Mount Joy Township supervisors voted to authorize enforcement action against a landlord who is defying the township’s Rental Property Management Code because he maintains the inspection fees are unreasonable and illegal.
All supervisors present at the meeting on Monday, Feb. 19, voted to authorize enforcement action against the operators of the Featherton Crossing development; Supervisor Gerald F. Becker was absent.
Metropolitan Management Group President Kevin Timochenko had earlier asked supervisors to offer a volume discount for large-scale rental operations. He told supervisors in December that he had been billed $6,000 for the inspection of 120 apartments even though it only took six hours to complete the work.
Timochenko said in December that he had multiple employees unlocking apartment doors for the inspector, allowing the inspector to complete work in each unit in about three minutes. He said he believes that the $6,000 fee was unreasonable for six hours of work, adding that he would be OK with paying $200 per hour. Timochenko said other municipalities where he does business recognize that large buildings have economies of scale, so they offer lower rates for large apartment complexes.
When supervisors voted in January to reject the request, Supervisor Lisa Sargen Heilner said the fees are not based on the time it takes to inspect the apartments and Supervisors Chairman David W. Sweigart said research has shown the township’s fees to be competitive with other municipalities.
Timochenko said in January that he would take the township to court. His lawyer, Jill E. Nagy, sent a letter to the township on Feb. 6 requesting that the township refund any fees charged to her client that exceed the township’s actual cost of conducting the inspections. She said in her letter that she was making the request before making a claim with the Court of Common Pleas.
Richard Forry, the township treasurer, said at the Feb. 19 township meeting that Timochenko’s company had added new units in late 2017 that were not inspected under the Rental Property Management Code and that none of Timochenko’s units had been inspected as required in 2018.
“They haven’t complied with any of it in 2018,” Forry said.
In other business at the nine-minute meeting, supervisors adopted a resolution declaring March 2018 as DeMolay Month in recognition of the Masonic-affiliated male youth group.
Supervisor Debra E. Dupler noted that the new Safe Exchange Zone in the parking lot that is monitored by Northwest Regional Police has been getting plenty of usage; it is designed to ensure that people meeting strangers to finalize a transaction arranged online will have a place to do so without getting robbed.
Also, Heilner said she met a township resident at a recent Chamber of Commerce event who said she had recently called Roadmaster Ken Ebersole Jr. to report a problem with a road and was extremely pleased with his response.