LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — New protection for renters. Lancaster city council updated its rental inspection system designed to keep renters safer and encourage landlords to keep up with maintenance.
“Our goal is to make sure our landlords are actively in the properties and engaging to ensure these properties are safe for the renters,” said James Nixon, Bureau Chief of Property Maintenance and Housing Inspections.
The city will not only conduct more thorough inspections but it will be changing its fees. Under the new system, rental licenses will be valid for two years and will include an inspection. But some landlords aren’t rolling out the welcome mat.
“It just adds more fees to being a landlord. It’s just unreasonable that they keep on adding more and more that we have to pick up the brunt of all the cost,” said Larry Henry, a Lancaster landlord.
Larry Henry owns 19 rental units in Lancaster.
“They are looking for broken pipes, ceiling and stuff like that. Some of the stuff is safety issues but sometimes they go beyond what they should be,” Henry said.
This change will cost Henry. He says he paid 50 dollars per unit this year. Next year, he expects it will cost him four times that. He says he will have no choice but to pass it onto renters.
“Ultimately, you’re gonna have to raise the rents on people that you don’t want to but you have to survive,” he added.
Officials says the changes are intended to reflect to the true cost to the city.
“We just recently had a meeting with some of our landlords recently just to work with them to see how we can be better of assistance. What are the things we can provide to them to help them bring them up to code,” James Nixon said.
The city says it will also do more frequent checks on landlords and properties with a history of violations.