Boarding of windows and doors prohibited in Philadelphia, PA, following State Supreme Court Ruling

Philadelphia, PA: Boarding of doors and windows for vacant property is prohibited in the City, as upheld by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court.

The legal appeals included establishing whether the City Code could force vacant property owners to maintain property in a manner that did not cause “blighting influence;” including securing and maintenance that required the securing of all spaces designed as windows with working glazed windows and all entryways with working doors.

The process of “clear boarding,” or polycarbonate boarding, as a means of securing for properties, was not specifically mentioned in the court documents.

Part of the issue included questions of whether installing windows and doors in a property would deter unauthorized access to the property, or was solely aimed at improving the aesthetics of vacant buildings.

The State Supreme Court decided in favor of a municipality to exercise its police power to involve the regulation of property to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the people; on a rational basis standard.

Per the Court’s September ruling, “the lack of windows and/or entry doors has a significant adverse influence on the community based on the following factors: (a.) deterioration and/or safety of the property; (b.) safety of the surrounding community; (c.) the value of intact, occupied properties in the surrounding vicinity of the property; (d.) marketability of the property; and (e.) community morale.”




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