Chriswell Law Offices
Licensed in Pennsylvania State and Federal Courts
Offices in Indiana and Clearfield
(724) 465-5826
mchriswell@westernpalawyer.com
Landlord/Tenant

Here are the answers to some questions that clients frequently ask about Landlord/Tenant Law. These FAQs are provided for general information only and are not intended to be relied upon as legal advice. For a consultation, please contact us.

 

How do I evict a tenant who is not paying the rent or has breached his/her lease?

Pennsylvania law has very detailed requirements for evicting a tenant. The landlord/tenant law requires that a landlord provide proper notice to the tenant (often called a “notice to quit”), and then file an eviction action in District Court. Unless you are an experienced landlord, you should consult an attorney to ensure that this process is completed properly and as expeditiously as possible.

 

Can a landlord raise the rent?

Generally, a landlord may only raise the rent at the end of a lease term, or when there is no lease agreement in place.

 

Can a tenant withhold rent?

Pennsylvania law permits a tenant to withhold rent if the landlord has breached the “implied warranty of habitability.” This warranty is breached if the property is seriously deficient, such as containing code violations or other problems that endanger the health or safety of the tenant.

 

As a landlord, how do I find a good tenant?

Finding a good tenant is not always easy. Landlords should require all prospective tenants to complete a rental application. With the information provided in that application, landlords should verify employment, previous landlord references, and check the county records to ensure that there are no judgments, liens or criminal background problems present. Landlords may also want to employ a third-party to obtain a credit report for a prospective tenant, but landlords should consult an attorney to ensure that they are in compliance with applicable federal laws.