DISCLAIMER

 

08-011-O                                                          REPLACEMENT

 

ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE PERTAINING TO THE LICENSING OF RENTAL PROPERTIES; AMENDING CITY CODE SECTION 29A-29 AND SECTION 29A-34, DECLARING MORATORIUM

BY COUNCILOR STAUBER:

     The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 29A-29 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 29A-29.     Licenses--application, procedure.

     (a)  All licenses shall be issued by the building official. Applications for licenses shall be made by the owner or manager of the dwelling to the building official upon forms provided by such official, and such applications shall be accompanied by the required license fee. Applications for renewals of licenses and licenses for new dwellings shall be made at least 60 days prior to the time the current license will expire or the units will be offered for rent. Upon receipt of a completed application and fees the building official shall issue a temporary license permitting the temporary rental of the dwelling until such dwelling has been inspected by the building official. New dwellings, dwelling units, housekeeping units, rooming units or rental units which comply with the State Building Code shall be issued a license upon completion of construction inspections issuance of a certificate of occupancy and receipt of a completed application and fees by the building official. Buildings which comply with the State Building Code and have been completed and certified for occupancy by the building official within one year of the certification of occupancy and receipt of a completed application and fees by the building official shall also be issued a license for the initial licensing period without further inspection. All other multiple dwellings, rooming houses and rental units shall be inspected before a license is issued. If the inspection by the building official discloses that there are violations in the building, the temporary license may be extended for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 120 days, so that the violations can be corrected and the building reinspected by the building official. The building official shall not extend a temporary license more than twice. No license shall be issued unless the premises or portions of the premises to be licensed have been found by the building official to comply with the provisions of this Chapter and all other applicable ordinances of the city. If only a portion of a building is licensed, no unlicensed portion shall be rented. Renting any unlicensed portion of a building shall result in revocation of the license and issuance of a notice to vacate the building;

     (b)  If, after issuance of a temporary license for an establishment, the building official is denied access to such establishment, or any portion thereof, at any reasonable time while attempting to inspect the premises, the building official may revoke such temporary license upon written notice to the applicant, subject to the applicant's right to appeal as provided in this Article;

     (c)  In addition to the requirements set forth above, no rental license, except a temporary rental license, shall be issues for any dwelling unless a certificate of noncontribution as provided for in Section 43-33.2 has been issued for that dwelling;

     (d) For the purpose of ensuring all units in the city of Duluth that as of the effective date of this ordinance are being used for rental units are properly licensed, a 30 day amnesty period is being established when the following conditions exist:

           (1)  A single family residential unit is being used as a rental property as previously defined. The owner or manager of the property shall present to the city proof of this in the form of documentation of either a rental or lease agreement or similar instrument that is signed in the original and dated by those renting and with a rental term that commenced prior to October 1, 2007;

           (2)  The owner of the dwelling does not have a current or temporary rental license and has never had one for that property that was revoked;

           (3)  The owner secures payment to the city of fees required by code, including penalty fees calculated by the city, in an amount equal to the required fees for the number of years the property has been rented without a license. No penalty will be less than the three year fee;

     (4)  This amnesty will only be allowed from the date this ordinance becomes effective until 30 days after that date;

     (5)  All other conditions required for licensing are met including off street parking requirements as set out in this Code.

     Section 2. That Section 29A-34 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 29A-34.     Notices.

     No license shall be issued pursuant to this Section unless the applicant designates in writing to the building official at an address located in the city of Duluth where notices issued by the building official may be delivered. All notices issued by the building official regarding a particular license shall be sent by first class mail or personally delivered to the address specified by the licensee, and for purposes of this Article delivery by such means shall constitute service of such notice on the licensee.

     Any person who receives an order from the building official denying, suspending or revoking a license may appeal such denial, suspension or revocation to the building appeal board under the procedures set forth in Section 10-5 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended. Request for such appeal shall be made in writing to the building official within 15 days after the day the notice was served. If an appeal is filed, no denial, suspension or revocation shall take effect until after the appeal is heard and determined as provided herein. The building official shall then set a time and place for such appeal to be heard and notify the appellant of said time and place. No appeal shall be set for hearing less than ten days or later than 40 days from the date the appeal is filed. At the hearing, appellant may be represented by counsel, may produce witnesses, and may testify in their own behalf. The building appeal board may administer oaths, take testimony and subpoena witnesses and papers at such hearing. After hearing all the evidence and arguments, and after due deliberation, the building appeal board shall affirm, reverse or modify the action of the building official. Notice of the building appeal board's decision shall be served on the appellant within 48 hours after such decision is rendered. Any action taken by the board shall be final.

     For a period that ends 30 days after this ordinance takes effect, no order to vacate (eviction) shall issue regarding a property that is single family home converted to rental units and for which there is currently no proper rental license in force, and the property would qualify to be licensed except that it does not conform to the 300 foot density rule of Section 29A-32(f).

     Section 3. That this ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage and publication.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance was created to allow owners of single family homes that are being used as rentals without proper licensing to apply for a license regardless of the 300 foot rule if they can prove they were being used for rental prior to October 1, 2007. Penalties for failure to license will be implemented based on the length of time they have been in violation. The ordinance also includes council approval of a moratorium on evictions while this action to license takes place.