Home News A call for landlord accountability

A call for landlord accountability

Robert Rudnitsky wants improvements in rental housing.

Take Back Your Neighborhood returned to in-person meetings on Monday, as members heard crime updates from 2nd Police District Lt. Steve Gonzales and Sgt. William Whartenby.

Gonzales, recently detailed to the 2nd, welcomes emails to Steve.Gonzales@phila.gov.

The bulk of the meeting featured TBYN head Robert Rudnitsky calling for a Landlord Accountability Program.

An animated Rudnitsky, a landlord, called property managers “the death of the Northeast.”

Rudnitsky said absentee landlords don’t enforce misbehavior. He would require them to undergo two hours of training.

Neighbors can complain, but Rudnitsky said city Department of Licenses and Inspections employees generally work 9-5, and the problems usually surface at night.

The city should hire quality-of-life officers to hand out tickets that carry fines, Rudnitsky said.

In addition, he proposes L&I issue stickers, with expiration dates, for rental properties. A single-family home would have one sticker, a duplex would have two and a triplex three. The cost would be minimal, Rudnitsky said.

Under the accountability program, neighbors would be encouraged to report violations and would be paid $25 for each complaint found to be valid.

Rudnitsky will be reaching out to elected officials with his plan, and will invite L&I to the June meeting. He is hopeful for progress and doesn’t plan to condemn L&I, saying you “get more bees with honey than vinegar.” ••

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