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CITY PHILADELPHIA v. JAMES WATKINS (06/14/85)

filed: June 14, 1985.

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
v.
JAMES WATKINS, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order Entered on May 4, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, No. 6622 March Term, 1980

COUNSEL

Jeffrey P. Lowenthal, Philadelphia, for appellant.

McEwen, Cercone and Trommer,*fn* JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 343 Pa. Super. Page 382]

This is a tax sale redemption case. Appeal is taken from the lower court's order making appellant's petition to redeem absolute upon payment to appellees, who had purchased the property at Sheriff's Sale, of their expenses totaling $30,878.10 plus interest. The crux of appellant's argument is that the lower court erred in finding that approximately $21,000.00 worth of expenses incurred by appellee in renovating and insuring the property constituted necessary expenses within the meaning of the redemption statute, 53 P.S. ยง 7293.

The record discloses the following pertinent facts. On June 6, 1983, appellant's property, a residential dwelling located on Catherine Street in Philadelphia, was exposed for sale by the Sheriff of Philadelphia because of unpaid municipal taxes in the amount of $348.00 for the year 1979. Appellees purchased the property for $8,200.00. The Sheriff's deed conveying the property to appellees was acknowledged on June 30, 1983.

On February 28, 1984, appellant filed a petition to redeem the property. Thereafter, appellees filed an answer and new matter which averred, in pertinent part, that appellant's right to redeem be conditioned upon his payment of their bid price of $8,200.00, and additional alleged necessary expenses they had incurred in connection with their purchase of the property. Appellant's answer to appellees' new matter denied that the additional expenses were necessary. The case was then set down for a hearing before the Honorable Alfred J. Di Bona, Jr., on April 26, 1984. After taking testimony and exhibits, Judge Di Bona, on May 4, 1984, issued a decree which made appellant's petition to

[ 343 Pa. Super. Page 383]

    redeem absolute, conditioned upon his payment to appellees of their expenses in the following amounts:

(a) $8,200.00, representing the amount bid at Sheriff's Sale on June 6, 1983, the date of purchase;

(b) $20,688.30, representing the sum respondents paid for renovation of the property from July 6, 1983;

(c) $904.50, representing cost of carpeting paid by respondents for installation in the property, ...


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