September 19, 2014
9:50 AM
Frequently Asked Questions  
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Please view our listing of Frequently Asked Questions displayed below to see if you can quickly find an answer to your question. 

   

General
   Parking & Tickets
      - How can I obtain a residential or visitor's parking permit?
      - How do I pay a parking ticket?
      - What are the requirements for handicapped parking permits and signs?
      - Where can I find free parking within the Trenton Downtown Commons area?
 
   Street Lights & Signs
      - How do I get a street sign repaired after it has been vandalized?
      - The streetlight is out or in default, whom do I contact?
 
City Clerk
   Voter Registration
      - How can I find my polling location?
      - How do I obtain an absentee ballot?
      - How do I register to vote?
      - What are the qualifications to receive an absentee ballot?
      - What are the qualifications to vote?
      - What is an Absentee Ballot?
 
Division of Assessment
   Tax Assessor
      - What is the tax rate and ratio?
      - How do I get a copy of my assessment notice?
      - How can I reduce my taxes without appealing my tax assessment?
      - How do I appeal my assessment?
 
Division of Purchasing
   Purchasing
      - What steps do I need to take in order to conduct business with the City of Trenton?
      - After I complete and send in my application, what happens next?
      - What are quotations?
      - What are formal bids?
      - What are Requests For Proposals (RFPs) ?
      - If I have a question on how to complete any of the above solicitation processes, who can I call?
      - When can I make a delivery of my product or service.
      - What about payment?
      - How long will it take after I send in my voucher to get paid?
      - What types of products or services does the City of Trenton utilize?
 
Division of Tax
   Taxes
      - My taxes are behind, who should I contact?
      - Where is the tax office located?
 
Division of Trenton Water Utility
   Water Services
      - How can I receive a discount on my water bill?
      - How do I get my water cut on/cut off?
      - How do I pay my water bill?
      - Need additional water information?
      - Where do I call after hours for an emergency issue with my water?
 
Finance Department
   Financial Assistance
      - I have provided goods or services to the City of Trenton and would like to know the status of my payment.
 
Fire Department
   Fire Department
      - The fire department recently responded to a small fire in my house, where can I pick up a copy of the fire report?
 
   Fire Inspections
      - I believe I have a fire hazard in my home but my landlord will not do anything, who can I talk to about getting it inspected?
 
   Fire Safety
      - What is the single most important thing I can do to protect my family from fire?
      - Where do I get smoke detectors?
 
   Firefighter Recruitment
      - I would like to become a Trenton Firefighter, how do I apply?
 
Health & Human Services Department
   Financial Assistance
      - Where can I go to obtain assistance with my rent or mortgage?
 
   Vital Statistics
      - Where do I obtain my birth certificate?
 
Housing & Economic Development Department
   Housing & Development
      - Gift Property
      - Boards and Commissions...
      - Planning Board agenda(s), minutes, list of all cases before the board...
      - Planning Board Application Forms and Checklists...
      - How do I buy property owned by the City of Trenton?
      - Affordable homeownership opportunities currently available in Trenton...
      - Maps...
      - Geographic Information System (GIS) data
 
Inspections Department
   Building Inspections
      - How does one obtain a historical permit?
      - How long does it take for plan review to be completed?
      - How many sets of architectural plans must be submitted for compliance with the building code?
      - What building tasks require permits?
      - What happens if any plan is denied?
 
   Electrical Inspections
      - How does one arrange a reintroduction of service?
      - What electrical tasks require permits?
 
   Elevator Inspections
      - How soon after receipt of an elevator inspection invoice should the bill be paid?
      - What elevator tasks require permits?
      - When are elevator certificates issued?
      - Where does one register an elevator?
      - Why are fees for elevator inspections different every six months?
 
   Fire Inspections
      - What fire tasks require permits?
      - What fire tasks require permits?
 
   Fire Safety
      - What events or activities require a fire safety permit?
 
   Housing Inspections
      - Can a citizen request a copy of his or her case?
      - How can one find out the status of a case?
      - How long should a complainant wait to call the inspector?
      - How many people can live in a property?
      - How should one address a housing problem?
      - What are the penalties associated with violating city housing codes?
      - What happens if a court appearance is not made when required?
 
   Inspections
      - How does one set up an appointment?
 
   Plumbing Inspections
      - How does one test piping (gas, drainage, water)?
      - What is the minimum depth for water and sewer connections?
      - What is the standard temperature for hot water?
      - What tasks require backflow preventers?
 
   Property Transfer- Housing Inspections
      - Can the buyer of a property complete an application for a Certificate of Housing Code Compliance?
      - How does one obtain a Residential Certificate of Housing Code Compliance?
      - How long is the Certificate of Housing Code Compliance valid?
      - Is it possible to fax the application to the Department of Inspections?
      - Must a commercial property be inspected prior to the transfer of ownership?
      - What is the requirement for transferring ownership of a property?
 
   Rental Property- Housing Inspections
      - Are tenants responsible for providing their own Smoke Detectors or Carbon Monoxide Detector in rental properties?
      - Before moving into a rental property, should an inspection be completed?
      - How does one license a rental property?
      - How is a landlord notified that there is a violation?
      - Must a landlord be licensed in order to rent a property?
      - What are a tenant’s responsibilities?
      - What happens if a landlord does not do the required work ?
      - What should one expect to find when moving into a rental unit?
      - What should one expect to find when moving into a rental unit?
      - Who is responsible for heat and utilities?
 
   Weights and Measures
      - How can one tell if a scale has been approved?
      - How does the City ensure that citizens receive their money’s worth when buying items like meat, milk and gasoline?
      - What are the consequences of using an incorrect scale in a business establishment (as a means to charge consumers)?
 
   Zoning
      - How does one obtain a business license?
      - What zoning task(s) require permits?
 
Municipal Court
   Municipal Court
      - How do I dispute a parking ticket?
      - I missed my court date, what can I do?
      - Where do I go to file a complaint?
      - I filed a complaint and I'd like to know how I can have the charges dropped?
      - What can I do about an outstanding warrant?
      - Where do I go to get a copy of a police report?
      - I missed my court date, what can I do?
      - What is the price of my ticket?
      - How do I get to the Court? (Link to Map)
      - My case is scheduled for court today, how can I get it postponed?
      - I have a ticket but no other information relating to the ticket, can you help me?
      - Did anyone sign a citizen complaint against me?
      - I am a New Jersey driver. Does my ticket carry points that would be assessed against my driving record? (Link to DMV)
      - How do I reach the Office of the Municipal Prosecutor or Municipal Public Defender?
 
Police Department
   Police
      - How do I get a police or accident report?
      - How do I get fingerprinted?
      - What is ComStat?
      - Can report information confidentially?
 
Public Works Department
   Recycling
      - Where can I find RECYCLING questions & answers?
      - What is recycling?
      - Why should I recycle?
      - Why not recycle everything?
      - How do I know what items can be recycled?
      - How do I dispose of leaves and grass clippings from my property?
      - How can I obtain a recycling container?
      - How do I dispose of large household items such as appliances or old furniture?
      - When are trash collection pickups?
      - How can I get help cleaning up my block/street?
 
   Sewer Cleaning
      - Who do I contact when my sewage pipes are backed up or the sewer drains are filed with debris?
 


General To Top
    Parking & Tickets
          How can I obtain a residential or visitor's parking permit?
Residents within a Permit Parking District must bring his/her current New Jersey driver's license and a valid New Jersey registration for each vehicle to the Bureau of Traffic and Transportation in order to receive a permit decal. Their office is located in City Hall, Room 100, 319 East State Street, Trenton, New Jersey 08608.

An additional proof of residency such as a utility bill or lease agreement must be presented in order to receive visitor passes. Only two visitor passes will be issued per household. It is important to note that all documentation must confirm residency within the district.



          How do I pay a parking ticket?
You make payment to:

Trenton Municipal Court
225 N. Clinton Avenue, P.O. Box 1360
Trenton, NJ 08609

Telephone: (609) 989-3700

If you mail payment to this Municipal Court, payment should  be made by check or money order. Cash will not be accepted by mail. Send payment  to the mailing address above.



          What are the requirements for handicapped parking permits and signs?
Those interested in getting a handicapped parking permit and sign must receive an application from the Bureau of Traffic and Transportation at City Hall, Room 100, 319 East State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608. And for any questions, please call (609) 989-3612. The Handicap Parking Review Committee reviews six applications a month and each individual will be notified if their application is approved. (The Handicapped Parking Application is available online).


          Where can I find free parking within the Trenton Downtown Commons area?
There is up to one hour of free parking in the Front Street parking lot. The parking is free for downtown shoppers.


 
    Street Lights & Signs
          How do I get a street sign repaired after it has been vandalized?
Contact the Traffic & Transportation Division at (609) 989-3612 and they contact the sign shop, then someone is sent to the location of vandalized sign to repair it. 


          The streetlight is out or in default, whom do I contact?
Usually the police are the first department contacted and then they call the city's Traffic & Transportation Division (609) 989-3612. The traffic signal shop (609) 989-3617 is then contacted and someone is sent to the location of the traffic signal for repairs.


 
City Clerk To Top
    Voter Registration
          How can I find my polling location?
You can receive a sample ballot, which tells you your location, or call the City Clerks office at (609)  989-3187.


          How do I obtain an absentee ballot?

From the City of County offices below:

City Clerk's Office                                     
Mercer County
City Hall                                 or               Commissioner of Registration
319 East State Street
 
                             640 South Broad Street
Trenton, New Jersey  08608                     P.O. Box 8068
(609) 989-3187                                      Trenton, New Jersey  08650-9828



          How do I register to vote?
Request a voter registration application from:

City Clerk's Office                                     Mercer County
City Hall                                 or               Commissioner of Registration
319 East State Street
 
                             640 South Broad Street
Trenton, New Jersey  08608                    P.O. Box 8068
(609) 989-3187                                     Trenton, New Jersey  08650-9828



          What are the qualifications to receive an absentee ballot?
  • You must be a registered voter of Mercer County
  • REMEMBER, if you file an absentee ballot you can not vote at the polls for that election
  • Your ballot will be mailed on or after the 40th day prior to the election
  • Do not submit more than one application for the same election
  • You will receive instructions with your absentee ballot
  • Your absentee ballot must be received by the Board of Election, 640 S. Broad Street, Trenton, no later than 8:00 p.m. (close of the polls) the day of the election
  • You must apply for each election you intend to vote by an absentee ballot


          What are the qualifications to vote?
You must be a citizen of the United States and, at least 18 years by the date of the next election, and a resident of New Jersey and your county for at least 30 days.


          What is an Absentee Ballot?
An absentee ballot is a vote cast by someone unable to attend the official polling location.


 
Division of Assessment To Top
    Tax Assessor
          What is the tax rate and ratio?
The tax rate for 2011 is $5.636 per $100 of assessed value.

The ratio for 2012 is 72.20%.


          How do I get a copy of my assessment notice?
Every year on or about February 1, notices of property tax assessments are mailed to owners of taxable properties. Please contact the Assessors Office at 609-989-3083 or email at phice@trentonnj.org. for duplicate information.  You must include the property location and assessment year.


          How can I reduce my taxes without appealing my tax assessment?

The Assessor's office can review assessments at any time during the year for adjustment to the following year.  There are property tax deductions and exemptions available for Senior citizens, Veterans, and Disabled Persons. Abatements and exemptions for new construction and improvements to properties are also available.  Applications and instructions for filing are linked to this site.



          How do I appeal my assessment?
Property assessments can be appealed by April 1 each year.  If an added assessment bill was generated in October, the assessment can be appealed by December 1 of that year.

Forms are available in the Tax Assessor's Office and at the Mercer County Board of Taxation, located at 640 S Broad St. Always discuss assessment issues with the Tax Assessor before filing an appeal.


 
Division of Purchasing To Top
    Purchasing
          What steps do I need to take in order to conduct business with the City of Trenton?

Your first step in conducting business with the City of Trenton is to file either a Standard Bidder's' Application through the following City Hall Division: Division of Purchasing, City Hall Annex, 319 East State Street, Trenton, NJ  08608, Phone: (609)989-3135, Fax: (609)989-4260.



          After I complete and send in my application, what happens next?
Your application is filed in the Division of Purchasing's computer database according to the product or service your company provides. From this database, you, along with other vendors who provide the same product or service, will be selected randomly to provide quotations and/or receive specifications for formal bids.


          What are quotations?
The Division of Purchasing receives requests from other divisions of the City who needs products or services. If the estimated cost for these products or services is estimated to be between $4,350 and $17,500  the City receives quotations from vendors. The lowest bidder meeting our requirements for the product or service is then awarded a Purchase Order.


          What are formal bids?
When requests are received from the various City divisions, and the estimated cost of the products(s) or service(s) requested is $29,000.00 or more, the City is required by New Jersey Local Public Contract law to seek a formal bid by advertising the bid in a local newspaper. The formal bid process is much more detailed than quotations, requiring a number of forms, which need to be completed and submitted with your bid.


          What are Requests For Proposals (RFPs) ?
When goods or services are estimated to be between $17,500 and $29,000, they are subject to pay to play requirements. The Purchasing Division places a notice on the City's web site requesting proposals (RFPs) for the goods or services.  Interested companies/ vendors can request the proposal via email, phone or fax.  The award is made by resolution based on established criteria for evaluating.


          If I have a question on how to complete any of the above solicitation processes, who can I call?
The Division of Purchasing is always available to answer any questions that may arise. Below are phone numbers you may want to keep handy:
  • Purchasing Staff (609) 989-3135
     
  • Affirmative Action-Contract Compliance Office (609) 989-3108.


          When can I make a delivery of my product or service.
You will receive a City of Trenton Purchase Order.  This purchase order is your  AUTHORIZATION to deliver the product or service.


          What about payment?
When you receive your Purchase Order, you will also receive a voucher. Once you deliver the product or service, sign the voucher and return it to the "BILL TO" address on the Purchase Order. If there is no "BILL TO" address, send voucher to "SHIP TO" address.


          How long will it take after I send in my voucher to get paid?
Generally, you should receive a check in 2 to 3 weeks after you send in your voucher.


          What types of products or services does the City of Trenton utilize?
The City uses a wide range of products and services which can be found on the Bidders/LBE application form. Below is a list of some contracts, which the City bids annually:  

 

Janitorial Services
Uniforms and Shoes
Paper Goods (paper towels, toilet tissue)
Security Guard Services
Dog and Cat Food
Printing
Office Supplies
Tire Repair
Vehicles
Medical Supplies
Engineering Services
Architectural Services
Auto Parts


 
Division of Tax To Top
    Taxes
          My taxes are behind, who should I contact?
Call the Tax Office at 609-989-3070.


          Where is the tax office located?
The tax office is in Room 110 of City Hall. 


 
Division of Trenton Water Utility To Top
    Water Services
          How can I receive a discount on my water bill?

Trenton Water Works offers a 10 percent discount to customers if they are receiving a discount on their tax bills as senior citizens, veterans, or disabled persons.  The same discount applies to widows of senior citizens, veterans, or disabled persons.  (The discount applies only if bills are paid in full on or before the due date.)



          How do I get my water cut on/cut off?
If you need your water cut on, simply contact the water billing office at 989-3055. If you need your water cut off , call the same office and ask to have a final reading for your meter.


          How do I pay my water bill?
Bring or send payment to the Trenton Water Department, 319 East State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608. Telephone: 989-3055 or Send t Trenton Water Works, 333 Courtland Street, Trenton, NJ 08608. 

This payment can only be made using certified check or money order.



          Need additional water information?

For additional information regarding water billing, please call 989-3055.



          Where do I call after hours for an emergency issue with my water?
Contact the Water Emergency Services at 989-3222.


 
Finance Department To Top
    Financial Assistance
          I have provided goods or services to the City of Trenton and would like to know the status of my payment.
If you would like to know the status of your payment, please contact the department where the payment was originated. For instance, if you provided recreational services or equiptment, contact the Department of Recreation, Natural Resources, and Culture.


 
Fire Department To Top
    Fire Department
          The fire department recently responded to a small fire in my house, where can I pick up a copy of the fire report?
Copies of all fire reports are located at Fire Headquarters 244 Perry Street second floor clerks office. Office hours are 8am - 4pm Monday thruFriday. Phone 989-4038


 
    Fire Inspections
          I believe I have a fire hazard in my home but my landlord will not do anything, who can I talk to about getting it inspected?
City of Trenton Fire Sub Code Offical, Inspector Scott McCormick @ 989-3553



 
    Fire Safety
          What is the single most important thing I can do to protect my family from fire?
Call the Trenton Fire Department @ 989-4032 and have them install free working smoke detectors.

NFPA estimates that 94 percent of US homes have at least one smoke alarm. Homes with smoke alarms typically have a death rate that is 40-50% less than the rate for homes without alarms. Sadly, three of every 10 reported fires in homes equipped with smoke alarms, the devices did not work.


          Where do I get smoke detectors?
Contact Inspector Daniel P. George @ Fire Prevention Bureau, 609-989-4032.


 
    Firefighter Recruitment
          I would like to become a Trenton Firefighter, how do I apply?
Please see our web section on "Firefighter  Recruitment ". or call Captain Greg Rodriquez @ 989-3305


 
Health & Human Services Department To Top
    Financial Assistance
          Where can I go to obtain assistance with my rent or mortgage?
For Financial assistance please call 609-815-2160 or Visit our office at 319 E. State St. (City Hall) 1st Fl in our Community Relations Dept.


 
    Vital Statistics
          Where do I obtain my birth certificate?
If you were born in the City of Trenton you can call 609-989-3236 for assistance or visit our office at 319 E. State St. (City Hall) 1st Fl in our Vital Statistics Office.


 
Housing & Economic Development Department To Top
    Housing & Development
          Gift Property


          Boards and Commissions...

Planning Board
Landmarks Commission for Historic Preservation
Environmental Commission/Open Space Advisory Board
Zoning Board of Adjustment

Rent Stabilization Board
Capital South Resource Team
Canal Banks Advisory Board



          Planning Board agenda(s), minutes, list of all cases before the board...
Planning Board meeting agendas and minutes can be found under Meeting Schedules. If you cannot find minutes for a meeting of interest to you, call 989-3291.


          Planning Board Application Forms and Checklists...

Application forms for projects to go before the Planning Board can be found on the Forms webpage.



          How do I buy property owned by the City of Trenton?

Information and procedures regarding purchasing property owned by the City of Trenton can be found at http://www.trentonnj.org/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=55&TPID=8807



          Affordable homeownership opportunities currently available in Trenton...

Affordable Homeownership opportunities can be found on the Division of Housing Production's webpage.



          Maps...

The Division of Planning has produced a number of standard maps for various purposes. These maps can be found on the following webpage: Index of Planning Documents and Maps.

The Zoning Map for the City of Trenton can be found on the Dept of Inspections webpage. (Scroll down. The map is 3/4  from the bottom of the page.)

We cannot accomodate custom map requests at this time.

Driving directions to Trenton City Hall can be found under the Visitor's Guide. City Hall is three blocks from the Trenton Train Station, which is serviced by NJ Transit, Amtrak and SEPTA.



          Geographic Information System (GIS) data
Trenton's Geographic Information System (GIS) data can be browsed using the City's interactive mapping application. (To access the Internet DataViewer, please send an email to tlong@trentonnj.org)

All requests for GIS data should be made by filling out an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request form and submitting to the City Clerk's office: http://www.trentonnj.org/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=55&TPID=7066


 
Inspections Department To Top
    Building Inspections
          How does one obtain a historical permit?
A historical permit application can be obtained at the Department of Inspections, located on the second floor of City Hall. This permit allows you to paint the exterior of a home in approved historical colors. The colors and the fixtures must remain the same.


          How long does it take for plan review to be completed?
If there are no zoning and planning board issues, plan review is completed in 20 working days from the time the construction inspector accepts the plans. After 20 days, a letter that states if the plans have been approved or denied is sent to the architect.


          How many sets of architectural plans must be submitted for compliance with the building code?
The code requires that the New Jersey architect or engineer submit two sets of sealed plans for Department of Inspections review. In the case of a restaurant, three sets of plans must be submitted.


          What building tasks require permits?
The construction of porches and enclosures, decks, pools, additions, new construction, fences, signs (such as billboards), sheetrocking, alterations (if the size of doors or windows are readjusted), roofing, siding, asbestos abatement, lead hazard abatement, and demolition tasks all require building permits. A permit is not needed to paint the outside of a home unless it is in a historic district.


          What happens if any plan is denied?
If a plan is denied, a letter is sent to the architect and the owner informing them of the plan’s denial status. All issues must be corrected before the plan can be approved.


 
    Electrical Inspections
          How does one arrange a reintroduction of service?
The owner shall apply to the Department of Inspections and complete a request form for reintroduction of service (this is applicable in all cases).


          What electrical tasks require permits?
The installation of lighting fixtures, receptacles, switches, smoke detectors, light poles, motors, motor control centers, emergency and exit lights, communication points, alarm devices/ fire alarm control panels, swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, electric range receptacles, electric water heaters, ovens/ surface units, electric dryers/ receptacles, dishwashers, central a/c units, space heaters/ air handlers, baseboard heat, transformers/ generators, electrical service panels, and electric signs/ outline lights all require permits.


 
    Elevator Inspections
          How soon after receipt of an elevator inspection invoice should the bill be paid?
The elevator inspection invoice must be paid within 30 days. Anytime after that, a court action will be taken for non-payment.


          What elevator tasks require permits?
The installation of traction or winding drums, hydraulics, roped hydraulics, escalators/ moving walks, dumbwaiters, stairway chair lifts, inclined and vertical wheelchair lifts, man lifts, oil buffers, counterweight governors and safeties, auxiliary power generators, or alterations to elevator mechanical systems all require permits.


          When are elevator certificates issued?
Thirty (30) days after the completion of an inspection.


          Where does one register an elevator?
Elevators must be registered with the State of New Jersey (989-7833).


          Why are fees for elevator inspections different every six months?
One inspection is semi-annual and does not require a test; the other is annual and requires a test with a licensed elevator company.


 
    Fire Inspections
          What fire tasks require permits?
The installation of alarm devices (i.e., smoke, heat, pulls, water/ flow), supervisory devices (i.e., tampers, low/ high air), signaling devices (i.e., horn/ strobes, bells), fire pumps, dry pipes/ alarm valves, pre-action valves, sprinkler systems (dry and wet), standpipes, wet chemicals, dry chemicals, CO2 suppression, foam suppression, clean agent suppression, kitchen hood exhaust systems, smoke control systems, gas or oil fired appliances (furnaces), fuel oil tanks, storage tanks and flammable and combustible liquid, and underground.  


          What fire tasks require permits?
The installation of alarm devices (i.e., smoke, heat, pulls, water/ flow), supervisory devices (i.e., tampers, low/ high air), signaling devices (i.e., horn/ strobes, bells), fire pumps, dry pipes/ alarm valves, pre-action valves, sprinkler systems (dry and wet), standpipes, wet chemicals, dry chemicals, CO2 suppression, foam suppression, clean agent suppression, kitchen hood exhaust systems, smoke control systems, gas or oil fired appliances (furnaces), fuel oil tanks, storage tanks and flammable and combustible liquid, and underground water supplies for fire protection all require permits.


 
    Fire Safety
          What events or activities require a fire safety permit?
A fire safety permit is required for the operation of a circus or carnival, the discharging of fireworks, and during welding, cutting or torch use operations.


 
    Housing Inspections
          Can a citizen request a copy of his or her case?
Although all the information in the case is public information, personal information such as an unpublished telephone number is confidential. Therefore, we will allow a person to look at the parts of the file that are not considered confidential and make copies for them.  It is probably better to get a subpoena so an inspector can bring the file to court and testify if necessary.  Also, an attorney may request a copy for his or her file.


          How can one find out the status of a case?
Call the housing inspections division and ask to speak to the inspector of record. He or she will provide the information regarding the case as well as all actions being taken at that time.


          How long should a complainant wait to call the inspector?
If there is a housing problem, call the inspector immediately, especially if it is an emergency. The housing division is always willing to respond to a citizen or landlord complaint to assure that quality of life and life safety concerns are addressed.


          How many people can live in a property?
A tenant may be limited by the agreement reached with the landlord (whether it is a written or oral agreement) but also is governed by the total habitable floor space within the unit. A rule of thumb is to take the number of people and put the number 50 behind it to calculate the minimum number of square feet required. This does not include hallways, closets, baths, or storage spaces. Cellars of buildings may not be used as part of the living area because they do not meet the standard for habitable space.


          How should one address a housing problem?
First, notify the landlord of the problem and allow a reasonable time for the landlord to address the problem. If the problem persists, contact the housing inspection office at 989-3560, 989-3562 or 989-3563. Be prepared to provide the following: a description of the problem, how long it has existed, and a contact number.


          What are the penalties associated with violating city housing codes?
Violations that are not corrected can result in penalties of up to $2,000 in fines and 90 days in jail.


          What happens if a court appearance is not made when required?
The judge will issue a warrant for the arrest of the person who does not appear. This could cause the person to be detained by the police until bail is posted and the hearing rescheduled. It also delays the required work from being completed until all parties appear in court.


 
    Inspections
          How does one set up an appointment?
Contact the Department of Inspections at 989-3543. There are no specific appointment times; however, a time frame of up to two hours may be given.


 
    Plumbing Inspections
          How does one test piping (gas, drainage, water)?
  A licensed contractor will conduct tests on necessary piping for water (head test) and gas (air test, etc); all tests must sustain adequate pressure for 15 minutes.


          What is the minimum depth for water and sewer connections?
The minimum depth required for water service connection is 42 inches. The minimum depth for sewer system drainage is 24 inches.


          What is the standard temperature for hot water?
For areas housing children (such as pre-school, day care and public places), the temperature of hot water should be between 90 degrees and 105 degrees. The temperature of water in private homes should be from 120 to 140 degrees.


          What tasks require backflow preventers?
The following tasks require backflow preventers: domestic heat exchangers, boilers, landscaping sprinkler systems, hose bibb connections, chemical dispensers, fire protection systems, carbonated beverage dispensers.


 
    Property Transfer- Housing Inspections
          Can the buyer of a property complete an application for a Certificate of Housing Code Compliance?
No, in the content of the application it requires that the applicant authorize the inspection and access to the property since the buyer has no legal rights to the property until it is sold.  The seller or their agent can only apply for the inspection.


          How does one obtain a Residential Certificate of Housing Code Compliance?
After the inspection is complete, a list of violations is given to the seller and after completion of those violations a certificate will be issued.


          How long is the Certificate of Housing Code Compliance valid?
A Certificate of Housing Code Compliance is valid for six months.


          Is it possible to fax the application to the Department of Inspections?
No, the application must be accompanied by the necessary fees in order to be processed.


          Must a commercial property be inspected prior to the transfer of ownership?
At the present time there are no required inspections for the transfer of commercial properties, unless a residential unit is within the structure.


          What is the requirement for transferring ownership of a property?
The owner or the agent must file an application with the Division of Housing Inspections requesting a complete inspection of the dwelling.  After the necessary fees are paid, an inspector will call to set an appointment for the inspection.


 
    Rental Property- Housing Inspections
          Are tenants responsible for providing their own Smoke Detectors or Carbon Monoxide Detector in rental properties?
No, landlords are required to provide smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector.  A smoke detector must be present on each level of the dwelling and a CO detector on the sleeping level. However, tenants are responsible for changing the batteries and notifying the owner of a faulty unit.


          Before moving into a rental property, should an inspection be completed?
It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that rental units are inspected prior to occupancy. The dated sticker on the edge of the door is the evidence that the property is licensed; however, it must be inspected every time that occupancy changes.


          How does one license a rental property?
Visit the second floor of City Hall in the Department of Inspections and complete a non-occupant owner license application with the required fee.


          How is a landlord notified that there is a violation?
The Department of Inspections will mail the landlord written notice that allows a reasonable amount of time for all violations to be corrected. All notifications are mailed by both regular and certified mail to the address as listed in the tax office records.


          Must a landlord be licensed in order to rent a property?
All non-occupant landlords are required to be licensed. The Division of Housing maintains a database of all licensed properties in the City of Trenton if one wishes to verify whether a particular property is licensed. Additionally, a landlord must display his or her license by posting it on the upper edge of the front door.


          What are a tenant’s responsibilities?
The tenant is expected to exercise reasonable care of the unit, which includes keeping it clean and sanitary and properly using all facilities supplied to the tenant. Remember: The tenant could be found in violation if proper care is not taken of the dwelling unit. This includes the proper disposal of garbage on collection days and the maintenance of the yard.


          What happens if a landlord does not do the required work ?
Usually the landlord will receive a notice to appear in court to give just cause why this work was not started or has not been completed. If there is not a good reason for the incomplete work, fines and penalties may be imposed by the judge.


          What should one expect to find when moving into a rental unit?
Before moving, make sure that the apartment building is licensed with the City of Trenton by looking for a current sticker on the top corner of the front door. If there is no sticker, call 989-3563 to report the situation.

If there is a sticker, the landlord is required to provide a clean, habitable living unit. Be sure to check to make sure that the apartment meets the renter’s needs as well as the conditions in the following locations:

  • Bathroom — Check the water pressure, for hot and cold water, and look for leaks. Make sure that the toilet works. Check for loose tiles on the walls and floor, and check for evidence of infestation.
  • Kitchen — Check the water pressure, for hot and cold water, and for leaks. There should be a stove and refrigerator properly connected to the appropriate utility; check for evidence of infestation.
  • Ceiling — Check the ceiling and walls for water leak stains, dampness, loose plaster, holes, or cracks.
  • Windows — Check the locks, screens, glass, and frames and weatherproofing.
  • Floors — Look for rotten wood, loose tiles, splinters, and water stains.
  • Electricity — Make sure that the light switches and fixtures work. There should be covers on all outlets and light switches. Take a lamp and try all of the outlets, and look for hanging or open wires. It is sometimes not possible to check the working condition of electrical switches and outlets since the power may have been shut off in the apartment.
  • Heat — Turn on the heating system and make sure that it works properly, even if you rent in the summer. Ask about the last time that the heating unit was serviced.
  • Basement — Look for dirt, trash, leaks (or evidence of leaks), loose wires, broken windows, crumbling walls, and termites.
  • Smoke detectors — Check for installation on all levels and make sure they work properly.
  • Doors — Check for dead-bolt locks on the entrance door and ensure that they are weather tight.
  •  Paint — Look in all rooms to make sure paint is fresh; make sure that walls are smooth and able to be cleaned.


          What should one expect to find when moving into a rental unit?
Before moving, make sure that the apartment building is licensed with the City of Trenton by looking for a current sticker on the top corner of the front door. If there is no sticker, call 989-3563 to report the situation.


          Who is responsible for heat and utilities?
Usually the responsibility is agreed upon in the lease. Whenever a dwelling is heated by means of a furnace, boiler or other heating apparatus under the control of the owner or operator of the dwelling, such owner or operator, in the absence of a written contract or agreement to the contrary, shall be deemed to have contracted, undertaken or bound himself or herself to furnish heat in accordance with the provisions of this subsection to every dwelling unit which contains radiators, furnace heat duct outlets or other heating apparatus outlets. (Please see Section 12-8.17b of the Revised General Ordinances of the City of Trenton for details.)


 
    Weights and Measures
          How can one tell if a scale has been approved?
When a device passes its annual inspection, a blue seal of approval is placed on it. If its results are incorrect, the scale is rejected for use until corrected. Samples of the blue seals of approval can be found on scales at a supermarket or pumps at a gas station.


          How does the City ensure that citizens receive their money’s worth when buying items like meat, milk and gasoline?
In New Jersey, all large cities and most counties have weights and measures inspectors working to protect consumers from unfair practices. Highly accurate equipment is used to test and inspect scales and bar code scanners at food stores, hardware stores, meat processing plants, scrap yards, pharmacies and precious metals buyers. In addition, inspections are performed on gasoline dispensers, heating oil truck meters, propane meters, water meters, timing devices and counting devices. Many forms of taxes and fees are based on weight or measurement.


          What are the consequences of using an incorrect scale in a business establishment (as a means to charge consumers)?
A scale that is incorrect by one ounce on each weighing, making 100 weighs a day for 300 days a year at a unit price of $2.00 per pound, will cause an error of $3,750 per year. An error of 3 tablespoons in 5 gallons on a gasoline pump will result in an error of thousands of dollars per year at today’s average prices.


 
    Zoning
          How does one obtain a business license?
The City Clerk’s Office issues business licenses.


          What zoning task(s) require permits?
Residential, commercial, or industrial approval must be granted to establish businesses because that establishment may overpopulate or create too much noise in an area. All plans have to be approved by a zoning officer before they are reviewed by the other Sub Code officials.


 
Municipal Court To Top
    Municipal Court
          How do I dispute a parking ticket?
To dispute a ticket you must notify the court administrator of your intention at least 7 days prior to your court date. If you fail to do so, it may be necessary to make two court appearances. The court telephone number is (609) 989-3700. Business hours are 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.


          I missed my court date, what can I do?

Call the Court immediately. For Traffic Case Management call (609) 989-3700,
ext. 623, 624, 625 or 627. For Criminal Case Management call (609) 989-3700, ext. 612, 613, 614 or 615.



          Where do I go to file a complaint?
A citizen complaint may be filed at Trenton Municipal Court, Trenton, during normal business hours.  On occasion, complaints will be taken during specific times, depending on staff availability. Call (609) 989-3700 ext. 600. (Link to business hours)


          I filed a complaint and I'd like to know how I can have the charges dropped?
Once a complaint has been filed, charges will only be dropped in open Court at the discretion of a judge. In certain domestic violence cases, the judge may keep a complaint open for a period of time even if both parties request the complaint be dropped.


          What can I do about an outstanding warrant?
If the warrant is for a failure to pay fines and costs, call New Beginnings at (609) 989-3700 ext. 632 or 630. If the warrant is for a failure to appear for a scheduled Court appearance, report to Trenton Police Department for processing, post the appropriate bail and receive a new Court date.


          Where do I go to get a copy of a police report?
Report to the "bubble" front desk at Trenton Police Department, 225 North Clinton Avenue. Upon receiving a visitor's pass, proceed to the second floor records unit Monday- Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.


          I missed my court date, what can I do?

Call the Court immediately. For Traffic Case Management call (609) 989-3700,
ext. 623, 624, 625 or 627. For Criminal Case Management call (609) 989-3700, ext. 612, 613, 614 or 615.



          What is the price of my ticket?
The price of a payable ticket may be found on the back of the ticket. However, the Violations Bureau will have ticket information within reach. The numbers for the Violations Bureau are (609) 989-3700, ext. 602, 603, 604, 605, 606 and 608. You may pay any payable ticket online by accessing www.njmcdirect.com.  You will need to have handy the plate number, ticket number and any card that carries the MasterCard or Visa logo.


          How do I get to the Court? (Link to Map)


          My case is scheduled for court today, how can I get it postponed?
The Court will not grant late hour or same day postponements. In cases of an emergency, adequate medical documentation must be presented.  Call a Deputy Court Administrator at (609) 989-3700, ext. 607, 610, 611, 612 or 627.


          I have a ticket but no other information relating to the ticket, can you help me?
The Court is able to retrieve information by name (including middle initial) or driver's license number. Call (609) 989-3700 ext. 623, 624, 625 or 627.


          Did anyone sign a citizen complaint against me?
Filed citizen complaints are public records. Information regarding a citizen complaint may be retrieved by anyone in Criminal Case Management. Call (609) 989-3700 ext. 612, 613, 614 or 615.


          I am a New Jersey driver. Does my ticket carry points that would be assessed against my driving record? (Link to DMV)


          How do I reach the Office of the Municipal Prosecutor or Municipal Public Defender?
To reach the Municipal Prosecutor call (609) 989-3700, ext. 643 or 645. To reach the Municipal Pubic Defender, call (609) 989-3700, ext. 644.


 
Police Department To Top
    Police
          How do I get a police or accident report?

Reports can be obtained either in person at the records office at Trenton Police headquarters, 225 North Clinton Avenue, or through the mail. The records office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The person requesting the report will have to show identification and must give the report number or know the date the report was taken.

 

The fee schedule for reports varies by type of report and whether it is requested at the service window of the Records Office or through the mail. The fee for police investigative reports requested at the service window is:

 

Pages 1 – 10……. $0.75 per page.

Pages 11 – 20……. $0.50 per page.

All pages after 20…$0.25 per page.

 

The fee for motor vehicle accident reports requested at the service window is:

 

Pages 1 – 10……….$0.50 per page.

Pages 11 – 20………$0.10 per page.

All pages after 20…..$0.10 per page.

 

There is a flat $5 fee for either investigative reports or motor vehicle accident reports requested by mail. Requests for reports through the mail will be accepted only from the person named in the report, their attorney or insurance company. Individuals who mail requests for reports much include a cashier’s check for $5. Checks are acceptable from attorneys and insurance companies. Mail requests t

 

Trenton Police Headquarters
Records Office, second floor
225 N. Clinton Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08609



          How do I get fingerprinted?
 

There are situations, such as applying for a firearm permit or obtaining a Letter of Good Conduct from the New Jersey State Police, when a person is required to submit a set of fingerprints. The Trenton Police Department does fingerprinting as a service to City residents.

 

Persons who want to be fingerprinted must go the Records Office on the second floor of Police Headquarters, 225 N. Clinton Avenue, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday or Wednesday. There is a $5 fee and the person must bring picture identification that verifies he or she is a Trenton resident.



          What is ComStat?
      The police command staff analyzes every crime reported in the city during the weekly ComStat meeting. Commanders “brain storm’’ for patterns, discuss potential suspects and decide on strategy. Commanders present statistical summaries of crimes within their areas of responsibility, explain their response to those crimes and present strategies responsive to the trends uncovered by computerized mapping and other analysis.
       Each week at ComStat commanders “recap’’ the results achieved based on decisions made at earlier ComStats. The ComStat process strengthens the culture of accountability at the Trenton Police Department while creating a forum for veteran commanders to pool their knowledge on an ongoing basis.


          Can report information confidentially?
Absolutely!
Tell us about street gang activity at 989-GANG (4264).

Can you help with an ongoing investigation? Trenton police Tip Line - 609-989-3663.

Remove the drug scourge from you neighborhood by calling 989-DRUG (3784).

Crime Stoppers of Greater Trenton will pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest of a violent criminal. Call 609-278-8477.


 
Public Works Department To Top
    Recycling
          Where can I find RECYCLING questions & answers?
You can find a listing of recycling questions and answers on the Public Works department FAQ web section.


          What is recycling?
It is simple. Recycling means using  again. Beginning with a simple lifestyle change, you can make a diffference by  tossing your recyclables into a different container.


          Why should I recycle?
It is easy and aids in preserving the environment.


          Why not recycle everything?
Not everything can be recycled. Items such as oily rags, paper mixed with food  residue, disposable diapers, aerosol cans and many plastics are not likely to  find a buyer. These items will contaminate recyclable goods.


          How do I know what items can be recycled?

Separate reusable materials-such as glass bottles, aluminum  cans, tin cans and plastics from ordinary refuse. You then place materials in  special containers or bag them and place them at your curb for collection and  processing.

Not everything can be recycled. Items such as oily rags, paper mixed with food  residue, disposable diapers, aerosol cans and many plastics are not likely to  find a buyer. These items will contaminate recyclable goods.



          How do I dispose of leaves and grass clippings from my property?
Leaves are picked up the day after your regular garbage day from November 7 to December 5, 2011. Leaves should be placed on the curb in open bags. There is a 20 bag limit and nothing else can be mixed with them. For grass clippings the City follows a policy of Clip and Leave, which means when you cut your grass, you leave it to be absorbed back into the soil. For more information, please call the Solid Waste Office at (609) 989-3175.


          How can I obtain a recycling container?
Please contact the Recycling Office at 609-989-3175 to obtain a recycling container.


          How do I dispose of large household items such as appliances or old furniture?
Call the Sanitation Office to order a pick-up date at (609) 989-3175.  There is a limit of 5 bulk furniture items per appointment.


          When are trash collection pickups?

Monday & Thursday
Downtown

Northward (Southard St. to Pennington)
West Ward

Tuesday & Friday
South Ward

Chambersburg

Wednesday & Saturday
East Ward

North Ward (Beakes St. to Rt.1)

For additional information regarding garbage collection, call the Sanitation Office at (609) 989-3175. For additional information regarding recycling pickups, call the Mercer County Recycling Office at (609) 278-8086.



          How can I get help cleaning up my block/street?
Call the  Department of Public works at (609) 989-3151

A collaborative effort across City Departments also is available to civic associations and neighborhood residents interested in organizing a community clean-up. 


 
    Sewer Cleaning
          Who do I contact when my sewage pipes are backed up or the sewer drains are filed with debris?
Please contact Sewer Maintenance at (609) 939-3180 if you experience ongoing sewer problems before excavation.


 


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