Regulated Rental Unit Occupancy
1739.02 Owner’s Duties
1739.03 Occupant Duties
1739.04 Licenses and Inspection
1739.05 Grounds for Non-Renewal, Suspension
or Revocation of License
1739.06 Violations and Penalties
1739.07 Miscellaneous Provisions
BOCA National Property Maintenance Code – Article 1733
Inspections – Article 1731
Codes Board of Appeals – Article 150.03(b)
Pennsylvania Crimes Code – 18 Pa.C.S.A. Sec. 101, et seq
Liquor Code – 47 P.S. Sec. 1-101 et seq
The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act –
35 P.S. Sec. 780-101 et seq
A. Purpose/Scope/Declaration of Policy and Findings.
It is the purpose of this Ordinance and the policy of the City
of Bethlehem, in order to protect and promote the public health,
safety and welfare of its citizens, to establish rights and obligations
of Owners and Occupants relating to the rental of certain dwelling
units in the City of Bethlehem and to encourage Owners and Occupants
to maintain and improve the quality of rental housing within the
community. It is also the policy of the City that Owners, Managers
and Occupants share responsibilities to obey the various Codes adopted
to protect and promote public health, safety and welfare. As means
to those ends, this Ordinance provides for a system of inspections;
issuance and renewal of occupancy license; and sets penalties for
violations. This Ordinance shall be liberally construed and applied
to promote its purposes and policies.
In considering the adoption of this Ordinance, the City of Bethlehem
makes the following findings:
1. There is a greater incidence of violations of various Codes
of the City at residential properties where Owners do not reside
in the City and rent such property to three or more unrelated individuals
than at Owner-occupied residential properties or family-occupied
residential rental properties.
2. There is a greater incidence of problems with the maintenance
and upkeep of residential properties where Owners do not reside
in the City and rent such property to three or more unrelated individuals
than at Owner-occupied residential properties or family-occupied
residential rental properties.
3. There is a greater incidence of disturbances which adversely
affect the peace and quiet of the neighborhood at residential properties
where Owners rent to three or more unrelated individuals than at
Owner-occupied residential properties or family-occupied residential
1. City - The City of Bethlehem, Lehigh and Northampton Counties,
2. Code - Any CODE or ordinance adopted, enacted, and/or in effect
in and for the City of Bethlehem concerning fitness for habitation
or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use or appearance
of any PREMISES or DWELLING UNIT.
3. Code Enforcement Officer - The duly appointed CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER(S) having charge of Code Enforcement for the City of Bethlehem,
and any assistants or deputies thereof.
4. Common Area - In MULTIPLE UNIT DWELLINGS, space which is not
part of a REGULATED RENTAL UNIT and which is shared with other OCCUPANTS
of the DWELLLNG whether they reside in REGULATED DWELLING UNITS
or not. COMMON AREAS shall be considered as part of the PREMISES
for purposes of this Ordinance.
5. Disruptive Conduct - Any form of conduct, action, incident or
behavior perpetrated, caused or permitted, by any OCCUPANT or visitor
of a REGULATED DWELLING UNIT that is a violation of existing Ordinances
of the City of Bethlehem or statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In order for such Disruptive Conduct to constitute an offense under
this Ordinance, a Citation must be issued by the POLICE and successfully
prosecuted or a guilty plea entered before a District Justice. If
an appeal is filed from a decision of a district justice, the matter
shall not be deemed to constitute Disruptive Conduct, unless a finding
of guilty is affirmed by a final decision on appeal. In addition,
the POLICE shall file a DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT REPORT with the CODE
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER who will keep a written record of such DISRUPTIVE
6. Disruptive Conduct Report - A written report of DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT
on a form to be prescribed therefor, to be completed by the POLICE,
who actually investigate an alleged incident of DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT
and which shall be delivered and maintained by the CODE ENFORCEMENT
7. Dwelling - A building having one or more DWELLING UNITS.
8. Dwelling Unit - A room or group of rooms within a DWELLING and
forming a single unit and used for living and sleeping purposes,
having its own cooking facilities, and a bathroom with a toilet
and a bathtub or shower.
9. Guest - A PERSON on the PREMISES with the actual or implied
consent of an OCCUPANT.
10. Landlord - One or more PERSONS, jointly or severally, in whom
is vested all or part of the legal title to the PREMISES, or all
or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to present use and
enjoyment of the PREMISES, including a mortgage holder in possession
of a REGULATED RENTAL UNIT. (Same as OWNER).
11. Manager - An adult individual designated by the OWNER of a
REGULATED RENTAL UNIT under Section 3.C. The MANAGER shall be the
agent of the OWNER for service of process and receiving notices
or demands and to perform the obligation of the OWNER under this
Ordinance and under RENTAL AGREEMENTS with OCCUPANTS.
12. Multiple-Unit Dwelling - A building containing two (2) or more
independent DWELLING UNITS, including, but not limited to, double
houses, row houses, town houses, condominiums, apartment houses,
and conversion apartments.
13. Occupancy License - The License issued to the OWNER of REGULATED
RENTAL UNITS under this Ordinance, which is required for the lawful
rental and occupancy of REGULATED RENTAL UNITS.
14. Occupant - An individual who resides in a REGULATED RENTAL
UNIT, whether or not he or she is the OWNER thereof, with whom a
legal relationship with the OWNER/LANDLORD is established by a written
lease or [by] other legally enforceable agreement under the laws
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
15. Owner - One or more PERSONS, jointly or severally, in whom
is vested all or part of the legal title to the PREMISES, or all
or part of the beneficial Ownership and a right to present use and
enjoyment of the PREMISES, including a mortgage holder in possession
of a REGULATED RENTAL UNIT.
16. Owner-Occupied Dwelling Unit - A DWELLING UNIT in which the
OWNER [resides on a regular, permanent basis] is domiciled.
17. Person - A natural PERSON, partnership, corporation, unincorporated
association, limited partnership, trust, or any other entity.
18. Police - The POLICE Department of the City of Bethlehem, or
any properly authorized member or officer thereof or any other law
enforcement agency having jurisdiction within the City of Bethlehem.
19. Premises - Any parcel of real property in the City, including
the land and all buildings and appurtenant structures or appurtenant
elements, on which one or more REGULATED RENTAL UNITS is located.
20. Regulated Rental Unit - A DWELLING UNIT occupied by three or
more, but not more than five, unrelated PERSONS under a RENTAL AGREEMENT.
21. Rental Agreement - A written agreement or other legally enforceable
agreement between OWNER/LANDLORD and OCCUPANT/TENANT supplemented
by the Addendum required under Article II, Section E of this Ordinance,
embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy
of a specified REGULATED RENTAL UNIT or PREMISES.
22. Tenant - An individual who resides in a REGULATED RENTAL UNIT,
whether or not he or she is the OWNER thereof with whom a legal
relationship with the OWNER/LANDLORD is established by a [written]
lease or by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (Same
23. Unrelated - Of or pertaining to two (2) or more PERSONS not
related to one another through blood, adoption or marriage.
1739.02 OWNER'S DUTIES
2.1 It shall be the duty of every OWNER to keep and maintain all
REGULATED RENTAL UNITS in compliance with all applicable Codes and
provisions of all other applicable state laws and regulations and
local ordinances, and to keep such property in good and safe condition.
2.2 As provided for in this Ordinance, every OWNER shall be responsible
for regulating the proper and lawful use and maintenance of every
DWELLING which he, she or it owns. As provided for in this Ordinance,
every OWNER shall also be responsible for regulating the conduct
and activities of the OCCUPANTS of every REGULATED RENTAL UNIT which
he, she or it owns in the CITY, which conduct or activity takes
place at such REGULATED RENTAL UNIT or its PREMISES.
2.3 In order to achieve those ends, every OWNER of a REGULATED
RENTAL UNIT shall regulate the conduct and activity of the OCCUPANTS
thereof, both contractually and through enforcement, as more fully
set forth below.
2.4 This section shall not be construed as diminishing or relieving,
in any way, the responsibility of OCCUPANTS or their GUESTS for
their conduct or activity; nor shall it be construed as an assignment,
transfer, or projection over or onto any OWNER of any responsibility
or liability which OCCUPANTS or their GUESTS may have as a result
of their conduct or activity under any private cause of action,
civil or criminal enforcement proceeding, or criminal law; nor shall
this section be construed so as to require an OWNER to indemnify
or defend OCCUPANTS or their GUESTS when any such action or proceeding
is brought against the OCCUPANT based upon the OCCUPANT’s
conduct or activity. Nothing herein is intended to impose any additional
civil/criminal liability upon OWNERS other than that which is imposed
by existing law.
2.5 This Ordinance is not intended to, nor shall its effect be,
to limit any other enforcement remedies which may be available to
the CITY against an OWNER, OCCUPANT, or GUEST thereof.
B. Designation of Manager.
2.6 Every OWNER who is not a full-time resident of the City of
Bethlehem, or elsewhere in an area that is not within a twenty (20)
mile radius of the City of Bethlehem, shall designate a MANAGER
who shall reside in an area that is within a twenty (20) mile radius
of the City of Bethlehem. If the OWNER is a corporation, a MANAGER
shall be required if an officer of the corporation does not reside
within the aforesaid area. The officer shall perform the same function
as a manager. If the OWNER is a partnership, a MANAGER shall be
required if a partner does not reside within the aforesaid area.
Said partner shall perform the same function as a MANAGER. The MANAGER
shall be the agent of the OWNER for service of process and receiving
of notices and demands, as well as for performing the obligations
of the OWNER under this Ordinance and under RENTAL AGREEMENTS with
OCCUPANTS. The identity, address and telephone number(s) of a PERSON
who is designated as MANAGER hereunder shall be provided by OWNER
or MANAGER to the CITY, and such information shall be kept current
and updated as it changes.
2.7 The OWNER or MANAGER shall disclose to the OCCUPANT in writing
on or before the commencement of the tenancy:
a. the name, address and telephone number of the MANAGER; if
b. the name, address and telephone number of the OWNER of the
2.8 Before an OCCUPANT initially enters into or renews a RENTAL
AGREEMENT for a REGULATED RENTAL UNIT, the OWNER or MANAGER shall
furnish the OCCUPANT with the most recent inspection report relating
to the property.
D. Maintenance of Premises.
2.9 The OWNER shall maintain the PREMISES in compliance with the
applicable CODES of the CITY and shall regularly perform all routine
maintenance, including lawn mowing and ice and snow removal, and
shall promptly make any and all repairs necessary to fulfill this
2.10 The OWNER and OCCUPANT may agree that the OCCUPANT is to perform
specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, or remodeling.
In such case, however, such agreement between the OWNER and OCCUPANT
must be in writing. Such an agreement may be entered into between
the OWNER and OCCUPANT only if:
a. the agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and
not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the OWNER or OCCUPANT;
b. the agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of
the OWNER to other OCCUPANTS in the PREMISES.
2.11 In no case shall the existence of any agreement between OWNER
and OCCUPANT relieve an OWNER of any responsibility under this Ordinance
or other ordinances or codes for maintenance of PREMISES.
E. Written Rental Agreement.
2.12 All RENTAL AGREEMENTS for REGULATED DWELLING UNITS shall be
in writing or otherwise legally enforceable and shall be supplemented
with the Addendum attached hereto as Appendix A. All disclosures
and information required to be given to OCCUPANTS by the OWNER shall
be furnished before the signing or other finalization of the RENTAL
AGREEMENT. The OWNER shall provide OCCUPANT with copies of the RENTAL
AGREEMENT and Addendum before commencement of the lease.
2.13 Terms and Conditions. OWNER and OCCUPANT may include in a
RENTAL AGREEMENT terms and conditions not prohibited by this Ordinance
or other applicable ordinances, regulations, and laws, including
rent, term of the agreement, and other provisions governing the
rights and obligations of the parties.
2.14 Prohibited Provisions. Except as otherwise provided by this
Ordinance, no RENTAL AGREEMENT may provide that the OCCUPANT or
OWNER agrees to waive or to forego rights or remedies under this
Ordinance. A provision prohibited by this subsection included in
RENTAL AGREEMENT is unenforceable.
2.15 Attachment of Ordinance to Rental Agreement. Following the
effective date of this Ordinance, a summary hereof in a form provided
to OWNER by the CITY, at the time of licensing, shall be attached
or otherwise delivered with each RENTAL AGREEMENT delivered by or
on behalf of an OWNER when any such agreement is presented for signing
to any OCCUPANT, or is otherwise finalized with such occupant. If
a summary has been provided when the RENTAL AGREEMENT was first
executed, a summary does not have to be provided upon renewal. Where
a RENTAL AGREEMENT has been entered into prior to the effective
date of this Ordinance, the OWNER shall provide the OCCUPANTS with
a copy of the summary within sixty days after enactment of this
2.16 The OWNER shall secure a written acknowledgment from OCCUPANTS
that the OCCUPANTS have received the disclosures and information
required by this Ordinance.
2.17 Upon oral or written request by the City of Bethlehem, the
OWNER, within ten days of the request, shall furnish to the City,
copies of the acknowledgment that the OCCUPANTS received the disclosures
and information required by this Ordinance.
2.18 Upon oral or written request by the City of Bethlehem, the
OWNER, within ten days of the request, shall furnish to the City
for inspection purposes only, copies of the leases the OWNER has
entered into for regulated rental units.
2.19 The OWNER or MANAGER shall reply promptly to reasonable complaints
and inquiries from OCCUPANTS.
G. Landlord/Tenant Act.
2.20 The OWNER shall comply with all provisions of the LANDLORD-TENANT
Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
H. Common Areas.
2.21 Where an OWNER does not regulate the use of COMMON AREAS and
the behavior of OCCUPANTS and GUESTS in the COMMON AREAS, the OWNER
shall be directly responsible for the behavior of OCCUPANTS and
GUESTS in the COMMON AREA as if the OWNER were an OCCUPANT.
2.22 In the event that the same occupant is convicted of a third
DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT violation within a license year, the CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER shall direct the OWNER to evict the OCCUPANT who violated
the Ordinance and not to permit the OCCUPANT to occupy the PREMISES
during the subsequent licensing.
J. Code Violations.
2.26 Upon receiving notice of any code violations from the CODE
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, the OWNER shall promptly take action, or cause
the necessary action to be taken, to abate the offending condition
and eliminate the violation.
K. City Can Make Repairs.
2.27 In case the OWNER of PREMISES shall neglect, fail or refuse
to comply with any notice from the CITY or its CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER to correct a violation relating to maintenance and repair
of the PREMISES under any CODE within the period of time stated
in such notice, the CITY may cause the violation to be corrected.
There shall be imposed upon the OWNER a charge of the actual costs
involved, plus ten percent (10%) of said costs for each time the
CITY shall cause a violation to be corrected; and the OWNER of the
PREMISES shall be billed after same has been completed. Any such
bill which remains unpaid and outstanding after the time specified
therein for payment shall be grounds for the imposition of a municipal
lien upon the PREMISES as provided by law. Such a lien may be reduced
to judgment and enforced and collected as provided by law, together
with interest at the legal rate and court costs. The remedies provided
by this paragraph are not exclusive and the CITY and its CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER may invoke such other remedies available under this Ordinance
or other applicable codes, ordinances or statutes, including where
appropriate, condemnation proceedings or declaration of PREMISES
as unfit for habitation; or suspension, revocation, or non-renewal
of the License issued hereunder.
L. 2.28 The OWNER shall permit inspections of any PREMISES by the
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER at reasonable times upon reasonable notice.
1739.03 OCCUPANT DUTIES
3.1 The OCCUPANT shall comply with all obligations imposed upon
OCCUPANTS by this Ordinance, all applicable Codes and ordinances
of the CITY and all applicable provisions of state law.
B. Health and Safety Regulations.
3.2 The maximum number of persons permitted to reside in any REGULATED
RENTAL UNIT at any time shall not exceed five (5) occupants. Occupancy
limitations can be found in the International Property Maintenance
Code, Section PM 404.0 titled “Occupancy Limitations”.
(Ord. 2010-38 - Passed 12/21/10.)
3.3 The OCCUPANT shall dispose from his or her REGULATED RENTAL
UNIT all rubbish, garbage, and other waste in a clean and safe manner,
and separate and place for collection all recyclable materials,
in compliance with the Recycling Plan submitted by the OWNER to
the CITY under Bethlehem's Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance;
or, if there is no Recycling Plan for the PREMISES, then in compliance
with Bethlehem's Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance and all other
applicable ordinances, laws and regulations.
3.4 The OWNER of the REGULATED RENTAL UNIT shall supply one solid
trash container per OCCUPANT with a minimum size of 32 gallons or
the equivalent to the number of TENANTS. This container must be
an approved outside container which is leak proof and has a secured
solid lid. (Ord. 2012-25. Passed 9/19/12.)
C. Peaceful Enjoyment.
3.5 The OCCUPANT shall conduct himself or herself and require other
PERSONS, including, but not limited to, GUESTS on the PREMISES and
within his or her REGULATED RENTAL UNIT with his or her consent,
to conduct themselves in a manner compliant with the Ordinances
and regulations of the City of Bethlehem that will not disturb the
peaceful enjoyment of the PREMISES by others, and that will not
disturb the peaceful enjoyment of adjacent or nearby DWELLINGS by
the PERSONS occupying same.
D. Residential Use.
3.6 The OCCUPANT shall, unless otherwise permitted by applicable
law or ordinance; occupy or use his or her REGULATED RENTAL UNIT
for no other purpose than as a residence.
E. Illegal Activities.
3.7 The OCCUPANT shall not engage in, nor tolerate nor permit others
PREMISES to engage in, any conduct declared illegal under any federal
criminal statute, and/or under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code (18
Pa.C.S.A. § 101, et seq) or Liquor Code (47 P.S. § 1-101
et seq), or The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic
Act (35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq).
F. Disruptive Conduct.
3.8 The OCCUPANT shall not engage in, nor tolerate nor permit others
on the PREMISES to engage in, DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT, or other violations
of the Ordinance.
3.9 When POLICE investigate an alleged incident of DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT,
he or she shall complete a DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT REPORT upon a finding
that the reported incident did, in his or her judgment, constitute
“DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT” as defined herein. The information
filled in on said report shall include, if possible, the identity
or identities of the alleged perpetrator(s) of the DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT
and all other obtainable information including the factual basis
for the DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT requested on the prescribed form. Where
the POLICE make such investigation, said POLICE officer shall then
submit the completed DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT REPORT to the CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER. In all cases, the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER shall mail a
copy of the DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT REPORT to the OWNER or MANAGER within
three working days of the occurrence of the alleged DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT.
G. Compliance with Rental Agreement.
3.10 The OCCUPANT shall comply with all lawful provisions of the
RENTAL AGREEMENT entered into between OWNER and OCCUPANT. Failure
to comply may result in the eviction of the OCCUPANT by the OWNER.
H. Damage to Premises.
3.11 The OCCUPANT shall not intentionally cause, nor permit nor
tolerate others to cause, damage to the PREMISES. Conduct which
results in damages in excess of $500.00 shall be considered a violation
of this Ordinance.
I. Inspection of Premises.
3.12 The OCCUPANT shall permit inspections by the CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER of the PREMISES at reasonable times (during business hours
of the Bureau of Inspections), upon reasonable notice (twenty-four
hours notice, either written or oral, by the Bureau of Inspections).
1739.04 LICENSES AND INSPECTION
A. License Requirement.
4.1 As a prerequisite to entering into a RENTAL AGREEMENT or permitting
the occupancy of any REGULATED RENTAL UNIT (except as provided in
subparagraph C, below), the OWNER of every such REGULATED RENTAL
UNIT shall be required to apply for and obtain a License for each
REGULATED RENTAL UNIT.
4.2 A License shall be required for all REGULATED RENTAL UNITS.
4.3 The following categories of rental properties shall not require
Licenses, and shall not, therefore, be subject to the permitting
provision of this Ordinance:
a. OWNER-occupied DWELLING UNITS provided that not more than two
UNRELATED individuals, in addition to the immediate members of the
OWNER'S family, occupy the DWELLING UNIT at any given time.
b. Hotels and motels.
c. Hospitals and nursing homes.
d. Bed and Breakfast Homes as defined in the CITY'S Zoning Ordinance.
4.4 A License shall not be required for MULTIPLE-UNIT DWELLINGS,
although a License shall be required for each REGULATED RENTAL UNIT
within the structure. The foregoing notwithstanding, all other provisions
of this Ordinance shall apply to the COMMON AREAS of the structure.
4.5 The application for the License shall be in a form as determined
by the CITY.
4.6 The OWNER shall maintain a current list of OCCUPANTS in each
REGULATED DWELLING UNIT which shall include their name, permanent
address and permanent telephone number. The OWNER shall furnish
the list to the CITY upon request and shall notify the CITY of any
changes in the number of OCCUPANTS so that revisions can be made
to the License.
4.7 The OWNER shall furnish with his or her application for license
a copy of the written lease form or detailed written summary of
the terms and conditions of any lease agreement the OWNER intends
to have the OCCUPANTS of each licensed dwelling unit execute or
otherwise agree to. If the OWNER uses more than one form of lease,
the OWNER shall furnish a copy of each form. The license will not
be issued if the lease form does not meet the requirements of 1739.02,
Section E. of this Ordinance.
4.8 The OWNER shall furnish with his or her application, for inspection
purposes only, the leases that have been entered into that will
cover all or part of the license term. The license will not be issued
if such leases are not furnished for inspection. Leases shall be
furnished for all persons who have paid a downpayment at the time
that the OWNER applies for a license or who have committed to residing
in the premises.
B. Annual License Term, Fee and Occupancy Limit.
4.9 Each License shall have an annual term and each Regulated
Rental Unit shall be subject to a minimum of one annual inspection
based on the following schedule:
a.) Properties in Wards 6-15 of the City shall be inspected and
licensed during the months of January, February and March, April,
May and June.
b.) Properties in Wards 1-5, 16 and 17 of the City shall be inspected
and licensed during the months of July, August and September, October,
November and December.
(Ord. 4131; Passed 5/22/02)
4.10 Upon application for a License and prior to issuance or renewal
thereof, each applicant shall pay to the CITY an annual License
and inspection fee.
a.) Registration – The fee for a Residential Rental Registration
shall be sixty dollars ($60.00) per residential rental unit plus
ten dollars ($10.00) per occupant with a maximum of five (5) occupants
per year due and payable at the time of the scheduling of the original
inspection. (Ord. 2010-38 - Passed 12/21/10.)
b.) Licensure (Certificate of Occupancy) – See Article 1731,
Inspections, of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Bethlehem.
c.) Reinspection – See Article 1731.02(c) of the Codified
Ordinances of the City of Bethlehem.
d.) Reinstatement – The fee to reinstate a revoked Residential
Rental Registration or a Residential Rental License shall be one
hundred dollars ($100.00) per residential rental unit and ten dollars
($10.00) per occupant with a maximum of five (5) occupants.
e.) Transfer – See Article 1731.02(c) of the Codified Ordinances
of the City of Bethlehem.
For inspection fees, see Article 1731.02 of the Codified Ordinances
of the City of Bethlehem.
4.11 The License shall indicate thereon the maximum number of OCCUPANTS
in each REGULATED RENTAL UNIT.
4.12 No license shall be issued if the OWNER has not paid any fines
and costs arising from enforcement of this Ordinance or any of the
ordinances of the City of Bethlehem relating to land use and/or
code enforcement or if any licensing fees under this Ordinance are
due and owing the City.
4.13 All PREMISES shall be subject to periodic inspection by the
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER or another duly authorized agent of the CITY
as outlined in Section 1739.04 B. 4.9. Such inspection may take
place when an application is submitted for a License or at any time
during the year when a property becomes subject to this Article.
The fee for inspections are contained in Article 1731 of the Codified
Ordinances of the City of Bethlehem, Section 1731.02. (Ord. 4131;
4.14 The CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER is hereby designated as the official
authorized to enforce this Ordinance and to take appropriate measures
to abate violations hereof, for and on behalf of the City of Bethlehem.
4.15 This section shall not be construed so as to limit or restrict
the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER'S authority to conduct inspections
of PREMISES, whether or not subject to the permitting and inspection
requirements of this Ordinance, pursuant to any other ordinance
D. Search Warrant.
4.16 Upon a showing of probable cause that a violation of this
Ordinance or any other ordinance of the City of Bethlehem has occurred,
the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER may apply to the District Justice having
jurisdiction in the City of Bethlehem for a search warrant to enter
and inspect the PREMISES.
1739.05 GROUNDS FOR NON-RENEWAL, SUSPENSION OR
REVOCATION OF LICENSE.
5.1 The CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER may initiate disciplinary action
against an OWNER that may result in a formal warning, non-renewal,
suspension or revocation of the OWNER'S License, for violating any
provision of this Ordinance that imposes a duty upon the OWNER and/or
for failing to regulate the breach of duties by OCCUPANTS as provided
B. Definitions of Options to the Code Enforcement Officer.
5.2 Formal Warning - Formal written notification of at least one
violation of this Ordinance. Upon satisfactory compliance with this
Ordinance and any conditions imposed by the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
and/or the City of Bethlehem, the formal warning shall be removed
when the OWNER applies for License renewal at a time set by the
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER or by City of Bethlehem.
5.3 Non-Renewal - The denial of the privilege to apply for License
renewal after expiration of the License term. The CITY will permit
the OWNER to maintain OCCUPANTS in the PREMISES until the end of
the license term but will not accept applications for renewal of
the License until a time set by the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER or
by City of Bethlehem such time not to exceed one year from the renewal
5.4 Suspension - The immediate loss of the privilege to rent REGULATED
RENTAL UNITS for a period of time set by the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
or City of Bethlehem such time not to exceed one year from the date
of suspension. The OWNER, after the expiration of the suspension
period, may apply for License renewal without the need to show cause
why the OWNER'S privilege to apply for a License should be reinstated.
Upon suspension, the OWNER shall take immediate steps to evict the
5.5 Revocation - The immediate loss of the privilege to rent REGULATED
RENTAL UNITS for a period of time set by the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
or the City of Bethlehem and the loss of the privilege to apply
for renewal of the License at the expiration of the time period
such time not to exceed one year from the date of revocation. Upon
the loss of the privilege to rent, the OWNER shall take immediate
steps to evict the OCCUPANTS.
5.6. Reinstatement – A Residential Rental Registration shall
be reinstated if the owner or operator of a REGULATED RENTAL UNIT
corrects the reason for the revocation of the Residential Rental
Registration and has paid the Residential Rental Registration reinstatement
C. Criteria for Applying Sanctions.
5.7 The CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, when recommending sanctions,
and the City of Bethlehem, when applying sanctions, shall consider
(A) The effect of the violation on the health, safety and welfare
of the OCCUPANTS of the REGULATED RENTAL UNIT and other residents
of the PREMISES.
(B) The effect of the violation on the neighborhood.
(C) Whether the OWNER has prior violations of this Ordinance and
other ordinances of the CITY or has received notices of violations
as provided for in this Ordinance.
(D) Whether the OWNER has been subject to sanctions under this
(E) The effect of sanctions against the OWNER on the OCCUPANTS.
(F) The action taken by the OWNER to remedy the violation and to
prevent future violations, including any written plan submitted
by the OWNER.
(G) The policies and lease language employed by the OWNER to manage
the REGULATED DWELLING UNIT to enable the OWNER to comply with the
provisions of this Ordinance.
(H) In addition to enforcing sanctions as set forth above, the
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER may recommend and City of Bethlehem may
impose upon the existing or subsequent licenses reasonable conditions
related to fulfilling the purposes of this Ordinance.
D. Grounds for Imposing Sanctions.
5.8 Any of the following may subject an OWNER to sanctions as provided
for in this Article:
(A) Failure to abate a violation of CITY Codes and ordinances that
apply to the PREMISES within the time directed by the CODE ENFORCEMENT
(B) Refusal to permit the inspection of the PREMISES by the CODE
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER as required by 1739.04, Section C of this Ordinance.
(C) Failure to take steps to remedy and prevent violations of this
Ordinance by OCCUPANTS of REGULATED RENTAL UNITS as required by
1739.02, Section A of this Ordinance.
(D) Failure to evict OCCUPANTS after having been directed to do
so by the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER of the CITY as provided for in
1739.02, Section I of this Ordinance.
(E) Three violations of this Ordinance or other ordinances of the
CITY that apply to the PREMISES within a License term. For purposes
of this Ordinance, there need be no criminal conviction before a
violation can be found to exist. Before a prior violation can be
considered under this Section, the OWNER must have received notice
in writing of this violation within thirty days after the CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER received notice of the violation.
E. Procedure for Non-Renewal, Suspension or Revocation of License
5.9 Notification. Following a determination that grounds for non-renewal,
suspension or revocation of a License exist, the CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER shall notify the OWNER of the action to be taken and the
reason therefor. Such notification shall be in writing. addressed
to the OWNER in question, and shall contain the following information:
(A) The address of the PREMISES in question and identification
of the particular REGULATED RENTAL UNIT(S) affected.
(B) A description of the violation which has been found to exist.
(C) A statement that the License for said REGULATED RENTAL UNIT(S)
shall be either suspended or revoked, or will not be renewed for
the next License or that the OWNER will receive a formal warning.
In the case of a suspension or revocation, the notice shall state
the date upon which such suspension or revocation will commence,
and in the case of a suspension shall also state the duration of
(D) A statement that, due to the non-renewal, suspension or revocation
(as the case may be), the OWNER or any PERSON acting on his, her
or its behalf is prohibited from renting, letting, or permitting
occupancy of the DWELLING UNIT(S) by more than two UNRELATED individuals
subject to said enforcement action, from and during the period said
action is in effect.
(E) Any person affected by a decision of the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
or a notice or order issued by the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER shall
have the right to appeal to the board of appeals, provided that
a written application for appeal is filed within 10 days after the
day the decision, notice or order was served. An application for
appeal may be made when it is claimed that: the true intent of the
Codes or rules legally adopted thereunder have been incorrectly
interpreted, the provisions of this code do not fully apply, or
an equally good or better method can be used. See BOCA National
Property Maintenance Code, Section PM 111.0, Titled “Means
of Appeal”. See also Article 150.03 (b) “Codes Board
of Appeals”, of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Bethlehem.
5.10 Delivery of Notification.
(A) All notices shall be sent to the OWNER and MANAGER, if applicable,
by certified mail. In the event that the notice is returned by the
postal authorities marked "unclaimed" or "refused",
then the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER shall attempt delivery by personal
service on the OWNER or MANAGER, if applicable. The CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER shall also post the notice at a conspicuous place on the
(B) If personal service cannot be accomplished after a reasonable
attempt to do so, then the notice may be sent to the OWNER or MANAGER
at the address stated on the most current License application for
the PREMISES in question, by regular first c1ass mail, postage prepaid.
If such notice is not returned by the postal authorities within
five days of its deposit in the U.S. mail, then it shall be deemed
to have been delivered to and received by the addressee on the fifth
day following its deposit in the U.S. mail, and all time periods
set forth under Section 1 above, shall thereupon be calculated from
said fifth day.
1739.06 VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
6.1 Basis for Violation.
It shall be unlawful for any PERSON, as either OWNER or MANAGER
of a REGULATED RENTAL UNIT for which a License is required, to operate
without a valid, current License issued by the CITY authorizing
such operation. It shall also be unlawful for any PERSON, either
OWNER or MANAGER, to allow the number of OCCUPANTS of a REGULATED
RENTAL UNIT to exceed the maximum limit as set forth on the License,
or to violate any other provision of this Ordinance. IT SHALL BE
UNLAWFUL FOR ANY OCCUPANT TO VIOLATE THIS ORDINANCE.
Any person who shall violate a provision of this Ordinance or shall
fail to comply with any of the requirements hereof, or the Building
Code of the City, or shall be in violation of an approved plan or
directive of the Code Enforcement Officer shall, upon conviction
thereof before the district Magistrate of the City of Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, be liable to pay the following penalties:
a) First Violation - A fine of $200.00, or thirty days imprisonment,
b) Second Violation – A fine of $500.00, or sixty days imprisonment,
c) Third and each subsequent violation - A fine of $1,000.00, or
imprisonment, or both.
Upon conviction of a third offense, the OWNER of the property will
be required to begin eviction of the tenants/occupants of the property.
6.3 Non-exclusive Remedies.
The penalty provisions of this Article and the License non-renewal,
suspension and revocation procedures provided in this Ordinance
shall be independent, non-mutually exclusive separate remedies,
all of which shall be available to the CITY as may be deemed appropriate
for carrying out the purposes of this Ordinance. The remedies and
procedures provided in this Ordinance for violation hereof are not
intended to supplant or replace, to any degree, the remedies and
procedures available to the CITY in the case of a violation of any
other Code or ordinance of the CITY, whether or not such other Code
or ordinance is referenced in this Ordinance and whether or not
an ongoing violation of such other Code or ordinance is cited as
the underlying ground for a finding of a violation of this Ordinance.
1739.07 MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
(A) For purposes of this Ordinance, any notice required hereunder
to be given to a MANAGER shall be deemed as notice given to the
(B) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any notice required
to be given to the OWNER under this Ordinance shall have been received
by such OWNER if the notice was given to the OWNER in the manner
provided by this Ordinance.
(C) A claimed lack of knowledge by the OWNER of any violation hereunder
cited shall be no defense to License non-renewal, suspension or
revocation proceedings as long as all notices prerequisite to institution
of such proceedings have been given and deemed received in accordance
with the applicable provisions of this Ordinance.
7.2 Changes in Ownership/Occupancy.
It shall be the duty of each OWNER of a REGULATED RENTAL UNIT to
notify the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER in writing within five (5) days
of any change in Ownership of the PREMISES or of the number of REGULATED
RENTAL UNITS on the PREMISES. It shall also be the duty of the OWNER
to notify the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER in writing within five (5)
days of any increase in the number of OCCUPANTS in any REGULATED
RENTAL UNIT or of the changing of a DWELLING UNIT from OWNER-OCCUPIED
to nonowner-occupied, which thereby transforms the DWELLING into
a REGULATED RENTAL UNIT for purposes of this Ordinance. Failure
to so notify the CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER shall be considered a
violation of this Ordinance.
7.3 Owners Severally Responsible.
If any REGULATED RENTAL UNIT is owned by more than one PERSON,
in any form of joint tenancy, as a partnership, or otherwise, each
PERSON shall be jointly and severally responsible for the duties
imposed under the terms of this Ordinance, and shall be severally
subject to prosecution for the violation of this Ordinance.
If any provision of this Ordinance or the application thereof to
any PERSON or circumstances is held invalid, such holding shall
not affect the other provisions or applications of this Ordinance
which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application,
and to this end, the provisions of this Ordinance are declared severable.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances, which are inconsistent herewith,
are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
7.6 Effective date.
Pursuant to 53 P.S. 41608(b), this Ordinance shall take effect
twenty days after its final passage by City Council and approval
by the Mayor.
(Ord. 4038; Passed 11/8/00.)
ADDENDUM TO RESIDENTIAL RENTAL AGREEMENT
This Addendum to Residential Rental Agreement is made this _______
day of _________________, _______, and is incorporated into and
shall be deemed to amend and supplement the Residential Rental Agreement
made by the undersigned Tenant and Landlord, their heirs, successors
and assigns, dated _______________________. The Residential Rental
Agreement and this Addendum pertain to the premises described in
said agreement and located at __________________________________________.
This Addendum is required by Article II, Section E. of the Regulated
Rental Unit Occupancy Ordinance of the City of Bethlehem.
ADDITIONAL COVENANTS AND OBLIGATIONS
In addition to the covenants and obligations set forth in the
aforementioned Residential Rental Agreement, Tenant and Landlord
hereby covenant and agree as follows:
A. Landlord’s Covenants and Obligations:
1. Landlord shall keep and maintain the leased premises in compliance
with all applicable Codes and Ordinances of the City of Bethlehem
and all applicable state laws and shall keep the leased premises
in good and safe condition.
2. The manager for the leased premises shall be as follows:
3. The Landlord shall be responsible for regularly performing all
routine maintenance, including lawn mowing and ice and snow removal,
and for making any and all necessary repairs in and around the leased
premises, except for any specific tasks which the parties hereby
agree shall be delegated to the Tenant and which are identified
4. The Landlord shall promptly respond to reasonable complaints
and inquiries from the Tenant.
5. The Landlord shall comply with all applicable provisions of
the Landlord-Tenant Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
B. Tenant’s Covenants and Obligations:
1. Tenant shall comply with all applicable Codes and Ordinances
of the City of Bethlehem and all applicable state laws.
2. Tenant agrees that the maximum number of persons permitted
within the regulated rental unit at any time shall be ________ and
the maximum number of persons permitted within the common areas
of the leased premises at any time shall be _________.
3. Tenant shall dispose of all rubbish, garbage and other waste
from the leased premises in a clean and safe manner and shall separate
and place for collection all recyclable materials in compliance
with City of Bethlehem’s Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance.
4. Tenant shall not engage in any conduct on the leased premises
which is declared illegal under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code or
Liquor Code, or the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic
Act, nor shall Tenant permit others on the premises to engage in
5. Tenant shall use and occupy the leased premises so as not to
disturb the peaceful enjoyment of adjacent or nearby premises by
6. Tenant shall not cause, nor permit nor tolerate to be caused,
damage to the leased premises, except for ordinary wear and tear.
7. Tenant shall not engage in, nor tolerate nor permit others on
the leased premises to engage in, “disruptive conduct”
which is defined as “any form of conduct, action, incident
or behavior perpetrated, caused or permitted by any occupant or
visitor of a regulated rental unit that is so loud, untimely, offensive,
riotous or that otherwise unreasonably disturbs other persons in
their peaceful enjoyment of their premises such that a report is
made to the police and/or to the Code Enforcement Officer. It is
not necessary that such conduct, action, incident or behavior constitute
a criminal offense, nor that criminal charges be filed against any
person in order for a person to have perpetrated, caused or permitted
the commission of disruptive conduct as defined herein. Provided,
however, that no disruptive conduct shall be deemed to have occurred
unless the Code Enforcement Officer or police shall investigate
and make a determination that such did occur, and keep written records,
including a Disruptive Conduct Report of such occurrence.”
8. Tenant acknowledges and agrees that this tenancy is subject
to the provisions of the Regulated Rental Unit Occupancy Ordinance
of the City of Bethlehem and that the issuance by any municipal
officer of the City of Bethlehem of a Certificate of Non-compliance
with said Ordinance relating to the leased premises shall constitute
a breach of the rental agreement of which this addendum is a part.
Upon such breach, Landlord shall have the right and option to pursue
any and all of the following remedies:
a. Termination of the rental agreement without prior notice;
b. Bring an action to recover possession of the leased premises
without abatement of rents paid, including reasonable attorney’s
fees and costs;
c. Bring an action to recover the whole balance of the rent and
charges due for the unexpired lease term, including reasonable attorney’s
fees and costs;
d. Bring an action for damages caused by Tenant’s breach,
including reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have hereunto set their hands and
seals the day and year first above written.