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FAQs: Hotels, Motels and Multiple Dwellings
For further information concerning the programs and enforcement responsibilities of the Bureau of Housing Inspection:
Phone: (609) 633-6210
Fax: (609) 633-6208
- Certificate of Registration
How can I register as the owner of a multiple dwelling/hotel/motel?
You will need to complete one application per building that can be secured from the Bureau of Housing Inspection by calling (609) 633-6210.
How long does it take to receive the Certificate of Registration?
It takes approximately 30 days to process an application once received in the Bureau. Should you need it sooner, you can get a temporary Certificate by coming into the office at 101 South Broad Street.
What does it cost to register?
There is a $10 per building fee, to be paid by check or money order. This is a one-time fee valid for as long as you own the property. Cash or credit and debit cards cannot be accepted.
What is an "In-county" agent and why do I need one?
The Law requires that an owner provide the office with the name and address of an individual who must reside or maintain an office in the county in which the property is located. This person is authorized to receive service of process on behalf of the record owner.
What happens if an owner fails to register?
Failure to register will result in the issuance of a Judgment in the amount of $200 and additional Judgments can be entered every 30 days thereafter.
What do I do if I need to make changes on my Certificate of Registration?
Notify the Bureau in writing of the changes. Bureau staff will make the changes.
- Transfer of Ownership
What should I do if a sell my property?
You should notify the Bureau immediately in writing that you are no longer the owner. Your correspondence should include the name and address of the new owner and the date of closing.
Am I responsible for an inspection fee bill if I sell my property?
If you were the owner on the date of the inspection, you are responsible for the inspection fee bill.
How often must multiple dwellings, hotels and or motels be inspected?
The Bureau is required to inspect each hotel and multiple dwelling at least once every 5 years.
If the owner lives at the property, does the owner’s unit have to be inspected?
Yes, the Bureau is required to inspect the entire property.
What is an addendum inspection?
An Addendum is an inspection which takes place in between cyclical inspections. Most often an addendum inspection is performed when a complaint is received, or when an inspector finds violations at the time of the reinspection which did not exist at the time of the cyclical inspection.
How much time does an owner have to correct violations?
The Bureau is required by law to provide 60 days to correct the violations. The 60-day period starts the date the owner or building representative signs the certified mail receipt card. If the Post Office is unable to deliver the inspection report by certified mail the 60-day period starts the date the inspection notice is posted to the building.
When will a reinspection take place?
The reinspection will take place sometime after the 60 days has expired and as scheduling permits.
Can I request a reinspection before the 60-day period has expired?
You may do so but is must be in writing from the owner of the property. Your request can be mailed or faxed to the Bureau of Housing Inspection, PO Box 810, Trenton, New Jersey 08625; Fax - (609) 633-6208.
How do I apply for an extension of time for correcting violations?
Directions for requesting a time extension can be found on the reverse side of the inspection report. Extension requests must be made in writing and contain: a list of the violations that have all ready been corrected; the reason/s why the remaining violations cannot be corrected by the required date; and the expected date by which all violations will be corrected. Extension requests must be submitted two (2) weeks prior to the “Must be Corrected” date printed on the inspection report. Requests can be mailed or faxed to the Bureau.
Are hotel, motel and multiple dwelling owners responsible for scheduling the five-year cyclical inspection or a reinspection?
No. The Bureau tracks the dates for which a cyclical inspections and reinspections is due.
How long does it take to receive the inspection report?
It takes approximately 45 days from the date the office receives the inspectors’ findings before the report is available to be mailed certified mail.
Should I call to schedule a reinspection?
No. A field inspector will schedule an appointment to perform a reinspection of your property.
Is the owner contacted to schedule a reinspection?
The law does not require BHI Inspector's to contact owners prior to conducting a reinspection. However, owner's may make a request for a “please call” notice to be attached to their Inspection report, by contacting the Code Administration Section. If an inspector is unable to gain entry to your building, he or she will leave a notice so that you can contact them.
What happens if the inspector cannot gain access to the building?
Three attempts will be made by a BHI Inspector to conduct an inspection or a reinspection. After the third attempt the inspector will notify the owner that 3 attempts have been made to perform an inspection of their building, and that on each of these attempts access to the building was not made available and therefore an inspection cannot be performed. The owner will be given 14 days to contact the inspector to schedule the required inspection. Failure on the part of an owner to comply with the Notice will result in the assessment of a monetary penalty
What do I do if I wish to request an exception to the violation that was cited?
You may file an exception request in writing within 30 days of when the inspection report and orders were delivered and served. You may do this by mailing or faxing a letter or using the “Application for Exception” form. Also refer to the reverse side of the inspection report for further instructions on requesting an exception.
Can I contest the violations?
You may do so by requesting an Administrative Hearing. Your hearing request must be in writing and must be postmarked within 15 days after the orders were delivered and served. Be sure to include each issue, factual, legal or procedural, intended to be raised at the hearing, as any issue not so raised shall be deemed to be waived. Refer to the reverse side of your inspection report for further instructions on requesting a hearing.
I was cited to fire rate an apartment entry door. How do I correct this violation?
It depends upon the type of existing entry door. Here are some examples:
Example 1- A hollow core door or doors which do not contain fire rated glass must be replaced with a solid wood door flush at 1 3/4" to 1 3/4" which equals the equivalent of a 15 minute fire rating. Steel doors and any composite type doors without a labeled rating must also be replaced.
Example 2- Raised panel doors may be painted with 2 coats of fire retardant (intumescent) paint on the apartment side of the door, which may require a compatible sealer coat. The owner must sign an affidavit acquired from the State Inspector, as proof of the fire retardant paint being applied to the door. Any other questions about fire rated doors can be answered by Bureau Code Administration Officers by calling (609) 633-6210.
- Certificate of Inspection aka "Green Cards"
How do I get a Green Card– Certificate of Inspection?
A Green Card is issued after the property is properly registered, inspections and reinspections have been conducted, all violations are corrected and all fees paid.
How long does it take to get a “Green Card”?
Issuance of a Green Card depends on the stage of the enforcement process. The minimum time period is 4 months for the property to be inspected and reinspected, if necessary. The average time period could be extended depending on the following factors: the number of units or buildings to be inspected, the time taken for abatement of cited violations, whether or not the building has been registered properly with the Bureau and the required fees been paid.
If I want to sell my property or refinance my mortgage, do I need a “Green Card”?
No you do not. The Bureau of Housing Inspection is not mandated by law to issue “Green Cards” for this purpose. When an owner contacts the Bureau of Housing Inspection requesting a Green Card, the Bureau will do whatever it can to conduct an inspection and/or issue a certificate of inspection. However, it is important to know that it was never the intention of the N.J. Legislature or the function of the Bureau to have inspections conducted for the purpose of completing real estate transactions. The Bureau is neither funded nor equipped to process inspections for properties being sold, nor can it allow inspections, requested for these properties, to delay the inspections of other properties, which have already been scheduled. The inspection of each hotel and multiple dwelling will be scheduled and conducted as soon as possible after the fifth anniversary date on which it had previously been inspected.
- Condominium, Cooperatives and Mutual Housing Corporations
Who is responsible for completing an application for a condominium or cooperative?
Since the Bureau considers a Condominium Association or Cooperative as the owner of the property, the Association would list the name of the Association or Cooperative as the owner with a c/o person and mailing address. The In County Agent, Manager, Officers and Registered Agents of the Association or Cooperative are responsible for completing the registration application.
Who is responsible for correcting the violations in the common and exterior area of a Condominium or Cooperative?
The Association is responsible for the correction of all cited violations.
Who is responsible for correcting the violations in the individual units?
Associations and cooperatives are ordered to correct all violations, however, ordinarily they require the individual unit owner to correct the violations in the individual units.
Who is responsible for notifying the owners when the cycle inspection and reinspection will occur?
The Association or Cooperative is responsible for notifying the unit owners.
Can a Townhouse owned in “Fee Simple Ownership” be exempt from Bureau's jurisdiction?
Yes, if certain conditions are met. See “Fee Simple Ownership”.
- Penalties and Judgments
I receive a penalty, whom should I call?
You should call the Bureau's Compliance Section at (609) 633-6229.
Can a penalty be reduced?
A penalty for non-payment of an inspection fee or reinspection fee cannot be reduced. A penalty for failure to correct the violations can be negotiated by contacting the Bureau Compliance Office.