Keeping Pittsburgh landlords on their toes, the City of Pittsburgh requested permission from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to appeal the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania’s decision striking down the city’s ordinance known as the Residential Housing Rental Permit Program, Chapter 781. The ordinance required, among other things, that rental property owners obtain a permit and allow inspections of each rental unit periodically, with or without a tenant’s permission. The Commonwealth Court found that the ordinance violated state law’s prohibition on municipal business regulations. On September 5, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced that it would review the city’s ordinance.
As we have previously reported, the ordinance would also:
- Require that rental property owners obtain a permit for each rental unit they own;
- Allow inspections of each rental unit periodically, with or without a tenant’s permission;
- Require owners to report their tenants’ personal and private data to the City
- Require that out-of-town owners designate a responsible local agent;
- Allow government officials to accept legal processes on behalf of the owners; and
- Impose various excessive fees.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will decide whether the Commonwealth Court erred when it ruled that the ordinance was in violation of the city’s Home Charter Law because it imposes upon businesses obligations that do not otherwise exist under current state law.
No date has yet been set for when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear this case. The ordinance remains on hold pending the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision.