On February 6, 2015 Governor Chris Christie signed into law P.L. 2015, c.6; this law requires the Department to post on its web site inspection reports for rooming and boarding houses, residential health care facilities, and emergency shelters. This guidance, organized by questions and answers, will first summarize the law and its requirements and will then provide an explanation of the inspection reports, both what they are and how they can be accessed

Last Updated: 3/15

  • What is the Department of Community Affairs required to do?

    P.L. 2015, c.6 requires the Department of Community Affairs to post on its website:

    • Inspection reports for rooming and boarding houses, residential health care facilities, and emergency shelters for the homeless.
    • Inspection reports that reveal any "serious health and safety violations;" these reports must be posted within 72 hours. These violations include an imminent fire hazard, a lack of required utilities, or a health hazard.
    • An order suspending the license for a rooming or boarding house; these orders must be posted not later than 72 hours following the suspension.
    • A copy of a corrective notice when serious health and safety violations have been corrected and the license suspension has been lifted.

    DCA is required to post the following municipal inspection reports:

    • Municipal inspection reports of rooming and boarding houses pursuant to P.L. 1993, c.290 (Municipal Licensing Law – C.40:52-9 et seq.);
    • Municipal inspection reports that reveal any "serious health and safety violations;" such violations include an imminent fire hazard, a lack of required utilities, or a health hazard.
    • Municipal inspection reports for emergency shelters for the homeless that are conducted by a public officer designated by the municipality pursuant to Section 3 of P.L. 1985, c.48 (Emergency Shelters for the Homeless – C.55:13C-5);
    • A copy of a suspension order issued by a municipality.
    • A copy of a corrective notice when serious health and safety violations have been corrected and the license suspension has been lifted.
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  • What are municipalities with a municipal inspection program required to do?

    Municipalities that have a municipal inspection program pursuant to P.L. 1993, c.290 (Municipal Licensing Law – C.40:52-9 et seq.) or an inspection program for emergency shelters pursuant to Section 3 of P.L. 1985, c.48 (Emergency Shelters for the Homeless – C.55:13C-5);are required to:

    File with DCA copies of the inspection reports of the municipal inspection of rooming and boarding houses pursuant to the Municipal Licensing Law.

    File with the Department copies of inspection reports for emergency shelters for the homeless that are conducted by a public officer designated by the municipality to perform this function;

    File with DCA by the close of business of the second day (not more than 48 hours) following a municipal inspection that reveals any "serious health and safety violations." For this purpose, "serious health and safety violations" mean conditions that pose a significant threat to the safety and welfare of the residents; such violations include an imminent fire hazard, a lack of required utilities, or a health hazard.

    When the license of a rooming or boarding house is suspended by a municipality, the suspension or revocation order must be filed with DCA by close of business on the second day (not more than 48 hours) following its issuance.

    When serious health and safety violations have been corrected and the license suspension has been lifted, the notices of correction must be filed with DCA by the close of business of the fourth day following the issuance of the corrective notice.

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  • Is there a standardized inspection form?

    To facilitate the submittal and posting of these inspection reports, PL. 2015, c.6 requires the Department to standardize the inspection report format to be used during these inspections. This standardized inspection tool will facilitate the posting of uniform inspection report information. The Department is undertaking the development of that inspection form.

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  • When does an inspection report become a public record?

    An inspection report becomes a public record when it has been served on the owner of the licensed facility (see the Department’s rule for the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.A.C. 5:3). Therefore, inspection reports will be posted when service on the owner has been demonstrated. In many cases, the inspector is able to provide a copy of the report shortly after completing the inspection. In some cases, however, the inspection report must be mailed by certified mail; in those cases, the report will be posted upon receipt of the proof of service. Occasionally, service by certified mail is not successful. When notices are returned to the Department marked "unclaimed" or "undeliverable," the notice must be personally served on the owner; in those cases, the notice will be posted after it has been personally served.

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  • Can owners contest the inspection records that identify violations?
    Yes, owners can—and do—contest inspection records that identify violations. In addition, owners can—and do—request extensions to enable them to correct the violations that have been cited. The inspection records that are posted will not show whether the notice has been contested nor will they show whether an extension has been requested.
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  • What will the inspection notices look like?
    Each inspection report is completed by hand. Those reports that cannot be successfully scanned will be transcribed. Those that can be successfully scanned will be posted without transcription.
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  • Is there more than one kind of inspection?

    There are two types of inspections: physical and social. The physical inspection addresses the building and the site. The social inspection addresses the residents’ records and whether any required conditions are being met. When a physical and social inspection is performed at the same time, the reports will be posted at the same time. More commonly, the inspections are performed independently. In those cases, the most recent physical inspection report and the most recent social report will be posted. The physical and social inspections of emergency shelters are performed simultaneously.

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  • How can I find the most recent report for a specific facility?

    The web site will provide searching by county, partial municipality and/or partial facility name. If you receive a "Page not found" error the facility link you have selected does not yet have a completed inspection report for posting. The most recent physical and social inspection reports will be posted as a link next to each facility’s name.

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  • When will the Department of Community Affairs begin posting inspection reports?

    Inspection reports received on or after March 2, 2015 will be posted. As inspections are conducted, those inspection reports will be added to the website.

    Questions should be directed to the Bureau of Rooming and Boarding House Standards at (609) 984-1704.

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