apartment, landlord, real estate

New law in Pennsylvania

There was a new law passed in Pennsylvania concerning carbon monoxide detectors.  This law affects home owners and renters.  Here is a summary:  Every residential unit must have an operational carbon monoxide detector centrally located in the vicinity of the bedrooms and one near any fossil burning heater, appliance or fireplace withing 18 months of December 18, 2013.

Each device must comply with Approved American National Standards for single and multiple station carbon monoxide alarms.   For sale of property, the seller must disclose information about the devices.

Landlords must provide and install the alarms, replace broken or missing alarms (before re-renting), ensure that batteries are working before renting, and maintain units while property is vacant.

Tenants must maintain the devices while they live in a residence.

Some thoughts/questions:  Does a device need to be near a gas stove? Gas fireplace? Gas dryer?  My house has a gas furnace and water heater which are next to each other – I need one there, that is clear.  I have two gas fireplaces, a gas dryer, and a gas stove – all of these are in different rooms and floors.  Do I need one in each area?

The devices can be electric or battery.  Many of the battery operated ones require 3 AA batteries.  That should be fun to maintain in rental units!

apartment, landlord, property management, real estate

Some things never change

I have been answering rental calls for over 30 years.  From the beginning I have answered questions, given directions and discussed units for rent.  From the beginning, callers have talked and listened and then replied, “wait a minute, let me get a pen so I can write that down.  Ok, can you repeat that?”

I often want to say, “Really?  You called me.  Why didn’t you get prepared before calling?”

Some things never change. . .



More people moving to rentals


More make the move to rentals

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More make the move to rentals


Country Manor, a new luxury apartment community in Millersville, is one of the latest projects to meet the demand for rentals here. (Jeff Ruppenthal/Sunday News)



More make the move to rentals 
Rental percentages by municipality (PDF)


Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012 12:15 am |Updated: 11:46 pm, Thu Sep 12, 2013.

PAULA WOLF Staff Writer

A decade ago, when Gary Chaney moved to Lancaster County from Wisconsin, he leased a townhouse in Millcreek Manor.

He’s been in the Lancaster Township rental community ever since.

Chaney works in mergers and acquisitions for New Holland Co., and because he travels a lot, doesn’t want to worry about maintaining a property.

“There’s no snow-shoveling or lawn-mowing,” he said.

A former homeowner, Chaney said his rental unit is plenty big enough, with three bedrooms, a basement and a deck.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/more-make-the-move-to-rentals/article_51e90415-2200-5f9f-8726-28cdb38880af.html


Rental licenses in small town America

Crowd attends rental hearing

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Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 5:43 pm


GARY P. KLINGER Record Express Correspondent

Staff Writer


It was standing room only in Lititz Borough Council chambers Tuesday evening for the hearing on a new rental inspection ordinance.

Council is considering the borough’s first ordinance of this kind which, if enacted, would require landlords to license each residential rental once a year and inspect every third year. A hearing is required by law before council can vote to approve such an ordinance.


Tuesday evening’s hearing was open to all Lititz residents to attend and provide feedback to council. As explained by council president Karen Weibel, it was not a format for debate or back-and-forth dialogue but simply a means of council gauging public support. Homeowners, landlords and tenants were invited to attend and to speak.

“Tonight’s hearing is not a venue for long questions or answers or dialogue,” said Weibel. “Please call the borough and ask for an appointment with staff to go over this and better explain the proposed ordinance. Council will take no action on this proposal this evening.”

The proposed ordinance calls for an annual licensing fee of $40 per rental unit. Inspection of Residential Rental Units would cost $50 every other year. Under the schedule of fees, unit re-inspection would cost $35, no-show inspection fee would be $50 and the inspection appeal fee would be $500. A fine of $500 would be levied for allowing occupancy after a license has been revoked with each month considered a separate violation. A $500 fine would also be levied for failure to obtain a rental license within 30 days of a notice of violation. And a $1,000 fine could be issued for violations or any other provisions of the ordinance.

The nine-page draft ordinance lays out four basic reasons for borough consideration of the matter at this time.

“There is a greater incident of problems with the maintenance and upkeep of residential properties which are not owner-occupied as compared to those that are owner-occupied,” the draft stated. “The borough is concerned with the condition of a property when EMS responds, and for the safety of the EMS responders and general safety of the tenants. The borough is unaware of the exact number of tenant-occupied residences, with knowledge of such used for the accountability and safety of the tenants and landlords. Borough records indicate there are a greater number of disturbances at residential rental units than at owner-occupied units.”

Council member Todd Fulginiti, who had been very active in the process of drafting the new ordinance, addressed the group prior to receiving testimony.

“With nearly 40 percent of borough citizens living in rented housing, the borough believes it will be beneficial to the community to institute a rental inspection program,” stated Fulginiti. “A committee was formed to investigate this issue and was later assigned the task of drafting the ordinance we are discussing tonight. Business and industries that provide for basic human needs are often regulated by government guidelines that aim to insure the health and safety of consumers. Examples of this include the food and health care industries.”

Read More: http://lancasteronline.com/news/crowd-attends-rental-hearing/article_327f37bc-9264-5a81-884b-d571eb60eb88.html