Philadelphia, PA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania

Q: If my lease expires, am I free and clear to move out? Plumbing issues, mold, mushrooms grow in kitchen baseboards. Uggh

We are in a basement apartment. Sent numerous messages and photos about the plumbing backing up. We shower in our neighbors food waste. If they do laundry, our shower backs up and overflows (great when we’re not home). Got a dehumidifier to deal w mold (it’s bad) and even sent photos of moldy shoes that were in a closet that I had to throw out. Now my lease is expiring and he wants to get work done. (Asked for salt for water softener in Oct 25 2019, it was delivered March 8 2021.) Finally sent a plumber out 3/12/21- it didn’t help. We just want out. Our lease is set to expire 3/25 and he does not allow month to month. I did not give notice as we weren’t sure we’d be able to move, but we found a place and are set to go. The lease is a horrid lease. If an appliance breaks- we are to fix it, and pay for it! If there is a pest issue- we are to take care of it at our own expense. I just want out. Please help. (We’re considering calling the health board because this cannot be legal.)

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Philadlephia, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: The general rule is: A lease ends when the term of the lease ends.

BUT, you must read your lease carefully, as there may be exceptions to this rule. For instance, the lease may say that the term of the lease automatically renews unless the tenant sends written notice to the landlord of tenant's intention to terminate the lease within a stated time period before the termination date (typically, 90, 69, or 30 days before the term ends). Typically, if the lease contains an automatic renewal provision, the term is renewed for the same term as the original lease (meaning a one-year lease automatically renews for a new term of one year). A lease may also similarly provide that the term of the lease will automatically renew for successive one month terms, absent notice from tenant, effectively changing the lease into a month-to-month lease.

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