On October 22, 2019, Borough Council enacted an ordinance requiring all residential rental properties to be licensed to operate as a rental within the Borough. 

WHY THE REQUIREMENT TO LICENSE A RENTAL UNIT?

In considering the adoption of this ordinance, Borough Council determined that there is a failure on some property owners to properly maintain residential rental units.  Additionally, the Police Department records indicate a growing number of disturbances at residential rental units.

WHAT IS A THE PURPOSE OF THE RENTAL LICENSE?

The registry will consist of a database containing relevant information regarding all non-owner occupied rental units in the Borough of Palmyra.  The data collected for this registry will include the name and address of the owner and telephone numbers where the owner, or property manager, can be reached at all times.

WHAT IS A RENTAL UNIT?

The ordinance defines a rental unit as (1) A rooming unit or (2) a dwelling unit let for rent or (3) a dwelling unit occupied by any persons other than one occupied solely by the owner and members of the owner's family. Each individual townhouse dwelling, each individual apartment unit, each individual unit in a multi-family building, and each rooming unit shall be considered a separate residential rental unit. If a structure contains a rooming unit or if any portion of the structure is let for rent, it shall be considered a residential rental unit whether or not the owner or a relative of the owner also resides in the structure. A residential rental unit includes dwelling units under lease-purchase agreements or long-term (greater than six (6) months) agreements of sale. A residential rental unit shall not include a hotel unit or a hospital room utilized for medical services.

DOES YOUR PROPERTY REQUIRE A MANAGER?

No license shall be issued for a residential rental unit unless the owner lives within thirty (30) miles of the municipal limits of the Borough or the owner designates a manager residing within thirty (30) miles of the municipal limits.  Contact information for both the owner and manager will need to be provided in the event of an emergency, to contact the property owner or manager 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  The designation of a manager shall not be considered valid unless signed by both the owner and the manager.

IS THERE A LICENSE FEE?

The fee is $50.00 per unit/per year.  Payment must accompany the rental license application.  The owner of a rental building containing more than one residential rental unit may file a single application for all the residential rental units in the building. 

WHEN ARE THE FEES DUE?

The rental license application and fee will be due by November 30th of each year.  A new application is required annually regardless if the tenants have not moved from the previous year.

ARE LICENSES TRANSFERABLE?

A license shall not be transferable.  In the case of licensed residential rental units that are sold or transferred to new ownership, the new owner shall make application for a license for each residential rental unit.  If the residential rental unit is occupied at the time of the sale or transfer, the new owner shall make application  for a residential rental license within ten (10) day so f the date of sale or transfer. 

WHAT IF YOU FAIL TO REGISTER YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY?

Whoever violates any provision of this article shall, upon summary conviction for a first offense be fined no less than $100 nor more than $1,000; upon summary conviction for a second offense be fined no less than $200 nor more than $1,000; and upon summary conviction for a third or subsequent offense be fined no less than $500 nor more than $1,000.  In addition to prosecution of persons violating this article, the Codes Compliance Official or any duly authorized agent of the Borough, may take such civil or equitable remedies, in any court of record of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, against any person or property, real or personal, to affect the provisions of this Article.  The provisions of this section and the provisions of this article governing revocation, suspension or non-renewal of residential rental licenses shall be independent, non-mutually exclusive, separate remedies, all of which shall be available to the Borough as may be deemed appropriate. The remedies and procedures in this article are not intended to supplant or replace, to any degree, the remedies provided to the Borough in Chapter 270, Property Maintenance, and Chapter 380, Zoning.  In addition to the fines and penalties set forth in this section, any person violating this article shall be assessed all costs allowed by law, including, but not limited to, the Borough's attorney's fees to the maximum extent such fees are recoverable.

FORMS

Rental License Application

Duties of Owner(s) of Residential Rental Units

Tenant Instructions

Ordinance #797 amending Chapter 277 Rental Property