Last updated: February 15. 2013 11:31AM - 748 Views

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WILKES-BARRE – The city’s code enforcement office is reminding landlords and property owners that biannual inspections of rental properties located within Zone 2 of the City will begin April 19.
Zone 2 encompasses all of the areas south of South Street to the Wilkes-Barre City line, including Rolling Mill Hill, Mayflower, Goose Island and Iron Triangle. Each inspection will take 30 to 45 minutes.
“Ultimately, these inspections ensure both the security of the landlord and the safety of the tenant,” Mayor Tom Leighton said.
“As a result of this system for rental and commercial inspections, the city has made significant progress fighting nuisance properties and increasing the standards for both landlords and property owners,” Leighton said.
The city mandates that an owner of regulated rental units complies with all applicable codes and keeps the property in good and safe condition.
Before entering into any rental agreement or permitting the occupancy of any regulated rental unit, the owner is required to apply for and obtain an occupancy license for the premises and a rental registration for each unit.
Each occupancy license has a two-year term, and each rental unit is subject to a minimum of one inspection every other year, provided that there is no change in tenants.
A new rental inspection is required before entering into any new rental agreement, regardless of the time frame, the mayor said.
The fee for an occupancy license is $35 and the fee for a rental unit registration is $35 per unit. Both are payable at the time of the scheduling of the inspection.
The owner, if not a full-time Wilkes-Barre City resident or not living within a 20-mile radius of the city, must designate a property manager. The penalties for not having an occupancy license, an unregistered rental unit or a property manager are $500 for the first violation; second violation $750; and third and each subsequent violation $1,000.
To schedule an inspection, contact the Wilkes-Barre City Code office at (570) 208-4286.
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