Rent Increases & Fees in Pennsylvania

Rent Increases & Fees in Pennsylvania

Last Updated: May 5, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

In Pennsylvania, there is no rent control, and the state does not preempt rent control. If proper notice is given, landlords can set rent and increase it. Pennsylvania landlord-tenant law is primarily governed by 68 PA Cons. Stat. Ann. § 250.511.

Quick Facts
Rent Control None
Minimum Notice for Rent Increases No State Statute; cities may impose their own requirements.
Max. Late Fee No Statute, but must be “reasonable”
Max. Bounced Check Fee $50 or the cost of the actual fees

When Can a Landlord Increase Rent in Pennsylvania?

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 in Pennsylvania?

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 in Pennsylvania?

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

How Much Notice Is Needed for Raising Rent in Pennsylvania?

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 amounts.

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 in Pennsylvania?

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

Laws Regarding Late Fees in Pennsylvania

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 in Pennsylvania

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)

Pennsylvania Cities 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.