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Officials in Sunbury, Pennsylvania are moving forward a new “landlord ordinance” designed to cut down on the number of drug dealers in the city.

The push comes after 100 people throughout the county were arrested for drugs in a month’s time, according to a local news report.

The city’s mayor has said that he wants to post signs on the front doors of those convicted of multiple drug offenses.

Sunbury officials appear to be modeling the ordinance after a similar bill passed in Berwick.  That law, which is being contested by the local landlord association,  is much broader, and holds landlords accountable for evicting those arrested for crimes, subject to fines and restrictions to their rental permits.

Sunbury landlords are not pleased with the prospect of policing drug dealers on behalf of the city.  They are expressing concern about the final language of the landlord ordinance, which may:

Regulate the method of background checks;
Prohibit landlords from renting to those on the drug watch list; and,
Make evictions mandatory in the case of drug offenses.

These landlords are concerned that they will be the ones penalized if they pick the wrong tenant, and may have to prove the drug charges in order to evict tenants who have not yet been convicted.

Officials are considering posting the names of drug offenders — a “no-rent” list, which they say will make the landlords’ task easier.

Another public hearing on the measure is scheduled for June 25.

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  • Douglas Kydd

    So let me understand this correctly. They would want me to evict someone from a property because they were arrested. Then they don’t want anyone else to rent to that person because they were arrested. Then those people would be on the street. Are they allowed to live in a cheap weekly motel? Were would they go?
    I have an idea. When they get arrested AND convicted, put them in jail, and I’ll take care of my business!


    I couldn’t have said it better.
    When did landlords become an unpaid arm of the law?
    This stupid idea has about as much chance of surviving a court challenge as that of the Mayor and his cronies have of getting real jobs.

    If they’re serious, wonder why they aren’t prohibiting the banks from making home loans to those arrested? Will the Mayor be withholding library privileges and entry to City parks? Will the list of the unwashed be furnished to hotels/motels? I doubt they are even capable of developing and maintaining an accurate list. Will there be participation of restaurants, grocery stores and other merchants who serve them? Why regulate only the landlords?

    Again, Doug is correct. We’ll do our job. Mr. Mayor, do yours – we’re busy.

  • Wally


    Aren’t we all talking drug dealers. Do you all know the mentally of a drug dealer? Not very nice people. So I am to risk my life or the people I work with to police drug dealers.

    Kind of thought that is why we all pay taxes – these politicians call their profession “Public Service”.

    Well – serve the public.

    Don’t see where that in any way fits a realtors/property managers JOB description.

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