Pennsylvania Rent Increases & Fees

Last Updated: May 5, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

QUICK FACTS
  • Rent Control / Increase Limitations. Pennsylvania state landlords can raise rent only after the lease has ended.
  • Notice Required to Raise Rent. There is no state notice requirement; however, a 30-Day Notice is common practice. Cities and counties may have their own notice requirements. For example, Philadelphia landlords must provide 60 days’ notice from next rent due date.
  • Bounced Check Fees. Pennsylvania state landlords may charge up to $50 for bounced checks.

When Can a Landlord Increase Rent?

In the state of Pennsylvania, a landlord must abide by the conditions of the lease. Rent may not be increased during the term of a lease, unless both parties agree to the increase. The lease should also indicate the amount of notice a landlord must provide before an increase may be made in the amount of rent. However, a Pennsylvania landlord may increase rent on “at-will” tenants at any time, so long as the appropriate notices are followed (Pennsylvania Renters Handbook).

Questions? To chat with a Pennsylvania landlord tenant attorney, Click here

When is it Illegal to Raise Rent?

According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, in the state of Pennsylvania, it is illegal for a landlord to raise rent based on the age, race, religion, nation or origin, familial status, or disability status of a tenant.

It is also illegal for a Pennsylvania landlord to increase rent in retaliation against a tenant who has filed a complaint to the appropriate agency regarding the health and safety of the property, joined a tenant’s group, or exercised his/her legal right to withhold rent when the property is uninhabitable (Pennsylvania CSA 68-399-11).

Is there a Rent Increase Limit?

The state of Pennsylvania does not regulate the amount that a landlord may increase rent.

How Much Notice is Needed for Raising Rent?

Pennsylvania state law doesn’t outline the amount of notice a landlord needs to provide to a tenant to increase rent; however, it is customary to provide the tenant with the same amount of notice when terminating a tenancy.

For a FREE rent increase notice template, click here.

Philadelphia requires a landlord to provide at least a 60 days’ notice prior to the rent increase if the tenancy is one year or more. If the tenancy is less than one-year a 30 days’ notice is mandatory. (Phil. Code 9-804)

Additionally, the notice should include the following information:

  • The amount of the rent increase.
  • The effective date of the rent increase.
  • The new payment amount.

The notice must be in writing and provided to the tenant via hand delivery or by first class United Sates mail with proof of mailing.

How Often Can Rent Be Increased?

The state of Pennsylvania does not dictate how often a landlord can increase rent.

Laws Regarding Late Fees

Although the state of Pennsylvania has no specific laws regarding rent late fees, excessive fees may fall under the Pennsylvania Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act.

Laws Regarding Bounced Check Fees

A Pennsylvania landlord may charge tenants no more than $50 when a payment is returned for insufficient funds unless the actual fees the landlord is charged exceed $50. If the actual fees charged the landlord exceed $50, the landlord may charge the tenant the cost of the fees. (58 Pa. Code § 13.8)

Cities in the State With Rent Control

The state of Pennsylvania has no state laws regarding rent control; however, the state is a Dillon Rule state where local municipalities could be given the ability to establish ordinances controlling rent increases if the municipality can make a persuasive argument.