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Sharpsburg tweaking rental rules

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Sharpsburg council will vote on proposed changes to its rental ordinance later this month.

The changes include requiring rental units to be inspected once every two years instead of once a year. Units can be inspected more than once in that time frame if occupancy changes, a fire occurs or problems arise.

Councilwoman Karen Pastor referenced an already-existing ordinance that requires landlords to evict tenants, if legally allowed, after police are called to a property three times with citations or charges filed.

She asked if it was possible to prevent landlords from moving tenants who are close to the required eviction point to another place in the borough.

Solicitor Mike Witherel said those regulations could not be placed in the rental ordinance.

“We can handle it in one spot, but we can't ban someone from Sharpsburg,” Witherel said.

The ordinance sets the cost of inspections at $60 for the two-year cycle.

The current cost is $50 per year. It also proposes a variety of fees if appointments are missed.

Councilman Lou DeLuca said after the meeting that those fees would be discussed before a vote is taken.

DeLuca, who has worked on the proposal for several months, said he is satisfied and hopes officials will approve it for advertising.

“I don't know what the outcome will be but I think it should be favorable,” DeLuca said.

Officials plan to vote to advertise the proposal at the next meeting at 6:30 p.m. July 18 at the borough building on Main Street.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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