November 18, 2014

Ithaca Landlord Pleads Guilty to 350 Code Violations in Court

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By ANNIE BUI

Ithaca landlord Ronald Bergman agreed to pay fines amounting up to $50,000 after pleading guilty to 350 city and property code violations in Ithaca City Court Thursday.

Bergman is the owner and landlord of a rental property at 312 Plain St., according to a press release from the City of Ithaca.

In August 2012, an inspection of the property found “numerous longstanding violations,” among them an “unsafe” structure and failure “to provide safe egress” from the building.

Though the building was then “posted as condemned,” at least one tenant still continued to occupy the premises, according to the release. This March, the Ithaca Department of Public Works secured the property and in April, Bergman was charged “with over 8,000 violations,” according to the City.

After pleading guilty to the 350 violations Thursday, Bergman agreed to have the house up to standard, remedying all violations within four months, according to the release.

If Bergman fails to do so, he will ultimately lose his property to the city.

In response to the court proceeding, Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 issued a statement on Facebook, saying that even though Ithaca has “many good landlords,” factors such as a high percentage of Ithacans who rent and a low rental vacancy rate may “lead to abuse.”

“To protect tenants from unsafe conditions, we are continuing an aggressive enforcement stance and our attorneys office has secured another precedent setting victory,” Myrick said.

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