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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!




WHY JOIN?

WHY JOIN?

First, consider that as an individual citizen, you really don't have a say at the federal level. Local governing STILL affords the opportunity to address concerns --- IF you participate. Because people have NOT participated, ordinances (thanks to Home Rule) are being passed that are affecting our lives in a negative way.

As a coordinated group, an association of the like minded, we can better address the issues by using a logical-systematic process. With local governments trying to deal with the overwhelming demographic shift in the populations and the crime concerns, landlords and tenants are the targets.

Since law enforcement has warrant limitations, it's only logical to see landlords as a way to control who the tenants are by forcing landlords to include "anytime" inspections of occupancy which may end up costing the landlord not only in fines and loss of business, but possible lawsuits from forcing tenants to sign a bad lease agreement. What a great way to get to know the ACLU!

If the concern really were safety, would they not inspect homes as well? They absolutely could via administrative warrants – very general look around for safety concerns type of invasions.

As with most municipalities, there are three justifications for inspections:

1. Initial

2. Bi-annual

3. OTHER (use your imagination)

Consider Hazelton:

SECTION (8): INSPECTIONS

(e) The "Inspector" OR Code Enforcement Officer may also inspect units upon any of the following occurrences:

(1) Upon receipt of complaints; and/OR

(2) For ANY reasonable cause. (Note: reasonable cause allows for an Administrative Warrant that can be broad (safety check, general welfare, report of ghost, etc)

Hazelton's Ordinance: CLICK HERE

Inspectors defined:

The Police Chief, any Police Officer, Code Enforcement Officer, Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chiefs, Health Officers, and Director of Public Works…Yes, how amazing that all the above are certified building inspectors!

WHO calls in complaints?

Anybody - anonymously. It could be legitimate, but there is room for abuse. From neighbors who don't like the occupant's ethnicity to political hacks who keep track of landlords that don't donate to the “correct” party, landlords are very vulnerable.

Regardless, the tenant is at the receiving end since they have to move whether guilty or not (no due process). Fees imposed by government will get passed on to the tenants making housing un-affordable for many poor.

While homeowners may see this as a great way to take back the neighborhood, keep in mind that PA's Uniform Construction Code statute does not mention landlords/tenants but does ALL buildings...all homes. It's a matter of will and resources to do so, but they have authority from PA to do so.

By the way, Hazelton announced that they would not be inspecting Section 8 housing. How cool is that? Accept whomever section 8 sends to your approved housing and you don't go through the hassles! And people wonder why Hazelton is a magnet for crime!

The NEPA LTA's goal therefore, is to guide and assist landlord members to provide the best safest affordable housing while raising the standard for tenants. With each city we wish to create a model where government and business work together keeping individual investors in business and housing affordable.


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