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12. Rental Property Maintenance Code

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6/14 

CHAPTER 12

RENTAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE

11-12-1:    GENERAL INTENT
11-12-2:    MINIMUM STANDARDS
11-12-3:    DEFINITIONS
11-12-4:    SPACE AND OCCUPANCY STANDARDS
11-12-5:    FIRE PROTECTION
11-12-6:    EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE AND ACCESSORIES
11-12-7:    SITE MAINTENANCE
11-12-8:    VACANT OR ABANDONED BUILDINGS
11-12-9:    LICENSE REQUIRED; RENTAL PROPERTY
11-12-10:  REGISTRATION REQUIRED; RENTAL DWELLINGS
11-12-11:  INSPECTIONS
11-12-12:  INSPECTION PROCEDURES
11-12-13:  NOTICE OF NON-COMPLIANCE; INSPECTION REPORT
11-12-14:  UNLAWFUL CONDUCT; PUBLIC NUISANCE
11-12-15:  ENFORCEMENT
11-12-16:  APPEAL
11-12-17:  REMEDIES
11-12-18:  IMMINENT DANGER

11-12-1:  GENERAL INTENT:  (2532 2534 2798 3560)

(A) Title.  These regulations shall be known as the Rental Property Maintenance
Code of the City of Westminster, herein referred to as the “Rental Code."

(B) Purpose.  The purpose of this Rental Code is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property, and public welfare by regulating and controlling the use and occupancy, location, and maintenance of all residential structures available for rent within the City of Westminster.  This Rental Code establishes minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities, for light, ventilation and heating; for safety from fire; for the use and amount of space for human occupancy; and for the safe and sanitary maintenance of residential rental properties.

(C) Scope.  The provisions of this Rental Code shall apply to all existing residential rental buildings, and structures, excluding manufactured homes, and all existing premises, or portions thereof used, designed, or intended to be used for dwelling purposes on a rental basis as well as the site, including parking lots, driveways and landscaping, and accessory structures, such as fences, retaining walls, sheds, and other such structures.  Rooming houses, congregate residences or lodging houses shall comply with all the requirements of this Rental Code.  Except as provided herein, properties, including buildings, or portions thereof, equipment, devices and safeguards, which were required by the building code shall be maintained in conformance with the building code under which they were installed, provided such continued use is not dangerous to life.  Where there are conflicts between the building code and this Rental Code, the provisions of this Rental Code shall apply. 

(D) Non-Conforming Rights.  Except for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms as required by Sections 11-12-5(B) and 11-12-5(C), of this Rental Code, existing residential rental units that were constructed and approved under a previous edition of the building code shall be considered as demonstrating compliance with the construction provisions of this Rental Code, provided that the approved construction is not dangerous to life or health.  Nothing in this Rental Code shall be construed to allow the degradation of those systems, devices and equipment required by the building code under which the building was constructed.

11-12-2:  MINIMUM STANDARDS:  (2532 2534 3560)  No person shall lease to another for occupancy any structure that does not comply with the requirements of this Rental Code.  Existing structures and premises that do not comply with these provisions shall be altered or repaired to provide a minimum level of compliance as required herein.

11-12-3:  DEFINITIONS:  (2532 2534 3560 3601)

(A) The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Rental Code, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) “Agent” shall mean a manager or operator, or any person, agent, firm or corporation who is designated in writing by the owner to act as the representative of the owner on issues related to a rental property or rental dwelling or for receipt of notices related to a rental property or rental dwelling.
(2) “Bedroom” shall mean any room or space used or intended to be used for sleeping purposes.
(3) “Building” shall mean any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.
(4) “Building code” shall mean any of the codes currently adopted by the City as part of Title XI, Chapter 9, of the Westminster Municipal Code.
(5) “Common authority” shall mean the status of having joint access or control over a leased premise for most purposes.
(6) “Floor area” shall mean the area included within the surrounding exterior walls of a building or portion thereof, exclusive of vent shafts and courts.  The floor area of a building, or portion thereof, not provided with surrounding exterior walls shall be the useable area under the horizontal projection of the roof or floor above.
(7) “Habitable space” shall mean the space in a building for living, sleeping, eating or cooking.  Bathrooms, toilet compartments, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces, and similar areas are not considered habitable space.
(8) “Imminent danger” shall mean a condition that could cause serious or life-threatening injury or death at any time.
(9) “Income restricted property” shall mean a unit of rental property over which the owner, whether a non-profit or a for-profit entity, lacks the sole discretion to increase rent due to state or federal law.  By way of example, and not limitation, units within a  Section 8 housing project, as defined by 42 U.S.C. § 1437(f), as amended, as well as properties for which the owner takes an income tax credit pursuant to Sections 38 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26, U.S.C.), as amended, qualify as income restricted properties. However, units not within a Section 8 housing project that are rented with tenant-based Section 8 vouchers, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1437(f), as amended, do not qualify as income restricted properties.
(10) “Infestation” shall mean the presence within or around a structure of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests of such kind, or in such numbers, as to cause a hazard to health. 
(11) “Lease” shall mean:
(a) an agreement by which an owner gives up to a tenant, for valuable consideration, possession and use of his property or a portion thereof for a definite term, at the end of which term the owner has an absolute right to retake control and use of the property; or

 (b) the act of an owner giving to a tenant, for valuable consideration, possession and use of his property or a portion thereof for a definite term, at the end of which term the owner has an absolute right to retake control and use of the property.

(12) “Occupancy” shall mean the purpose for which a building or portion thereof is utilized or occupied.
(13) “Owner” shall mean any person, agent, firm or corporation, or a designated representative of the same, having a legal or equitable interest in a rental dwelling or a rental property; or otherwise having control of such property, including the guardian of an estate and an executor or administrator of an estate when ordered to take possession of real property by a court.
(14) “Person” shall mean any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other type of entity capable of owning or managing property, or an agent, servant, or employee of any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other entity capable of owning or managing property.
(15) “Premises” shall mean a lot, plot or parcel of land including any buildings thereon.
(16) “Property” shall mean one lot or adjacent lots under common ownership.
(17) “Rental dwelling” shall mean any building or buildings, or portion thereof, on a property under common ownership consisting of no more than three units that provides shelter for human habitation or residential purpose, any portion of which is leased by the owner for occupation by a tenant. “Rental dwelling” shall not mean hotels, motels, hospitals, State licensed residential care facilities, assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
(18) “Rental property” shall mean any building or buildings, or portion thereof, on one property under common ownership consisting of more than three units that provides shelter for human habitation or residential purposes, any portion of which is leased by the owner for occupation by a tenant. “Rental property” shall not mean hotels; motels; hospitals; State licensed residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes; or a facility qualified as Life Care Institution pursuant to C.R.S. §12-13-101, et seq., as amended. 
(19) “Structure” shall mean that which is built or constructed, an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner.
(20) “Tenant” shall mean a person, corporation, partnership or group, whether or not the legal owner of record, occupying a building or portion thereof.
(21) “Unit” shall mean a rental property or a rental dwelling, in whole or in part, that is separately available to be leased and that contains living facilities, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation, as required by the building code.

(B) Words, terms and phrases used in this Rental Code and not defined above shall have the same meaning as assigned by the building codes currently adopted by the City in Title XI, Chapter 9, of the Westminster Municipal Code.

11-12-4:  SPACE AND OCCUPANCY STANDARDS:  (2532 2534 2798 3560)

(A) Improper Occupancy.  Buildings or structures shall not be used for purposes other than those for which the building or structure was designed or intended or in violation of any other provisions of the Westminster Municipal Code or ordinances.

(B) Room Dimensions.

(1) Ceiling Heights.  Habitable rooms in units shall have a ceiling height of not less than seven (7) feet.  In rooms with sloped ceilings, the required ceiling height shall be provided in at least 50% of the room.  No portion of any room with a ceiling height of less than 5 feet shall be considered as contributing to the minimum floor area as required in subsection (2) below.
(2) Floor Area.
(a) Every unit shall contain at least one hundred fifty (150) square feet of habitable floor space for the first occupant and an additional one hundred (100) square feet of floor space for each additional occupant.  Every room used for sleeping purposes shall have at least seventy (70) square feet of floor space for the first occupant and an additional thirty (30) square feet of floor space for each additional occupant.
(b) The Building Official may waive or modify the above-stated minimums in appropriate circumstances such as the birth or adoption of additional children, a temporary need for medical care for a family member, or care of children by a non-custodial parent.
(3) Width.  No room used for living or sleeping purposes shall be less than 7 feet in any dimension.  Each toilet shall be installed in a clear space of at least 27 inches in width.

(C) Light and Ventilation.

(1) General.  For the purpose of determining light or ventilation required by this Section, any room may be  considered as a portion of an adjoining room if one half of the common wall is open and unobstructed and provides an opening of at least 10% of the floor area of the interior room.
(2) Light.  Every habitable room within a unit shall be provided with windows or skylights with an area of at least 10% of the floor area.  All public hallways, stairways and other exit ways shall be illuminated at all times with not less than 5 footcandles at the floor level. 
(3) Ventilation.
(a) Habitable rooms within a unit shall be provided with natural ventilation by means of at least one openable exterior window or skylight with an area of not less than 1/20 of the floor area with a minimum of 5 square feet.
(b) In lieu of required exterior openings for natural ventilation, an approved mechanical ventilation system may be provided.  Such system shall be capable of providing two air changes per hour in all habitable rooms and public hallways.  In such case, one fifth of the required air supply shall be taken from the outside.
(c) Bathrooms, water closet compartments and similar spaces shall be provided with natural ventilation by means of openable exterior openings with an area not less than 1/20 of the floor area of such rooms with a minimum of 1 1/2 square feet.
(d) In lieu of required exterior openings for natural ventilation in bathrooms containing a bathtub or shower and similar rooms, mechanical ventilation system connected directly to the exterior capable of providing five air changes per hour shall be provided. The point of discharge of exhaust containing only a toilet or lavatory or combination thereof, and similar rooms may be ventilated with an approved mechanical recirculating fan or similar device designed to remove odors from the air.

(D) Sanitation.

(1) Units.  Every unit shall be provided with a toilet, lavatory, and either a bathtub or shower. These facilities shall be located within the same building as the occupants and occupants shall not be required to go outside the building or through another dwelling unit to reach the facilities.

(2) Fixtures.  All plumbing fixtures and piping shall be maintained as provided in the building code.  Each plumbing fixture shall be provided with hot and cold running water necessary for its normal operation and be properly connected to an approved water and sewer system.  Plumbing system waste piping shall be maintained free of all sewage obstructions and leaks.  Potable water piping shall be free of leaks that cause a consistent flow of water.  All plumbing fixtures shall be of smooth, impervious, easily cleanable surfaces and be maintained in safe and sanitary working condition, free of cracks, breaks, rust and leaks.  All plumbing fixtures shall be of an approved glazed earthenware type or similar nonabsorbent material.  All plumbing fixtures shall be adequately secured so that no strain is placed on the piping connections.

(3) Lavatory Basins.  Every room containing a toilet shall have a lavatory located in the same room or in the room immediately adjacent to the room containing the toilet.  Laundry tubs, kitchen sinks, or bathtubs are not acceptable substitutes for lavatory purposes.
(4) Room Separation.  Every room containing a toilet, bathtub or shower shall be completely enclosed by partitions, doors, or windows from floor to ceiling and wall to wall which will afford privacy to the occupant.
(5) Bathtub and Shower Enclosures.  The interior of every shower enclosure shall be watertight, maintained in sound condition, and be easily cleanable.  Walls and floors of every shower enclosure shall be made of smooth, non-absorbent materials free of sharp edges and properly sloped to drain completely.  Joints in any bathtub or shower enclosure shall be maintained waterproof with caulking or similar material.  Repairs shall be required if more than two square feet of the enclosure wall or floor is no longer waterproof or more than two linear feet of caulking has failed or if the leak is causing an unsafe electrical condition.
(6) Kitchen Sink.  Every unit shall contain a kitchen sink of seamless construction and impervious to water and grease. Where garbage disposals are provided, they shall be in working order, free of leaks, installed per manufacturer installation instructions and powered by a UL listed power cord.
(7) Openings for Piping.  All exterior openings into the interior of the building, including those in a crawl space, provided for the passage of piping shall be properly sealed with snug fitting collars of metal or other material so as to be rodent and insect resistant and securely fastened in place.
(8) Environmental Health.  All surfaces in and around the dwelling unit shall be maintained free of mold and mildew.

(E) Structural Requirements.

(1) General.  Roofs, floors, walls, foundations, ceilings, stairs, handrails, guardrails, doors, porches, all other structural components, and all appurtenances thereto shall be capable of resisting any and all forces and loads to which they may be normally subjected, and shall be kept in sound condition and in good repair.
(2) Foundations.  Every foundation shall be maintained plumb and free of open cracks and breaks, kept in sound condition and good repair, and shall be weathertight and watertight.
(3) Weather Protection.  Every foundation, floor, roof, ceiling, and exterior and interior wall and all exterior doors and windows shall be weathertight and watertight and maintained free of holes, cracks or other defects that admit rain so as to provide shelter for the occupants against the elements and to otherwise exclude dampness.  Windows that are designed to open vertically shall be capable of remaining open without the use of tools, props or special knowledge. 
(4) Interior Maintenance.  Floors, walls doors and ceilings shall be secure and free of holes, cracks, and breaks.  Floor coverings shall be free from any defects that could cause tripping or would prevent the floor from being easily cleaned.  Floor coverings such as carpeting, tile, linoleum, and similar material shall be repaired or replaced when more than 10% of the floor covering area is severely deteriorated or if defects create an unsafe or unsanitary condition.  Floor coverings that have tears in excess of six inches that are raised above the floor surface to present a tripping hazard shall be repaired.
(5) Drainage.  All rain water shall be so drained and conveyed away from every roof and away from every foundation so as to not cause dampness in basements or in walls, ceilings or floors of any building, or erosion of exterior surfaces.  Water shall not be discharged in a manner that adversely affects the safety of the general public.

(F) Mechanical Requirements.

(1) Heating.
(a) Every unit shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68° F at a point 3 feet (3’) above the floor in all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and water closet compartments.  Units shall be supplied with heat during the period of October through April. Electric heating appliances that are not permanently installed, cooking appliances of any type, or decorative appliances shall not be considered heating facilities for the purpose of providing heat as required by this Section.  Unvented fuel-burning heaters or decorative appliances are not permitted except as permitted and approved by the Building Division.
(b) All heating devices or appliances shall be of an approved type and installed as required in the building code and maintained in safe working condition. Required clearances to protected or unprotected combustible materials shall be maintained for heating equipment as well as sufficient clearance to permit the cleaning, maintenance, service and repair of the appliance.  Required clearances are those listed on the equipment or otherwise required by the building code.  Venting systems for gas-fired appliances shall be maintained in accordance with the building code.
(c) Except within an efficiency dwelling unit, gas-fired water heaters shall not be installed in any sleeping area.  Water heating equipment serving any dwelling unit shall be capable of providing water at a temperature of at least 120# F at the fixture outlet and a recovery capacity of at least twenty gallons per hour for each dwelling unit.  Water heaters shall be provided with an approved temperature and pressure relief valve and drain extension that terminates at an approved location.
(d) Closets containing heating equipment shall be kept free of stored items, combustibles, flammables or accelerants.
(2) Electrical.
(a) All electrical equipment, wiring and appliances shall be installed and maintained in a safe manner in accordance with the building code.  All electrical equipment shall be permanently installed and be an integral part of the electrical wiring of the entire building.  Electrical appliance or fixture cords shall be protected with proper coverings having no frayed or exposed wiring.
(b) Every habitable room, bathroom, kitchen, laundry room and public hallway shall have at least two convenience outlets or one convenience outlet and one   electric light fixture.  Every water closet compartment, furnace room and public stairway shall contain at least one electric light fixture.  Electrical light fixtures should house only those bulbs approved by the manufacturer.  Wattage of bulbs shall not exceed the manufacturer’s maximum wattage recommendations for the fixture.  Exterior fixtures shall be free of missing or broken globes that may leave the bulb exposed to the elements.
(c) Breaker panels shall be readily accessible, shall not be blocked or covered by storage or decoration, and shall not be painted shut.  There shall be no unapproved openings within any electrical enclosure.
(3) Extension Cords.  Extension cords shall not be used as permanent electrical wiring or required electrical outlets.  No extension cords shall extend or pass from one room to another room.  No extension cord shall be placed across any doorway, through any wall or partition, or in an area where such cord is subject to physical damage.

(G) Exits.

(1) General.  All buildings or structures shall be provided with exits, including stairways, handrails, and guardrails, and have access to the public way as required by the building code.  All doors, windows, corridors, stairways, fire escapes or other means of egress shall be maintained free of stored or discarded materials or other obstructions or locks as to prevent or impede egress from the building or structure.
(2) Dwelling Units.  Every unit or guest room shall have access directly to the exterior of the building or to a public corridor that leads to the exterior.  Sleeping rooms located below the fourth story and in basements shall have at least one operable window or exterior door meeting the building code requirements for emergency escape or rescue.  These required windows or doors shall be operable from the inside to provide the required full clear opening without the use of separate tools or keys and not requiring special knowledge or effort. 

(H) Appliances.  Appliances whether supplied by the owner or tenant, shall be maintained in good working condition, free of leaks or other defects so as not to cause any unsafe or unsanitary condition.

11-12-5:  FIRE PROTECTION:  (2532 2564 3541 3560)

(A) General.  Required fire rated assemblies shall be maintained as specified in the building code and the fire code adopted in Title XI, Chapter 10, of the Westminster Municipal Code.  Such assemblies shall be properly repaired, restored, or replaced when damaged, altered, breached, penetrated, removed or improperly installed.  Fire protection equipment, including but not limited to extinguishing systems, fire alarm systems, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers, shall be maintained in good and safe working condition as required by the Fire Department.

(B) Smoke Detectors.  Smoke detectors shall be installed in all units as required by the building codes.

(C) Carbon Monoxide Alarms.  Any unit  that includes fuel-fired appliances or an attached garage in which interior alterations, repairs, fuel-fired appliance replacement or additions, any of which requires a building permit to be issued, have been made, or any unit that has a change in tenant or occupancy, shall have carbon monoxide alarms installed as required by the building code.

(D) Open Flame Cooking Devices.  Open flame cooking devices shall be regulated as required by the provisions of the building code and the fire code adopted in Title XI, Chapter 10, of the Westminster Municipal Code.

11-12-6:  EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE AND ACCESSORIES:  (2532 2534 2798 3560)

(A) Weather protection.  Buildings, or portions thereof, shall have exterior walls that are weathertight and watertight, and kept free of deterioration, holes, breaks, or loose boards or coverings. Roof surfaces shall be watertight and not have any defects that that will allow water to enter into the structure.

(B) Exterior maintenance. 

(1) The exterior finish of all structures shall be maintained.  If the exterior finish of a structure is paint or stain, the structure shall be painted or stained prior to a time when the exterior finish has substantially deteriorated.  Graffiti shall be removed per Title VIII, Chapter 4, of the Westminster Municipal Code.

(2) All architectural projections such as cornices, moldings, lintels, sills and similar projections shall be maintained in good repair and free of defects.

(3) All chimneys, antennae (including satellite dishes), vents, gutters and downspouts and similar projections or building accessories shall be structurally sound and in good repair.  Such projections shall be properly secured, when applicable, to an exterior wall or roof. 

(C) Windows and doors.  Windows and exterior glazing shall be soundly and adequately glazed, free from loose and broken glass and cracks that could cause physical injury or allow the elements to enter the structure.  Windows and doors are to be maintained so that they can be secured in a closed position.  Exterior doors shall be maintained weathertight, watertight and rodentproof.  Exterior doors of unit shall be solid core or equivalent and be provided with a deadbolt locking device that tightly secures the door.  Where window mounted cooling appliances are utilized, the opening around the appliance must be sealed with materials resistant to weather.   

(D) Screens.  Screens shall be provided, year round, for all operable windows.  All screens, including screen doors, shall be maintained in good repair and free from tears, holes, or other imperfections of either screen or frame that would admit insects such as flies, flying insects or mosquitoes.  Screens with holes one square inch or larger or with tears in excess of two inches shall be repaired or replaced.  Screens shall not be damaged or warped, shall fit tight in the framework of the window, and be removable for cleaning and maintenance purposes.  Sliding screen doors are required wherever sliding glass doors are present.

(E) Infestation.  All structures and exterior property shall be maintained free of rodent, insect or vermin infestation which creates an unsafe or unsanitary environment on the subject, or adjacent buildings or properties.  All structures and exterior property shall be maintained free of conditions which may cause an unsafe or unsanitary environment.

(F) Addresses.  Address numbers a minimum of 3" in height shall be provided on every occupied building or structure located so as to be visible from the street.  Individual units within a building or structure shall be individually identified.  Address numbers shall be of a contrasting color to their background for easy visibility.

(G) Accessory Structures.  All accessory structures shall be maintained in a state of good repair or removed from the site. Such structures shall include, but not be limited to, clubhouses, offices, maintenance buildings, carports, retaining walls, fences, garages, and miscellaneous sheds or structures.  These structures should be constructed of materials consistent for the use of the structure and not constructed in a makeshift of haphazard manner. 

11-12-7:  SITE MAINTENANCE:  (2532 2534 3133 3338 3560 3664)

(A) General.  The accumulation of weeds, vegetation, junk (including, but not be limited to, abandoned, unused or nonoperational appliances, equipment, vehicles, machinery, or household furnishings), dead organic matter, debris, garbage, stagnant water, combustible materials or similar materials or conditions shall be subject to the provisions of Title VIII, Chapter 1 of the Westminster Municipal Code and shall be subject to abatement provisions therein.

(B) Parking Areas.  All off street parking and access drives shall be improved with asphalt pavement or an equivalent approved surface as determined by the City.  Parking areas shall be kept free from potholes, cracks or other deterioration.  No dirt, grass or sod parking areas are allowed.  All striping and signage, including parking signage and fire lane or access signage shall be maintained in good condition and clearly legible.
 
(C) Landscaping. 

(1)  All landscape areas, improvements and materials shall comply with and be maintained according to the City of Westminster Landscape Regulations and the Westminster Municipal Code.  All landscape areas shall be landscaped with approved landscaping, including grass, shrubs, and trees.  All landscape areas shall be maintained and all dead or severely damaged plant materials shall be replaced with plant materials as required by the City of Westminster Landscape Regulations.  All turf areas shall be maintained so that no turf area exceeds 6 (six) inches in height.  Weeds shall not exceed twelve (12) inches in height.  Landscape areas may not include tree canopy, dirt, weeds, artificial turf or paving and drive improvements.  Properties with an existing Official Development Plan shall be maintained as required by such plan.
(2) Rental dwellings shall be required to have one (1) tree and three (3) shrubs in the front yard landscape area.  As required by the City of Westminster Landscape Regulations, a minimum of fifty percent (50%) of each yard area adjacent to a street, or public or private park or open space shall be landscape area.  Remaining lot area not landscape area may only be paving or drives as defined in the City of Westminster Standards and Specifications for the Construction of Public Improvements.
(3) Rental properties shall be required to have one (1) tree and three (3) shrubs per 1,000 square feet of landscape area.  A minimum of thirty percent (30%) of the lot shall be landscape area as defined by the City of Westminster Landscape Regulations, unless an exception is made by the City for good cause.  Remaining lot area not landscape area may only be paving or drives as defined in the City of Westminster Standards and Specifications for the Construction of Public Improvements. 

(D) Trash.  Trash enclosures shall be installed and maintained as required by the Westminster Municipal Code.  All trash shall be kept inside the enclosure.  Oversized trash that will not fit within the trash enclosure shall be removed from the property as required by Westminster Municipal Code.

(E) Properties not in compliance with the requirements of this Section shall become compliant by January 1, 2016.  Properties determined not to be in compliance based on inspection or review of the site plan required by Section 5-12-5(A)(11), W.M.C., shall have, before January 1, 2012, submitted to the City a plan for property improvements detailing how the property will be timely brought into compliance.

11-12-8:  VACANT OR ABANDONED BUILDINGS:  (2532 2534 3560)

(A) Vacant or abandoned buildings shall be secured to prevent unauthorized entry.

(B) Exterior building maintenance and site maintenance of abandoned or vacant buildings shall be the same as required for occupied buildings.

(C) Vacant or abandoned buildings and properties shall be maintained free of accumulations of combustible or hazardous material.

11-12-9:  LICENSE REQUIRED; RENTAL PROPERTY:  (3560)  Prior to leasing any rental property for occupancy, an owner shall obtain and maintain in good standing a rental property license from the City pursuant to Title V, Chapter 12, of the Westminster Municipal Code.

11-12-10:  REGISTRATION REQUIRED; RENTAL DWELLINGS:  (3560)  Prior to leasing any rental dwelling for occupancy, an owner shall obtain and maintain in good standing a rental dwelling registration with the City pursuant to Title V, Chapter 12, of the Westminster Municipal Code.

11-12-11:  INSPECTIONS(2532 2534 2798 3560)

(A) General. 

(1) The City Manager, acting by and through the Building Division, shall establish a regular and orderly schedule to inspect all rental property within the City.  Such schedule shall not preclude inspection of a rental property at other times based on a request of a resident, owner or manager, or other complainant.
(2) Rental dwellings shall be inspected by the City on a complaint basis or as conditions warrant with no regular inspection schedule.
(3) Any violations shall be documented and a photographic record may be made of the property or of any violations discovered on the property.

(B) Right of Entry. 

(1) When necessary to make an inspection for compliance with the provisions of this Rental Code as part of scheduled inspections, or when the City has probable cause to believe that there exists upon any premises any condition that constitutes a violation of the provisions of this Rental Code, the City Manager or authorized representative, hereinafter referred to as the “Inspector,” may enter a premise at all reasonable times to inspect or to perform any duty imposed on him, provided that the following procedure has been followed:
(a) If a premise is currently leased, the Inspector shall first present proper credentials and request permission to enter from a tenant or other person having common authority over the premise.  If the leased premise is currently unoccupied, the Inspector shall make a reasonable effort to locate the tenant, and upon locating the tenant, shall present proper credentials and request permission to enter.  If a tenant or other person having common authority over the premise cannot be located after a reasonable effort, a notice of intent to inspect shall be posted on the premises giving notice that an inspection may proceed after a court order is obtained from the Municipal Judge of the City.
(b) If a premise is not currently leased, the Inspector shall present proper credentials and request permission to enter from the owner or agent.  If the owner or agent cannot be located after a reasonable effort, a notice of intent to inspect shall be posted on the premises giving notice that an inspection may proceed upon issuance of a court order by a Municipal Judge of the City.
(2) If entry is refused, or twenty-four (24) hours after the premises have been posted, the Inspector may appear before the Municipal Judge and shall request pursuant to Rule 241(b)(2) of the Municipal Court Rules of Procedure, as amended, a court order entitling the Inspector to enter upon the premises. Upon presentation of the court order and proper credentials, or possession of same in the case of unoccupied premises, the Inspector may enter upon the premises, using such reasonable force as may be necessary to gain entry.
(3) For purposes of this Section, "probable cause" for a court order exists upon a showing that the inspection is part of the systematic schedule of inspections that is a condition of licensing the rental property and that the tenant or other person having common authority over the premise has failed or refused to grant entry to the Inspector or upon a showing that the facts and circumstances within the Inspector's knowledge are sufficient to warrant a person of reasonable caution in the belief that a violation of this Rental Code may exist.  The Inspector shall not be required to demonstrate specific knowledge of the condition of the particular premises in issue in order to obtain a court order.

(C) Unlawful Resistance.  It shall be unlawful for any owner, tenant, or person having common authority of a rental property or rental dwelling to deny entry of an Inspector acting pursuant to a court order that has been issued according to the procedure outlined in this Section.
 
11-12-12:  INSPECTION PROCEDURES:   (2532 2534 3560)

(A) Authority.  The City Manager, acting by and through the Building Division, may inspect rental properties and rental dwellings, individual units thereof, and their associated properties, in order to determine compliance with the provisions of this Rental Code.

(B) Scheduled Inspections of Rental Properties. 

(1) The frequency of inspections on rental properties shall be as follows:
(a) Properties less than six (6) years old shall not be scheduled for inspection.
(b) Properties between six (6) and twenty (20) years old shall be inspected every four (4) years.
(c) Properties older that twenty (20) years shall be inspected every two (2) years.
(2) Inspections may be increased in frequency upon a determination that violations of this Rental Code, revealed during an inspection, individually or in combination, demonstrate a failure to maintain the rental property in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition.
(3) Inspections may be decreased in frequency based on satisfactory results of the latest inspection of the entire rental property; however, a modification of the scheduled inspection schedule shall not be extended more than two (2) years for any property and no inspection schedule shall exceed six (6) years between inspections.
(4) Any rental property may be inspected at any time due to complaints or as conditions warrant.

(C) Notification prior to Inspections.  It shall be the responsibility of the owner or agent to notify the individual tenants of the property of the scheduled inspection and to request that permission for the City to enter the premises be granted at the time of the inspection, by a tenant or person with common authority over the premise, either in person or in writing.  Without such express permission to enter a unit scheduled for inspection, the City shall not proceed to inspect and shall instead obtain a court order according to the process outlined in Section 11-12-11(B).  In addition to the right of entry process set forth in Section 11-12-11(B) above, regular inspections may be preceded by the following notice:

(1) A letter of intent to inspect a property based on the systematic inspection schedule mailed to the owner or agent of the property stating the proposed date and time of the inspection and given a minimum of thirty (30) days before inspection.
(2) Notice to the owner or agent at least seven (7) days in advance of the scheduled inspection to verify the time and date.
(3) If it is necessary for the City to cancel a scheduled inspection, it may send a cancellation notice to the owner or agent of the effected property at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled inspection date.

(D) Inspections of Rental Dwellings.  Inspection of rental dwellings shall be on a complaint basis or as conditions warrant with no regular inspection schedule and shall proceed according to the process for right of entry set forth in Section 11-12-11(B).

11-12-13:  NOTICE OF NON-COMPLIANCE; INSPECTION REPORT:  (2532 2534 2798 3560)

(A) When the City determines that non-compliance with this Rental Code exists, a notice of non-compliance and order to correct shall be issued. The notice of non-compliance shall be in writing and shall describe the violation with sufficient detail for it to be properly addressed and corrected.  The notice of non-compliance shall provide a reasonable time for correction, no less than seven (7) and no more than ninety (90) days.  
 
(B) Inspection Report.  A report of inspection results, including notice of non-compliance, if any, shall be sent to the property owner or agent within ten (10) days of completion of an inspection. 

(1) The inspection report shall include the results of the inspection, the period of time for correction of any non-compliant conditions, and the scheduled reinspection date and time.
(2) An inspection report containing only satisfactory results with no notice of non-compliance need not be personally served and may be mailed to the owner or agent at the address currently on file with the City as part of the licensing or registering of the property pursuant to Title V, Chapter 12, of Westminster Municipal Code.

(C) Any notice of non-compliance and order to correct and any inspection report containing a notice of non-compliance and order to correct shall be served by one of the following methods:

(1) Personally upon the owner or agent, in which case service shall be deemed complete on the date such service occurs.
(2) Notice posted on the premises and mailed to the owner or agent at the address currently on file with the City as part of the licensing or registering of the property pursuant to Title V, Chapter 12, of Westminster Municipal Code.  Service by this method shall be deemed complete three days after mailing and posting, even if no acknowledgment of receipt is provided.

(D) Reinspections.  Reinspections may be conducted to verify that the violations identified in a notice of non-compliance have been corrected.  Violations that were not noted during the initial inspection but are discovered on the reinspection shall not be subject to correction as part of the initial notice of non-compliance, but may result in the issuance of an additional notice of non-compliance. Imminent hazards identified on a reinspection shall be subject to the provisions of Section 11-12-18.

(E) Owner Certification for Corrections.  The City may accept written affirmation from the owner or agent confirming correction of any or all violations documented in the formal notice of non-compliance. 

(F) Reinspection Fees.  A reinspection fee may be assessed for each follow-up inspection required after the initial reinspection due to an owner’s failure to correct satisfactorily the identified violations.  For each follow-up inspection required after the initial reinspection a reinspection fee of $ 50.00 per unit and common area may be assessed, which fee amount may be amended by subsequent resolution of City Council. Reinspection fees not paid in full within thirty (30) days of assessment shall constitute a lien on the property and shall be recorded as such with the County Clerk.

(G) Extensions.  If an owner cannot complete the required corrective action in the time set forth in the notice of non-compliance, the owner or agent may request an extension to the completion date, which may be granted upon a determination that substantial progress is being made to correct the violation(s). Such request shall be made in writing and shall contain the reasons that an extension is necessary and the requested length of extension.  A request for extension shall be made no less than three (3) days prior to a scheduled reinspection or the required completion date, whichever is earlier. 

(H) No Show Fees:  If an owner or agent fails to attend an inspection or reinspection, fails to request a timely extension, or fails to provide notice to tenants of the City’s request for permission to enter, a no-show fee of $ 50.00 per missed appointment may be assessed.  The fee amount may be amended by subsequent resolution of City Council.

11-12-14:  UNLAWFUL CONDUCT; PUBLIC NUISANCE: (2532 2534 3560)

(A) It shall be unlawful for any owner or agent to lease or to allow the use, maintenance, or occupancy of any residential dwelling or residential property that does not comply with the requirements of this Rental Code. 
 
(B) Securing Structures.  Any residential dwelling or residential property that is abandoned or uninhabited and is dilapidated, deteriorated or has become a place frequented by trespassers or transients or has otherwise been declared as a hazard shall be deemed a public nuisance.

(C) The City Manager or authorized representative is hereby deemed a peace officer for the limited purpose of enforcing the provisions of this Rental Code, and shall have the power to issue complaints and summons for violations of these provisions, pursuant to Rule 204, Municipal Court Rules of Procedure, as amended, and Section 1-22-18 of the Westminster Municipal Code.

(D) Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this Rental Code shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine or imprisonment or both, pursuant to Section 1-8-1 of the Westminster Municipal Code. Each day that a violation of any of the provisions of this Rental Code continues to exist shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct violation.

(E) A violation of any of the provisions of this Rental Code is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and may be abated according to the procedures established in Title 8, Chapter 4, of the Westminster Municipal Code for the abatement of nuisances.

(F) In addition to all other penalties available, a violation of the provisions of this Rental Code may result in an action to revoke or suspend a rental property license or a rental dwelling registration according to the process set forth in Title V, Chapter 12, of the Westminster Municipal Code.

11-12-15:  ENFORCEMENT (3560)  If, after notice and order to correct, an owner, fails to timely correct the violation and fails to timely appeal the notice and order, the City Manager or authorized representative may issue a complaint and summons for prosecution in Municipal Court or for abatement as a nuisance.

11-12-16:  APPEAL(2532 2534 3560 3725)

(A) An owner may appeal a notice of non-compliance and order to correct to the Building and Fire Code Appeals Committee.  Any such appeal shall be filed in writing with the City Manager within thirty (30) days of the date of service of the notice of non-compliance.

(B) The Building and Fire Code Appeals Committee shall hear the appeal within a reasonable time.  Procedure for the hearing shall be as established in Title II, Chapter 10, of Westminster Municipal Code.  Compliance with a notice of non-compliance shall be stayed until the Board has met and issued its decision.

(C) Any appeal of the decision of the Board shall be made to the District Court.
The appellant shall pay for the costs of preparing a transcript and other expenses of preparation of the record of hearing before the Board.

11-12-17:  REMEDIES (2532 2534 3560)  Recovery of Costs.  The cost of enforcement proceedings together with the cost of abatement, if so ordered, shall be assessed in any judgment rendered.  If the costs identified are not paid they shall constitute a lien upon the property. 

11-12-18:  IMMINENT DANGER:  (2532 2534 3560 3725)

(A) If any structure, premise or portion thereof is found to present an imminent hazard to life or health, the premises shall be posted and the property shall be ordered vacated.  Upon order to vacate, the property, or portion thereof, shall be posted as "Dangerous, Do Not Occupy" and written notification of the violations that deem the property, or portion thereof, as an imminent hazard shall be served as required in Section 11-12-13(C). 

(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or deface the posted notice, or to occupy the property or to enter the structure except for the purpose of repair.  The violations identified as causing the property or portion thereof, to be an imminent hazard shall be corrected and reinspected before the posting is removed and the property, or portion thereof, is reoccupied.

(C) The owner or agent may appeal the order to vacate to the Building and Fire Code Appeals Committee, in the same manner as stated in Section 11-12-16, except that the duty to comply with the order to vacate shall not be stayed pending a hearing.

 

 

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