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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!

The Power Of A Pen And A Smile

Who is more feared: the police officer or the code enforcement officer? Police officers have a tough job going after criminals and generally holding back the forces of anarchy. Yes, they too are used by politicians to "raise revenues" as allowed by the Commonwealth Of Pa. but appeals for a traffic ticket are very inexpensive and the judges are surprisingly fair (unless you really are a menace to society).

Code Enforcement Officers are another thing. They always are polite and take great pride in finding a torn screen, rusty bolt discoloring the siding, or some bizarre International Building Code violation born in California knowing, as in Pittston's case, that an appeal to the Board is more expensive than the permit (until you find out that you now need to bring everything up to the IRC 2009 standards). Besides, do we really believe the Cabal Board will be fair and impartial? Pittston City does have a history not exactly all about tomatoes.

A good recent example is a property on Center street Pittston. A disgruntled tenant, upset over the idea that rent was overdue (imaging THAT), called Code Enforcement Officer Harry Smith to get even with the owner. The REAL problem was the tenant who turned the place into a convenient dumpster. Smith placed orange stickers "unfit for human habitation" and ordered the tenant out...ooops guess that backfired huh! Good call on Smith's part...

But that wasn't enough for Code Enforcement. Smith continued to cite for other areas not related including a replaced section of fence installed 1 1/2 years ago now needing a zoning permit @ $50. Heck, that won't do either, because the owner can simply clean up the trash (dumpster permit $25) and a relative could move in once Smith peels the stickers off changing the occupancy to NOT being a rental.

And so Smith places a CONDEMNED sticker citing "UNSAFE STRUCTURE" Section 108.1.1 of the Property Maintenance Code which states that the structure is unstable and in danger of partial or complete collapse...a mobile home?? In an earthquake, a mobile home that's strapped down is safer than a brick home that COULD collapse. A mobile home is a vehicle - a trailer with wheels...Makes a person wonder just what the Pennsylvania UCC teaches inspectors in order to be qualified as structural inspectors.

Demolition permit @ $105. Of course then came the actual cost for demolition, landfill, etc.

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