As of 2019, Philadelphia law requires landlords to always give tenants 30 days’ notice for one of several specified “good causes.”. There are two categories of renter rights — federal rights and state rights. Section 506-B. In Philadelphia, the landlord-tenant law is governed by the Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code (Section PM-102.6.4). In any case, you should always know your basic tenant rights to avoid many unpleasant situations and lengthy discussions with landlords. Compensation for Physical Damage. All Rights Reserved. Tenants May Have More Expansive Rights Than They Think. Section 505-A. Under the act, a landlord doesn’t have the right to forbid overnight guests or to limit the number of visitors a tenant has in a week or month. First, a landlord can only get a credit or consumer report on a current or potential tenant if they have that person’s permission. It might seem like a lot of work to remember all of Pennsylvania’s landlord and tenant laws.  decided that it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that a property is safe and sanitary. Cities and counties may enact their own rules and regulations for renters. 7 E-mail: info@LHOP.org. Pennsylvania law states that landlords can require up to two months’ rent for a security deposit for the first year of a lease. The repairs also need to cost less than the total amount of rent remaining on the lease. Legal issues related to real estate and the landlord/tenant relationship come in a variety of forms. You must obtain the certificate and have it issued by Licenses and Inspections “within 60 days prior to the start of tenancy”. Two or more persons who hold title to real estate jointly, with equal rights to share in its enjoyment during their respective lives with the provision that upon the death of a joint tenant his/her share in the property passes to the surviving tenants, and so on, until the full title is vested in the last survivor. Several factors can influence whether or not a home is safe and appropriate for human habitation. In 2017, there were  more than 28,000 complaints of housing discrimination. First Year of Lease: When a landlord signs an initial yearly lease with a tenant, the landlord can collect a maximum of two months' rent as a security deposit. The landlord has a right to file an eviction action against the tenant, serve the tenant with the paperwork and request a court hearing in front of a Pennsylvania magistrate or district judge. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. tenants are those covered under Landlord Tenant law. If you know for a fact that the paint used on the interior or exterior of the property contains lead, you need to state that in the lease. Here are a few tenant rights that relate to the lease. Pennsylvania small claims court will hear rent-related disputes valuing up to $12,000 including eviction cases. To use the law … The Fair Housing Center at LHOP 123 East King Street Lancaster, PA 17602 Phone: (717) 291-9945, ext. Tenants in Pennsylvania have the right to a habitable dwelling and the right to withhold rent if requested repairs are not made in a timely manner. In Pennsylvania, tenant rights include quiet enjoyment, habitability, return of security deposit if no damage to building exists, the right to have a notice of perceived violations and advanced notice of evictions. Pennsylvania rental property laws extend to a tenant’s use and enjoyment of a home after they’ve signed the lease, received the keys and moved in their belongings. Tenant rights when a house is for sale vary state by state, but a violation could cause delays for the seller or worse, trigger legal recourse from the wronged tenant. Tenant’s Rights. Read your lease agreement carefully! This area of law is essential to renting an apartment or house. This guide can explain the basics of how PA landlord tenant law may affect you as a tenant or a landlord. If you deducted anything from the deposit, you also need to provide an itemized list of any damages and the amount of the charges for those damages. The following behaviors have been highlighted as potentially discriminatory when directed at a member of a protected group: Victims of housing discrimination can file a complaint on the Commission’s website by filling out this questionnaire. If the tenant does not appear or has no defenses, the court will enter an order in favor of the landlord and permit the eviction. In Pennsylvania, they have several options if their landlord doesn’t take action or make repairs in a timely fashion. Pennsylvania does not have any laws regarding landlord right to entry. Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Law protects both tenants and landlords by establishing basic regulations for the rental of residential property. This manual is not intended as a substitute for proper legal advice. The law is in place to help tenants living in a residence in need of repair. The Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission handles cases involving housing discrimination. Unconscionable provisions include (but are not limited to) those in which a tenant agrees to waive rights granted to tenants under applicable law, agrees to pay landlord’s attorney fees beyond what is allowed by law, or agrees to the limit the liability of or hold harmless the landlord for landlord’s legal liabilities related to the lease. If the eviction is for nonpayment of rent, the tenant has the legal right to stop the eviction by paying the back rent due plus expenses, up to the last moment. You need to understand the landlord-tenant laws in your state to know your rights. Although there’s no exact definition for “reasonable” notice, it’s generally thought to be at least 24 hours in advance. The CARES Act enacted in late March instituted a temporary moratorium on certain evictions. Tenant/Landlord Rights & Responsibilities Manual. In Pennsylvania, a lease agreement exists wherever a tenant agrees to exchange rent for inhabiting a property. Some cities and municipalities in the state also  forbid discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. On the other end, tenants could lose their homes and their credit score could suffer, setting them up for hard times when searching for a new home. Protected groups. Notice requirements. Tenant Rights Tenants (also referred to as "renters") need to know their rights when entering into a rental agreement. Another right tenants have in Pennsylvania is to make necessary repairs themselves, then deduct the cost of their repairs from their rent. American Heritage Property Management Most notably, the code requires landlords to provide tenants with a copy of the City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing brochure. Likewise, if a landlord tries to put a “no children” provision in the lease or forbid overnight guests, those clauses won’t be enforceable. 7 E-mail: info@LHOP.org. If you need more in depth information or advice, you may want to consult with an attorney versed in Pennsylvania landlord tenant law. Tenants also have several rights under the state's law. Landlords can’t discriminate against people in several categories under the Fair Housing Act. Section 503-B. To find out more about the ways in which a Pennsylvania real estate lawyer can offer assistance with the process of protecting your rights as a landlord of a commercial property, and the ways in which an attorney can help you to evict a tenant, give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us today. Landlords also have rights, such as the right to collect rent in a timely manner and the right to be reimbursed for costs from damages that exceed normal wear and tear. If the landlord makes the needed repairs within six months, they will get the money in the escrow account. Pennsylvania landlord-tenant law allows tenants the right to have visitors as long as they continue to observe their other obligations as a tenant. In Pennsylvania, it’s usually anywhere from 10 to 30 days. After two years, the tenant has the right to receive interest on the security deposit. First, the tenant needs to have told the landlord about the problem. Your lease should lay out your rights and explain your responsibilities. It’s also against the law to use words that might refer to a tenant’s race, sex, religion or other description that is protected under the law. If the inspector declares the home to be uninhabitable, the tenant does not need to keep paying rent on the property. If 30 days comes and goes without a response, the landlord forfeits their right to sue you for any damage to the property (if there is any). Instead, their monthly rental payments will go into an escrow account. [PDF] Content Detail. For example, if a couple living in a one-bedroom apartment has a baby, a landlord will have a difficult time evicting the couple for occupancy reasons. To learn more about how we can help you avoid the stresses and concerns of being a landlord and managing properties,  contact us today. In addition to the below, check your local county and municipality for additional land-lord tenant regulations. If the furnace breaks in the middle of January, then it needs to be fixed right away. However, there are very few details about the discrimination investigation process or applicable penalties. Section 507-B. Your landlord can’t sue you. 1176, No. The tenant’s agreement is tied to the property, not the owner. The eviction process allows for at least minimal due process rights for any tenant facing eviction. The Emergency Housing Protection Act (EHPA) creates new rights and protections for tenants facing COVID-19 related hardships. A tenant and landlord may have a significant disagreement when the tenant withholds rent due to unsafe or uninhabitable conditions on the rental property. This limit changes based on the length of tenancy. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, landlords need to follow a few rules and guidelines to make sure that they aren’t violating a tenant’s rights. If a tenant lives in your property for two years or longer, you are only allowed to hold up to one month’s worth of rent as a deposit. Pennsylvania's landlord tenant law sets a limit on how much a landlord can collect from a tenant as a security deposit. A tenant who withholds rent when a landlord has failed to make necessary repairs may have a good defense it the landlord decides to sue for back rent or eviction, if s/he can prove that the house or apartment is worth only the smaller amount of rent. Tenant Resource Guide. If a landlord fails to take care of important maintenance, such as a leaky roof or a broken heater, you have several important legal rights, including: the right to withhold rent until repairs are made, and. Learn what HOA management companies do, how they differ from property management, how to find the right one for you and more with our Pennsylvania guide! Pennsylvania landlord-tenant law allows tenants the right to have visitors as long as they continue to observe their other obligations as a tenant. Consumer Protection Law in Pennsylvania and Landlord/Tenant Relationships are discussed by NWLS Attorneys John Gandrud & David Hull in this episode. The first step to protecting your rights, however, is to understand what these rights are. How much notice is required depends on the reason for the eviction.  on the subject. Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951. Landlords have rights and responsibilities. Tenants’ rights influence what you can and can’t include on a lease and how much you can collect from the tenant up front. In Pennsylvania, these often include: Landlord/tenant disputes, such as those related to rental rates, late or unpaid rent, security deposits, disagreements about the habitability of rental property, and other tenant rights and landlord rights issues. Under the act, a landlord doesn’t have the right to forbid overnight guests or to limit the number of visitors a tenant has in a week or month. Emergency entry is usually understood to be permissible without prior notice. As a landlord, you have no legal right to remove your tenant in any other way. Tenant rights and obligations, including tenant at will and how to … Security Deposits The first question many tenants have and have asked us is: do I still have to pay rent? [PDF] Content Detail. Here is a list of essential amenities that Pennsylvania landlords may or may not be responsible for. Working with an experienced property management company is one way to make sure that you don’t accidentally violate the law or infringe on tenant legal rights when leasing apartments. Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent in Pennsylvania Tenants may withhold rent or exercise the right to “repair and deduct” if a landlord fails to take care of important repairs, such as a broken heater. By: ... PA on 7/12/07. As a tenant, you have the right to a safe environment and privacy. This limit changes based on the length of tenancy. Both landlords and tenants have rights and responsibilities under Pennsylvania landlord tenant law. But if it breaks in August, a landlord can put off repairs until they are needed. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. On the other end, tenants could lose their homes and their credit score could suffer, setting them up for hard times when searching for a new home. Compensation for Physical Damage. This area of law is essential to renting an apartment or house. The City of Philadelphia passed the Emergency Housing Protection Act (Philadelphia Code 9-809) on July 1, 2020, and amended it on December 1, 2020. Depending on the existing rapport and communication dynamics, this may be easier said than done. Tenants are often at a disadvantage in their relationships with landlords, who in most cases have more knowledge of the law and more resources to use the law to their advantage. Section 503-B. Tenant/Landlord Rights & Responsibilities Manual. The state's landlord-tenant rules are outlined in The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951. Pennsylvania landlord tenant law requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details: Disclosure and information of lead-based paint in the property (for housing built before 1978) Recommended for Tenancy Agreement Name and address of tenant (s) Article V-B Tenants’ Rights to Cable Television Section 502-B. You can sue your landlord in municipal court for double the amount of the security deposit. Lead Counsel independently verifies attorneys by conferring with state bar associations and conducting annual reviews to confirm that an attorney practices in their advertised practice areas and possesses a valid bar license for the appropriate jurisdictions. The buyer has to honor the length of the original lease created between the seller and tenant. Pennsylvania has state-level protected that prohibits discrimination based on age or pregnancy status. The right to quiet enjoyment of a property for a tenant means that a landlord doesn’t have the right or permission to enter the property whenever they want. Second, the repairs need to have been necessary to make the property habitable — a tenant can’t decide to upgrade to a newer refrigerator then charge the landlord for the fix. If you have control of your own heat (i.e. If the landlord did not return any remaining security deposit plus interest to the tenant, the tenant can recover twice the amount of deposit that was wrongfully withheld. In Pennsylvania, apart from paying rent, tenants must: Pennsylvania landlords may evict tenants for the following reasons: Pennsylvania does not have any rules on how eviction of at-will tenants is supposed to work. Pennsylvania Laws on Retaliation Landlords are prohibited from harassing or retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights. Tenant Rights: Security Deposits, Lease Terminations, and More In addition to state and federal laws protecting you against discrimination based on characteristics like race, religion, or national origin, Pennsylvania has strict guidelines for handling security deposits . According to Pennsylvania law (Pennsylvania Landlord and Tenant Act), tenants have certain rights, such as the right to enjoy the property without undue disturbance and the right to a habitable living space. Philadelphia Tenant Rights Information. However, tenant law varies from state to state, which is why we take a closer look at each state specifically. Tenants are legally allowed to break a lease for the following reasons: If a tenant breaks a lease early then they may be required to pay the remainder of the lease agreement. Section 504-B. Pennsylvania's Tenants Rights to Withhold Rent. Pennsylvania tenants are legally entitled to rental property that meets basic structural, health, and safety standards and is in good repair. We handle everything from tenant screening and lease preparation to property maintenance and tenant evictions. Pennsylvania tenant rights allow landlords to enter a dwelling only for repairs or inspections, and only after providing reasonable notice. Rental issues such as repairs and maintenance and eviction procedures are governed by Landlord Tenant law. Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, you should typically be able to deal with legal issues without going to court. If the apartment or house you are renting dates from before 1978, you need to provide tenants with a notice about lead-based paint, including an  EPA-approved pamphlet A landlord desirous of repossessing real property from a tenant except real property which is a mobile home space as defined in the act of November 24, 1976 (P.L. Venue. Unconscionable provisions include (but are not limited to) those in which a tenant agrees to waive rights granted to tenants under applicable law, agrees to pay landlord’s attorney fees beyond what is allowed by law, or agrees to the limit the liability of or hold harmless the landlord for landlord’s legal liabilities related to the lease. When a landlord markets or advertises an apartment or other property for rent, they need to be sure that the marketing doesn’t violate the Fair Housing Act or discriminate against tenants. The City of Philadelphia passed the Emergency Housing Protection Act (Philadelphia Code 9-809) on July 1, 2020, and amended it on December 1, 2020. Owning and renting out properties is a two-way street. If there is a problem with the property, tenants aren’t out of luck. For leases under one year or for month-to-month leases, Pennsylvania landlordlaws require that you give tenants at least 15 days notice that you won’t be renewing the lease. If you’re concerned that you, as a landlord, will inadvertently discriminate against a potential tenant, working with a property management company when screening and selecting tenants is one way to avoid doing so. When it comes to how many people can live in an apartment or other rental property, the standard is  two people per bedroom. For specifics, see Pennsylvania Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent or “Repair and Deduct”. If your property is located in Pennsylvania, here's what you need to know to put together a lease that is in alignment with the PA lease agreement laws! If a landlord fails to take care of important maintenance, such as a leaky roof or a broken heater, you have several important legal rights, including: the right to withhold rent until repairs are made, and In Pennsylvania, it’s  illegal to deny housing to someone based on their age There is a process to go through and a procedure to follow if they remain in the property. Thus, tenants may be allowed to change the locks but are not recommended to do so without asking for landlord permission first. Tenants’ rights don’t come to an end after they move into an apartment. We make the lives of landlords, tenants and real estate investors easier by giving them the knowledge and resources they care most about. Use of Illegal Drugs. Tenant Rights Tenants (also referred to as "renters") need to know their rights when entering into a rental agreement. Consumer Protection Law in Pennsylvania and Landlord/Tenant Relationships are discussed by NWLS Attorneys John Gandrud & David Hull in this episode. Section 507-B. Landlord tenant rights are not exclusively governed by state law. Evictions and Tenant Rights. Article V-B Tenants’ Rights to Cable Television Section 502-B. As such, it is generally assumed that at-will tenants have no protections and may be evicted at any time for any reason. These rules do not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes operated by religious organizations. Short-Term Property Management Company in PA & Baltimore, Property Management Accounting in Central PA & Baltimore, Receive Professional Help With Lease Preparation, illegal to deny housing to someone based on their age, forbid discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation, more than 28,000 complaints of housing discrimination, Questions to Ask a Property Management Company, Landlord's Guide to Writing Lease Agreements in Pennsylvania. Although federal law prohibiting discrimination in housing has been around since the late 1960s, the problem persists. Tenants’ Rights. For example, if the heater breaks or if there is an issue with the water lines or sewer, they need to notify the landlord. Once you’ve reviewed a tenant’s credit or consumer report, you can decide what to do next. Tenants Protected. 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