Rental Housing Ordinance

Rental Inspection Program to Begin September 1

In December of 2021, Carlisle Borough Council passed an ordinance amendment establishing a licensing and inspection program for rental properties in the Borough. View the ordinance here.

Community engagement and public input played a large role in the process of revising the Borough’s original rental housing ordinance. An open, meaningful, and transparent deliberative and decision-making process was used as viewpoints were shared, considered, and often included in revisions of the ordinance. During public meetings throughout 2019 and early 2020, the Borough heard directly from property owners, tenants, and others who may be affected. Their suggestions were taken into consideration while drafting the amendment. Council was set to vote on the ordinance when the pandemic broke out. They put it on pause until the interested parties could provide in-person feedback. Council took up the issue again in October of 2021. The ordinance was then approved at the December 2021 Workshop Meeting. The Rental Housing Inspection Program will go live on September 1, 2022.

Purpose of the Ordinance & Inspection Program

Creating a Rental Inspection Program has been a long-standing priority of Borough Council, as reflected by their 2018 and 2020 Biennial Goal Planning Sessions. The program is designed to ensure safe and healthy housing, preserve housing stock, protect vulnerable tenants, and maintain neighborhood property values.

Registration, License, and Inspection Process

The ordinance will first require rental unit owners to register their properties with the Borough. Hotels, motels, hospitals, nursing homes, state-licensed group homes, on-campus housing of accredited colleges and universities, and shelter/ transitional housing for indigent or homeless persons will be exempt from inspection and licensing. Registration will be free and is due no later than five months from September 1, 2022. Registration will be done online and Borough staff will be available to help property owners register their rental units. After receiving confirmation of their registration from the Borough, owners/property managers will have 90 days to apply for the inspection of rental units. Exempt properties outlined in the ordinance will need to submit information to the Borough prior to the 90-day deadline that supports exemption status.

Inspections are then due eight months from September 1, 2022. A Borough Code Official will conduct inspections, however, owners/property managers may hire an outside inspector deemed qualified by the Borough to perform the inspection.

After the initial inspections, properties will then be placed on a three-year inspection cycle. If no violations occur within the three-year period, properties can be moved to a five-year inspection cycle. Once properties are on a five-year period, there can be no more than four violations or the property will revert to a three-year cycle. Conversely, if a property had four violations within the three-year cycle, the owner may be placed on a two-year inspection cycle.

Appeals of the action or decision of the Code Official concerning the ordinance’s administration can be made to the Board of Appeals. They must be filed in writing within 30 days after the decision, determination, or action. The appropriate filing fee must be provided at the time of the appeal.

If you have questions or concerns about the upcoming Rental Inspection Program, please contact the Sustainable Community and Economic Planning Department at 717-240-6930 or email at jwoolston@carlislepa.org.

 




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