March 22, 2016 |
A federal judge has ruled in favor of several landlords who were dunned by Philadelphia Gas Works for money owed by their deadbeat tenants, declaring the utility's system of placing liens on landlords' properties to be unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner, in a summary judgment posted Friday afternoon, ruled that landlords' property interests "are clearly being unconstitutionally compromised" by PGW's collection process. The landlords sued in 2014, arguing that PGW's practice of slapping liens on rental properties with little or no notification leaves property owners scant recourse to defend themselves or to pressure their tenants to pay. In some cases, the tenants are long gone, and the landlords are left holding the bag for unpaid gas bills on top of unpaid rent.
January 9, 1987
The homeless were not always homeless. To the reasons enumerated in The Inquirer's excellent editorial of Dec. 28 I would add the insatiable greed of landlords who raise rents year in and year out and force many tenants to become homeless. Having profiteered from the appreciation of their property, landlords use every tax increase as an excuse to raise rents higher and higher. During the last 10 years, rents have nearly doubled. It is high time the city enacted rent restrictions to curb the greed of landlords and prevent further homelessness.
October 2, 1992 |
The recent bout of unseasonably cool weather is prompting city inspectors to put the heat on landlords. Tenants of duplexes and multi-family dwellings are complaining to the Department of Licenses and Inspections that landlords are refusing to turn on their heat. And those complaints are sending L&I inspectors to the landlords with a warning: Turn up the thermostats or risk an immediate date in court. "The message to landlords should be loud and clear," said Robert Solvibile, chief of contracting services for the department.
October 25, 1990 |
Since Aug. 8, West Chester landlord Sally Biehn Blevins has spent part of her time digging through her tenants' trash looking for stray aluminum cans, glass and plastic, she says. On that date, the West Chester Borough Council adopted amendments to its recycling ordinance making landlords - and their agents - with buildings of three or fewer rental units reponsible if their tenants threw away items that could be recycled. During a special meeting Monday of the council's public-works committee, angry landlords and property managers for absentee landlords who own buildings in the borough told Councilmen Mitchell Crane and James L'heureux that the amended ordinance discriminated against them.
December 6, 2000 |
The neighbors want peace, the landlords want a profit, and the township wants proposals that will make both groups happy. And that has proven a difficult task for officials wrestling with the township's student-housing problem. Their mission: to control the number of student-rental properties - and the public nuisance that neighbors say they pose - while addressing landlords' concerns. So far, officials' efforts have met with little success. "The student-housing problem has become not only a quality-of-life but a safety issue as well," Commissioner Lisa Paolino-Adams said at a public hearing at the board's Nov. 27 meeting.
January 19, 1994 |
Two weeks after a group of tenants tried to determine the whereabouts of their landlord, who had left them without heat, the borough council passed a motion last night requiring building owners to properly register themselves. The vote came after Paulsboro police searched for the landlord of an apartment building at 101 W. Broad St., where 16 tenants, including children and a pregnant woman, were left without heat. According to Lt. Ken Ridinger of the borough police, the landlord, Linda J. Moore, 41, was arrested Jan. 12 for leaving her tenants heatless on the icy days of Jan. 4-6. The woman, who gave a Thorofare post office box as her address and was thought to reside with her parents in the first block of Peachwood Drive in Swedesboro, was charged with cruelty to children.
July 17, 1986 |
A new housing-code provision in Radnor Township puts the burden on landlords to limit the number of unrelated tenants in the houses they rent. The provision, township officials acknowledge, is aimed at landlords who rent to college students. The township's zoning code already restricts the number of unrelated people in households, allowing one nonfamily member, defined as someone not related by blood, marriage or law. The Radnor commissioners on Monday night voted 6-0 to adopt an amendment to the housing code that places the burden of compliance on landlords.
January 9, 1986
In a bureaucracy as large as the one that operates in Philadelphia, it's not too difficult to understand that the right hand doesn't always know what the left hand is doing. But that fact of life frequently works against the best interests of the citizens - and the city itself. Consider, for example, the bits and pieces of information collected by each city agency. The Water Department knows that service to a particular property has been shut off due to lack of payment. Fire officials know that they have been summoned repeatedly to that same address.
January 22, 1987 |
For the first time in recent memory, landlords in Clifton Heights may have to pay annual rental-permit fees. At Monday night's meeting, Borough Council members voted 8-0 to consider a proposal to collect fees of $17 for each apartment and $6 for each room. "It's not only a good way to check on the actual number of rental units in the borough, but it also allows us to see if the units are in livable condition," said Clifton Heights engineer F.C. Walton. A similar ordinance has been on the books in Clifton Heights since 1973, although officials say it has rarely been enforced, Claire McCann, borough clerk, said Tuesday.
June 27, 1986 |
On most mornings this month, when Sheila Dillard prepared the formula for her 2-month-old baby, she grabbed a bucket or a jar and walked around the corner to the fire hydrant. It was the closest source of water. Since May 30, the 20 families who live in the Dana Courts apartments at 34th and Rosedale Streets in Camden have had no water in their spigots. They have kept a bucket by the toilet. They have washed themselves and their children with water they've lugged from the hydrant.