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Rental Reference for Landlords & Owners

This page provides property owners a reference of local laws and regulations involving rental property. Further information on these laws is available from the State College Division of Health and Neighborhood Services, 243 South Allen Street, State College, PA. The telephone number is (814) 234-7191.

Click here to pay violations.

Dogs
All dogs are required to be licensed annually and rabies vaccine given every 3 years. Dogs off the owner’s property must be on a leash and are not permitted to run free. Owners of dogs are responsible for removing their dog’s feces on all public and private property as well as complying with the Borough’s barking ordinance. Fines can be issued for non-compliance. The current fine is $100 for each violation.

Dog licenses may be obtained from the Centre County Treasurer's Office any time of the year and at the State College Municipal Building during the first quarter of the year.

Dog bites must be reported to the State College Health Department at (814) 234-7191 or the State College Police Department at (814) 234-7150 as soon as possible so that the animal can be quarantined for observation.

Fair Housing
Fair Housing practices are guaranteed by the State College Fair Housing Ordinance. Protection is provided based on the following categories: race, color, religion, age (40 and above), ancestry, national origin, place of birth, sex, sexual orientation, source of income, mental or physical handicap, presence of trained guide or support animals, marital status, and familial status (pregnancy and children). 

It is unlawful to refuse to sell, lease or otherwise withhold any dwelling; falsely deny housing was available; discriminate in terms of sale, rental occupancy, or in service or facilities; discriminate in financing or advertising; or to intimidate, interfere, or coerce to keep a person from exercising  his/her rights under the Ordinance.  

Questions regarding the Fair Housing Ordinance contact the State College Department of Planning and Community Development at (814) 234-7109.

Fire Extinguishers
Every rental unit must have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen area. The extinguisher must be mounted on the wall no higher that 5’ from the floor and away from the stove. Apartment buildings and rooming houses are required to have fire extinguishers in hallways.  

For the requirements about fire extinguishers, contact the Centre Region Code Administration Office at (814) 234-3812.

Junk Vehicles
Vehicles not displaying a valid registration (license plate) and/or valid inspection sticker are not permitted to be kept or stored outside of buildings for more than 30 days.  

Questions regarding junk vehicles should be directed to a Zoning Officer at (814) 234-7109.

Lawn Parking
Parking a motor vehicle on a lawn or landscaped area outside authorized parking areas is prohibited in all areas of the Borough. This includes private property. Owners of rental property are required to provide parking spaces for their tenants.  

Questions regarding lawn parking violations should be directed to the Parking Enforcement Office (814) 278-4769 and questions regarding number of spaces and authorized parking areas should be directed to the Zoning Officer (814) 234-7109.

Noise
Noise disturbances are a serious problem in the Borough neighborhoods and excessive noise is considered to be disorderly conduct. Noise violations are strictly enforced by the Police Department and questions regarding the noise should be directed to that Department at (814) 234-7150.

Occupancy of Rental Units
In one and two family rental units, zoning occupancy regulations limit the number of non-related persons. Questions regarding occupancy in one and two family rental units should be directed to the Zoning Officer at (814) 234-7109.    

Occupancy in all other rental units is based on the square footage of the units. Questions regarding these units should be directed to the Centre Region Code Administration Office at (814) 231-3056.

Open Burning
Burning outdoors is permitted for recreational purposes but ONLY when using an approved container. Cord wood, 3 hour logs, and charcoal are the only acceptable materials which may be used for burning. Fires must be contained within the diameter of the container. Camp fires and bonfires are prohibited. Gas and charcoal grills can be used for outdoor cooking.

Questions regarding open burning and permits should be directed to the State College Division of Health and Neighborhood Services at (814) 234-7191.

Person-In-Charge (PIC)
Rental Property owners are required to appoint a person-in-charge for their rental properties and notify the State College Division of Health and Neighborhood Services as to who that person is and the contact information. Property owners who live within 25 air miles of State College may act as their own person-in-charge.  Property owners who live further away must appoint someone who is local and is 25 years old or older. Click here to assign or change a person-in-charge for your rental property.

Persons-in-charge are required to notify the property owner of any violations, provide tenants information on local ordinances and insure compliance with the zoning occupancy limits.  

Tenant information pamphlets are available from the State College Division of Health and Neighborhood Services by calling (814) 234-7191 and are available online.

Recycling
State law mandates that residents recycle selected material and failure to recycle may result in fines.  Rental property owners need to remind their tenants to recycle. Upon the discovery of any non-participation or violation of the terms of the recycling ordinance or of state regulations governing the collection of recyclables, the Boround can issue a $50 fine.

Additionally, residents must remove their recycling and refuse bins from the curb within a reasonable amount of time after collection has occured. The penalty for leaving recycling and refuse containers at the curb after the day of collection is $10.

Questions regarding recycling should be directed to the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority at (814) 238-7005 or the State College Division of Health and Neighborhood Services at (814) 234-7191.

Refuse/Litter
Borough ordinance requires all household refuse to be stored in appropriate containers.  The ordinance requires properties to be maintained free of accumulated refuse and provides for fines for those in violation ($100 each). Party materials – cans, cups, bottles, etc. should be cleaned up immediately after a party. Person(s) who accumulate refuse will be held responsible for its cleanup.  When the person(s) are not known, then the property owner will be held responsible.  


Questions regarding the ordinance should be directed to the Division of Health and Neighborhood Services at (814) 234-7191. Questions about refuse collection should be directed to the Public Works Department at (814) 234-7135.

Rental Housing and Property Maintenance
All rental housing in the Borough is required to have a rental permit and is regulated by the International Property Maintenance Code and Fire Prevention Code. These codes require the property owner to maintain the structure in a safe and sanitary condition. Occupants are required to maintain those areas they occupy in a clean and sanitary condition. Failure to maintain the property may result in a citation and fines.

Questions about the codes should be directed to the Centre Region Code Administration at (814) 231-3056. Questions regarding sanitation may be directed to the State College Division of Health and Neighborhood Services at (814) 234-7191.

Rental Housing Permit Suspension
Rental housing that causes a nuisance in a neighborhood by violating local ordinances and state laws may have the rental housing permit suspended. Violations are assigned a point value and when 10 points accumulate at a rental property, the suspension process is initiated.

Questions regarding the permit suspension process may be directed to the State College Division of Health and Neighborhood Services at (814) 234-7191.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are required to be installed and maintained in all rental units.  For current requirements, contact the Centre Region Code Administration at (814) 231-3056.

Snow Removal
All snow and ice must be removed from the full length and width of sidewalks within 24 hours of the precipitation ceasing to fall. The property owner is responsible for having the sidewalks cleared. A fine of $15 is levied for the first violation; the second and each subsequent violation carries a higher fine of $50. After the issuance of the second violation notice, the Borough will make arrangements to have the sidewalks cleared and the property owner billed for the costs plus surcharge fee.

Questions regarding snow removal should be directed to the State College Division of Health and Neighborhood Services at (814) 234-7191.

Tenant Notification
State College Borough ordinance requires that the property owner/person-in-charge notify all tenants at least annually of Borough ordinance requirements and provide information on who to contact should there be an unresolved maintenance/safety/health problem in the unit.  

Questions regarding tenant notification should be directed to the State College Health Department at (814) 234-7191.

Unsanitary Conditions
Property Owners/Person’s in Charge needing help with unsanitary conditions caused by tenants may call the Housing Hotline (814) 234-CODE (2633).  

Calls for assistance will not result in points assessed against the unit. Self-reported violations are not subject to the Nuisance Property Ordinance.

Weeds and Grass
Weeds and grass are not to exceed 6 inches in height or to produce pollen.  The ordinance includes all non-woody vegetation except garden vegetables and cultivated flowers.  Property owners as well as occupants are responsible for compliance with the ordinance.  A warning is issued for the first violation; each subsequent violation carries a fine of $50.  

Upon issuance of the third violation, the Borough may make arrangements to have the grass/weeds cut and the property owner billed for the costs plus surcharge fee. 

Questions regarding weed and grass should be directed to the State College Department of Public Health & Ordinance Enforcement at (814) 234-7191.

Last Updated: 11/30/2012