Pittsburgh Rental Registration Program Placed on Hold
May 31, 2022
The Apartment Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh filed a lawsuit against the City of Pittsburgh on March 15, 2022, claiming the City of Pittsburgh’s new Rental Registration program and Lead Safety Ordinance violate the Pennsylvania Constitution and Pennsylvania law.
On May 12, 2022, Judge James of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County placed a temporary stay on the implementation of the Rental Registration program and Lead Safety Ordinance. The stay will be in effect for up to 90 days. As a result, the Rental Registration program and Lead Safety Ordinance did not go into effect on May 29, 2022 as planned.
This is not the first time that this type of rental registration program has run into legal opposition for the City of Pittsburgh. A similar version of this ordinance was passed by Pittsburgh City Council in 2015 and was immediate subject to a lawsuit. In 2021, Judge James held that the fee structure in the 2015 ordinance was an excessive and impermissible tax and prohibited the city from enforcing the ordinance.
The Rental Registration Program will allow city officials to inspect and ensure that rental properties meet the minimum standards for safe living conditions. Rental registration fees are paid by property owners and inspections on rental units will occur at least once every five years.
Under the Rental Registration Program and Lead Safety Ordinance, City of Pittsburgh landlords will be required to pay an annual $16 application fee, a $5.50 per parcel fee, and a $14 per unit fee to cover travel and inspection costs. Units that are not subject to inspection in a given year will only pay the application fee to remain on the annual Rental Registry until they are up for inspection again. Structures or portions of structures built prior to 1978 will also be subject to a lead dust wipe inspection and fee as required under the new Lead Safety Ordinance.
Rothman Gordon will monitor and share when more information is available. If you have questions regarding your rental properties, contact us online or call (412) 338-1156.