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Changing Tactics for Use and Occupancy Certificates

Hearing that early 4,300 Realtors® delivered a definitive message to every member of the PA House that a ‘yes’ vote on House Bill 1437 by Rep. Jamie Santora (R-Delaware Co.) is what Pennsylvanian's wanted, the amendment passed 194-0 on Wednesday and has a third consideration after primary election day. 

HB 1437more clearly defines “unfit for habitation” to provide better guidance to local code enforcement officials who are conducting resale use and occupancy inspections. Many Realtors® and their clients have had issues with municipalities labeling houses “unfit for habitation” and refusing to issue temporary use and occupancy certificates to home buyers until minor repairs are completed. These minor issues no doubt exist elsewhere in the neighborhoods, but some municipalities are claiming they make the home “unfit for human habitation.” Representative Santora (R-Delaware), who’s also a Realtor®, initially introduced the amendment as legislation (HB 1480) but asked to add his proposed language as an amendment to House Bill 1437.

Todd Polinchock, President of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® PAR says “The labeling of homes as ‘unfit for habitation’ has negatively impacted consumers across the commonwealth,”  “Withholding use and occupancy certificates, which are needed in some municipalities to allow settlement to move forward, stifles the negotiation process between buyers and sellers.said Todd Polinchock, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® PAR.

Representative Santora understands how troublesome this issue has become and wants to help home buyers and sellers get to the closing table.” The Santora amendment would require that certificates be issued by municipalities who choose to conduct resale code inspections, regardless of the nature of code violation found. The amendment creates a new category of “Temporary Access” certificate that would allow a sale to move forward even if a home is determined to be unfit for habitation, but require that substantial code violations be corrected prior to the new owner inhabiting the property. It would also require that all other minor code violations be corrected within a certain time frame, with financial and other penalties left in place for failure to comply.

Source: PARJustListed; 4/14/2016

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Comment by Kenneth Harper on May 7, 2016 at 9:39am
Realtors across the state have been supporting this bill. We also will need the residents of PA to support this bill too.
Comment by RidleyParkOnline on May 6, 2016 at 5:27pm

House Bill 1437 moves to the Senate    
     
Legislators said House Bill 1437 (R-Goodman) and the Santora (R-Delaware) amendment were the most talked about piece of legislation after nearly 4,500 Realtors® sent messages to every member of the state House. The amendment passed the House on third consideration this week, and now moves to the Senate Urban Affairs Committee for consideration. Watch for communications and calls-to-action to be directed to members of the Senate soon.
The Santora amendment more clearly defines "unfit for habitation" to provide better guidance to local code enforcement officials. Many Realtors® and their clients have had issues with municipalities labeling houses "unfit for habitation" and refusing to issue temporary use and occupancy certificates to homebuyers, until cracked sidewalks are repaired and old house numbers are replaced. These minor issues no doubt exist elsewhere in the neighborhoods, but some municipalities are claiming they make the home "unfit for human habitation."
The amendment would require that certificates be issued by municipalities who choose to conduct resale code inspections, regardless of the nature of code violation found. The amendment creates a new category of "Temporary Access" certificates that would allow a sale to move forward, but require that substantial code violations be corrected prior to the new owner inhabiting the property. It would also require that all other code violations be corrected within a certain time frame, with financial and other penalties left in place for failure to comply.

Comment by Nina on April 17, 2016 at 2:06pm
Thanks RPOL for this very inportant information
Comment by Kenneth Harper on April 16, 2016 at 9:37am
This house bill was much needed for Realtors in some Delco towns.

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