This month’s article will focus on the Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Act. This longstanding act has been written to define the legal relationship between landlords and tenants. Several aspects of the act are worth noting.
• The Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on race, religion, age, sex, disability, and other factors.
• Landlords are allowed to run background checks and can charge reasonable application fees.
• The act defines the parameters of a lease. The lease is the legally binding contract between tenants and landlords so all parties should be familiar with the contents of the lease.
• Every apartment comes with an implied warranty of habitability, meaning that the apartment must be in an acceptable living condition.
• A specific eviction process must be followed by the landlord which involves filing an eviction case with the court. A landlord is not permitted to throw you out on his own.
• Landlords must return a security deposit with thirty days of the end of a tenant’s leasehold end date. If a landlord wishes to withhold all or a portion of the tenant’s security deposit due to damages to the apartment or unpaid rent, then the landlord must describe in writing why all the security deposit is not being returned. Failure to do so will allow the tenant to sue the landlord for twice the value of the security deposit.
If you have any questions about the Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Act, please feel free to give my office a call.