Landlord-Tenant FAQs

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.

Pennsylvania law has very detailed requirements for evicting a tenant. The landlord-tenant law requires 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 this process is completed properly and as expeditiously as possible.
Generally, a landlord may only raise the rent at the end of a lease term, or when there is no lease agreement in place.
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.

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 they are in compliance with applicable federal laws.

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