CHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND WELFARE\ARTICLE 11. RENTAL PROPERTY STANDARDS OF HOUSING

These regulations shall be known as the “Rental Property Standards of Housing Code” and may be cited as such, and will be referred to herein as ‘‘this code.”

The purpose of this code is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the use and occupancy, and maintenance of all residential buildings and structures within this jurisdiction that are not occupied by the owner thereof.

(a)   The provisions of this code shall apply to all buildings or portions thereof used, or designed or intended to be used, for human habitation, except owner occupied dwellings. Such occupancies in existing buildings may be continued, except such structures as are found to be substandard as defined in this code.

(b)   Where any building or portion thereof is used or intended to be used as the combination apartment house, the provisions of this code shall apply to the separate portions as if they were separate buildings.

(c)   Rooming houses or lodging houses shall comply with all the requirements of this code for dwellings.

(a)   Additions, Alterations or Repairs. For additions, alterations or repairs, the Building

(b)   Relocation. Buildings or structures moved into or within this jurisdiction shall comply with the requirements in the Building Code for new buildings and structures.

For the purpose of this code, certain terms, phrases, words ad their derivatives shall be construed as specified in either this article or as specified in the Building Code. Where terms are not defined, they shall have their ordinary accepted meanings within the context with which they are used. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, copyright 1986, shall be considered as providing ordinary accepted meanings.  Words in the singular include the plural and the plural the singular. Words used in the masculine gender include the feminine and the feminine the masculine.

(a)   BUILDING CODE is the Uniform Building Code promulgated by the International Conference of Building Officials, as adopted by this jurisdiction.

(b)   BUILDING OFFICIAL is the Building Official of the City of St. John or his designee.

(c)   HOT WATER is hot water supplied to plumbing fixtures at a temperature of not less than 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

(d)   MECHANICAL CODE is the Uniform Mechanical Code promulgated jointly by the International Conference of Building Officials and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, as adopted by this jurisdiction.

(e)   PLUMBING CODE is the Uniform Plumbing Code promulgated by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials.

Buildings or portions thereof which are determined to be substandard as defined in this code are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated by repair, rehabilitation, or removal in accordance with the laws of Kansas and ordinances of the City.

Every occupant of a dwelling shall store or dispose of all refuse in a sanitary and safe manner. This does not prohibit the maintenance of a compost pile in clean, sanitary and safe manner.

(a)   Every owner of a structure containing three or more dwelling units shall supply facilities or refuse containers for the sanitary and safe storage or disposal of refuse.

(b)   In the case of a single or two (2) family dwelling, it shall be the responsibility of the occupant to furnish such facilities or refuse container, if not already provided by the owner.

Every dwelling and multiple dwelling must be free of visible evidence of insects and rodents upon every new occupancy. Whenever infestation exists in two (2) or more of the dwellings in any multiple dwelling or in the common areas of any multiple dwelling, extermination thereof shall be the responsibility of the owner.

(a)   Dwelling Units, Lodging Houses. Dwelling units and lodging houses shall be provided with a bathroom equipped with facilities consisting of a water closet, lavatory, and either a bathtub or shower.

(b)   Fixtures. All plumbing fixtures shall be connected to a sanitary sewer or to an approved private sewage disposal system. All plumbing fixtures shall be connected to an approved system of water supply and provided with hot and cold running water necessary for its normal operation. Installation and Maintenance. All sanitary facilities shall be installed and maintained in a safe and sanitary condition and in accordance with applicable requirements of the Plumbing Code.

Buildings or structures may be of any types of construction permitted by the Building Code. Roofs, floors, walls, foundations and all other structural components of buildings shall be capable of resisting any normal and customary forces and loads to which they may be subjected.

(a)   Heating. All heating appliances shall be installed and maintained in a safe condition and in accordance with the Mechanical Code, and all other applicable laws. Unvented fuel­ burning heaters are not permitted. All heating devices or appliances shall be of an approved type.

(b)   Electrical Equipment. All electrical equipment, wiring and appliances shall be installed and maintained in a safe manner in accordance with all applicable laws. All electrical equipment shall be of and approved type.

(c)   Smoke Detectors. Dwelling units and lodging houses shall be provided with smoke detectors.

(a)   General. Any building or portion thereof which is determined to be an unsafe building in accordance with the Building Code, or any building or portion thereof, including any dwelling unit, guest room, or the premises on which the same is located, in which there exists any of the conditions referenced in this section to an extent that endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety or welfare of the public or the occupants thereof shall be deemed and hereby are declared to be substandard buildings.

(b)   Inadequate Sanitation. Buildings or portions thereof shall be deemed substandard when they are unsanitary. Inadequate sanitation shall include but not be limited to the following:

(1)   Lack of, or improper water closet, lavatory, bathtub or shower in a dwelling unit, or lodging house.

(2)   Lack of, or improper kitchen sink in a dwelling unit.

(3)   Lack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fixtures in a dwelling unit, or lodging house.

(4)   Lack of adequate heating facilities.

(5)   Lack of required lighting

(6)   Infestation of insects, vermin or rodents.

(7)   Lack of connection to required sewage disposal system.

(8)   Lack of adequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities.

(c)   Structural Hazards. Buildings or portions thereof shall be deemed substandard when they are or contain structural hazards. Structural hazards shall include but not be limited to the following:

(1)   Deteriorated or inadequate foundation.

(2)   Defective or deteriorated flooring or floor supports.

(3)   Flooring or floor supports of the insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.

(4)   Members of walls, partitions or other vertical supports that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.

(5)   Member of walls, partitions or other vertical supports that split, lean, list or buckle due to defective material or deterioration.

(6)   Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports or other horizontal members which sag, split or buckle due to defective material or deterioration.

(7)   Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports or other horizontal members that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.

(8)   Fireplaces or chimneys which list, bulge, or settle due to defective material or deterioration.

(9)   Fireplaces or chimneys which are of insufficient size or strength to carry imposed loads with safety.

(d)   Hazardous Electrical Wiring. Electrical wiring which was installed in violation of code requirements in effect at the time of installation or electrical wiring not installed in accordance with generally accepted construction practices in areas where no codes were in effect or which has not been maintained in good condition or which is not being used in a safe manner shall be considered substandard.

(e)   Hazardous Plumbing.  Plumbing which was installed in violation of code requirements in effect and the time of installation or plumbing not installed in accordance with generally accepted construction practices in areas where no codes were in effect or which has not been maintained in good condition or which is not free of cross­ connections or siphonage between fixtures shall be considered substandard .

(f)   Hazardous Mechanical Equipment. Mechanical equipment which was installed in violation of code requirements in effect at the time of installation or mechanical equipment not installed in accordance with generally accepted construction practices in areas where no codes were in effect or which has not been maintained in good and safe condition shall be considered substandard.

(g)   Fire Hazard. Any building or portion thereof, device, apparatus, equipment, combustible waste or vegetation which, in the opinion of the chief of the fire department, is in such a condition as to cause a fire or explosion or provide a ready fuel to augment the spread and intensity of fire or explosion arising from any cause shall be considered a substandard building .

(h)   Smoke Detectors.

(1)   General. Dwelling units and lodging house guest rooms that are used for sleeping purposes shall be provided with smoke detectors. Detectors shall be installed in accordance with the approved manufacturer’s instructions.

(2)   Power source. In new construction of all one and two family dwellings, required smoke detectors shall receive their primary power from the building wiring when such wiring is served from a commercial source. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnection switch other than those required for over-current protection. Smoke detectors may be battery operated when installed in existing buildings, or in buildings without commercial power, or in buildings which undergo alterations, repairs or additions. In all other construction, required smoke detectors shall receive their primary power from the building wiring when such wiring is served from a commercial source and shall be equipped with a battery backup. The detector shall emit a signal when the batteries are low. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than those required for over-current protection.

(3)   Location within dwelling units. Indwelling units, detectors shall be mounted on the ceiling or wall at a point centrally located in corridor or area giving access to each separate sleeping area. When the dwelling unit has more than one story and in dwelling with basements, a detector shall be installed on each story and in the basement.  In dwelling units where a story or basement is split into two or more levels, the smoke detector shall be installed on the upper level, except that when the lower level contains a sleeping area, a detector shall be installed on each level. When sleeping rooms are on an upper level, the detector shall be placed at the ceiling of the upper level in close proximity to the stairway. Indwelling units where the ceiling of height of a room open to the hallway serving the bedrooms exceeds that of the hallway by 24 inches or more, smoke detectors shall be installed in the hallway and in the adjacent room. Detectors shall sound an alarm audible in all sleeping areas of the dwelling unit in which they are located.

(4)   Location in efficiency dwelling units, detectors shall be located on the ceiling or wall of the main room or each sleeping room. When sleeping rooms within an efficiency dwelling unit are on an upper level, the detector shall be placed at the ceiling of the upper level in close proximity to the stairway. When actuated, the detector shall sound an alarm audible within the sleeping area of the dwelling unit in which it is located.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to occupy or knowingly allow another person to occupy any building or portion thereof that has been determined to be substandard by the building official or designee. Violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor, and each day of occupancy constitutes a separate violation.

(a)   Authority. The building official is hereby authorized and directed to enforce all of the provisions of this code. For such purposes, the building official shall enforce all of the provisions of this code. For such purposes, the building official shall have the powers of a law enforcement officer. The building official shall have the power to render interpretations of this code and to adopt and enforce rules and supplemental regulations in order to clarify the application of its provisions. Such interpretations, rules and regulations shall be in conformity with the intent and purpose of this code.

(b)   Right of Entry. When it is necessary to make an inspection to enforce the provisions of this code, or when the building official bas reasonable cause to believe that there exists in a building or upon a premises a conditions which is contrary to or in violation of this code which makes the building or premises unsafe, dangerous or hazardous, the building official may enter the building or premises at reasonable times to inspect or to perform the duties imposed by this code, provided that if such building or premises be occupied that credentials be presented to the occupant and entry requested. If such building or premises be unoccupied, the building official shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the building or premises and request entry. If entry is refused, the building official shall have recourse to the remedies provided by law to secure entry.

(c)   Responsibilities Defined. Owners remain liable for violations of duties imposed by this code even though an obligation is also imposed on the occupants of the building, and even though an obligation is also imposed on the occupants of the building, and even though the owner bas, by agreement, imposed on the occupant the duty of furnishing required equipment or of complying with this code.

(1)   Buildings and structures and parts thereof shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition. The owner or the owner’s designated agent shall be responsible for such maintenance. To determine compliance with this subsection, the building may be re-inspected.

(2)   Owners, in addition to being responsible for maintaining buildings in a sound structural condition, shall be responsible of keeping that part of the building or premises which the owner occupies or controls in a sanitary and safe condition, including the shared or public areas in a building containing two or more dwelling units.

(3)   Owners shall, when required by this code, furnish and maintain such approved sanitary facilities as required.

(4)   Occupants of a dwelling unit, in addition to being responsible for keeping in a sanitary and safe condition that part of the dwelling or dwelling unit or premises which they occupy and control, shall dispose of their rubbish, garbage and other organic waste in a manner required by this code.

Any person aggrieved by a decision of the housing appeals board shall have seven (7) calendar days from the date of the decisions to appeal to the City Council upon forms to be furnished by the building official.