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Councilman Wants Landlords’ Properties Up To Code Before They Get A License

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Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia City Council will look at closing a little loophole in which property owners who don’t keep their houses up to code can still receive a landlord’s license.

Councilman at large Bill Greenlee says it happens far too frequently: a landlord who doesn’t bother to repair a property and gets citations from the city still receives a license to rent the property.

“It’s happened many times. We’ve gotten many calls in the office about it.”

So, Greenlee has introduced a bill that closes the loophole, requiring a property owner to have the building up to code before obtaining what’s called a ‘Housing Inspection license.’

“You could not get the license until you cleared up the violations.”

To Greenlee, it’s just common sense. “If you’re getting a license from the city, you should be paying attention to city laws.”

Darrell Zaslow, the attorney for the local group representing landlords, HAPCO, says they’re supportive of all attempts by Council to license landlords, so long as the process if fair.  He says the group will review the measure closely before the measure is debated in committee.

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