On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, the Hazleton City Council considered a rental inspection ordinance. The ordinance would have required city inspections of every rental property in the City. The Ordinance was tabled by a unanimous vote of Council after numerous landlords, including the Hazleton Area Landlords Association, brought various facts to the attention of council.
A fair amount of discussion focused on the legal principle that the City could not use a measure like this as an income generator. I believe that Council lost much of their enthusiasm for this proposal when it became apparent that the fees imposed on landlords could not be used to close budget gaps or fund other projects.
Equally disturbing to Council was the news that prior ordinances had not worked. City employees reported to Council during the meeting that the 2006 rental registration ordinance had not been successful in obtaining addresses and registrations from every landlord with property in the city. Hundreds of property owners remain out of compliance with that measure. Council has not found the answer to the question of how the City would be able to conduct inspections of every unit when it could not ensure compliance with a simple registration ordinance.
More information was reported in the Hazleton Standard Speaker.
The following clip is from WYLN.