Pennsylvania Township Considers New Property Management Regulations

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As the housing market has changed in recent years, a number of investors have taken the opportunity to buy rental property and profit from new trends. To best manage their investment, many of these property owners eventually turned to rental property management companies to conduct maintenance, handle repairs and perform other necessary tasks. In many cases, these rental property management companies have been instrumental in helping investors meet local regulations and codes, provide quality accommodations for their tenants, and get the most out of their properties. Now, a number of communities are pushing to make rental property managers and other steps a required part of their local property management industries.

Take South Middleton Township in Pennsylvania, for example, where landlords Andrew and Angela Book are pushing for stricter regulations for rental properties in their areas. The couple says they were inspired by an ordinance enacted in nearby Newville Borough in 2011, where they own rental property. Although they say they viewed the regulation as an imposition at first, they eventually came to realize that the ordinance helped to reduce crime and improved the appearance of properties in the area. After noticing a number of conversions to rental properties in South Middleton, the couple is now pushing for similar legislation to promote building upkeep and decrease criminal activity, which they say is growing rampant in the area.

The suggested regulation would require all rental properties in the area to be licensed and subject to regular inspections. Additionally, the Books have asked that all tenants be registered and landlords living more than 10 miles away hire a property management company to maintain the apartments. In their proposal to the town government, the couple included a sample ordinance, property license letter, license application, tenant registration form and rental property license. Angela Book stated that she believed these new changes and paperwork would discourage landlords who see their rental properties as nothing more than moneymaking operations, and ensure that all properties were better maintained.

While the township has yet to make a decision on this potential legislation, the town government has commented that they have discussed instituting a rental property ordinance in the past. However, the town solicitor would need to review the Newville regulations and other information before passing the Books’ ordinance.
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