As we begin a new year, we are continuing to put our residents and our neighborhoods first. In response to the many resident public safety concerns that came into my office, we worked to create and implement a new Rental Registration Ordinance and Disruptive Property Ordinance.
The City of Pittsburgh has over 62,000 rental properties. The Rental Registration Ordinance is designed to keep rental properties from falling into decay and causing blight in our neighborhoods. Landlords must register rental properties before renting or leasing units in the City. Landlords have until April 1, 2009 to register or they may face a fine of up to $1,000. The Registry will ensure that we know who our City landlords are, and that they maintain and correct any violations against their rental property. To register a rental property, please contact the Bureau of Building Inspection (BBI) at 412-255-RENT.
Adding an additional layer of enforcement to protect our residents against neighbors that are engaging in disruptive activities, the new Disruptive Property Ordinance holds both the residents and owners of rental properties and owner-occupied housing accountable. The City’s Department of Information Systems created the technology in-house to integrate data from the Bureau of Building Inspection, Police and Animal Control in order to flag disruptive properties. Property owners are now subject to a fine if their properties are cited as disruptive three or more times in a 60 day period. To learn more about the Disruptive Property Ordinance, please contact BBI at 412.255.2175.
You can play a critical role in both of these processes. It was a citizen complaint driven investigation that resulted in the Director of Public Safety, Michael Huss, and the Nuisance Bar Task Force to temporarily shut down a bar in the South Side in November. While the bar has since proven to be in compliance with code and re-opened, the Police will continue to keep a close watch. Please report any nuisance bar activity to the Bureau of Police Vice Unit at 412.323.7761.
While the City has also hired a quality of life attorney and a disruptive property administrator to provide the legal and administrative support to ensure the success of this ordinance, we are unable to knock on every door to find out if it is a rental unit. Please continue to call 9-1-1 to report neighborhood criminal activity and 311 for building and maintenance violations. Let’s continue to work together to improve our neighborhoods!
Please contact my Department of Neighborhood Initiatives for more information on these and other initiatives at 412.255.8680.
Happy New Year!
Mayor, City of Pittsburgh