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N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
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September 19, 2013     N. Warren Town and County News
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September 19, 2013
 

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Page Twelve N/Warren Town and County News Thursday, September 19, 2013 OFFICIAL PUBLICATION ORDINANCE NO. 13-13 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF~ NORWALK, IOWA, 2008, BY ADDITION OF CHAPTER 169 RENTAL HOUSING CODE, REGARDING HOUSING CODES, PROVIDING FOR REGU- EAR ~ENTAL INSPECTIONS, RENTAL INSPECTIONS UPON RECEIPT OF COMPLAINT, CERTIFICATION OF INSPECTED HOUSING, ISSUANCE OF RENTAL PERMITS AND COLLECTION OF INSPECTION FEES, AND REG- ISTRATION OF ALL RENTAL DWELLING UNITS WITHINTHE CORPORATE LIMITS OFTHE CITY OF NORWALK, IOWA. BE R" ENACTED by the City Council of the City of Norwalk, Iowa: SECTION 1. The Municipal Code of Norwalk, Iowa, is amended by adding the following new Chapter 169: CHAPTER 169 RENTAL HOUSING CODE SHORTTITLE: This chapter shall be known as the Norwalk Residential Rental Housing Code, and maybe cited as such, and will be referred to herein as "rental housing code" PURPOSE: It is the purpose of this chapter to ensure that property owners, their agents and others, to meet their responsibilities with respect to proper op- eration and maintenance of rental housing facilities and to provide for inspection as a means of compelling compliance therewith. It is not the purpose of this chapter to create any duty on the part of the city, its officers, agents, or employ- ees, owing to any individual member of the public or to protect any particular or circumscribed class of persons. Specifically, it is not the intent of this chapter to create any duty or liability by the city, its officers, agents, or employees, to pre- mises occupants, owners, tenants, or any other person. WARNING: No person shall place reliance upon this chapter, any inspections performed or certificates issued purs~uant to this chapter, as indicating the safety of or quality of construction of any particular premises. Neither this chapter nor inspections made pursuant thereto nor certificates issued are intended to as- sume the duty of any person to adequately construct and maintain a premises~r provide a safe premises orto, in any way, indicate a decrease in the risk associ- ated with the use or occupancy of any premises. A certification that a premises has been inspected pursuant to this chapter shall not in any way constitute a warranty or guarantee of the safety or quality of that premises. INTERPRETATION: A. In interpreting and applying the previsions of this Ordinance, such previsions shall be held to the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, and welfare. These regulations shall be construed broadly to promote the purposes for which they are adopted. B. These regulations are not intended to interfere with, abrogate, or annul any other ordinance, rule or regulation, statute, private covenants or other prevision of law except as provided in these regulations. If a conflict between requirements appears within this Ordinance; the most restrictive requirement shall prevail. C. Information erroneously presented by any official Or emPloyee of the City does not negate or diminish the provisions of this Ordinance per- taining thereto. D.Whenever a number of days is specified in this Ordinance, or in any permit, condition of approval or notice issued or given as set forth in this Ordinance, such number of days shall be deemed to be consecutive calen- dar days, unless otherwise specified. E. Whenever application of this Ordinance results in standards being expressed in fractions of whole numbers, such fractions are to be rounded to the next higher whole number. ,~- F. No action of the City, its City Council, Development Services staff, Fire Departmen.t staff or the Construction Board of Appeals shell be deemed invalid by reason of failure to comply with or conform to the previsions of this Ordinance, provided that the procedural requirements of the Code of Iowa have been met. G. It is the intent of this Ordinance that all questions of interpretation and enforcement shall be ~irst presented to the Fire Chief, and that such questions shall be presented to the Construction Board of Appeals only on appeal from the decision of the Fire Chief and that recourse from the dec!sion of the Construction Board of Appeals shall he as provided by law. ADOPTION: Pursuant to published notice and public hearing, as required by law, the international property maintenance code, 2006 edition, pub- lished by the International Code Council, Inc is adopted in full except for such portions as may be hereinafter deleted, modified or amended, and shall constitute the "rental housing code" of the City of Norwalk, Iowa. An official copy of the international property maintenance code, 2006 edition, as adopted, and a certified copy of this chapter can be viewed in the Devel- opment Services Department and the Fire Department. SCOPE: The previsions of this ordinance shall apply to the maintenance, re- pair, equipment, use and occupancy of all residential rental buildings and acces- sory structures now in existence or hereafter constructed, habilitated, renovated or converted to residential use within the corporate limits, including but not limited to single and two family dwellings; multiple family dwellings and rooming/ sleeping units. EXCEPTIONS: a. Single family dwellings occupied by the owner, or members of that owner's immediate family. Such members are defined as parents, grandparents, chil- dren and grandchildren; b. A duplex, at least one of the units of which is occupied by the owner, and the other unit is occupied by a member of that owneCs immediate family. Such members are defined as parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren; c. Transient shelters and group homes subject to state licensing; d. Hotels, motels, extended stay hotels, and other similar uses subject to state-licensing. INDEMNIFICATION: The applicant for any rental certificate under this ordi- nance, by making such application, assumes and agrees to pay.for all loss or damage to property whatsoever, and injury to or death of any person or persons whomsoever, including all costs and expenses incident thereto, however arising from or in connection with or related to the issuance of such rental certificate or the doing of anything there under, or the failure of such applicant, or the agents, employees or servants of such applicanL to abide by or comply with any of the provisions of this Ordinance or any other ordinance of the city; and such appli- cant, by making such application, forever indemnifies the city, its officers and employees and agrees to save it and them harmless from any and all claims, demands, lawsuits or liability whatsoever for any loss, damage, injury or death, costs and expenses, by reason of the foregoing even though acts or omissions of the city, its officers or employees may have caused or contributed thereto. The foregoing provisions shall be deemed to be a part of any certificate issued under this Ordinance whether expressly recited therein or not. BUILDING INSPECTOR: It shall be the duty of the Fire Chief, appointed under provisions of the City Manager, to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter and to make any required inspections or tests. For the purposes of this code he/she may also be referred to as the code official. A person or persons may be appointed as assistants or agents of the Fire Chief as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter. For the purpose of making inspec- tions, tests, or otherwise discharging his/her official duties, the code official and/ or inspector shall have the right to enter at any time any building, site, or man- hole upon notifying the company or individual owning or having charge or con- trol of the same. FEES: The fees for activities and services performed by the Fire Department in carrying out its responsibilities under this code shall be as indicated in a fee Schedule adopted from time to time by the City Council. DELETIONS: The following sections are deleted from the Property Maintenance Code and are of no force or effect in this chapter. Section 101 General in its entirety Section 103 Department of Property Maintenance Section 106 Violations Section 111 Means of Appeal Section 303 Swimming Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs AMENDMENT, MODIFICATIONS AND ADDmONS: The paragraphs in this section represent amendments to the requirements contained in the Property Maintenance Code. Section 102.3. Application of other codes Delete in its entirety and insert the following. Repairs, additions or alterations to a structure, or changes of occupancy, shall be done in accordance with the procedures and provisions as adopted by the City of Norwalk. Section 202 General Definitions add the following: "Agent" means an individual of legal majority who has been designated by the Owner as the agent of the Owner or manager of the Property under the provi- sions of this Ordinance. "Apartment house or multi-family r6sidence" means any building or portion thereof which is designed, rented, leased, or hired out to be occupied, or which is occu- pied as a dwelling or residence of two (2) or more families living independently of each other and doing their own cooking in said building. "Dwelling unit" means a single unit providing complete independent living facili- ties for a family, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cook- ing and sanitation. For the purposes of this definition, a bed, day bed, couch, futon or other similar multipurpose sleeping furniture shall constitute the provi- sions for sleeping. Similarly, a hotplate, microwave, toaster oven or similar cook- ing appliance shall constitute the provisions for cooking. "Family" means an individual or two (2) or more persons related by blood, mar- riage or adoption, living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit; or a group of not more than five (5) persons who need not be related, living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit. "Hotel" means one or more buildings containing six (6) or more guest rooms, with such rooms being designed, intended to be used, or are used as temporary or overnight accommodations for guests in which daily services of linen change, central telephone'switchboard, towel change, general cleaning, and a registra- tion lobby staffed on a twenty-four (24) hour daily basis are provided by the management. Access to all rooms shall be provided through one (1) or more common entrence(s). All hotels shall be licensed and inspected by the State of Iowa in accordance with Chapter 137C of the Iowa Code. "Hotel, Extended Stay" means one or more buildings containing six (6) or more guest rooms with the provisions necessary for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation, with such guest rooms being designed, intended to be used, or are used as a temporary residence not exceeding six (6) months, which weekly services of linen change, central telephone switchboard, towel change, general cleaning, and a registration lobby staffed on a twenty-four (24) hour daily basis are provided by the management. Access to all rooms shall be provided through one (1) or more common entrance(s). All extended stay hotels shall be licensed and inspected by the State of Iowa in accordance with Chapter 137C of the Iowa Code. "Kitchen" means any room or portion of rooms which are occupied or are in- tended and designed to be used for cooking and preparation of food, including any room having a sink and provisions for either a gas or electric stove. In addition to the above definitions; the following criteria shall be utilized to deter-- mine if the intent of a single family dwelling unit has been met: 1. There shall not be more than one kitchen for each single family zoned property address with the following exception: additional sinks, wet-bars, or kitchen areas will not be considered an additional kitchen provided walls, floors, and locking doors, as specified below, do not separate the dwelling into multiple tenant use. 2. There shall not be more than one electric meter, gas meter, or water meter for each single family zoned property address. 3. There shall not be any walls or fleer/ceiling assemblies in any single family zoned property address, which separates the one-family dwelling into more than one unit. Determining factors shall include locked or locking interior doors and separate entrances, which make portions of the unit inaccessible to all "family" members. "Motel" means one or more buildings containing six (6) or more guest rooms, with.such rooms being designed, intended to be used, or are used as temporary or overnight accommodations for guests in which daily services of linen change, central telephone switchboard, towel change, general cleaning, and a registra- tion lobby staffed on a twenty-feur (24) hour daily basis are provided by the management Individual access to each room shall be provided from outside of the building. Each room may be equipped with cooking facilities. All motels shall be licensed and inspected by the State ot Iowa in accordance with Chapter 137C of the iowa Code. "Rental certificate" means a certificate that is issued by the Fire Department after written application if the dwelling unit, at the date of such application, is entitled thereto. Such a certificate shall thereafter be known as a rental certifi- cate. "Rental unit" means any house or building or portion thereof which is occupied in whole or part as a home or residence of one or more tenants, on a rental basis, or when, in return for housing, a tenant agrees to occupy and maintain the pre- mises and pay utilities. A dwelling unit that is being rented for a period of ninety (90) days Or less in a single calendar year or a portion of such dwelling unit shall be exempt from this chapter. | B. Issuance: Following submission of a proper registration application, on forms provided by the Fire Department, and review of the residential rental unit for compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance, the Fire Department shall issuance a Rental Certificate to the owner. C. Rental Certificate Displayed: The owner of a multiple family dwelling shall display a copy of the Rental Certificate in a common hallway of each building or in the on-site management office. The owner of single family or duplex dwelling must be able to show a copy of the rental certificate upon request. D. Expiration: Prior to the expiration date of the Rental Certificate, the Fire Department shall mail a renewal notice to the owner advising of the require- ments for renewal of the Rental Certificate. Failure of the owner to complete the requirements for renewal will result in a late payment penalty being applied to the balance owed. If the renewal is not completed within thirty (30) days follow- ing expiration of the Rental Certificate, a notice of violation will be issued to the property owner. E. Revocation: Any Rental Certificate may be summarily revoked by the Construction Board of Appeals upon the review of a notice of violation of any - provision of this Ordinance. If, at the discretion of the Fire Chief, an emergency exists which threatens the immediate health, safety or general welfare of the occupant or general public, the Fire Chief may immediately issue an order suspending the Rental Certifi- cate. Upon issuance of the order, the occupant of the unit shall immediately vacate the premise until the Rental Certificate is reinstated. F.Transfer. Rental certificates shall not be transferable to succeeding own- ers. Rental certificates shall automatically terminate and become null and void, without further action of the City, upon transfer of property ownership or upon execution of an agreement to purchase property on contract. Every seller of a residential rental property shall give notice to the Fire Depart- ment within two (2) days after closing or execution of a contract for sale. This notice shall include the name and address of the buyer. Every buyer of a residential rental property, including contract buyer, shall give notice to the Fire Department within two (2) days after closing. This notice shall include the name and address of the buyer and his/her agent. G. Outstanding Issues: If an owner has outstanding fees, fines or violations on any property within the City of Norwalk, the issuance of a Rental Certificate may be withheld by the Fire Department. H. Termination: Rental certificates shall automatically terminate and be- come null and void upon issuance of a nuisance abatement by the City that is related, in any way, to the property which the rental certificate applies. COMPLAINT BYTENANT: Unless there are significant health, safety or gen- eral welfare issues, a tenant must first complain to the owner or agent. Compli- ant forms for that purpose will be available from the Fire Department. A. An owner or agent shall have seven (7) days to address the complaint. If the complaint is not remedied to the tenant's satisfaction within seven (7) days the Fire Department will schedule an inspection with the tenant and owner. If violations are found, an inspection fee shall be charged to the owner. B. No person shall pursue an action for eviction because the occupant has reported a violation of this Ordinance to the Fire Department. ~i C. No person shall cause any service, facility, equipment or utility required under this Ordinance to be removed, shut off or discontinued in retaliation for a compla~int. COLLECTION OF FEES, FINES, PENALTIES AND COSTS: All feeS, fines; penalties and costs imposed upon an owner in the enforcement of this Ordi- nance shall be due when notice of the amount of such fees, fines, penalties and costs is mailed to the owner A. If notice containing the information required by Iowa Code 364.17 is given and the total amount of such fees, fines, penalties and costs is not paid within thirty (30) days of when due, or within ten (10) days of the final action of the Construction Board of Appeals, then: a.The owner shall be charged a late payment penalty in the amount set forth in the fee schedule adopted by the City Council from time to time; b. Interest shall thereafter accrue on the unpaid balance ~t the rate of one and a half (1.5) percent per month; and c.The City may certify the unpaid balance, interest and late paymeh~ penalty to the county auditor as a lien upon the rental property for collection ~n the same manner as a property tax. REGULAR INSPECTIONS. Regular inspections of one-and two-family rental dwelling units shall be required every twenty-four months. Regular inspections of multi-family rental dwelling units shall be required every twelve months. APPEALS: Any person affected by a decision of the Fire Chief may request and shall be granted a hearing on the decision before the Construction Board of Appeals as set forth in Chapter 163, Construction Board of Appeals. Such ap- peal shall be taken within ten (10) days by filing application request on the forms provided by the Fire Department. Additionally, the application must be accom- panied with the appropriate fee as determined in fee schedule adopted from time to time by the City Council. An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the Fire Chief certified to the Construction Board of Appeals after notice of appeal shall have been filed that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would in the opinion of Fire Chief cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed other than by a restraining order Which may be granted by the Construction Board of Appeals or by a court of record on application, on due cause shown. VIOLATIONS: Violations of the provisions of this chapter, or failure to comply with any of its requirements, shall constitute a municipal infraction as set forth in ha~ 4 of this code of ordinances. Each day that a violation occurs shall constitute a separat~ offense. In the event that the city seeks court intervention for a violation of any provision of this chapter, the city may seek reimbursement for reasonable attorney fees and additionalcosts. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the city from taking such other lawful actions as necessary to prevent or remedy violations. Passed and approved by the City Council of the City of Norwalk, Iowa on the 5th day of September, 2013. Doug Pieme, Mayor AI-rEST: Jeff Rosien, City Clerk 'Tenant" means: (i) a person occupying a dwelling unit who pays (or has pay- ments made on his or her behalf) a stated payment at fixed intervals for the use ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye of the dwelling unit; or (ii) a person occupying a dwelling unit owned by another Delker individual, who, in return for housing, agrees to occupy and maintain the pre- Murillo x mises and pay utilities. Leto x Curtis Section 302.4 Weeds. Delete in its entirety and insert the following. Sylvester x Weeds. All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from grasses and weeds in accordance with Chapter 50 and 52 of this Code of Ordinances Section 304.14. Insect Screens. Insert the following dates. st April 1 to November 1=. Section 602.3. Heat Supply. Insert the following dates. st th September I to May 30 . Section 602.4. OccupiableWork Spaces. Insert the following dates. September I st to May 30~. RENTAL CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS, CONDITIONS AND FEES: A. Required Registration: After the effective date of this Ordinance, no per- son shall rent, lease, let, operate or otherwise allow the occupancy of any dwell- ing unit or any portion of any dwelling unit (including sleeping rooms) unless they hold a valid rental inspection certificate issued by the Fire Department. Nay Absent X resigned prior to the 9-5-2103 council mtg In.Floor - Geothermal Heating "Insured & Certified" SALES ~ SERVICE ~ REPLACEMENT BATHROOM REMODEL 4