Slumlord: A landlord/lady who refuses to live up to his/her legal responsibilities to his/her tenants, neighbors and the municipality.
GET A LOAD OF THIS!! In New Haven, Connecticut a reporter did an excellent piece of INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM about how slumlords defraud the government, banks schools and municipalities:
UPDATE: 12/19/2011 YES !!! TWO ANTENNA UP AND A COCKROACH SALUTE FOR JASON BOBST AND BOROUGH COUNCIL…
“This thanks to a unanimous vote of Borough Council on Dec. 12. That’s when, without comment from any of the council members, new provisions were added to Pottstown’s littering law which make property owners and tenants responsible for the litter in front of their homes. The borough can also enact a civil procedure against a property owner, essentially suing them to recover the costs of the cleanup. And, finally, the borough is also now authorized to levy a fine of as much as $600 per day per violation.”
WOOO HOOO….bring that revenue home to the good ship Pottstown.
Evan Brandt, Pottstown Mercury:
UPDATE: Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011
OVER $300,000.00 going uncollected for excessive use of police services in only ONE neighborhood in Pottstown. Tell the borough you don’t want to pick up the tab for the slumlords!!! Monday, Nov. 28th 7PM 3rd Floor Boro Hall 100 E. High St.
The sole mission of the Golden Cockroaches is to guide your awareness to the impact slum property owner’s have in our community. From the diminished quality of life and safety issues that homeowner’s, who live near these properties, face – day by day to the actual costs of enabling “investors” to do business in our community. Costs for which EACH & EVERY TAXPAYER in the borough is held responsible. The tentacles of greed reach into YOUR pocketbook as they help themselves to YOUR MONEY. They are the 1% who live in safe, pricey McMansions – courtesy of YOU, while 99% of people in Pottstown struggle with high taxes, crime, drugs and violence that they deliver to our doorsteps. We’ve seen the conditions that renters are forced to live with and we’ve featured photo’s on this site. The indignity and disregard that we see in poor countries like India, and elsewhere, exist in our own back yards. We scramble to educate our children with diminishing funds, we dig deep to maintain our borough, attract new businesses and jobs….yet, we are facing another property tax increase. The school district will not be far behind. These increases won’t stop the bleeding. It is time to address the source of the wound: UNCONSCIONABLE RENTAL PROPERTY INVESTORS.
We can stop this madness but not without YOU. We need your help to send our message – YOUR MESSAGE - to the State of Pennsylvania, Montgomery County, the Borough, the School District and all of our politicians. Sign up today to get the Cockroach delivered to your email, (we promise not to proliferate there and we keep your information confidential). Send us your ideas, thoughts and share your political saavy about how we can deliver this message in clear, certain terms. Stand Up For Your Community - The Time is NOW. email@example.com
Today’s Mercury reports that the budget shortfall in the borough’s coffers could increase the taxes on our homes by 3.6% or $30.74 for a home valued at $85,000. While many homeowner’s and businesses “had to do what they had to do” to reduce their costs, and their property taxes, in these lean times… there is another side to this story:
Owner’s of multiple rental properties were also granted reductions in their property taxes. We know of one such investor that commands a veritable herd of rental properties in Pottstown and the County handed him a reduction on every single property. Why? Why should “income property owners” be given carte blanche reductions in their rental property taxes? If anything, we think they ought to be taxed at a higher rate given that INCOME is their sole reason for owning rental property. Most of us do not generate an income from our homes, they cost us.
We have a situation here that doesn’t add up and we think it is NOT a “one solution fits all” kind of predicament. For one, if not for the decrease in property tax that many a homeowner/occupant receives – their homes could join the ranks of the structures that sit empty, un-sellable and NOT ON THE TAX ROLES. NOTHING, NADA…NO money generating into the borough account. Isn’t a little something better than a little nothing? It’s redundant to say TIMES ARE TOUGH and if a reduction makes the difference between remaining in your own home or losing it – the former is preferable to both the homeowner and the borough. So now, another tax increase looms. It doesn’t seem like much but it may be the final $30 increase that pushes some of you over the edge.
Back to the INCOME property owners that rent their units to Section 8 voucher holders, in particular, with a guarantee of monthly income no matter the disintegrating financial circumstance of our nation, state and the borough. Their government payments, (our tax dollars), haven’t been reduced or diminished and still, those payments arrive in their sweaty paws on time…every time. 60% of the vouchers handed out by Montgomery County exist between Norristown and Pottstown meaning we have the lion’s share. According to “Policy Map” – Census track #208904 between Manatawny, Washington, High and Beech St.’s the homeownership rate is 22.34% the rental rate is 77.66% Pottstown as a whole has a 44.73% rental rate for 2010. http://www.policymap.com
Drive or, preferably, walk down any street in the core neighborhoods, where the majority of rentals are found and even you, with an untrained Code eye, can easily spot exterior codes violations – hundreds of them on the same block, (the same is true for commercial buildings on much of High St. too.) Now imagine that the borough has the capacity to swiftly and efficiently tag investors for these violations. Think of these violations as $$$$ – see them as GIGANTIC DOLLAR SIGNS, because that’s what they are. These codes violations are money that is currently NOT being collected. What if the borough went out on a limb to “beef up” their equipment and staff the Code Department with the sole mission of “bringing home the bacon” to the beleaguered business and residential property owner/occupants of Pottstown? WE THINK THIS IS PRIORITY NUMERO UNO. Whew, not only would it pad our pockets but clean up the neighborhoods to make ready for a whole new breed of investor – homeowner/taxpayers. There’s a POT OF GOLD at the end of that there rainbow, and that’s just ONE pot of gold.
Here’s another: (we harp on this all the time), WHY are rental property owners sticking the rest of us with the excessive use of our police and ambulance services? We all pay taxes for the use of these services yet most of us rarely, if ever, use them. But just ONE rental property can use these services upwards of 10 or more times a year. And that, dear friends, is yet ANOTHER POT OF GOLD. Let’s be perfectly clear about this WE WANT THE BOROUGH TO TWEAK THE ORDINANCE THAT IS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS SO THEY CAN BILL THE INVESTORS for this abuse of our tax money. If the investors think their tenants ought to be made to pay for their own bad behavior then it’s up to THE INVESTOR to collect, they can build these issues into their leases. BUT the rental property investors ass should be on the line, not ours. The Police Chief and the Borough Manager are behind this so what are we waiting for? Send an invitation to your Ward rep today and invite them to do whatever they have to do to get this underway – NOW, we don’t have time for feet dragging. Let council know that property tax increases are not the ONLY solution.
Why, when all else fails, are we made to pay for the removal of the sofas, tv’s and other regurgitated household trappings on our streets when the investors tenants decide to split?
Why are we stuck with the unpaid water bills and unpaid taxes when an indecent number of investors decide to call it quits? POT OF GOLD? What do you think? Act 90 can take care of some these problems and MontCo most decidedly needs to be wrapped around the pole until they see the light.
Investment property owners get the same reductions in property tax as the average homeowner could expect. They are MAKING MONEY off their properties and they cost our local government above and beyond what they pay, in all kinds of ways, (some are not even mentioned here), yet… here we are again, staring down the barrel of a property tax increase. So not only will we pay more…we will still be forced to endure the atrocities perpetrated by greedy investors. As noted in the Mercury article, we have two new County Commissioners, let’s make certain they don’t leave Pottstown in the dust . We need to communicate with them – loud and clear.
The residents, home and business owner’s of this fair borough would serve ourselves well to put our muscles together to move this dead rhinoceros off top of us so we can see our way out from underneath the suffocating weight of rental properties. This dead rhino is doing us no favors.