Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Idea for Neighborhood Pride

One of the things that is quite apparent when one walks through Center City is that people just do not care. Dirty streets, slum rentals, broken dangerous sidewalks, ugly wooden fire escapes from attic that slumlords have converted to bedrooms to eke a few more dollar to sate their greed - these all scream that the people that live here, and those that are planning on retiring from the proceeds of others misery just do not care.

How can rental tenants take pride int heir neighborhood when the slumlord they rent from skirts the law by not registering the property? How can they have a sense of pride when their house is dilapidated? Being poor is not a crime.

For instance, I have neighbors that I will use as an example. The owner of their house has refused to register it with the city. With city cutbacks in manpower, nobody apparently is going after these landlords, and forcing them to bring their rentals up to code.

These tenants are neat, clean, and do their best to maintain their house. the landlord, on the other hand, had to be forced to repair a leaky roof, and even then did not do the job properly. The carpet in the house is worn through to the bare floor. The house needs to be painted, and it needs new windows. The windows do not even have screens, as required by code. I understand bedrooms do not have doors, as required.

The city needs to clamp down on landlords - to search out unregistered rentals and immediately come down on these scofflaws. The fine for not registering a rental needs to be punitive - $1,000 for the first offense seems like a good place to start.

They need to then be forced to bring the apartment up to code in 30 days, and if the apartment is uninhabitable, they need to be forced to pay for the relocation of their tenants into suitable units at the same rent.

Sidewalks are the responsibility of the landlord - make these landlords bring sidewalks up to code. If the paint on the aluminum siding is faded, it is time for a fresh coat of paint.

No more allowing attics to be converted into sleeping quarters, unless the landlord can do it with a sprinkler system. These ugly fire escapes have to go.

When the streets and the neighborhood like nice and presentable, landlords will only benefit by attracting a higher class of renters.

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