Criminal Charges for Landlord After Tenant Trashes Rental

by Chris on November 29, 2010

A Pennsylvania landlord has just been assessed $8,000 in fines, and faces criminal charges after his tenant trashed his rental unit.

The landlord claims he was not aware of the poor condition of the property until he was alerted by local officials that there was a problem.  

Police were dispatched to the rental when neighbors complained of trash visible outside, and foul odors coming from the rental property. After doing a walk-through, the police filed a criminal report, citing the landlord for public nuisance. Local authorities have since condemned the unit.

Authorities also conducted an inspection of the property.  The landlord attempted to explain to the inspectors that he was still working on cleaning the place up, but they proceeded to recommend he be fined.  A civil court judge has affirmed the town’s position with respect to the assessment of $8,000 against the landlord.  

Possible consequences of the pending criminal charges could include paying for clean up and odor mitigation if town officials decide to contract the work out rather than allowing the landlord to complete the job.

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Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Broni November 30, 2010 at 6:34 am

Granted, the tenant trashed the rental, but this says it all:

“The landlord claims he was not aware of the poor condition of the property until he was alerted by local officials that there was a problem. ”

This didn’t happen overnight, and I’ll wager it had been a problem for some time. So…whose fault is that?

Neal November 30, 2010 at 8:10 am

What value was this, no information about the landlord if he/she had been responsive…etc
what message were you trying to give ?

jimmyd2 November 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

I am a landlord and a code enforcement official and am skeptical about the accuracy of this story. I suspect there is more in play than what was written here. I would like to know what kind of a history that jurisdiction has with this property owner. We deal with slumlords all the time. We don’t give them “warnings” after we have negative history with a property. You don’t always get a warning from a cop when he pulls you over for speeding, you’re not entitled to one. If the landlords screening of tenants consistently left a lot to be desired and this kind of thing had happened before the action described would be reasonable.

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