Ordinance aims to make rental properties safer

NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. (WHTM) — New Cumberland Borough Council is adding teeth to its new ordinance regarding rental properties.

Ordinance 689 of 2017, known as the the Residential Rental Dwelling Unit Ordinance, was adopted in March with few details attached. On Wednesday, the council approved three resolutions including a checklist of safety inspection requirements during tri-annual inspections.

The list includes requiring smoke detectors on every floor, carbon monoxide detectors in units with fossil fuel burning heaters or appliances, and handrails on all stairs exceeding three steps. Other checklist items include requirements that property addresses be posted outside and clearly visible to emergency responders, regular structural and plumbing maintenance, and interior doors able to be opened from the inside without the use of a special key.

A second resolution defined a standard $75 fee that property owners will have to pay for the inspections every three years. Other fees would apply for re-inspections or issuance of Certificates of Compliance not issued at the time of the regular inspection.

While the ordinance is already in place, enforcement isn’t expected to begin for several months. A third resolution passed by the council Wednesday authorized a request for proposals from individuals or firms interested in performing property inspections. The borough codes officer position is currently unfilled.


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