Sultan of Blight: 110 Burnett Street

One of the best things about doing this project is the way I get to watch neighbors take charge of their neighborhood — or at least their block.  This gem was submitted by a South Baltimore neighbor who writes:

Recently, the city sent residents of this hidden street a notice of potential fines if the sidewalk in front of their property was not fixed to their standards. One neighbor who did not obey received a $4,000 fine. It’s ridiculous that the city has time to send notices and fines for sidewalk conditions, but can’t send a slum lord a notice or fine about his or her rat-infested property.

Dear Reader, I couldn’t agree more.  Fining residents $4000 for having a sidewalk in disrepair, when a property owner is allowed to leave a property in disrepair — one they’ve owned since 1998.

The owner of this property also owns Pizza Time in Morrell Park — what is it with owners of pizza joints and slum property??  The company charter has been forfeited.

Property Address:  110 Burnett Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

Property Owner:  Choudhry Sultan Mahmood, 2511 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230

City Council District and Contact:  District 11, William Cole

State Senator:  William Ferguson IV

State Delegates:  Pete HammenLuke ClippingerBrian McHale

110 Burnett Street

110 Burnett Street

110 Burnett Street, rear

110 Burnett Street, rear

110 Burnett Street, rear entrance to basement, which has become a haven for rats.

110 Burnett Street, rear entrance to basement, which has become a haven for rats.







    • Baltimore Slumlord Watch

      I’m so confused about the sidewalk repair thing. I have a friend who received a fine for a crack in the sidewalk in front of his house — a crack that had probably been there for years before he even bought the house. I don’t understand why residents would be expected to know how to repair concrete or brick…it seems a bit extreme, no?

    • p johnson (@bosconet)

      In Baltimore City the owner of a property is responsible for the sidewalk in front of their house. You can be fined if it is in poor condition.

      If enough people on your immediate block request and the city decides to do it they city will replace broken sidewalks for a small fee. If that isn’t the case you have to replace the sidewalk.

      Oh and homeowners are also responsible for half of the alleyway behind their house…..

      And seemingly like most code enforcement against property it seems like in the absence of a complaint enforcement is random.

      • Baltimore Slumlord Watch

        That’s bizarre. I can’t imagine someone having to pay to fix a public right of way — that’s like asking people to be responsible for the street in front of their home, or the light pole. If anyone has access to it, why should the homeowner be the only person held responsible?

  1. p johnson (@bosconet)

    If you accept that a homeowner needs to clear snow from a sidewalk then having them responsible for maintaing the sidewalk is pretty much the same. Both acts are maintaing a public right of way.

    (please note: I do not support the city citing ANYONE for a single (or even several) cracks in a sidewalk.)

    • Baltimore Slumlord Watch

      Right, but snow removal in front of a typical city rowhouse doesn’t potentially cost hundreds…or even thousands…of dollars. Sidewalk repair, depending on what needs to be done, could potentially cost a lot of money that someone doesn’t have.

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