The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

June 12, 2013

Vote on Danville rental rules set for July 9

DANVILLE — Two people spoke Tuesday night against the revised residential rental registration ordinance, which council won’t vote on until July.

Borough Code Administrator Jackie Hart said the new ordinance hasn’t been advertised yet. Attorney John Mihalik, representing the Danville Area Property Owners Association, recently sent a letter to the borough proposing more revisions to the ordinance, she said.

The council expects to vote on the ordinance at its meeting July 9.

Julie Dunda, of Danville, a teacher who owns 15 rental units, told borough council members she would never punish all her students if one or two broke the rules.

“That’s exactly what the new ordinance is doing,” said Dunda, who paid $1,095 for property inspections this year and pays $10,125 for water and sewer rentals for her properties. “I cannot afford this ordinance,” she said.

The ordinance requires landlords to pay a registration fee each year and have their properties inspected every year.

“It’s an expensive burden on landlords and tenants. Go after the bad landlords and cite them — don’t punish me for their actions — that’s unacceptable,” she said. Fred Stoner, president of the property owners association, said he found out shortly before the meeting the council wouldn’t be voting on the ordinance.

He thanked the council and its representatives for working on changing the ordinance.

Stoner, who received a copy of the ordinance Thursday, said it remains a direct violation of the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions.

The ordinance calls for very specific language must be included in each rental agreement, a violation of state and U.S. constitutions, he said.

“If you decide to vote in favor of the current ordinance, you are violating your oath of office that says you will uphold the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions,” he said.

Penalties for landlords and tenants refusing inspections are a direct violation of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from San Francisco, he said.


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