Reading adopts ordinance aimed at absentee landlords

By: Dan Kelly, Reading Eagle

Published: May 9, 2017

To cut down on problems created by absentee landlords, City Council on Monday unanimously adopted an ordinance requiring property owners who don’t live within 25 miles of Reading to hire a local property manager.

Bill 41-2017 requires a rental property owner to have a responsible local agent who resides in Berks County if the owner resides more than 25 miles from Reading.

“It’s an effort on our part to establish a system of checks and balances,” said Mayor Wally Scott.

“Many times we’ll have a quality of life emergency and we won’t be able to get the property owner on the phone,” Scott said. “It takes far too long to send them a certified letter.”

Though the local agent would not be responsible financially, they would be authorized to order repairs and should know how to get the owner on the phone in an emergency, Scott said.

City Managing Director W. Glenn Steckman III said if a person buys a property they want to rent, they would need to get a rental license from the city.

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