How do we deal with problem rental properties?

Is there a ‘problem’ rental house on your block? Pehaps full of students? More than than three unrelated people in one unit? You can help to change the behavior of those few students and landlords who create problems for you and your neighbors.

Did you know that EFCC has a committee which has been working with Philadelphia University and Captain Glenn, formerly of the 39th Police District, to make certain that students living in East Falls learn to be good neighbors?

The Committee has identified problem houses, the police have intervened, and EFCC has contacted the landlords to advise them that their properties are becoming nuisance properties.

The City has contacted the owners of more than 100 properties that were not registered as rental properties. While we have made progress, we need to do more.

Enter: Councilman Jones

Councilman Jones has added the authority of his office to address the problem.

After holding a meeting of community groups—EFCC, Roxborough and Manyunk civics, the Police Department, and the Department of License and Inspections—he organized a College Student Task Force.

The Councilman’s plan includes seven Task Force Committees:

The “Hot” Houses Committee

To identify specific ‘hot’ houses, design a documentation process, and provide City departments with evidence in order for them to take action.

Law Enforcement Committee 

To coordinate the implementation of patrolling by police on ‘party weekends’ at the hot houses.

Legislative Recommendations Committee 

To propose additional legislation related to students, schools, and property owners who rent to students

L&I Reporting Committee 

To facilitate reporting property owners who appear to be violating City ordinances applicable to rental properties.

Local Universities Committee

Will focus on ways the schools can patrol their students off-campus behavior.

Communications Committee

To design a program to communicate directly with the property owners and students.

Operating Procedures Committee

To organize and standardize the committee’s actions.

Committee meetings will be held in the communities involved. If you’d like to participate, contact EFCC at 215.848.3300 or info@eastfallscommunity.org. The plan is to be in full swing this spring. In the meantime, join your East Falls neighbors on the Community Council’s Committee. It meets regularly with the Philadelphia University Dean of Students, L&I, and Captain Glenn.

Tom Sauerman is the president of East Falls Community Council. 

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