Proposed Rental Inspections Have Realtors and Landlords Upset
LEMOYNE, Pa- Realtors rallied Monday night against new rental property registration and inspection ordinance proposed by the Borough Ordinance and Zoning Committee.
The borough meeting room had thirty chairs, but additional chairs were added to accommodate the extra people attending to get their opinions heard on the proposed changes. The borough is suggesting an ordinance that would require all rental units within the borough limits to register with the township and be added to the list for inspection.
Council committee member Lynda Stark started the meeting by stating that the committee would only allow thirty minutes for the discussion on the rental property changes. She realized that many people in attendance wanted to discuss the topic, but there were other items to review so time would be limited. She then opened the room for questions, and the questions started flying.
Carlia Ebersole was the first to comment. She suggested that the additional costs of the inspections would be detrimental to the landlords. “Many people own more than one property and the costs could make them have to sell their property,” she said. The inspections would cost the owners $40 per year, and would only occur once every four years,” said Stark. “It’s not the small cost of the inspection that we are here to discuss, it’s the snow ball effect the inspections will cause,” said Bob Fox, Vice-Chair of the Greater Association of Realtors. “These inspection requirements are stringent and don’t seem to serve a purpose.”
Many of the realtors in attendance felt that the inspections surpassed other local township requirements and were unjustified. “You have a violation in here that says no more than one person for every forty square feet. We don’t want that either, but who is going to enforce it?” said Aaron Piscioneri, local real estate salesman. “We have it written in the leases but it gets violated constantly. Without the support of local authority, nothing can be done about it.”
The additional costs to bring the rental properties up to code would cause the landlord to have to increase the rent. Increasing the rents would be a disadvantage to all the landlords and make it difficult to compete with nearby townships rentals. “You will price us right out of the business,” said Fox. “We will be forced to sell our properties for less value due to this ordinance. Then you will get slum lords in here and really bad tenants.”
Council President, Robert Ihlein explained that this was a preliminary meeting. He appreciated all the suggestions and would invite everyone to email additional items they would like to see included or deleted from the requirements. “We are here for you, the owners of the buildings. We want to make the properties safe, but also keep Lemoyne a nice place to live, “said Ihlein.