About us

Category: Main Content Last Updated: Thursday, 05 July 2018 Published: Sunday, 21 September 2014 Written by ATA Admin

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About us:

The Allentown tenant association has been created to tackle the city’s current renting issues. The association aims to educate residents of the city on their rights as a tenant and to assist with tenant-landlord disputes. ATA also is going to be educating renters of current slumlords in the city. We are currently working with city agencies to improve rental conditions throughout the city.

The Association is known as: Allentown Tenant Association

The Area Covered by the Association is: City of Allentown,Pa

Our Story - How the Allentown Tenant Association got started, our current status, and how you can get involved:
In 2010-2011 our president Julian Kern rented a property from city landlord Joe Clark. While living at the property with his family, they dealt with multiple issues that occurred over time. After a couple months of living at the property they had roof leaks and problems with the home's heating system. They called Joe Clark multiple times to inform him of the problems. Joe sent his maintenance employees to the home multiple times to patch the roof but the roof continued to leak. He had someone service the furnace but the employee only changed the filter instead of properly servicing the furnace. Then they started having sewer backups which they notified Joe Clark who sent out one of his plumbers. Joe kept accusing the family of flushing items down the tiolet which they weren't. He kept billing them to unclog the sewer drain. The family called code enforcement about the issues. One day an inspector showed up with Joe Clark and did an inspection of the property. The inspector overlooked multiple issues but noted several violations that needed to be corrected. Joe then was in the process of upgrading the home's electricity from fuses to breakers. While in the process of upgrading the electricity there was an electrical fire at the panel. The family called 911 and the fire department responded. The fire department found the electrical wiring was not wired properly and had PPL pull the meter to the home causing the family to be without electricity. Joe was ordered by the city to not touch the electrical service to the home till code enforcement inspected it. The family had to stay in a hotel over the weekend since the incident occurred on a Friday night. The family would check on the property throughout the weekend and found the doors to the home open so they entered to find one of Joe's employees in the basement working on the electrical wiring. Julian told the employee that they were ordered by the fire department to not touch it till code inspected it but the employee ignored him so Julian called the fire department which then spoke to the employee and ordered him to stop working on it. The employee left pissed off. Julian and his family then went to the city the following Monday which were no help. They also went to state representative offices as well as the state senators office. All were no help and ignored the continuance problems with Joe Clark. The family fed up with dealing with the ongoing problems paid for Maitz home services to camera the sewer line which they found the sewer line was broken with tree roots in it as well as an old plumber snake. The family also paid for an inspection company to perform an inspection on the property. The inspection company found multiple issues with the property that the city overlooked. They also got a free estimate from Able roofing to check the roof who told the family the roof needed to be replaced. The family then sent Joe Clark certified letters which went ignored so the family put their rent in an escrow account. The family went to court multiple times against Joe to only have the judge side on Joe's side despite all the evidence however they did win a case against Joe in arbitration. While all this was occurring Joe tried to raise the rent illegally and charge the family bogus fees. The family ended up moving out at the end of their lease.
Julian Kern started a forums website to expose Joe Clark and his business practices. The website didn't get many followers but the association's current vice-president Kenneth Heffentrager sent Julian a private message on the forums website who also rented from Joe Clark and was illegally evicted by him which he won in court against Joe Clark for the illegal eviction and throwing out his personal belongings.
Julian and Ken met in person and decided to start a tenant association for the city to advise renters on their rights and expose slumlords. They started the Tenant Association of Allentown in December of 2011. Joe Clark trying to stop Julian and Ken from operating the association registered the association name in his name so Julian and Ken changed the name of the association to the current name of Allentown Tenant Association which is registered with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in their names.
Julian and Ken also decided to expose the issue of blighted properties throughout the city. It is almost seven years now that Julian and Ken have been operating the association continuing to expose slumlords and blight, advise renters on their rights, advocate for improved housing conditions, etc. They attend city meetings on a regularly basis to speak on the mentioned issues. They have brought forward numerous ideas to address the issues and continue to push the city and state to tackle the substandard rental conditions as well as blight. They have helped countless amount of renters as well as homeowners throughout the years. They continue to try to get residents to speak up about the issues and get the city to address the problems. They have been featured in the news media on multiple occasions speaking about the housing issues in the city.
How can you get involved?
• Attend city council meetings and speak at courtesy of the floor regarding the issues.
• Contact the city administration and city council via email or phone and demand more be done to address the issues.
• Contact state representatives via email or phone and demand the issues be addressed.
• Contact the news media and push for them to expose the issues.
• Submit opinion articles to the news media.
• Document your experiences with slumlords and absentee landlords and expose your experiences via social media, news media, city administration, city council, and state representatives.
• Share our page with your family and friends.
• Follow our page and show your support for our cause.
• Support our campaigns we will host in the near future such as a no more slumlords social media campaign coming soon.
• Speak up and be heard!

Our President: Julian Kern

Our Vice-President: Kenneth Heffentrager




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