Does Pennsylvania Have Rent Control?
No, Pennsylvania does not have rent control laws limiting the amount that landlords may ask for rent and state law does not prohibit local governments from establishing their own rent control laws.
How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent By in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, landlords can raise rent by any amount that they wish. There is no legal limit or cap on the amount of a rent increase.
When Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, landlords can raise the rent for any reason as long as they give proper notice, don’t do so during the fixed term of a lease (unless the lease allows for it) and aren’t doing so for certain discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.
When Can’t a Landlord Raise Rent in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, landlords cannot raise rent during the middle of a lease’s fixed term (unless stated otherwise in the lease agreement), for certain discriminatory reasons (like race or age), or for certain retaliatory reasons (such as in response to a tenant requesting repairs).
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination due to:
- Gender (including gender identity)
- Sexual orientation
- Nationality or origin
- Familial status
Pennsylvania law also prevents landlords from increasing rent in retaliation. An action by a landlord is considered retaliatory if it occurs within 6 months after something a tenant does. Rent increases are considered retaliatory if they are in response to a tenant:
- Filing a complaint with the appropriate agency regarding the health or safety of the property
- Joining or organizing a tenants’ group or union
- Requesting repairs or reimbursement for utility bills
How Much Notice is Needed to Raise Rent in Pennsylvania?
There is no state statute in Pennsylvania that requires a minimum notice period. However, local jurisdictions can establish their own notice requirements, like in Philadelphia. Landlords can establish their own minimum notice period in the lease agreement.
Philadelphia code requires that landlords give tenants 30 days’ written notice before raising rent during the first year of a lease and 60 days’ notice for leases longer than one year. The notice must be sent by hand-delivery or first-class mail with proof of delivery and include the date and amount of the increase and new rent amount.
Even though some cities have no minimum notice period, Pennsylvania law still requires that parties of a contract act in good faith, meaning that a landlord should give the tenant reasonable notice when increasing rent.
A sample Notice of Rent Increase letter is provided on our website.
How Often Can Rent Be Increased in Pennsylvania?
Landlords in Pennsylvania can increase the rent as often as they choose as long as they provide sufficient notice each time.