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.
December 28, 2015 |
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.
October 29, 2015 |
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.
September 5, 2015 |
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.
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.
August 8, 2015 |
A property manager for a Moorestown real estate agency was arrested this week in connection with allegations that he stole money from landlords and tenants, officials said Thursday. Randal S. Maher of Cherry Hill is accused of misappropriating nearly $190,000 by keeping rent intended for landlords who had contracted with the agency, tenants' security deposits, and other money, authorities said. Maher, 40, an employee of Re/Max Main Street Realty, also allegedly created a company, S.J. Property Management, and a related website to improperly collect and retain money.
May 19, 2015
O FO EZEUGWU, 23, a Temple grad from North Philadelphia, is co-founder and CEO of Whose Your Landlord. The Web app enables renters to find their next home and review landlords, housing complexes and college residence halls before signing a lease. Q: How'd you come up with the idea? A: I studied entrepreneurship and thought about how we could help students make informed decisions about where to live and have real-time information about landlords before signing a lease.
March 14, 2015 |
Two bills proposed to City Council on Thursday would result in scads of new trash and recycling receptacles being placed across Philadelphia in an effort to curb the city's litter problem. Under the first bill, any business that sells packaged or prepared foods for takeout would have to put both a trash and recycling bin within 10 feet of the front door. The second bill would make landlords of buildings with six or more units provide a communal trash and recycling receptacle for tenants.
January 11, 2015 |
As the elderly live longer, baby boomers stay in their homes as they age, and veterans with disabilities congregate in cities, expect to see an increase in assistance animals - even if your apartment or condo building doesn't allow pets. Such animals are not pets, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but companions who work, assist or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Assistance animals, also known as service animals, guide individuals who are blind or have low vision, alert the deaf or hard-of-hearing to sound, pull wheelchairs, fetch medication, and alert humans to impending seizures or problem blood-sugar levels by smelling their owners' breath.
January 10, 2015 |
For years, landlords tried to coax Target to open one of its big-box stores in the heart of Philadelphia. Each time they failed, daunted by the difficulty of plunking a store the size of two football fields into a packed downtown. That chase appears to have come to an end, with a much smaller version called Target Express now looking to make a splash at multiple locations in the hottest pockets of redevelopment near Philadelphia's core. Target Corp. is hunting for lease deals in Center City and University City to build what could be as many as four of the new stores, which are about one-sixth the size of a suburban Target.