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Get rid of ordinance

November 4, 2013

I thought I was a landlord but with the passing of the new rental ordinance in Williamsport I am now a policeman. This ordinance tells the landlord that they must do what the police can not....

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(30)

Millwe

Nov-14-13 12:08 AM

Enigma-with all due respect, I don't have to do anything if I'm a landlord! We do still live in the USA, right! While this administration tries to "shove" responsibility down the throats of its citizens, the results usually are not what was hoped for. Again, working "with" people makes a whole lot more sense, to any semi-intelligent human being, especially the ones who made your job possible.

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aretesancus

Nov-05-13 2:52 PM

Enigma -- Please just read the ordinance, not the skewed or abridged version of what the Sun-Gazette chooses to print about what the mayor or police say is in the ordinance.

Landlords, we get it; it's tough to evict your problem tenants. No one disagrees with this or that it's not an arduous process. But the police department and Mayor and City Council didn't require you to be a landlord. You ARE, though, required to be a responsible landlord who should take steps to evict your problem tenants, regardless as to how unpleasant the process is to evict them.

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Millwe

Nov-04-13 10:59 PM

I believe if the landlord ordinance would have been "introduced properly" to landlords along with the theory behind it (not just because it is used in Wilkes-Barre)with some educational material (google Landlord Training Program-US. Dept. of Justice)perhaps then the chances of actually fighting drug-related with this as part of the plan could work. My only problem is that the current administration fails, repeatedly, in many areas. I agree "its time to clean house" at City Hall. People who will generate new ideas, resources and methodology, a police department who work with the people and a unbiased mayor who has the ability and willingness to educate himself and his staff to serve the citizens of Williamsport. (my last visit to City Hall Human Resources Dept. illustrated only one example of "unprofessionalism" that is rampant in the current administration!

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fujack2

Nov-04-13 8:59 PM

Mr. Hilfirty I'm waiting to hear how the Pa.landlord/tenant law was gutted of its protections for tenants.

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BornHere

Nov-04-13 8:05 PM

Hello Mr. Hilfirty you would not be talking about Section 250.505a of the act would you?

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fujack2

Nov-04-13 4:57 PM

Cost the landlord... sorry typing on phone

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fujack2

Nov-04-13 4:51 PM

Even if a landlord tries to evict for just cause it is still a lengthy process. If you have a tenant that thinks they know something about the law it can take months to get them out. They can appeal first notice to vacate so the landlords hands are tied until it goes to a higher court. This whole time they can stay as long as they pay rent into the prothonatary. Only reason I got my tenant out was because he didn't pay the rent so appeal was terminated. This ordinance is going to do nothing but cause the landlord more money.

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fromtheport

Nov-04-13 4:50 PM

Magic i live next to 4 of my rentals and live in a property that would be a rental if i didnt live there. So dont speculate i would love too give any renter the chance to run my buisness and see the problems hassles and headaches landlords go through.

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Magic1

Nov-04-13 4:32 PM

Sorry for the typos, hard to type on these phones

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Magic1

Nov-04-13 4:30 PM

The police can't arrest these people without a little called just cause! Just cuz they are loud and destroy property doesn't allow the police to arrest. What this does as it was stated before gives the landlord ammunition in the eviction process. Now a good landlord would see this as helpful. The ones that have issue with it are the landlords that allow tenants to cause problems but don't do anything to stop it or are cheap that won't bring their properties up to code or barely to code. The ordinance doesn't ask the landlord to anything but to be responsible! How many of these landlords would put up with the type of tenants try rent to living next to them. How many would like to have drug deals happen next to them? How many of these landlords would allow peeling paint or whatever code violation in the house next to them? How many of you landlords would live in the properties you rent?!? The answer to all these questions is a big fat NONE!

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enigma

Nov-04-13 4:04 PM

Why is it that many of those on here who will scream bloody murder if you talk about touching their freedom are more than happy to deny freedom to landlords. aretesancus says that we haven't read the ordinance, but I did read what the mayor and council said it was, and it is a cop-out for them and an albatross around the necks of landlords. If these renters are committing crimes, the police should arrest them. If they are not,there is nothing the landlord can do, but when they do the landlord will be held accountable. That's the most ridiculous crime reduction strategy I've ever heard. It won't work, but it will make finding good rental housing hard to find in Williamsport. Time to clean house at City Hall.

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aretesancus

Nov-04-13 3:40 PM

Sounds like the letter writer and perhaps many posters here haven't bothered to even read the ordinance.

It's a fairly simple process: landlords are notified by the police of who the problem tenants are (from noise complaints, domestic disturbances, suspected criminal activity, etc). After a prescribed number of notifications, landlords who cannot demonstrate making tangible steps to address the problem-tenant would be subject to being cited.

And since the police have no authority to do a landlord's job -- that is, to evict -- ironically the police notifications to the landlords give the landlords ammunition to justify evicting the problem tenant.

That landlords claim to have no teeth to evict is irrelevant to this ordinance and is nothing more than an excuse to allow problem tenants to continue to rent from them. Because landlords don't like the cost, work, and process involved in evicting someone doesn't excuse them from their responsibility to evict their problem tenants

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garder54

Nov-04-13 2:57 PM

Don't like the rules? Don't rent! If the rules change, adapt or get out of the game. It is what it is.

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fromtheport

Nov-04-13 2:31 PM

Sorry about the spelling mistakes typing this on a phone, fat fingering every key.

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fromtheport

Nov-04-13 2:28 PM

@magic Holding people to living in one area to owna buisness or an investment is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Just because someone does not live in the area does not mean they dont have a vested in the area. Think of all the housing developers that are out of harrisburg or lancaster that put up housing, just because they dont live in the area doesnt mean they dont care. I have friends that own in williamsport and live in lewisburg, they want the area to do good to see rent and real estate values go up. I have a good size stock portfolio but I dont live on wall street, that doesnt mean I dont want my investment to do good. The only thing that ordinance does is make people not want to invest in williamsport. If you dont want people to invest in williamsport then move.

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fromtheport

Nov-04-13 2:20 PM

The landlord tenant act anow includes an additional 30days before the landlord is able to garnish wages, so 30 days after the eviction the phothonatary office has the landlord file a notice to execute judgement, then the tenant has 30 days from there to respond. Also with the notice is a form mailed that says if they fall under the federal poverty line of like 1400/month then the landlord can not garnish wages. If the tenant lies and claims he is under the fed poverty level, then it is up to the lanlord to go to court and provide proof that he is above that level. Basically it is near impossible to hold tenants responsible for anything.

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fromtheport

Nov-04-13 2:09 PM

People alwats blame landlords, when really williamsport has a problem with attracting quality tenants. I have been a landlord for 10 years and at first I fixed up everything nice put in tenants that I thought would be great, and every tenant messes up the place a little more because they very rarely can be held accountable in PA. So now when I buy a place I fix it up so it not a slum, but it's not the taj mahal either. I get the same quality tenants that I had when i put top line fixtures in the property, get the same rents, and it doesnt hurt as much when they move out and the place is messy.

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fujack2

Nov-04-13 1:51 PM

USABorn it wasn't about the money there were a few times he got behind on rent due to medical problems that I let him slide I could have evicted him then but didnt I worked with him and didn't make him pay some of it. The hoard showed up after he left other people move in without my knowledge and that is why he was evicted.

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enigma

Nov-04-13 1:29 PM

"Here's a thought, get rid of your rentals then you don't have to deal with the tenants or the city. Just a thought."-MountainGirl

Now that this ordinance is on the books, who is going to buy them? Would you buy a rental property that could be taken away from you if you rent it to the wrong person and the law forces you to rent it to the wrong person? The landlords in the city are between a rock and a hard place. You can't rent and you can't sell. You can't even abandon the property or you will be fined. Rental property in Williamsport has just been made worthless.

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fujack2

Nov-04-13 1:28 PM

USAborn I started eviction process before I was aware of the hoard.I was not aware of the hoard til codes went through on a rental inspection and condemned the place. The mess wasn't there 2 years earlier when I had my first rental inspection. When I collected rent I would go into his living room which always looked nice.

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USABorn

Nov-04-13 12:45 PM

fujack2 - 8:06 AM

"Also the expense of disposing of the property falls on the landlord. I went through the process with my tenant whom was a hoarder which left me with the task of cleaning out the property. There was over 4 tons of trash removed from the property and still need another dumpster to finish attic and basement."

As a renter, I have no objection to my landlord knocking on my door. My bed may not be made, and I may have a dish or two in the sink. But I don't think that is grounds to kick me out.

What I'm saying is, perhaps all that trash is your own fault!!!!! You or the rep that is overseeing your property. A mess like that doesn't occur overnight. Sounds to me like as long as the rent money was coming in, that was all that mattered.

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MountainGirl

Nov-04-13 11:13 AM

Here's a thought, get rid of your rentals then you don't have to deal with the tenants or the city. Just a thought.

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enigma

Nov-04-13 10:36 AM

Well Colin, that's what government does. When the fail at something, they pass the buck to someone else, and then punish them is they fail at the same thing the government failed at. Unfortunately, they pass the responsibility, but not the authority to resolve the problem.

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Magic1

Nov-04-13 10:26 AM

A landlord complain about a city ordinance when that landlord doesn't even live within the city. Said landlord doesn't have to deal with the dumps he rents and the unsavory people they rent to. Must be nice for them not so much for the neighbors do the properties

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fujack2

Nov-04-13 8:06 AM

Also the expense of disposing of the property falls on the landlord. I went through the process with my tenant whom was a hoarder which left me with the task of cleaning out the property. There was over 4 tons of trash removed from the property and still need another dumpster to finish attic and basement.

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