A 2012 city ordinance requires owners of vacant commercial properties to post bonds covering any repairs the city is forced to make. But the Department of Licenses and Inspections isn't enforcing the law, a spokeswoman told The Inquirer, because property owners are having trouble securing bonds. This defeatist mentality excuses and encourages the property speculation that endangers the city's communities.
Property maintenance is a business expense. Legitimate real estate companies put money aside for it all the time. So why are Philadelphia's speculators getting a pass?
Instead of pitying speculators who don't want to pay for bonds, L&I officials should reserve more sympathy for neighborhoods plagued by rotting, dangerous buildings. Neglectful owners should have to produce more than vague promises that their blighted properties will be beautiful someday.