Carlisle’s proposed landlord ordinance sent to task force

Thank you to anyone who came out to the borough council meeting last night! A task force will be created to look at the ordinance and this is definitely a step in the right direction.  You can read the full story from the Sentinel below.

 

At the start of Thursday night’s Carlisle council meeting, President Sean Shultz made it clear that there would not be a decision to approve or vote down a proposed residential rental ordinance.

Instead, council opted to form a task force to study the concerns brought forth by two neighborhood associations and propose possible solutions to problems generated by rental properties.

The task force will be composed of homeowners, landlords, tenants and a representative from Dickinson College and will report back to council in six months with a recommendation.

Representatives from council, borough staff and the police department will serve as liaisons.

The task force meetings will be open to the public, Shultz said.

Lynn Helding, a SoSo (South of South) Neighorhood Association representative, said she’s in favor of the task force.

“If it means a good conversation and more research,” she said.

The borough will now work to appoint residents to the nine-member task force.

The proposed ordinance, created by members of the SoSo and the East Side Neighbors groups, would require that all residential rental units be registered and inspected the by borough.

‘Be prudent’

The meeting room in borough hall was filled to capacity with those interested in hearing about and voicing their thoughts on the ordinance.

Some who addressed council urged them to move forward cautiously.

“The word of the night should be prudent,” said John Bogonis, a Carlisle landlord.

He said the borough already has a number of codes in place that regulate all properties, not just rental units.

For example, the borough has a property maintenance ordinance.

Before codes officials can address a violation, it has to be evident from a public place – such as a road or sidewalk – seen during a routine patrol or received in a complaint. Inspections of a dwelling’s interior are not permitted until a violation is seen or a complaint is filed.

However, Helding said some tenants may not contact the borough concerning code violations for fear of retaliation from landlords.

During her presentation, she said the ordinance will not only make living conditions better for tenants but would benefit the entire borough.

At the end, Helding asked those in the audience to raise their hands if they thought the ordinance was a good idea. The majority raised their hands.

Landlord Mike Adler was quick to admit that there are some bad landlords out there who don’t keep up with their properties.

“Irresponsible landlords have to be held accountable,” he said.

But, he added, it makes no sense to lump in the good landlords with the bad ones.

To sign up for the residential rental ordinance task force, e-mail Steve Hietsch, borough manager, at shietsch@carlislepa.org, or send a letter to borough hall, 53 W. South St., Carlisle PA 17013.

Include your name, contact information and why you want to be part of the task force.

Read full story here

 

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