The Pennsylvania rental agreements are contracts written when a tenant wishes to use a real property that is overseen by a landlord or property owner. The tenant will make regular rent payments (usually monthly) in exchange for the use of the property. The agreements set the terms for the rental.
Pennsylvania Rental Agreement Types
Pennsylvania Required Lease Disclosures
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – Any Pennsylvania lease agreement must include a lead based paint disclosure, EPA informational packet, and notice of known lead paint hazards that exist in the property for the safety of the tenant, but only if the building was built before 1978.
To learn more about required disclosures in Pennsylvania, click here.
Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Current interpretations of Pennsylvania law require landlords to provide all tenants with running water, sewer access, reliable locks, in-unit heating, and more. This precedent also holds that a landlord has a “reasonable” amount of time to make repairs requested by tenants. Otherwise, a tenant may be legally empowered to withhold rent or perform a repair and deduct.
- Evictions – If a Pennsylvania tenant fails to pay rent (10-day notice) or commits a crime (landlord’s discretion), they may be legally evicted. Breaking a lease term may also be used to justify eviction, though tenants of less than 1 year (15-day notice) and more than 1 year (30-day notice) are treated differently. In all, these evictions can take more than a month in total.
- Security Deposits – In most cases, a Pennsylvania landlord cannot charge more than 2 months’ rent in value for a security deposit. They also cannot withhold any remaining security deposit funds for more than 30 days after a tenant moves out.
- Lease Termination – Month-to-month leases in Pennsylvania can be terminated by the tenant, but only after supplying 15 days of notice to their landlord. Similarly, a tenant must supply proof of one of the following to terminate their fixed-term lease early: active military duty, landlord harassment, or unit uninhabitability.
- Rent Increases & Fees – Pennsylvania landlords are entirely allowed to raise rent when they want by as much as they want. They do not even need to provide notice of such actions. The state also does not place almost any restrictions on fees charged by landlords. Only bounced check fees are limited by value, at $50.
- Landlord Entry – Pennsylvania landlords are fully free to enter a unit whenever they please without notice unless their lease restricts this right otherwise. This includes in emergency situations, even with a leasing restriction in place.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Landlord-tenant disputes valued at up to $12,000 can be heard in Pennsylvania’s state small claims courts. This includes eviction cases, though Philadelphia maintains its own separate courts for these types of cases.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Pennsylvania, click here.