Article written based on New Jersey Law
The New Jersey Administrative Code provides the Department of Community affairs (DCA) with enforcement powers over Title 5, Chapter 10 entitled Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings. Subchapter 8 provides the “code” standards for the maintenance of unit interiors. This is great information to review if you are subject to DCA inspections or need to apply for a “Green Card” for your building. The Code provides as follows:
Section 5:10-8.2 ~ Interior surfaces
· (a) All floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces shall be kept in good repair, that is, free from cracks, breaks, split or splintering boards or woodwork, loose plaster, flaking or peeling paint or other materials. Loose Or defective sections shall be removed and replaced so that the point between the repair and the sound material is made flush and smooth.
· (b) Floors, walls, ceilings and other exposed surfaces shall be kept clean, free from visible foreign matter, sanitary and well-maintained at all times. If necessary to accomplish the foregoing, these surfaces shall be kept painted, whitewashed, papered, covered or treated with sealing materials or other protective coatings as needed.
· (c) Interior walls, ceilings and other exposed surfaces in units of dwelling space shall be kept smooth, clean, free of flaking, loose or peeling paint, plaster or paper and capable of being maintained free of visible foreign matter and of vermin, and in a sanitary condition. If and when necessary to accomplish the foregoing or any part thereof, such interior surfaces shall be spackled, painted, papered or otherwise provided with a protective coating appropriate for the surface material and this shall be done at least once every three years unless it is clearly unnecessary. Painting or other provision of a protective coating shall be the responsibility of the occupant and not of the owner when required more frequently than once every three years as a result of the acts or omissions of the occupant, a member of his family or household or his guest.
· (d) Owners shall maintain records indicating the date on which any dwelling unit or part thereof was painted or otherwise provided with a protective coating for six years. Said records shall also indicate the name and address of the person who did the work, the nature of the work done and the cost. Said records shall be made available upon request to the Bureau or to any inspector performing an inspection of the premises on behalf of the Bureau.
· (e) Except where housekeeping services are provided, normal housekeeping as required for the maintenance of cleanliness and Sanitation within individual Units of dwelling space of multiple dwellings shall be the responsibility of the occupants and shall not, unless a hazard to the health, safety or welfare of persons other than the occupants of the dwelling unit is thereby created, be the responsibility of the owner.
Forewarned is forearmed. Knowing these requirements before your building is inspected will reduce the surprises one can usually expect when the DCA inspector hands you the report.