the barcode printer: free barcode generator

Sunday, August 11, 2013


From the Times Leader…

Mayor Tom Leighton announced at a press conference Thursday the city’s plans to set tough standards for rental property owners and renters eyed as the cause of a rise in violent crime. In the works is a “one-strike” policy related to gun and drug charges for landlords and tenants that will result in a six-month shutdown of an apartment or entire building. City council must approve the ordinance at two readings before it can be

End Times Leader excerpt.

Despite the online criticism of this news, Pennsylvania has on it’s books a piece of legislation known as the Expedited Eviction of Drug Trafficking Act. Under this law, when a property is eligible for prosecution under the Expedited Eviction of Drug Traffickers law based on illegal drug activity occurring at the premise, the City and DA of Pittsburgh notify the landlord that they have 10 days to initiate eviction proceedings under that law.

The point being, our mayor and council are not peeing into any headwinds with this one-strike idea.
Much like other states, Pennsylvania has strict eviction laws. Failure to pay rent, excessive disorderly conduct, willful destruction or damage to property, habitual lateness in paying rent, violation of rules and regulations outlined in a lease or document, and the tenant's conviction for a drug offense are all legal reasons why a landlord can evict a resident. In fact, some states are quick to evict.

In some cities, tenants residing in subsidized housing are subject to an expedited eviction if they are found to be in possession of a firearm. And this has been upheld in the courts, with the rationale being that subsidized housing is a privilege, not a right.

It is common today for residential leases to contain language providing, “if resident, resident’s family, employees, agents, guests, or invitees engage in, permit or facilitate any drug-related criminal activity on or about the premises or within the apartment community, resident will be deemed to have substantially and materially breached its lease and such breach being grounds to terminate resident’s occupancy of the premises.”

Here’s an excerpt from the PA law…

The Act provides three eviction remedies to landlords -- complete eviction, partial eviction and conditional eviction. G.S. §42-63 provides that a Court may order the complete eviction of the tenant and "all other residents of the tenant's individual unit" named in the landlord's suit for eviction, provided the landlord can prove any of the following:

1. Criminal activity has occurred in the tenant's unit;

2. The tenant's unit has been used to promote criminal activity in any manner;

3. The tenant or any guest or household member of the tenant has engaged in criminal activity anywhere on the property where the tenant's unit is located;

4. The tenant has invited any person previously evicted and barred from the premises to return or re-enter any portion of the property where the tenant's unit is located; or

5. The tenant has failed to immediately notify law enforcement officials or the landlord upon learning that a person who was previously evicted and barred from the premises has returned or re-entered the tenant's unit or any portion of the property where the tenant's unit is located.

Commencement of an action in the Court of Common Pleas differs greatly than typical procedures at the local Magistrate District Court level. For instance, at the county level, the matter is commenced by filing a verified, fact-specific Complaint with the Prothonotary in accordance with the local Rules of Court, as opposed to a form-driven Landlord & Tenant Complaint. In most instances, the Sheriff makes service of the Complaint personally on the Defendant, who then has twenty (20) days within which to file a response. beginning stages of drafting the Complaint, to commencement of the action, and through to its completion.

End excerpt.

Look, in an urban setting, we’ve all got to follow the rules if we expect a fair measure of peace and tranquility. And we all know that one property gone public nuisance can negatively affect the quality of life on an entire street, or in a neighborhood. In addition, we all have that one rental property nearby that attracts loser after loser after loser, meaning the property owner doesn’t the vet prospective tenants very well, if at all.

I don’t care what the ACLU has to say. And I don’t care about the useless speculation coming from the mayor’s most ardent of critics.

People have rights, they say? Yeah, well so do we all. We all have the right to live our lives in a drug-free neighborhood and without bullets being haphazardly and carelessly sprayed in every direction.

With property ownership comes responsibility. And it’s high time that the absentee landlords step up and conduct their affairs in a responsible manner.

Mayor Leighton, the proportion of tenants to home owners in this city demands that you see this thing through. Take those chronic offenders, pack them up and expedite them all back to Camden. And tell them to take their f’ing slumlords with them.

Sez me, Markie in Parsons.


No comments: