Landlords Say Cities Can’t Profit From Rental Fees

Rental regulations seem to be going up everywhere, but for two landlords in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the city’s surplus from rental fees is simply too much to bear.

According to a local news report, the two landlords are suing Allentown, claiming the rental fees — which increased from just over $10 to $75 two years ago, are unconstitutional.

The landlords argue that the city’s profit is equivalent to a tax because of the resulting windfall revenues, according to the report. That makes the program illegal, the landlords say.

Allentown officials claimed that the increased fees were needed to fund a rental inspection program.

In 2010, a group of New Jersey landlords filed a similar lawsuit, claiming that the costs to administer their city’s rental inspection program fell far short of the anticipated revenues to be generated from hefty landlord fees. The city and the landlords reached a settlement late last month which lowered fees and reduced the overall burden on landlords.

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