UPDATE:  The new L&I Commissioner, David Perri, just contacted me to let me know the hot mess behind 2317 E SERGEANT ST is going out to bid for an emergency demolition TODAY.


A week back I ran this feature-creature on what to do with a landlord that’s going broke.  That feature of course centered on a landlord, Anthony M. Cancelliere.

Since that story ran I’ve had 9 of his current and ex-tenants come forward to me to unload after I posted one ex-tenant’s exchange with him.  All his current tenants who have read the piece are of course worried that they may lose their rental (that’s not really in the cards–at least not the specific ones that contacted me, I checked on those), and of course because he appears to be broke, that nothing will ever get repaired again ever.

Broke landlords are a problem.

Especially ones that are as broke as this:

“Credit One Bank”, a subprime lender that markets its credit card products to the sub-600 FICO score range, sued him and got a default judgment.   That’s pretty broke for a landlord.

When you have a landlord that is in this state there is no way you could ever expect major repairs to a building in a short period of time, especially for something critical such as the heating system.  Another recurring theme going on with Cancelliere is that he has a bad habit of not paying water bills.  Multiple tenants have told me this.   He’s not just skipping a few months, but just not paying it all during the whole period of the lease contract, up to the point where tenants turn on the tap or flush the toilet and then nothing happens–which takes more than six months of nonpayment.

Let me show you.    First, let’s log into the Municipal Court docketing system and do a search where someone has been sued, like this:


Now let’s see what the court has on file HOLY MOTHER OF GOD


See that at the bottom of that picture??!!


Well, the first two numbers after “CE” is the year the case was first docketed.   CE by the way stands for code enforcement, it’s where the City is suing you for property and tax issues that carry fines below $20,000 or don’t result in a lien.   Next to Anthony’s name in the middle column it shows you what agency or party sued him.

To get his recent lawsuits we have to go over to Page 2 and ignore this other mountain of cases.  In the middle are the 15’s and there’s even a 16-… which means the City just sued him yet again just a couple days ago (that was for a water bill over $2,000).


He also gets sued over not taking out rental licenses on his properties.

Considering that no landlord in Philadelphia can get a valid rental license without being current on their property taxes, which denies them access to the courts to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent, I am wondering how Cancelliere is juggling that.

Another thing you might notice if you’re following along and doing a court search to see how I did one here is that sometimes his own tenants sue him.   Here’s one of several examples of that:


I haven’t really looked at his real estate tax bills yet but I need a scotch and soda after looking at this court docket.  I can’t even.

What Should Landlords Like This Do?

Anthony, I know you’re listening—you called my lawyer within two hours of me posting about you the last time.   You need to sell off some of your real estate empire.  You can’t afford the maintenance and you’re not doing the maintenance on many of your properties, some of which are in choice locations like my own neighborhood.  I don’t know why you think transferring some of your holdings to your wife Janine is gonna help anything, it’s not.   You’re still not doing maintenance and you never follow through with your word.

In fact, you have an outdoor squatter right now camping out behind one of your rentals, 2317 E SERGEANT ST, and we’ve called the 26th District, the Department of Licenses and Inspections who visited your wonderful property a couple weeks ago (and condemned it).  Talking to you is a no-go because you have a mountain of excuses to give and it’s all lies.   Everyone is tired of hearing it.   It’s not just the rentals you own down where I live either.  People are up in arms about you in Tacony and in Mayfair.   There’s immediate neighbors to your properties spread across five whole zip codes that are sick of it.

Dude, you are broke.  Your tenants know it, the property owners next to your holdings know it, Bobby Henon knows it, the civics know it, everyone knows it.   You need to pull the lever and file for personal bankruptcy (call my buddy Isaac Slepner, he can file you a quick 7 or 13) and clear your personal creditors and start picking which properties you think you can manage and put the others up for sale and let an investor who can maintain the property have a go at it rather than building up this huge conga line of angry tenants and pissed-off neighbors.

No one thinks you’re an evil guy or the Anti-Christ.   It’s just fucking obvious that you have no idea how to manage a property portfolio this large.   Yes, yes, you bought a ton of shit at the housing peak and got ruined by the Great Recession.   The investors who were wiped out all went BK and started over.   You are now eight years behind everybody else.

And answer the phone calls from the realtors who want to buy your stuff.   They want to help you unload your mess if you’ll just talk to them.

We are tired of having to call 311.  We are tired of having to complain to the district councilperson.  We are tired of having to call the police.  We are tired.

Anthony, fix your nightmare.   I don’t care that Councilman Bobby Henon rents an office from you or that you’re a true son of the Northeast and a swell guy.  Nobody gives a shit.

Not when we have to put up with this shit in a good neighborhood.


Enough already.


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Foreclosure and bankrupt property owners can cause problems for tenants

Bankruptcies happen a lot.  In fact, they occur more frequently than divorce.  Know anyone who’s divorced among your friends and family?  Chances are you have twice as many as that number who have “went BK”, the financial-speak for the term.  People are just more happy to talk about their divorces than about that time they went BK.

But what happens if the person who goes BK is your landlord?  When this was happening to a lot of real estate investors in 2007-2009, Congress stepped in and passed Obama’s Protecting Tenants In Foreclosure Act of 2009 which allowed rental leases to survive a foreclosure.  But that law has since expired.

I really hated the glib TV spots during the Great Recession where TV anchors rattled off advice that boiled down to “talk with the bank” and “talk with the landlord”.  Most renters who find themselves in this situation learned of it because they discovered foreclosure notices from the bank arriving to the house or the landlord told them.  Today I am going to give you practical advice.

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