Guide for Philadelphia Landlords

Updated 3/16/2017 Rental property in Philly can be a great investment.  On the other hand, there are a lot of things to know and rules to follow that are specific to the city.  This blog post is an attempt to consolidate them into a step-by-step list.  You may also want to check out this list … Continue reading »

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Philadelphia’s policies reward bad behavior from landlords

Philadelphia does not enforce its rental laws.  This has created an ongoing cycle of illegal landlords operating unchecked while the licensed landlords are squeezed out. Earlier this week, our company looked at purchasing a package of properties from an investor.  In doing our due diligence, we noticed that he hadn’t paid property tax for several … Continue reading »

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Solutions to the problem of unlicensed rental units

We have a lot of regulations applying to rental properties in Philadelphia, but the enforcement of them is very lax.  This creates a situation where rule-abiding landlords are put at a significant competitive disadvantage, as I’ve explained in this post. I’m not advocating a huge witch hunt for unlicensed landlords.  Seventy-five percent (75%) of rental … Continue reading »

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The Free Library is preventing homeownership

What would you think if you were turned down for a mortgage because your son checked out a library book on his account five years ago and failed to return it, even though you’ve already paid all of the fines?  Unfortunately, this is a very real scenario in Philadelphia. The city is fighting a rapid … Continue reading »

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Don’t pay junk fees when buying a home

The paperwork involved in buying a home or investment property can be overwhelming.  First the bank hits you with round after round of documentation requests.  Then you get to closing and there’s a huge stack of papers to sign.  When you finally get to the settlement sheet, which is the form that lists out all … Continue reading »

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Why doesn’t Philly have more homeowners?

Many Philly residents are lighting money on fire by renting. For most middle-class areas in America, buying a home is a financial tradeoff between long-term benefits and higher short-term payments. Houses in the suburbs are priced such that a monthly mortgage payment is significantly higher than rent.  On the other hand, homeowners get the benefit … Continue reading »

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The Internet and Your Net Worth

“Your digital self can make it difficult to get credit or insurance” Did you know the types of online ads that are aimed at you are developed using your personal data?  And do you know where this data comes from?  Yup!  You!  Pretty much everything you type, upload, download, and reload is captured by Facebook, … Continue reading »

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Resources for Philly Landlords

  The following is a compilation of useful forms, links and other resources that should be helpful for Philadelphia landlords.  I wish I had a list like this when I started out.  New landlords, you owe me a beer. Some of these forms were borrowed and modified from other landlords so long ago that I … Continue reading »

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Lead Paint Testimony

The following is the testimony that I presented to city council on December 8, 2011 regarding legislation that would require lead paint testing for all licensed rental properties in Philly My name is Justin Turner and I am a founding partner of Brownstone Apartments. For those of you who are not familiar with us, we … Continue reading »

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