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In 1978 the Borough of Rutherford enacted an ordinance requiring that a certificate of occupancy be applied for and obtained prior to the use or occupancy of the whole or any part of any building:

Undergoing construction or alteration. Undergoing a change of use. Undergoing a change of ownership. Undergoing a change in occupancy in other than residential districts. Below find a list of the most commonly found Residential Property Maintenance Violations which would require a re-inspection:


SECTION 1. Chapter 34A, Section 13, Smoke detectors, is hereby repealed in its entirety, and is replaced with the following:

34A-1 3. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

A. Definition.

  1. Dwelling. The term ‘dwelling’ as used in this Section 34A:13 shall mean all one- and two-family residential units, condominium units, and cooperative units, or any unit of any type where persons reside, located within the Borough of Rutherford. Rental dwelling units are specifically excluded from the definition of dwelling applicable in this Section 34A:13 as they are covered in other codes.

  2. Floor level. The term ‘floor level’ as used in this Section 34A:13 shall be a floor area separated by three or more risers from another floor area, and shall include basements and attics accessible by stairway or pull-down stairs.

B. Applicability of requirements.

The requirements of this Section 34A-1 3 shall apply whenever title or control of a dwelling is sold or otherwise transferred.

C. Smoke detectors.

  1. Upon sale or transfer of a dwelling, electrical smoke detectors with A/C 110 volt primary power supply, or an approved equivalent, equipped with battery back-up shall be required to be installed and properly operating on each floor level.

  2. Each dwelling shall have a minimum of one electrical smoke detector on each floor level, and a minimum of one smoke detector in the immediate vicinity of each separate sleeping area within the dwelling.

  3. All electrical smoke detectors shall be interconnected to each other within the dwelling, except where only one detector is required because there is only one floor level.

  4. The applicable sections of the National Fire Protection Association (NAPA) Standards No. 72E or 74 shall govern the installation of smoke detectors.

D. Carbon monoxide detectors.

Upon sale or transfer of a dwelling, carbon monoxide detectors shall be required to be installed and properly operating on each floor level that contains a bedroom or other room designated for sleeping.

E. Certificate of occupancy.

No certificate of occupancy or certificate of continued occupancy as required under Chapter 131 of the Code of the Borough of Rutherford shall issue until the dwelling is in compliance with this Section 34A-13.

F. Inconsistencies.

If the requirements of existing ordinances or codes are inconsistent or in conflict with the provisions of this Section 34A-13, the requirements that provide the greatest degree of life safety shall prevail. The Borough official performing any inspection required under the Borough s applicable codes shall make the determination of the necessary requirements.

SECTION II. This ordinance shall take effect on January 1, 2002 after passage and publication according to law.

Approved on this 10th day of July ,2001.

Mayor Bernadette P. McPherson


Mary P. Kriston Borough Clerk

Electrical Box and Outlet Covers – Proper electrical box and device covers are needed on all electrical switches, outlets and junction boxes. Check behind furniture. Extension/Zip Cords – These items are available for temporary use only and are not permitted, they shall not pass through a wall or floor. They are commonly found stapled to the baseboards of older homes. Please remember to unplug or shut off the power source before attempting to remove them. Handrails – Every interior or exterior flight of stairs that has more than four risers requires a handrail. Pressure relief valve discharge pipe – The pipe is needed on some heating units and all water heaters. The discharge pipe shall terminate not more than six (6) inches nor less than two (2) inches above the floor and the pipe should not be reduced from the ¾ outlet to a ½ inch pipe. A plumbing permit is required to replace a water heater. Faucets, Fixture traps & Toilets – must be installed and maintained in good working order. These items should not leak or drip. Plumbing fixtures must be used periodly to maintain a liquid seal in the trap to prevent the emission of sewer gasses. Garages attached or inside the house – The fireresistive ratings provided at the time of construction must be maintained. All the holes that were made for repairs to plumbing or electrical wiring must be properly patched. Any door leading to the dwelling should be equipped with a listed self-closing device capable of closing the door, ie U.L.or F.M. listed closing device. Locks on the Egress Door – Usually the front door, the locking device shall be readily openable from the side from which egress is to be made without the need for keys, special knowledge or effort. Double cylinder dead bolts locks are not permitted Gas Piping – Must be properly strapped with shut off valves within ten (10) feet of the appliance. If the appliance is removed, Cap the pipe. Aluminum gas piping is not permitted and must be replaced with an approved piping material. Broken, cracked missing glazing. Glazing materials shall be maintained free from cracks and holes. Safety glass must be used in some locations. Railing and Guards – Prevent falls and are required if there is an elevation change thirty (30) inches or greater. Provide guards for any openings by stairways. Sidewalks, stairs, driveways and walkways – Shall be kept in good state of repair and maintained free from hazardous conditions. Repairs are permitted if they do not create a tripping hazard. Clearances to Combustibles – Provide the required space around various fuel burning appliances. Consult the instructions for the appliance or label on equipment. House Street Number – The number of your house should be visible in case you or your neighbors requires emergency assistance. The numbers should have a ½ inch stroke and be a minimum of three (3) inches in height. The numbers must be visible from the street of a contrasting color located by the front door. Accessory Structures – Garages, fences, sheds and walls must be kept in good state of repair and maintained structurally sound. Interior surfaces – Cracked, loose or missing plaster, peeling paint, uneven or defective floor surfaces, should be repaired or replaced. Roof, leader pipe and water runoff – The roof shall be sound, tight and not have defects that admit rain. The leader pipes should terminate at the ground and discharge the water away from your foundation and not into your neighbors’ yard. Exterior Wall & Trim features – Must be maintained weatherproof and properly surface coated (Painted). Oil Tanks – Did you convert to gas? The oil tank must be abandoned with a building permit and proper inspection being conducted. Note: The above listed items are not intended to be all-inclusive, but are only a partial listing of the most often found violations during the Certificate of Occupancy inspection.

It is recommended that the Certificate of Occupancy Inspection be conducted as soon as the sale contract is signed. During busy times, allow two (2) weeks for our written report. Schedule the re-inspection in time for any unanticipated problems that might occur. To arrange for an inspection, stop by the Building Department and fill out an application or call us at (201) 460-3010. Inspections can be scheduled as early as 9:30 a.m. with the last appointment of the day at 3:00 p.m. Commercial Certificate of Occupancies and Condominium/Co-op are also subject to an inspection by the Bureau of Fire Safety.