At their July 6th, 2020 meeting, the Catawissa Borough Council passed an ordinance regarding residential rental properties. As an owner of a rental property within the borough, I am writing today to make you aware that your property has not been registered as per the new Ordinance 03-2020. This new ordinance is designed to protect you as a landlord from damages to your property and from irresponsible behavior by tenants; protect tenants from unsafe conditions within their homes; and to enhance and support ongoing efforts to build a stronger and safer Catawissa for all residents.
This letter is to inform you that your rental property is NOT IN COMPLIANCE with Ordinance 03-2020, Rental Property Registration and Licensing. This is the 2nd notice served to you. Please contact the Code Office immediately to avoid any legal action in the future. During the past couple months, you should have received a letter notifying you of the new Rental Ordinance (03-2020). The full Ordinance 03-2020 can be viewed at the following address: https://catawissadotus.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/ordinance-03-2020.pdf
If you cannot view it online, or have any question please contact the Code Office M-F 8am-12pm at the phone number listed above or at the Code Office email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need a Property Registration and Licensing Application, please contact the Code Office immediately. We are approaching the deadline of July 31, 2021. Once your applications and payment have been received, you will need to schedule an inspection date and time to have the property inspected, in order to obtain your Rental License. To schedule an inspection online visit: https://catawissaboroughinspection.as.me/
Property Registration. All rental properties must be registered annually with the Borough. During the implementation of this new ordinance, all properties must be registered with the Borough by July 31st, 2021. Registration fees are modest. Forms are available on the Borough website, https://Catawissa.us.
Property Manager. If you have contracted with a property manager or property management company to manage units under your ownership, along with the property registration we will need information on your manager or management company.
Responsible Agent. If you, as the property owner, are not a full-time resident of Catawissa or live within 10 miles of the Borough, you are required to designate a responsible agent who does meet these residency requirements and is authorized by you to receive communications on your behalf. Again, we will need contact information for this person along with your property registration.
Licenses and Inspections. All rental units are required to be inspected within one year of the enactment of this ordinance, by July 31st, 2021. A license will be issued upon successful completion of inspection of a unit, and licenses will be valid for three years after the date of issuance. The Borough is not charging for the issuance of the initial license; however, there will be fees for the reinspection of units that fail inspections. Rental units will be inspected at a minimum of once every three years; additional inspections may occur as deemed necessary by the Borough Code Officer, Borough Council, or for reasons outlined in the ordinance.
Inspections will use a checklist utilizing requirements from the Catawissa Borough Code and the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), 2012 Edition, which was adopted by the borough in 2013 as the standard for the maintenance of properties.
Forms may also be found on the borough website. Please return forms and payment to the Borough Code Enforcement Officer prior to inspection. Scheduling inspections is the responsibility of the property owner. Inspections may be scheduled by calling or emailing the Code Enforcement Officer or online through the Borough website, https://catawissaboroughinspection.as.me/
Disruptive Conduct. The borough’s rental ordinance includes provisions for Borough Police to issue Disruptive Conduct Reports on the finding of conduct at a rental property that, “Is so loud, untimely as to the time of day, offensive and/or nuisance-causing that it unreasonably interferes with the peaceful enjoyment by other persons of their premises or causes damage to property that is owned by others.” A list of infractions considered to be disruptive conduct is found in the ordinance; an action does not have to be criminal for it to be considered disruptive conduct. Three incidents of disruptive conduct by the occupant (or a person present) at a rental unit within a twelve-month period requires that the landlord begin eviction proceedings against the occupants.
Immediate Family. Licenses are not required for residential rental units occupied by immediate family members of the owner’s family, provided that no more than two additional unrelated family members occupy the dwelling at any given time.
This is not an exhaustive listing of all provisions of the Borough’s Residential Rental Ordinance. It is highly recommended that all owners of rental properties visit the borough’s website and familiarize yourself with the Ordinance (03-2020) and what is now required from property owners and occupants of rental properties in Catawissa Borough.