Greenville’s landlords will soon be facing regulations similar to those who own rental properties in Sharon, Farrell and Hermitage abide by.
Greenville Borough Council last week adopted an ordinance requiring rental inspections and licenses with Councilman Theodore Jones casting the sole dissenting vote.
“I just don’t think it’s necessary,” Jones said. “It really hurts the good landlords.”
Council President Brian Shipley said the ordinance is similar to what many municipalities already have in place and focuses on making sure rental property’s meet “basic health and safety” standards.
The ordinance will apply to all non-public, non-section 8 housing, Shipley said.
Attempts to adopt similar ordinances in years past in Greenville had been met by opposition from landlords.
This time, “a lot of us on council found the majority of tenants were in favor of it,” Councilman Anthony D’Alfonso said.
Despite the opposition from some landlords, who D’Alfonso said “feel we’re discriminating against the rental industry,” the law will be fairly enforced.
“Really, I think the ordinance is a step in the right direction to promote and strengthen health and safety in the borough,” he said.
It was put in place “to regulate what is essentially a business,” D’Alfonso said.
“We were thinking more of the silent majority and not the vocal minority,” D’Alfonso said.
The borough has about 1,000 rental properties, D’Alfonso said.
Each rental unit will be inspected once every two years and a $25 inspection fee will be levied. When a unit passes an inspection, a 2-year rental license will be issued. The inspections will be handled by code enforcement officer Don Patterson.
Inspections will alternate between the east and west sides of town every other year.
The inspections will be done by appointment and D’Alfonso said he “had confidence” it could be properly enforced.
People’s private belongings won’t be subject to a search during the inspections, D’Alfonso said, “contrary to what some are putting out there.”
“They won’t be going through drawers or anything,” he said.
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