SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
ASSEMBLY, No. 2628
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
ADOPTED JUNE 23, 1997
Sponsored by Assemblywoman VANDERVALK, Assemblymen ROONEY and Felice
An Act concerning rooming and boarding houses and amending and supplementing P.L.1979, c.496.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 3 of P.L.1979, c.496 (C.55:13B-3) is amended to read as follows:
3. As used in this act:
a. "Boarding house" means any building, together with any related structure, accessory building, any land appurtenant thereto, and any part thereof, which contains two or more units of dwelling space arranged or intended for single room occupancy, exclusive of any such unit occupied by an owner or operator, and wherein personal or financial services are provided to the residents, including any residential hotel or congregate living arrangement, but excluding any hotel, motel or established guest house wherein a minimum of 85% of the units of dwelling space are offered for limited tenure only, any foster home as defined in section 1 of P.L.1962, c.137 (C.30:4C-26.1), any community residence for the developmentally disabled and any community residence for the mentally ill as defined in section 2 of P.L.1977, c.448 (C.30:11B-2), any dormitory owned or operated on behalf of any nonprofit institution of primary, secondary or higher education for the use of its students, any building arranged for single room occupancy wherein the units of dwelling space are occupied exclusively by students enrolled in a full-time course of study at an institution of higher education approved by the Department of Higher Education, any facility or living arrangement operated by, or under contract with, any State department or agency, upon the written authorization of the commissioner, and any owner-occupied, one-family residential dwelling made available for occupancy by not more than six guests, where the primary purpose of the occupancy is to provide charitable assistance to the guests and where the owner derives no income from the occupancy. A dwelling shall be deemed "owner-occupied" within the meaning of this section if it is owned or operated by a nonprofit religious or charitable association or corporation and is used as the principal residence of a minister or employee of that corporation or association. For any such dwelling, however, fire detectors shall be required as determined by the Department of Community Affairs.
b. "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
c. "Financial services" means any assistance permitted or required by the commissioner to be furnished by an owner or operator to a resident in the management of personal financial matters, including, but not limited to, the cashing of checks, holding of personal funds for safekeeping in any manner or assistance in the purchase of goods or services with a resident's personal funds.
d. "Limited tenure" means residence at a rooming or boarding house on a temporary basis, for a period lasting no more than 90 days, when a resident either maintains a primary residence at a location other than the rooming or boarding house or intends to establish a primary residence at such a location and does so within 90 days after taking up original residence at the rooming or boarding house.
e. "Operator" means any individual who is responsible for the daily operation of a rooming or boarding house.
f. "Owner" means any person who owns, purports to own, or exercises control of any rooming or boarding house.
g. "Personal services" means any services permitted or required to be furnished by an owner or operator to a resident, other than shelter, including, but not limited to, meals or other food services, and assistance in dressing, bathing or attending to other personal needs.
h. "Rooming house" means a boarding house wherein no personal or financial services are provided to the residents.
i. "Single room occupancy" means an arrangement of dwelling space which does not provide a private, secure dwelling space arranged for independent living, which contains both the sanitary and cooking facilities required in dwelling spaces pursuant to the "Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law," P.L.1967, c. 76 (C.55:13A-1 et seq.), and which is not used for limited tenure occupancy in a hotel, motel or established guest house, regardless of the number of individuals occupying any room or rooms.
j. "Unit of dwelling space" means any room, rooms, suite, or portion thereof, whether furnished or unfurnished, which is occupied or intended, arranged or designed to be occupied for sleeping or dwelling purposes by one or more persons.
k. "Alzheimer's disease and related disorders" means a form of dementia characterized by a general loss of intellectual abilities of sufficient severity to interfere with social or occupational functioning.
l. "Dementia" means a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes due to organic brain disease, for which no curative treatment is available, and marked by memory disorders, changes in personality, deterioration in personal care, impaired reasoning ability and disorientation.
(cf: P.L.1987, c.112, s.8)
2. Section 6 of P.L.1979, c.496 (C.55:13B-6) is amended to read as follows:
6. The commissioner shall establish standards to ensure that every rooming and boarding house in this State is constructed and operated in such a manner as will protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents and at the same time preserve and promote a homelike atmosphere appropriate to such facilities, including, but not limited to, standards to provide for the following:
a. Safety from fire;
b. Safety from structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical deficiencies;
c. Adequate light and ventilation;
d. Physical security;
e. Protection from harassment, fraud and eviction without due cause;
f. Clean and reasonably comfortable surroundings;
g. Adequate personal and financial services rendered in boarding houses;
h. Disclosure of owner identification information;
i. Maintenance of orderly and sufficient financial and occupancy records;
j. Referral of residents, by the operator, to social service and health agencies for needed services;
k. Assurance that no constitutional, civil or legal right will be denied solely by reason of residence in a rooming or boarding house;
l. Reasonable access for employees of public and private agencies, and reasonable access for other citizens upon receiving the consent of the resident to be visited by them; [and]
m. Opportunity for each resident to live with as much independence, autonomy and interaction with the surrounding community as he is capable of; and
n. Assurance that the needs of residents with special needs, including, but not limited to, persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders or other forms of dementia, will be met in accordance with standards adopted by regulation of the commissioner, which shall be promulgated no later than 90 days after the effective date of this act, which shall include, at a minimum, the following:
(1) staffing levels;
(2) staff qualifications and training;
(3) special dietary needs of residents;
(4) special supervision requirements relating to the individual needs of residents;
(5) building safety requirements appropriate to the needs of residents;
(6) special health monitoring of residents by qualified, licensed health care professionals, including a requirement that a medical assessment be performed on a resident with special needs as described in this subsection, as determined necessary by the commissioner, prior to admission and on a quarterly basis thereafter to ensure that the facility is appropriate to the needs of the resident; and
(7) criteria for discharging residents which shall be set forth in the admission agreement which shall be provided to the resident or the resident's representative prior to or upon admission. The commissioner may revoke the license of any provider who violates the criteria for discharging residents.
(cf: P.L.1979, c.496, s.6)
3. Section 7 of P.L.1979, c.496 (C.55:13B-7) is amended to read as follows:
7. a. (1) No person shall own or operate a rooming or boarding house, hold out a building as available for rooming or boarding house occupancy, or apply for any necessary construction or planning approvals related to the establishment of a rooming or boarding house without a valid license to own or operate such a facility, issued by the commissioner.
(2) No person shall own or operate a rooming or boarding house that offers or advertises or holds itself out as offering personal care services to residents with special needs, including, but not limited to, persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders or other forms of dementia, hold out a building as available for rooming or boarding house occupancy for such residents, or apply for any necessary construction or planning approvals related to the establishment of a rooming or boarding house for such residents without a valid license to own or operate such a facility, issued by the commissioner.
(3) Any person found to be in violation of this subsection shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00 for each building so owned or operated.
b. The commissioner shall establish separate categories of licensure for owning and for operating a rooming or boarding house, provided, however, that an owner who himself operates such a facility need not also possess an operator's license.
If an owner seeking to be licensed is other than an individual, the application shall state the name of an individual who is a member, officer or stockholder in the corporation or association seeking to be licensed, and the same shall be designated the primary owner of the rooming or boarding house.
Each application for licensure shall contain such information as the commissioner may prescribe and shall be accompanied by a fee established by the commissioner which shall not be less than $75.00 nor more than $150.00. If, upon receipt of the fee and a review of the application, the commissioner determines that the applicant will operate, or provide for the operation of, a rooming or boarding house in accordance with the provisions of this act, he shall issue a license to him.
Each license shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance, but may be renewed upon application by the owner or operator and upon payment of the same fee required for initial licensure.
c. Only one license shall be required to own a rooming or boarding house, but an endorsement thereto shall be required for each separate building owned and operated or intended to be operated as a rooming or boarding house. Each application for licensure or renewal shall indicate every such building for which an endorsement is required. If, during the term of a license, an additional endorsement is required or an existing one is no longer required, an amended application for licensure shall be submitted.
d. A person making application for, or who has been issued, a license to own or operate a rooming or boarding house who conceals the fact that the person has been denied a license to own or operate a residential facility, or that the person's license to own or operate a residential facility has been revoked by a department or agency of state government in this or any other state is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00, and any license to own or operate a rooming or boarding house which has been issued to that person shall be immediately revoked.
(cf: P.L.1988, c. 113, s.1)
4. (New section) No person who owns or operates a rooming or boarding house shall provide health care services in that facility. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a licensed health care professional acting within the scope of that person's license from providing health care services to a resident of a rooming or boarding house in that facility.
5. This act shall take effect immediately.
Regulates rooming and boarding houses which serve residents with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders or other forms of progressive dementia.