Wilmington Landlord Faces Escalating Fines Over Serious Building Code Violations

Settlement, fines© DAPA Images / Canva

WILMINGTON, DE — On December 8, 2023, the city of Wilmington levied additional weekly fines totaling $8,500 against landlord Adolf J. Pokorny. This move comes in response to persistent building code violations at his North Adams Street apartment buildings. The properties were declared uninhabitable in May 2022, resulting in the displacement of several individuals and families from 27 apartments across seven buildings.

Since the initial declaration, Pokorny has accumulated total fines of $46,500 for the properties situated along the 800 block of North Adams Street. On December 1, the landlord paid a portion of these fines, amounting to $13,500, leaving an outstanding balance of $24,500. However, with the newly assessed fines, Pokorny’s debt to the city now stands at $33,000.

The series of penalties began on May 21, 2023, when the city imposed an initial fine of $5,000 on Pokorny for his failure to carry out timely structural repairs to the condemned buildings. With the landlord continuing to breach city building codes, additional weekly fines were implemented from November 1. The city has announced that these fines will continue to be assessed weekly until all code violations are rectified.

The declaration of the buildings as unfit for human habitation on May 16, 2022, triggered an extensive code inspection process. This investigation revealed a staggering 372 building code violations, including severe structural issues, underscoring the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for remedial action.

The city’s stringent enforcement of penalties aims to ensure safe and habitable housing conditions for its residents and serve as a stern reminder to landlords about their obligations to adhere to building codes and prioritize the welfare of their tenants.

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