Pandemic creates rental property shortage in Hazleton

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HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — If you are looking for a rental property in the Hazleton area you might want to think again. Rental properties are few and between.

City officials and real estate agents tell us they have never seen anything quite like this before: rental properties are at a premium.

“There really is a significant desire for rental units,” Hazleton Zoning Code Officer Charles Pedri said. “We are seeing a lot of people coming in requesting additional units requesting to make a garage an apartment requesting various other things. We are also seeing unfortunately a lot of illegal apartments going in basements and attics,” said Pedri.

The city is now focusing on those illegal apartments.

“The problem there is from a safety perspective. No two ways out. So we are closing a lot of illegal apartments down,” said Pedri.

Pedri believes the rental property shortage is being caused by two main factors.

“I think by the numbers of people coming into the area because of job opportunities and with COVID and everything,” said Pedri.

Ken Temborski runs a real estate and rental company. Many of his clients are from New York and New Jersey.

“They want space. They want open air, they want yards to play in and so forth,” said Temborski.

One recent rental ad got a huge response.

“We just had one posted and within a day we had about 23 applicants. We definitely have a lack of housing,” Temborski said.

City officials urge people who are looking to rent to be persistent and don’t wait if you see a property that you may be interested in.

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