Butkovitz Study Finds Numerous Violations & Unpaid Taxes with Multiple Property Owners

Audit Date: June 22, 2011
Audit Categories
  • Investigation
Controller: Alan Butkovitz

Executive Summary

For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2011

Contact: Harvey Rice

Butkovitz Study Finds Numerous Violations & Unpaid Taxes
with Multiple Property Owners

Click here to view report

PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released a study of Philadelphia’s multiple property owners that found half of the 46 owners sampled in the examination of 261 properties, had 135 unresolved violations for property maintenance, fire code and licensing-related violations.

These violations were found at 36 properties owned by 23 different individuals. Fifteen of the properties were licensed as rentals. One owner had 22 separate unresolved violations at one property dating back to 2007. A rental property was found to have three violations that referenced imminent danger and could endanger lives.

“We found an alarming failure on the part of the multiple-property owners to comply with the law and to resolve these violations,” said Butkovitz. “It’s important that the Licenses & Inspections Department enforce all regulations and maintain follow-up procedures to find out if any violations have been corrected.”

The Controller’s review also found 32 multiple-property owners who owed the city a total of $160,553 for unpaid water and sewer bills for 97 properties. There were another 27 owners who owed the city $196,446 for delinquent real estate taxes for 67 properties.

“Multiple property owners who fail to follow city laws and regulations and keep their properties clean and safe cause blight on the neighborhood and ultimately depreciate the value of surrounding properties,” said Butkovitz

The Controller’s investigators also uncovered one property owner who is operating three rental properties without the required rental licensing. Of the 121 on-site visual inspections of the sampled properties, eight of the properties were found to be in a blighted condition.

To view a copy of the report, entitled “Philadelphia’s Multiple Property Owners: Review of City Property Requirements & Conditions”, please visit the Controller’s website at www.philadelphiacontroller.org