What Hath Redd-Up Wraught?

Clearly, there’s an arms race afoot as to who’s tougher on bad landlords.

The P-G’s Rich Lord today reports on Councilman Bill Peduto’s plan to focus on three small, troublesome student housing zones in and around Oakland. He would require owners of those properties earn a “Certificate of Livability,” or cease charging rent.

John Kostelac of the Pennsylvania Landlord Legal Defense Fund claims that singling-out those three zones is illegal and unconstitutional.

Yesterday, Lord wrote of Mayor Ravenstahl’s proposed “fight-blight toolbox” for compelling owners to do something about vacant properties.

When some property owners warned a growing “anti-landlord climate” could drive them away, the Mayor replied, “Those that don’t comply with the regulations, quite frankly, we don’t need them in our community.”

Absentee, negligent, “slumlords” are an easy target: voters see the problem, understand it, and have little sympathy. The problem in crafting any solutions is enforcement over time, which means money and follow-through.

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