute a minor misdemeanor subjecting the violator to a fine of up to one hundred dollars ($100.00). Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.

 

Section 12.  INSPECTIONS.

(a)                Enforcement. The Housing Inspector and such persons as he may designate shall enforce the provisions of this ordinance.

(b)               Inspection. The Housing Inspector shall inspect dwellings or dwelling units in order to determine whether there is compliance with this ordinance. Such inspection(s) shall be between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise requested by the owner or occupant.  The focus of any inspection as allowed by this ordinance is in regard to any complaint made and request to inspect as set forth in subsection (c) below.  However, the inspection may reveal other areas of non-compliance with this ordinance and the minimum housing standards set forth herein.  The inspection is not designed to determine whether there are any violations of any building codes and/or any regulations promulgated by any other agency in regard to the construction and/or remodeling of any structure.  The Village denies any responsibility for any damages that may occur to any person and/or property as a result of any violation of this ordinance and minimum housing standards set forth herein (including as revealed by any inspection contemplated by this ordinance), and/or any violations of any building codes and/or any regulations promulgated by any other agency in regard to the construction and/or remodeling of any structure.

(c)                Basis for Inspections. Inspections as set forth above shall be conducted as follows:

(1)   Request to inspect. The Housing Inspector shall inspect any dwelling or dwelling unit when requested to do so by a person having probable cause to believe that this ordinance is being violated. Prior to any inspection by the Housing Inspector, the complaining party shall give notice, in writing, to the Village Administrator of the problems complained of.  This written notice must be mailed to the Village Administrator, 503 W. River Street, P.O. Box 1046, Antwerp, Ohio 45813.  The Village Administrator will then notify the owner, tenant / occupant, and the Housing Inspector of such complaint. If the complaining party does not receive a response to the complaint as contemplated in subsection (c)(2) below, the complaining party must contact the Village Administrator by phone, electronic transmission, fax, and/or in person to verify the written notice of such complaint was received by the Village Administrator.

(2)   Duty of inspector. Not sooner than ten days after receiving a copy of the letter alleging violations of this ordinance, the Housing Inspector shall make inquiry of the parties involved and, if satisfied that the problems have been resolved, shall take no further action. If the problems have not been resolved and the Housing Inspector, after consultation with the Village Administrator, believes probable cause exists that a violation of this ordinance has and/or is occurring, upon notice to the owner and occupant, shall make an inspection of the premises.

(3)   Access Refused; Court Order. If any owner, occupant, or operator of a dwelling or dwelling unit fails or refuses to allow free access and entry to the structure or premises under his control, or any part thereof, with respect to which an inspection authorized by this ordinance is sought to be made, the Village may secure an order of a court of competent jurisdiction directing compliance with the inspection requirements of this section.

 

Section 13.  NOTICE OF VIOLATION.

(a)                Notice. Whenever the Housing Inspector determines that any dwelling or dwelling unit, or the premises surrounding any of them, fails to meet the requirements set forth in this ordinance, the Housing Inspector shall issue a notice setting forth the alleged failures and advise the owner, occupant, operator, or agent that such failures must be corrected. This notice shall:

(1)   Be in writing.

(2)   Set forth the alleged violations of this ordinance.

(3)   Describe the dwelling or dwelling unit wherein the violations are alleged to exist or to have been committed. Such notice shall specify an appropriate or acceptable method of correction.

(4)   Specify a specific date by which the violation or violations are to be corrected.

(5)   Be served upon the owner, occupant, operator, or agent of the dwelling or dwelling unit personally, or by certified mail with return receipt requested, addressed to the owner, operator or agent. 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 persons by posting the notice in or about the dwelling or dwelling unit described in the notice, or by causing such notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two consecutive weeks.

(b)               Re-inspection. At the end of the period of time allowed for the correction of any violation alleged, which shall be no later than thirty (30) days from the service of the notice of violation, the Housing Inspector shall re-inspect the dwelling or dwelling unit described in the notice. The Housing Inspector may allow additional time for the correction of violations if reasonable efforts are being made to correct those violations.

 

Section 14.  SANCTIONS.

(a)                Uncorrected Violation. If upon re-inspection one or more of the alleged violations are determined by the Housing Inspector not to have been corrected, the Housing Inspector shall enforce this regulation by initiating one or more of the following penalties and/or corrective actions.

(b)               Minor Misdemeanor. Any person who continues in violation of any provision of this ordinance after the time allowed to him for the correction of an alleged violation or violations in the notice provided in Section 13 shall be deemed in violation of this ordinance which shall constitute a minor misdemeanor subjecting the violator to a fine of up to one hundred dollars ($100.00). Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.

 

(c)                Repairs and Corrective Action; Certification as a Lien.

(1)   Village may make repairs. Whenever an owner or agent of a dwelling or dwelling unit fails, neglects or refuses to make the repairs or other corrective action called for by the notice of violation issued pursuant to Section 13, the Housing Inspector may undertake such repairs or other corrective action when in his judgment a failure to make them will endanger the public health, safety or welfare, and the cost of such repairs or other action will not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the fair market value of the structure to be repaired.

(2)   Notice of intent. Notice of the intention to make such repairs or to take other corrective action shall be served upon the owner or agent pursuant in the manner provided in Section 13(a)(5).

(3)   Access: obstruction. Every owner or agent of a dwelling or dwelling unit who has received notice of the intention of the Housing Inspector to order repairs or take other corrective action shall give entry and free access to the Housing Inspector and his designated repair persons for the purpose of making such repairs. Any owner or agent of a dwelling or dwelling unit who refuses, impedes, interferes with or hinders, or obstructs entry by such Housing Inspector and/or his designated repair persons shall constitute a minor misdemeanor subject to the penalties as set forth in subsection (b) hereof for each failure to comply with this section.

(4)   Certify cost to real estate taxes. When repairs are made or other corrective action taken at the direction of the Housing Inspector, the cost of such repairs and corrective action shall constitute a debt in favor of the Village against the owner of the repaired dwelling or dwelling unit. In the event such owner fails, neglects, or refuses to pay the Village the amount of this debt within thirty days, the Housing Inspector shall certify the cost and expense of repairs or other corrective action to the Fiscal Officer who shall then certify the costs and expenses to the County Auditor and the same shall become a lien upon the real estate which is the subject of the repair and/or corrective action.

(d)               Designation of Unfit Dwelling or Dwelling Units.

(1)   Unfit dwelling. Any dwelling or dwelling unit may be designated as unfit for human habitation when any of the following defects or conditions are found, and when, in the judgment of the Housing Inspector, such defects or conditions create a hazard to the health, safety, or welfare of the occupants or of the public:

(A)             Is damaged, decayed, dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe, and/or vermin‑infested.

(B)              Lacks illumination, ventilation, and/or requires toilets.

(C)              The general condition of location is unsanitary, unsafe, and/or unhealthful.

(2)   Placard and order to vacate. Whenever any dwelling or dwelling unit has been designated as unfit for human habitation, the Housing Inspector shall placard the dwelling or dwelling unit indicating it is unfit for human habitation, and, if occupied, shall order the dwelling or dwelling unit vacated within a reasonable time, such time to be not less than fifteen nor more than sixty days.

(A)             Terminate utilities. Whenever any dwelling or dwelling unit has been placarded and vacated, the Housing Inspector shall order services and utilities to be turned off or disconnected.

(B)              Violation. Any person who occupies a placarded dwelling or dwelling unit after the period for vacating has expired or who removes a placard without permission of the Housing Inspector shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to one hundred dollars ($100.00). Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.

(e)                Injunction. The Housing Inspector shall have the authority to institute injunctive legal proceedings in the appropriate court to require the compliance with this ordinance and any orders issued thereunder.

 

Section 15.  APPEALS.

(a)                Appeal. Any owner of record, purchaser under recorded land contract, or person occupying, but not the owner, of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall have the right to appeal any order or decision of the Housing Inspector to the Housing Board of Appeals.

(b)               Time for Appeal. Such an appeal shall be made in writing and shall be filed with the Village Administrator. Such appeal must be filed within ten days after the notice or order has been personally served upon the appellant or ten days after appellant has received the notice by certified mail or ten days after the notice or order has been posted or ten days after the second week’s newspaper publication.

(c)                Appeals Board. The Housing Board of Appeals shall consist of the President of the Council, a member of Council that sits on the public safety committee, and a resident of the Village appointed by the Mayor.

(d)               Hearing. The Housing Board of Appeals shall set a time and place for the hearing and shall advise the appellant in writing of such time and place.

(e)                Right to be Heard. At such hearing, the appellant shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show cause why such notice or order should be modified, extended, or withdrawn.

(f)                Authority of Housing Board of Appeals. The Housing Board of Appeals may sustain, modify, extend, or withdraw the notice or order. The Housing Board of Appeals shall be guided by the following principles:

(1)   That there may be practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in carrying out the strict letter of any notice or order;

(2)   That the action taken by the Housing Board of Appeals is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this regulation in securing the public health, safety, and general welfare.

 

Section 16.  EMERGENCIES.

(a)                Emergency Action. Whenever, in the judgment of the Housing Inspector, an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, an order may be issued, without a hearing or appeal, directing the owner, occupant, operator, or agent to take such action as appropriate to correct or abate the emergency. If circumstances warrant, the Housing Inspector may act to correct or abate the emergency.

(b)               May Request Hearing. The owner, occupant, operator, or agent shall be granted a hearing before the Housing Board of Appeals on the matter upon his request, as soon as practicable, but such appeal shall not stay the abatement or correction of the emergency.

 

 

 

Section 17.  CONFLICT; PARTIAL INVALIDITY.

(a)                Higher Standard Prevails. In any case where a provision of this ordinance is found to be in conflict with a provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety, or health regulation or code of this Village existing on the effective date of this ordinance, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail. in any case where a provision of this regulation is found to be in conflict with a provision of any other regulation or code of this Village existing on the effective date of this ordinance which establishes a lower standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people, the provisions of this ordinance shall be deemed to prevail, and such other regulations or codes are hereby declared to be repealed to the extent that they may be found in conflict with this ordinance.

(b)               Partial Invalidity. If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, or phrase of this ordinance should be declared invalid for any reason whatsoever, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this ordinance, which shall remain in full force and effect; and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are hereby declared to be severable.

 

Section 18.  OPEN MEETINGS.

It is hereby found and determined that all formal actions of the Council concerning or relating to the passage of this ordinance were adopted in an open meeting of this Council, and that all deliberations of the Council and any of its committees that resulted in such formal action, were in meetings open to the public, in compliance with all legal requirements.

 

Section 19.  EFFECTIVE DATE.

This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.

 

 

 

Date _________________

______________________________________

Ray DeLong, Mayor of the Village of Antwerp

 

Attest:

 

____________________________

Aimee Lichty, Fiscal Officer

 

 

 

First Reading: April 18, 2016

 

Second Reading: May 16, 2016

 

Third Reading: June 20, 2016