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Home · Property Management · Latest News : City Targets Out-of-Town Landlords

take aimThe City of Philadelphia is once again taking aim at landlords, this time by requiring out-of-town owners to contract with a local property manager to oversee “defects”,  and appoint a local contact to receive legal notices.

This new regulation, passed by unanimous vote of the City Council, is aimed at curbing noise and trash complaints that they say go unheeded when a landlord lives outside the city or surrounding areas.

The new rule applies to all landlords who do not live in Philadelphia or its suburbs, and own three residential properties, a rooming house or a multifamily building with at least four units.

The council is also considering legislation to fine landlords for tenant noise complaints.

In addition, the city may soon require that all pre-1978 buildings be physically inspected for lead paint hazards.

Recently, the council’s “Rental Suitability Law”, a requirement that all rentals be certified “decent”, was challenged by landlords as too vague for compliance.  The council has backed off enforcement for now as it strives to rewrite this legislation.

Philadelphia also passed an ordinance allowing its public utility to lien rental properties in the event a tenant leaves and doesn’t pay the heating bill.  See Landlord Lien for more.

Philadelphia is not alone!  See New Law Will Stick it to Landlords.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your commercial housing investment, including real estate forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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  • irene

    i think philadelphia’s requirements for out of town owners are perfectly reasonable. absentee slumlords with no oversight of their properties hurts us all, landlord, tenants & abutting homeowners, due to decreased property values . i would not want to live next door to a multi-unit with an absentee landlord. I am on the premises, and i can barely keep up with dwelling maintenance , so I know the rarely visited properties look exactly like they sound, poor maintenance, poor curb appeal,trash issues, unkempt grass & weeds,etc.who wants to live near that? the other law requiring a dwelling be “certified decent” is silly and vague. too subjective. i might consider something “decent” but the next person may not . Compliance is based on whose definition of “decent” ? stupid

  • Kim

    Irene, I really appreciate your comment, but doesn’t it seem unfair that all out-of-city landlords have to pay this extra expense. There must be some problem properties that are not owned by out-of-city landlords, right?. There may be problem properties that aren’t even rentals! Isn’t this a little like saying that 30% of drivers speed, so why not send tickets out to all car owners who have a 3 in their license plate? Why not target the individual landlords and tenants who misbehave, rather than penalizing everyone, including those who didn’t do anything wrong? Just a thought – thanks for your input. Kim

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