The Toms River Township Council voted tonight to approve an ordinance on a second reading which repeals the controversial home inspection law.
Officially known as the continuing certificate of occupancy ordinance, the law required home sellers to pay a fee for a township inspector to conduct a physical inspection of the property, plus a records search to make sure there are no open or unresolved building, zoning, housing, code enforcement, or engineering conditions, violations or permits.
The law, which went into effect in July 2022, draw immediate controversy, and was a major campaign issue in last year’s Republican primary for mayor.
Critics of the law complained that it had a negative affect on home sales, with many residents and realtors noting that ordinance violations have been adding up to thousands of dollars in repairs – and included home improvements that may have been done decades ago, long before the current owners moved in, resulting in missed closings and other deadlines.
Supporters of the law say it was intended to prevent tragedies similar to one in 2017 when a girl was killed after being electrocuted after her raft came in contact with a boat lift which had a corroded electrical box.
Rodrick, who won the primary, as well as the general election in November, had promised to repeal the ordinance, and on January 1st – just moments after Rodrick was sworn into office – the township council voted 4-2 to approve the new ordinance.
But already on his first day in office, Rodrick announced that he directed township inspectors to cease enforcing the law.
Standard safety inspections are still required.