Pennsylvania Rental Agreement

Last Updated: November 7, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

A Pennsylvania rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a rental property and a tenant who wishes to use it. Pennsylvania landlord-tenant law governs these agreements; rental terms must be within the limits allowed by law.

Pennsylvania Rental Agreement Types

10 pages
Residential Lease Agreement

A Pennsylvania residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a legal contract for a tenant to rent a residential property from a landlord, subject to terms and conditions agreed by all parties.

8 pages
Month-to-Month Rental Agreement

A Pennsylvania month-to-month lease agreement is a contract (not necessarily written) where a tenant rents property from a landlord. The full rental term is one month, renewable on a month-to-month basis.

4 pages
Rental Application Form

Pennsylvania landlords may use a rental application form to screen prospective tenants. A rental application collects information relating to finances, rental history, and past evictions.

7 pages
Residential Sublease Agreement

A Pennsylvania sublease agreement is a legal contract where a tenant ("sublessor") rents (“subleases”) property to a new tenant (“sublessee”), usually with the landlord’s permission.

9 pages
Roommate Agreement

A Pennsylvania roommate agreement is a legal contract between two or more people (“co-tenants”) who share a rental property according to rules they set, including for things like splitting the rent. This agreement binds the co-tenants living together, and doesn’t include the landlord.

8 pages
Commercial Lease Agreement

A Pennsylvania commercial lease agreement is a legal contract arranging the rental of commercial space between a landlord and a business.

Common Residential Rental Agreements in Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Association of Realtors Residential Lease – this template is intended for use by members of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors. It is in common use for residential leases throughout Pennsylvania. It is designed for thoroughness, with an extensive list of landlord and tenant responsibilities.
  • Landlord Association of Pennsylvania Residential Lease – this template is intended for use by members of the Landlord Association of Pennsylvania. It provides a short, basic lease agreement with some terms especially convenient to landlords, like an expedited eviction process.
  • Madison Title Sample Residential Lease – this template is intended for use by members of the Madison Title multi-state realty group. It covers a comprehensive list of terms and conditions, while remaining relatively short and readable for tenant convenience.

Pennsylvania Required Residential Lease Disclosures

  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (required for some leases) – For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a Pennsylvania residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.

To learn more about required disclosures in Pennsylvania, click here.

Some Pennsylvania cities, like Philadelphia, have more comprehensive rules than the statewide standard. Always check local laws.

Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Laws

  • Warranty of Habitability – Pennsylvania landlords can only rent out habitable property, which means providing certain features essential to basic health and safety. This includes things like heat, plumbing, electricity, and sound structural elements. Landlords must repair any issues within a reasonable time after proper notice from the tenant. Failure to repair lets a tenant sue the landlord, terminate the lease, repair and deduct, or withhold rent into escrow.
  • Evictions – Pennsylvania landlords may evict for rent default, lease violations, or illegal acts, among other things. Before filing eviction, landlords must serve tenants with prior notice to pay or quit, depending on the eviction type. This means most evictions in Pennsylvania take over one month.
  • Security Deposits – Pennsylvania caps most security deposits at a maximum of two months’ rent. When renewing a lease, the landlord cannot collect more than one month’s rent as a deposit. Upon lease termination, a landlord must return any unused portion of a tenant’s security deposit within 30 days.
  • Lease Termination – Pennsylvania lets tenants terminate a month-to-month lease with 15 days of advance notice. A fixed-term lease usually can’t be terminated early without active military duty, landlord harassment, uninhabitable property, or domestic abuse.
  • Rent Increases and Fees – Pennsylvania landlords can raise rent by any amount, whenever they want, with no particular requirements for justification or advance notice, although local jurisdictions can create their own rules on this topic. The state does not cap fees charged by landlords. as long as they are “reasonable.” Returned check fees have a $50 cap.
  • Landlord Entry – Pennsylvania landlords may enter rental property for purposes reasonably related to the tenancy, such as maintenance and inspections. The state does not specify entry requirements, which means that a landlord can enter at reasonable times of day using reasonable advance notice (customarily at least 24 hours), unless the lease agrees otherwise. Entry requirements are temporarily suspended in emergency situations. Local jurisdictions in Pennsylvania can make their own policies about landlord entry.
  • Settling Legal Disputes – Pennsylvania allows its small claims courts to hear landlord-tenant disputes, as long as the amount in controversy is under $12,000. Unlike most states, Pennsylvania allows evictions in small claims, although Philadelphia also has its own special eviction courts.

To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Pennsylvania, click here.