“Squatters are tormenting homeowners and landlords in Philadelphia, but one property management company says city officials and police just don’t seem to care.”
The issue of squatters has been a thorn in the side of homeowners and landlords in Philadelphia for years. While the city council passed an ordinance in 2018 to speed up the process of removing alleged squatters from residential property and imposing fines of up to $300 per day that the trespassing continues, the process has only gotten longer rather than shorter. This has led to lengthy and costly legal battles to remove squatters, which can cost upwards of $3,500 just to begin the court process.
Megan Spangler of Anchor Realty NE says that the lack of action from city officials and police is frustrating and that homeowners and landlords are left dealing with squatters who do not care about the neighborhood. The police department did not respond to questions about their process for responding to squatting reports, leaving homeowners and landlords to fend for themselves.
While former city council member David Oh introduced an ordinance in 2018 to combat squatting, the replacement law passed later that year has made it virtually unusable.
The changes to the law have reduced the fines and jail time that could be levied against squatters, allowed more time for alleged squatters to leave if they claimed they’d fallen for a rental scam, and protected alleged squatters from being removed if they claimed to have been a victim of domestic violence or sexual harassment.
These changes have made it extremely difficult for homeowners and landlords to remove squatters from their properties, leading to even longer and costlier legal battles.
The lack of action from city officials and police is unacceptable, and it is time for them to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of their citizens.
Homeowners and landlords should not be forced to deal with squatters who do not care about the neighborhood, and they should not have to bear the burden of costly legal battles.
The city council needs to take action to address this issue and provide homeowners and landlords with the tools they need to remove squatters from their properties quickly and easily.