Housing/Property Maintenance

The provisions of the 2020 NYS Property Maintenance Code shall apply to all existing residential and nonresidential structures and all existing premises and constitute minimum requirements and standards for premises, structures, equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, space, heating, sanitation, protection from the elements, a reasonable level of safety from fire and other hazards, and for a reasonable level of sanitary maintenance; the responsibility of owners, an owner’s authorized agent, operators and occupants; the occupancy of existing structures and premises, and for administration, enforcement and penalties.

Code Staff conducts inspections at the request of tenants or owners of dwelling units. If violations of the code exist, the property owner is cited and given three to thirty days to bring the property into conformance. If the violation is not corrected, an appearance ticket is issued for the owner to appear in Town Justice Court. The following are the most cited sections of the code.

Selected Sections

[PM]301.2 Responsibility.

The owner of the premises shall maintain the structures and exterior property in compliance with these requirements, except as otherwise provided for in this code. A person shall not occupy as owner-occupant or permit another person to occupy premises that are not in a sanitary and safe condition and that do not comply with the requirements of this chapter. Occupants of a dwelling unit, rooming unit or housekeeping unit are responsible for keeping in a clean, sanitary and safe condition that part of the dwelling unit, rooming unit, housekeeping unit or premises which they occupy and control.

[PM]302.1 Sanitation.

Exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. The occupant shall keep that part of the exterior property that such occupant occupies or controls in a clean and sanitary condition.

[PM]302.4 Weeds.

All premises and immediate exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 10 inches (254 mm). All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens.

[PM]304.2 Protective treatment.

Exterior surfaces, including but not limited to, doors, door and window frames, cornices, porches, trim, balconies, decks and fences, shall be maintained in good condition. Exterior wood surfaces, other than decay-resistant woods, shall be protected from the elements and decay by painting or other protective covering or treatment. Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted. Siding and masonry joints, as well as those between the building envelope and the perimeter of windows, doors and skylights, shall be maintained weather resistant and water tight. Metal surfaces subject to rust or corrosion shall be coated to inhibit such rust and corrosion, and surfaces with rust or corrosion shall be stabilized and coated to inhibit future rust and corrosion. Oxidation stains shall be removed from exterior surfaces. Surfaces designed for stabilization by oxidation are exempt from this requirement.

[PM]304.14 Insect screens.

 During the period from May 15 to September 15, every door, window and other outside opening required for ventilation of habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged or stored shall be supplied with approved tightly fitting screens of minimum 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm), and every screen door used for insect control shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.

[PM]308.3 Disposal of garbage.

Every occupant of a structure shall dispose of garbage in a clean and sanitary manner by placing such garbage in an approved garbage disposal facility or approved garbage containers.

[PM]308.3.1 Garbage facilities.

The owner of every dwelling shall supply one of the following: an approved mechanical food waste grinder in each dwelling unit; an approved incinerator unit in the structure available to the occupants in each dwelling unit; or an approved leakproof, covered, outside garbage container.

Note: Cans with lids attached and over 32 gallons in size are prohibited by the Town of Union Refuse Department

[PM]308.3.2 Containers.

The operator of every establishment producing garbage shall provide, and at all times cause to be utilized, approved leakproof containers provided with close-fitting covers for the storage of such materials until removed from the premises for disposal.

[PM]402.2 Common halls and stairways.

Every common hall and stairway in residential occupancies, other than in one- and two-family dwellings, shall be lighted at all times with not less than a 60-watt standard incandescent light bulb for each 200 square feet (19 m2) of floor area or equivalent illumination, provided that the spacing between lights shall not be greater than 30 feet (9144 mm). In other than residential occupancies, means of egress, including exterior means of egress, stairways shall be illuminated at all times the building space served by the means of egress is occupied with not less than 1 footcandle (11 lux) at floors, landings and treads.

[PM]404.4.1 Room area.

Every living room shall contain not less than 120 square feet (11.2 m2) and every bedroom shall contain not less than 70 square feet (6.5 m2) and every bedroom occupied by more than one person shall contain not less than 50 square feet (4.6 m2) of floor area for each occupant thereof.

[PM]404.4.4 Prohibited occupancy.

Kitchens and non-habitable spaces shall not be used for sleeping purposes.

[PM]602.3 Heat supply.

Every owner and operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more dwelling unit, rooming unit, dormitory or guest room on terms, either expressed or implied, to furnish heat to the occupants thereof shall supply heat during the period from September 15th to May 31st to maintain a temperature of not less than 68°F (20°C) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.

[F]704.2Single- and multiple-station smoke alarms.

Single- and multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed in existing Group I-1 and R occupancies in accordance with Sections 704.2.1 through 704.2.3.

[F]704.2.1 Where required.

Existing Group I-1 and R occupancies shall be provided with single-station smoke alarms in accordance with Sections 701.2.1.1 through 704.2.1.4. Interconnection and power sources shall be in accordance with Sections 704.2.2 and 704.2.3. 

[F]704.2.1.1 Group R-1.

Single- or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed in all of the following locations in Group R-1:

1.In sleeping areas.

2.In every room in the path of the means of egress from the sleeping area to the door leading from the sleeping unit.

3.In each story within the sleeping unit, including basements. For sleeping units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

[F]704.2.1.2Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 and I-1.

Single- or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed and maintained in Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 and I-1 regardless of occupant load at all of the following locations:

1.On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.

2.In each room used for sleeping purposes.

3.In each story within a dwelling unit, including basements but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

[F] 915.1. General. Carbon monoxide alarms and carbon monoxide detectors shall be installed in buildings as required in accordance with Section 915.2 for residential buildings or Section 915.3 for commercial buildings.

Contact the Code Office for location requirements for carbon monoxide alarms and detectors.