On Wed., September 16th at 5:30 p.m., the destinies of a class of West Chester residents were discussed. This meeting, which happened at the West Chester municipal building, located on Gay Street, proposed an amendment to the chapter 66 code of West Chester. This code is better known as the rental-tenant agreement. So for those who own their own homes here in the borough, you may continue through the rest of your day. However, for those who have a lease, you’re in potential danger.
Currently, landlords accumulate points for the misconduct of their tenants. This includes, but is not limited to: noise disturbances, maintenance issues, trash violations, and etc. When a landlord accumulates 10 points, they must show the borough that a suitable plan is in effect to take hold of the issue. At that point, the borough will review the plan and decide if the proposed action is sufficient. If it is not enough, the landlord must go through the procedures of constructing a plan until it will suffice for the borough. If plans are not made, or they continue not to fix the matter, the landlords run the risk of losing their rental license. This policy may not be the case any longer.
The West Chester borough is now seeking to change this policy, and the mayor is in favor of it. The amendment is fixed so that after two infractions, the Code Official of the borough will force the landlord to begin the eviction process. This happens before the tenant is found guilty for any infractions. The tenants will not know until you receive the eviction notice.
How are these strikes classified? Well, if at any point there is a complaint, whether or not the tenant receives any official document of a sanction… that is considered a strike against them. What is so compelling about this is that in the subsection that classified the types of infractions, “vegetation” is categorized. If you’re thinking the same way, then yes. Tenants could very well be evicted due to a neighbor complaining about long grass, or a few weeds.
According to US News, 64% of West Chester students are off-campus or commuters. With around 16,000 students who attended West Chester University in the fall of 2014, that means that 10,240 students are either Off-campus or Commuters. Of these students, 49.5% of them live off-campus. This means, 5,068 of our own are in jeopardy. West Chester University is not just any university. We are our own culture.
We, the student body, have the opportunity to express our concerns and displeasure with the amendment of chapter 66. On Tuesday, Sept. 29th, the council of West Chester will be voting on whether or not this amendment should be adopted. The voting will take place at the Borough Hall on East Gay Street at 6:00 pm. This meeting is open to the public. To formally express the level of discontent, the Off-campus and Commuters Association (OCCA) has created a petition. At any time on Monday and Tuesday from 8:00am to 3:00pm the petition will be open for signatures in the Off-Campus and Commuter Services office located on the second floor of Sykes. In addition, the Off-campus and Commuters association will be in the M-lot at Swope 8:00-12:00 pm. They will provide light refreshments. As inhabitants of West Chester, you have the right to have your voice be heard.