Landlord Hall of Shame Induction
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski today announced the latest inductee in the city’s Landlord Hall of Shame. Mohinder Kaur with home addresses, according to city research, in South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania; New York and California is being inducted in connection with a property he owns at 619 Cedar Street in the city. The announcement was made at a news conference this morning outside the Cedar Street location.
The property has been tagged Unfit for Human Habitation, most recently in May. The property is under consideration for inclusion on the Allentown Redevelopment Authority Blighted Property List.
Utility services have been turned off at the property. The property has numerous code violations. They are posted as being in violation of Allentown City Ordinance 12199, the city’s Property Maintenance and Rehabilitation Code.
The Landlord Hall of Shame was established in October 2008 for the purpose of bringing public pressure to bear on property owners who refuse to improve sub-standard conditions on their rental properties and bring down property values across the neighborhood.
In 2008, Pawlowski formed a Landlord Hall of Shame Committee consisting of the Director of Building Standards and Safety, Housing Supervisor, Construction Code Superintendent, and a representative of the Zoning and Recycling bureaus.
“The owner’s refusal to make any necessary repairs to this building brought us to this point,” the mayor said. “It has been years since the city has seen any evidence that Mr. Kaur has done anything at this property.”
The city will be posting pictures of some of the violations on the city website at www.allentownpa.gov.
A citation has been filed against Mr. Kaur for more than $3000 in outstanding unpaid SWEEP violations. Mr. Kaur also owes the city $700 in rental registration fees and more than $600 in boarding-up charges, interest and penalties. The city has also filed liens against the property for more than $1,400 in back taxes.
City Council passed a pre-sale notification ordinance in 2008 requiring that code violations be corrected either prior to the transfer of title, or within six months of the date of purchase. It was the initial step in the enhanced effort to improve the city’s housing stock. “Although it has taken years for our property problems to develop,” the mayor said, “conditions are not going to improve by standing still.”
The mayor also encouraged qualifying property owners to take advantage of the city’s Rental Rehabilitation Program. “It is not my desire to be standing outside any properties conducting induction ceremonies for the Landlord Hall of Shame,” Pawlowski said. “What I want is for property owners to take advantage of the city’s Rental Rehabilitation Program which provides funding to rehabilitate permanent rental housing that is affordable to and occupied by low-income persons and families. Landlords can call our Financial Specialist at 610-437-7696 for more information,” the mayor added.
The city is giving the public the opportunity to nominate a property owner for the next Hall of Shame induction. Suggestions can be called-in to the Bureau of Building Standards & Safety at 610-437-7690.
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