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NEWS
March 22, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
October 2, 1992 | by Paul Maryniak, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 25, 1990 | By Richard Kleiman, Special to The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
December 6, 2000 | By Kayce T. Ataiyero, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
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.
NEWS
January 19, 1994 | By Sophia Lezin, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
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.
NEWS
July 17, 1986 | By Dominic Sama, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
January 22, 1987 | By Sara Robins, Special to The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
June 27, 1986 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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BUSINESS
July 28, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
Philadelphia landlords urged a federal judge Tuesday to nullify all outstanding gas liens linked to deadbeat tenants, a move PGW said could drastically alter its business and increase the bills of customers in good standing. Lawyers for five landlords asked a federal judge to include all city landlords in his March ruling, which declared that Philadelphia Gas Works' manner of placing liens on rental properties for debts owed by tenants is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner ruled in March that landlords did not receive due process when the city-owned PGW failed to provide sufficient notice that their tenants were behind in payments, and that landlords would be held liable.
NEWS
July 11, 2016 | By Valerie Russ, Staff Writer
One landlord speaking before the Philadelphia Historical Commission on Friday said there was nothing special about a block of 1870s twin rowhouses on Chestnut Street near 41st. "These are just your basic West Philadelphia rowhouses," argued Eapen Kalathil, principal owner of one of the twins being considered for historic designation. "They are plain brick houses, with no porches. " But Kalathil did not win his argument. The commission voted to place his property at 4054 Chestnut St. and two other twins on the block - 4050 and 4052 - on the city's historic register.
NEWS
May 16, 2016 | By Allison Steele, Staff Writer
Camden officials are hoping to double the size of the city's Department of Code Enforcement through a partnership with Camden County that would target deadbeat landlords, unsafe buildings, and other quality-of-life issues. The proposed shared-services agreement, which must be approved by City Council, would provide up-front funding from the county for an estimated 10 to 12 part-time building inspectors who would work only in Camden, as well as for training, vehicles, and technology such as handheld tablets, allowing inspectors to file electronic reports.
BUSINESS
May 7, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
A federal judge has ordered Philadelphia Gas Works to stop dunning landlords for their tenants' unpaid gas bills until a long-term solution to the city's unconstitutional collection method can be sorted out. U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner, in an order filed Thursday, enjoined the city-owned utility from filing liens on any residential or commercial properties except those where the property owner is the delinquent PGW customer. That is a broad group of customers that would include rental properties.
NEWS
March 22, 2016 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
December 28, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Staff Writer
Thousands of customers have billing disputes with utilities. What sets Chester landlord Daniel P. Vermeychuk apart is the sheer scale of the amount Peco Energy Co. says he owes: about $100,000. For more than a decade, Peco and Vermeychuk have been feuding over unpaid gas and electric bills. Between 2008 and 2011, Vermeychuk closed six accounts, and Peco transferred the balances to other accounts in his name. In April 2013, Peco sued Vermeychuk in Delaware County Court to recover the accumulated debt, the largest amount owed by a residential customer.
NEWS
October 29, 2015 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
AN ORDINANCE that would require landlords to give tenants 60 days' notice before raising rents and require tenants to give 30 days' notice if they choose not to renew a lease won approval from a City Council committee yesterday. The legislation's "reasonable notice" provision for rent hikes is needed because no such notice is required under city law, while tenants are now required to give only 10 days' notice to terminate a lease, said Councilman Bill Greenlee, the bill's sponsor.
BUSINESS
September 5, 2015 | By Jacob Adelman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Center City's unionized office cleaners, maintenance workers, and other building-service staffers say they want to share in the benefits of an improving commercial real estate sector as they begin negotiations on a new labor contract. Members need to earn more to support their families and cannot afford the bigger payments for medical insurance sought by employers, Daisy Cruz, mid-Atlantic district leader for SEIU 32BJ, the local of the Service Employees International Union, told at least 100 workers at a rally on Thursday ahead of the talks.
NEWS
August 25, 2015
N ATALIE VANE, 31, of Center City, founded Coshare, which specializes in turning vacant spaces into vibrant shops until landlords find permanent tenants. Vane, a 2015 Wharton MBA grad, started the company in January and opened her first Coshare shop in July at 1921 Walnut St. The landlord recently found a permanent tenant and Vane is talking with landlords about another Coshare space, which she expects to open by mid-September. Q: How'd you come up with the idea? A: I'd walk along Walnut and Chestnut streets and see vacant storefronts.
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