Landlord complains about inspections
A landlord from Coaldale says the borough’s rental inspections single out landlords unfairly.
Daniel Gould said he thinks the inspections are too strict and take place too often.
The town recently hired Systems Design Engineering to handle rental inspections.
“I don’t mind the inspection, I just can’t see it being inspected so many times,” he said.
The borough recently hired Systems Design Engineering to inspect the approximately 150 rental properties located in the borough.
Inspections cost $75. If the property is approved, the next inspection is conducted in two years. If it fails, or the owner doesn’t show for the inspection, the borough charges $75 for a follow-up.
Gould said inspections should take place when a tenant moves in or out of a property, not on an arbitrary schedule.
Councilwoman Claire Remington said there are properties, even located on Gould’s block, where tenants are moving in and out every few months. She said the new inspection schedule is aimed at keeping their landlords in check.
“It’s working out better and it’s weeding out these people, it’s weeding out some of these slum landlords, and preventing them from buying more properties,” she said.
At least one landlord with multiple properties has been a no-show for inspections, borough officials said. They will be charged $75 for each property that requires a follow-up inspection.
The borough created a checklist for property owners laying out what they would be expected to provide. The list includes carbon monoxide detectors on each level, and interconnected smoke alarms.
Gould said he thinks few owner-occupied homes in the town would pass the inspection.
“Some of the things these people want inspected, half of the houses in Coaldale wouldn’t pass. You guys want a lot of stuff done,” he said.
Gould also questioned whether the borough is inspecting the public housing units owned by Schuylkill County, or the Colonial Square apartments. Council’s attorney Robert Yurchak said under the ordinance, if they’re a landlord, they are required to have their units inspected under the ordinance.
Gould said businesses should also be subject to inspections. Yurchak said businesses have to get health inspections and others.
Gould said he couldn’t believe that he was the only landlord in the borough who complained.
“No, everybody complains,” Remington said.