Friday, March 18, 2011

Middletown Borough considering a voluntary rental inspection program.

The Middletown Borough Council President wants to initiate a voluntary rental inspection program for investors:
Middletown Borough Council President Diana McGlone wants to establish a voluntary apartment inspection program.

Her idea, which is in its infancy, is to encourage landlords to have their properties inspected and, in return, those that pass would be placed on a star list of rentals on the borough’s website. Listed properties would be more attractive to renters, said McGlone, who is one of a few council members who owns rental properties in the borough.

While a voluntary program would eliminate most of the legal problems associated with the inspection programs of other municipalities, such a program would create new legal challenges while probably leading to a mandatory program in the future. I am not sure that the Borough wants to be in the business of recommending particular properties to the general public as the "star list" proposal seems to imply.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Higher District Justice jurisdictional limit in Pennsylvania

As of January 2011, Magisterial District Justices in Pennsylvania can hear cases involving claims as high as $12,000.00. The old limit was $8,000.00, where it had remained since roughly the mid-1990's.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pennsylvania HB 377; residential sprinkler requirement.

House Bill 377 today passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 154-39. The bill now moves on to the Pennsylvania Senate.

Click here for the history of this bill.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Flood watches for Central Pennsylvania; implications for Seller disclosures.

The National Weather Service has issued flood watches this weekend for numerous counties in Central Pennsylvania (and beyond).

There are specific disclosure requirements for properties that endure flooding in any amount.

Click here for advice for buyers and sellers of flood prone properties and here for additional information regarding the seller's disclosure.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

House Bill 377 passes Labor and Industry Committee;

Click here for information on Pennsylvania House Bill 377. This bill seeks the repeal of Pennsylvania's newly enacted sprinkler requirement for new home construction. HB 377 was reported out of the House Labor and Industry Committee last week and is expected to be voted on by the full House early this coming week.

The full text of HB 377 can be found here.

update - PAR has issued a "call to action" in support of Bill 377.