NEPA Landlord Tenant Association
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NEPA Landlord Tenant Homeowner Association Blog

 

 
 

Commentary on issues regarding property rights, this blog relays information on events past, present, and into the future in Northeast PA (USA). While facts are presented, an opinion may be thrown in the mix to make things more interesting. Corrections are welcomed by using the comments -  as long as we see documents to back it up.

As far as the comment part of this blog, we appreciated hearing from people literally all over the world! We generally don't publish the comments though because this is a local blog. Even so, comments published are rare unless they add to the story or a correction is needed and information sent was confirmed. Glad you're enjoying it though! We STILL have some freedoms here and intend to exercise them at will!




NEPA Landlord Tenant Homeowner Association

The LTA and Pittston City counsels met today concerning the ordinance changes and issues landlords who attended the LTA meeting have. While the suggestions to modifications are an on going process, Pittston is applauded for reaching out to the people (via Landlord Tenant Association) giving us a voice.

Please do participate whether directly or though the LTA!


 


Why doesn't someone do something...?

Isn't that the $ 64,000 question? Governments at all levels pass laws that affect us all at some point in our lives. Generally, the intention, when not grounded on constitutional principles, goes from well meaning to oppressive.

When a small group started out helping to protect the rights of landlords and tenants in NEPA from the abuses of local governments passing ordinances such as the Chronic Nuisance Property ordinance (Pittston, Pa) and Wikes-Barre's "one-strike from a tenant and you lose your property" ordinance designed to make problem tenants move to another apartment in W/B, the Landlord Tenant Association didn't realize that homeowners and the rights of homeowners were just as targeted. So our efforts include all property ownership.

FEDERAL SUPREME COURT: Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)

It has been ruled that the use of eminent domain for economic development does not violate the public use clauses of the state and federal constitutions. Our wacky US Supreme Court held that if a legislative body has found that an economic project will create new jobs, increase tax and other city revenues, and revitalize a depressed urban area (even if that area is not blighted), then the project serves a public purpose, which qualifies as a public use!

ENTER the Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania: (And why voting counts!)

In 2006, as a reaction to this federal decision, Pennsylvania adopted the "PROPERTY RIGHTS PROTECTION ACT", senate bill 881.

This bill introduced a clearly tightened definition of the term “blight”. The bill prohibits the taking of private property for private enterprises, while also placing a timeline and limits on the use of the term blight.

In addition, this bill states that agricultural property cannot be deemed blight unless the Agricultural and Condemnation Approval Board determines that eminent domain is necessary to protect the health and safety of a community or neighborhood. However, the bill has some drawbacks concerning certain municipalities and counties in the state that have authority to condemn property that have already been deemed blighted under urban renewal laws (not to be confused with the power to deem a new property blighted). Just a few of the excluded cities are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and luckily this provision will expire within the next decade.

Since Kelo v. City of New London,

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has taken significant measures to help protect and uphold the right to own private property. Timelines, limitations and restrictions on condemning authorities have helped curb eminent domain abuse in the state, and will hopefully bring future legislative reform to the state of Pennsylvania.

Summary

Local governments in Pennsylvania rightfully need to be careful about using eminent domain as the state government's position is property ownership protectors, something the US Supreme Court would rather see.
In addition, the local government's use of PA's Uniform Construction Code as a law enforcement tool (remove the occupancy permit) is clearly not part of the the intent of Chapter 403 of the adopted code, which is the safety of a structure. In addition, Pennsylvania did NOT adopt the "Property Maintenance Code" as law leaving each municipality open to individual suits depending on the abuse.
While the NEPA Landlord Tenant and Homeowner Association's desire is high standards for landlords and tenants, we need to address the impediment to progress put forth by misguided individuals in local governments. One of the goals besides litigation and state engagement is getting the least intrusive politicians in government that will facilitate a better business atmosphere.

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