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CITY PHILADELPHIA v. KING KAI CHIN. APPEAL S.R. FRIENDS (06/13/86)

June 13, 1986

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
v.
KING KAI CHIN. APPEAL OF S.R. FRIENDS



Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Philadelphia County, No. 55466 TLD March, 1980

COUNSEL

Jerome J. Verlin, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Andrew P. Bralow, Philadelphia, for City, appellee.

Louis Perez, Philadelphia, for Chin, appellee.

Wickersham, Wieand and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 116]

The several issues in this appeal pertain to the amounts which must be paid by a property owner, pursuant to the General Municipal Law of May 16, 1923, P.L. 207, § 32, as amended, 53 P.S. § 7293, in order to redeem property which has been sold "under a tax or municipal claim."

King Kai Chin failed to pay municipal taxes on real estate which he owned at 216 North Twelfth Street, Philadelphia. Therefore, the property was sold at sheriff's sale on April 4, 1983. It was "knocked down" for a high bid of $28,500.00. The successful bidder thereafter assigned his right to purchase the real estate to S.R. Friends, a general partnership, for a consideration of $2,500.00. S.R. Friends paid the purchase price and took title to the real estate by sheriff's deed dated May 9, 1983, and recorded in the Office of the

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 117]

Recorder of Deeds on May 24, 1983. Chin thereafter filed a petition to redeem the property, and redemption was allowed by court order dated August 30, 1983. On May 4, 1984, Chin tendered to S.R. Friends the sum of $31,587.50, which sum included the bid price of $28,500.00 and interest thereon. S.R. Friends refused to accept the amount tendered and, on May 15, 1984, filed a petition to set aside the order of redemption because of Chin's failure to tender an amount which included, inter alia, the costs of repairs made to the premises ($13,965.00) less rents collected by S.R. Friends ($7,340.00). On April 2, 1985, after depositions had been taken and copies of repair and other bills submitted, the trial court dismissed the petition to set aside the redemption, holding that the moneys expended by S.R. Friends had been for improvements, not repairs. The trial court subsequently granted reconsideration, but, following argument, reinstated its original order refusing to set aside the redemption and directing Chin to pay the purchase price of $28,500.00 plus interest of $3,087.50 and taxes of $1,743.00. Chin was given credit, however, for $12,667.67 collected as rent by S.R. Friends, plus the $2,500.00 paid by S.R. Friends for an assignment of the rights of the original bidder, plus interest of $354.17. A timely appeal was filed by S.R. Friends.

Appellant contends, inter alia, that the trial court erred (1) when it allowed Chin a credit for the $2,500.00 which appellant had paid to purchase the rights of the highest bidder; (2) when it failed to require Chin to pay the costs of drawing, acknowledging and recording the sheriff's deed; (3) when it failed to require Chin to reimburse appellant for insurance premiums paid to insure the property; (4) when it refused to require that Chin reimburse appellant for repairs necessary to make the property habitable and to bring it into compliance with city housing ordinances; and (5) when it refused to allow reimbursement for amounts expended on account of services rendered by public utilities. The City of Philadelphia, which is also an appellee, agrees with S.R. Friends that the trial court erred with respect to the foregoing matters and joins in urging that we reverse.

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 118]

The pertinent section of the statute provides in ...


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