Friday, August 27, 2010

Highspire enacts rental inspection ordinance;

Last week, on August 17th, Highspire Borough enacted its rental inspection ordinance, requiring investors to pay for inspections of their properties once every three years and pay $75.00 per inspection per unit.

I and a representative of GHAR attended the meeting and raised many of the concerns that I have featured on this blog.

In particular, I pointed out that section 1 of the ordinance contained factual findings regarding the condition of rental properties in the Borough. I asked that the public be told the factual basis for these findings prior to any vote. I argued that the basis for any factual finding should be provided to Council before the Council actually votes. There was no answer to this inquiry.

I pointed out also the potential for reducing real estate values as a result of increased costs imposed by this ordinance.

I reminded the Council of the failure of Harrisburg's inspection ordinance over the past 15 years. In the only response of the evening (aside from the unanimous vote in favor of the ordinance), councilwoman Dorothy Matesevac stated that Highspire was not Harrisburg. As John Wayne pointed out in Rio Bravo, "I'm gonna remember you said that."

The very differences between urban and suburban areas are what require municipalities to document any factual findings regarding the condition of rental properties before adopting an ordinance of this sort. Stay tuned for further developments.

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