Hazleton City officials warn of alleged impostors trying to evict renters

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HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Just days after Pennsylvania’s moratorium on evictions was lifted, Hazleton City officials are issuing a warning for people who rent their homes, to be alert for anyone who might pose as a city building inspector in an effort to have them evicted.

City officials say they are very concerned about the new scam trying to take advantage of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve had three separate complaints over the last week or so with regard to people advising us that someone knocked on their doors and said that they had to move out in the next two or three days and also that the person was representing the city of Hazleton,” Chares Pedri, Hazleton Code Enforcement Supervisor told Eyewitness News.

Pedri says the city does not get involved in the eviction process. Evictions are civil cases held by a magistrate.

The state has placed a moratorium on evictions in an effort to protect refers from being forced without a home if they could not pay their rent due to closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat says the person involved in the reported complaints is working for an out-of-town landlord. He is concerned that others may try the same tactic.

“Right now with the eviction mandated lifted it’s an oppotunity to come and try to force people out of their homes without going through due process,” Cusat said.

The mayor says if any tenant has any doubt about who is knocking at their door call the police or 911.

Renters can apply for eligibility in a federal eviction moratorium supervised by the CDC. More information is available by clicking here.

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