Pennsylvania Landlord Blames Tenants for Ongoing Property Issues That Led to His Building Being Condemned

The plight of the apartment tenant is well-documented, and most people tend to complain about their landlord. However, one Pennsylvania landlord is speaking out on his tenants’ behavior after one of his buildings was condemned by the city.

According to Penn Live, municipal authorities in Duncannon, PA, temporarily condemned an apartment building on Market St. that is owned by landlord Corey Fleisher due to severe water leakage. When authorities could not get in touch with Fleisher, they shut off the building’s water and closed it until further notice.

Fleisher, who owns several distressed properties in the area, is placing some of the blame on his tenants. He claims that he is constantly maintaining his properties, yet tenants make his job much more difficult by causing deliberate destruction to their homes.

“As a landlord, it’s easy for tenants to hate you, and the borough to come down on you,” Fleisher said.

The average household can leak about 10,000 gallons of water every year, and this number is exponentially higher for large apartment buildings. When authorities were notified of a major water leak on Fleisher’s property, they needed to take immediate action before the problem worsened.

Chris Courogen, Borough Manager of Duncannon, was the first person to arrive on the scene when the city became aware of the leak. When Fleisher didn’t answer Couregon’s call, the borough had no choice but to shut the water off and condemn the building.

The building’s seven residents were forced to temporarily leave their homes, and the Red Cross helped them find a place to stay. When Courogen finally reached Felisher to inform him that he was now facing both civil and criminal charges, the landlord stood up for himself and pointed the finger at his tenants.

Fleisher recalled several examples of his tenants causing damage to his property, including one time when he was asked to help a resident with their cockroach problem. When he arrived, the tenant’s sink was filled with three weeks of dirty dishes and other garbage.

“When did we stop making people accountable?” Fleisher said. “I’m mortified.”

As Cafe Mom reported, experts encourage tenants to keep a written log of their apartment’s problems in case catastrophe strikes. Unfortunately for Fleisher, he never enforced this rule, which may have cost him a fortune.

As Fleisher continued to make these repairs over time without keeping a written log, his tenants eventually stopped paying him for his service. Now, Fleisher estimates that he has lost more than $100,000 over time from residents who cause damage to his properties and refuse to foot the bill.

After hearing Fleisher’s argument, the borough of Duncannon decided not to pursue litigation. Instead, the city council hired a building code enforcement officer to inspect properties like Fleisher’s on a regular basis, assessing the damage in an unbiased manner.

“As we work to fix properties, our preference is to help (landlords) clean up their properties,” Courogen said.

The borough has now made the enforcement of building codes a priority, which should help to ease tensions between landlords and tenants in the future. While the water leak on Market St. began as a catastrophe, it seems to have turned into something positive.

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