A Palmerton homeowner is asking borough council to create an ordinance that would require tenants to be respectful to their neighbors.
This homeowner has called Palmerton police multiple times, and the neighbor has plead guilty to charges.
This neighbor has plead guilty to disorderly conduct, harassment, and public drunkenness. This has been happening to this family for the better part of a decade. She's asking Palmerton borough counsel to mirror policies adopted by surrounding towns.
"She was verballing accosting us outside daily. We had instances where we had nails put in our tires. She put a bucket of dog poop on our porch." said Raberta Hans.
And that is just the start for Raberta Hans' nightmare ordeal with her neighbor. She says trouble dates back all the way to 2010. Hans said the neighbor would bang a running vacuum on shared walls at 1am, violent screaming matches, vandalism of property, even wielding a knife while kicking a car windshield in. This neighbor, who admitted to being an alcoholic in court, has also been sentenced to jail time for soliciting a hit on Hans' teenage daughter. This neighbor's court summary lists many misdemeanors and summary offenses. Hans is looking for an ordinance where multiple violations by a tenant would result in citations or eviction from the borough. She says Palmerton is turning into a renting town, and lack of home-ownership has resulted in a loss of community.
She said, "When I bought my house here 21 years ago, there was maybe a hand full of rentals. Just in this row of ten houses there's only three homeowners."
A nearby town that also has a code of conduct ordinance is the Borough of Lansford. But their solicitor tells us it is hard to enforce, and you need someone who's on top of it.
"You can't just let it be for the police officers." Greek said, "You have to have dedicated code officials and a lot of municipalities don't have the finances or the quality of people that are trained to do this and to constantly enforce those ordinances"
Lansford solicitor Michael Greek said it's hard for small towns like his to enforce the ordinance without the staff to do it. Greek said their code of conduct has worked on occasion, but lack of money results in low enforcement.
"There were certain things related to the ordinance which needed to be corrected and we've put those corrections in. Now it's getting the landlords back into compliance." he said.
Raberta Hans and her family said it's gotten a little better since they went to the borough cousel back in June, but they're asking for an effective way to handle this because no deserves to be treated this way.