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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 9, 2019 09:27 AM
From: Senator John DiSanto
To: All Senate members
Subject: Municipal Condemnation Orders
In the near future I will be introducing two pieces of legislation that will help municipalities combat blighted and abandoned properties with absentee owners. Despite many municipal officials’ best efforts at blight remediation, negligent property owners elude code violations and the associated fines for bringing their property into compliance.

City officials must then go through numerous steps to put a lien on the non-compliant property and in the case of abandonment, declare it a public nuisance that is unsafe and unfit for human habitation. Under this scenario, many public nuisance or condemned properties are scheduled for demolition.

Unfortunately, code official efforts are often derailed if the property owner sells to someone else as the enforcement process must start all over again. The same occurs for tax delinquent properties that are sold in judicial sales or those purchased on a county repository.

The reason for this is state law limits municipal public nuisance or condemnation declarations to be issued against the negligent owner rather than the property. My forthcoming legislation seeks to put condemned property owners and their prospective buyers on notice by issuing condemnation orders against the actual property and requiring all purchasers to be held accountable for corrective actions.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Document #1

Introduced as SB940

Description: The first piece of legislation amends the Municipal Code and Ordinance Compliance Act to define a condemnation order and specify it shall be filed against a property and filed with the county tax claim bureau and recorder of deeds. The municipality may recover the cost of recording the condemnation order from the tax sale proceeds or directly from the purchaser and the order’s validity shall not be affected by an upset, judicial or repository sale of the property.

Document #2

Introduced as SB941

Description: The second piece of legislation amends the Real Estate Tax Sale Law providing for the definition of a condemnation order. As part of a tax sale notice, properties subject to a condemnation order will be identified as such to advise purchasers of their liability for bringing the properties into compliance. Purchasers of condemned properties must also sign a written acknowledgement recognizing the property is subject to a condemnation order and that the purchaser is liable for fines and other enforcement remedies for failure to comply with the codes.