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Pennsylvania Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: I pay my landlord to do the yardwork. Should he be trimming the flower bed that is partially blocking the stairs?
Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz answered on Jun 27, 2020

I assume you have contacted your landlord in writing or email asking him to trim the flower bed and he refused.

Whether the agreement with your landlord requires him to trim the flower bed depends on what the agreement states (if in writing) or what the terms you and he discussed and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: My landlord was advised they can not kick us out so they have flooded the apartment with raw sewage to force us out

The landlord has backed up 3inches of raw sewage into the apartment making it uninhabitable because they were told they can not evict us and need a court order what can we do?

Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz answered on May 5, 2020

First, you should move out to protect your health. But immediately contact your local housing and health officials to (politely) demand an inspection of the property, because the sewage is an immediate danger to public health, and issue a report. Their report most likely will declare the property... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can my landlord hold my security deposit indefinitely until the "covid19 pandemic" is over?

My landlord informed my roommate and I that they will not return our security deposit until the pandemic has cleared. It has already been over 1.5 months since the last day of the lease.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 23, 2020

No, the pandemic has nothing to do with their duty to return the deposit.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: How to evict a family member who is doing/selling drugs during this coronavirus situation.

He receives mail at my elderly parents house. My parents are scared. The police can not do anything. He is violent and aggressive.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 17, 2020

Your parents can declare him a trespasser and ask him to leave. What you need perhaps is to speak with the elder care advocate in your county. The police can do something if the parents want but they are the landowners

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: My landlord went up $200.while it a covid virus Is it legal

I been at this house for 17yrs.renting I been doing the up keep of everything. He notify March 15.he was selling the house my rent go up until may.then I get call march27

I had pay $750

Starting in april.im not working because of this virus.then when they called they want to see a... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 17, 2020

Contact your local Legal aid or Legal Services. If you have a lease, that will say how and when they can increase the rent. If there isn't a lease, you are a monthly tenant. He would normally have to give you a months notice before the rent goes up.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: 2 days to make a decision my mom passed away just 3 days ago And being told I have to be out by the 30th of April!

I was my parents Dural power of attorney since July of 2019, they renewed the year lease on October 1st of 2019 sadly he passed away just 19 days later my mom is an amputee can’t care for herself or be left alone she had Ben in out of hospital the office was closed due to covid as we are asked to... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Apr 16, 2020

There's great information here for you: http://www.phillytenant.org/. Check it regularly.

Best of luck to you.

3 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: Question below

My sons grandfather passed in 2015 and left his home to my son in his will. We've been living here since before he passed with him and continued to live here after. Two guys came walking into my house through the front door last week with the keys to the lock claiming they bought it in a... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Apr 14, 2020

I agree that you need a “professional opinion,” which means that you should engage a lawyer to look into the situation and give you advice.

From your brief description, it sounds like there may have been a mortgage against the property, unpaid taxes or a judgment that was not paid, any...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: I stay in an apartment in Pittsburgh, PA. The property owners are not providing certain services. Can I withhold rent?

These services are clearly mentioned in the lease. I want to withhold 200$ from my rent.

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Apr 6, 2020

If it is in the lease, send your landlord and reference the language in the lease. Advise them that if they do not provide the service you will hire someone to perform the service and deduct the cost from the rent you pay.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hi I'm John and will soon be attending Johnson and Whales. I was wondering if it's legal to live in a self storage area.
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 30, 2020

Probably violates an ordinance and the storage area won't like it. Maybe look for some deal where you clean in exchange for a break on the rent.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Landlord - Tenant and Municipal Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is it illegal for me to take my break outside of my building under the awning?

New tenant in the building is telling people who work in my office they are not allowed to stand in front of their office on the first floor. We have an awning on the building that protects from rain. I am not impeding the flow of traffic or talking to anyone. I work in the same building on a... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 12, 2020

Depends on how the lease defines that space. If it's part of the public entrance, anyone can stand there. Your employer may want to suggest to the landlord some alternative or approach the business owner on the first floor.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: my lease says the landlord can do a non-renewal of lease 60 days before. Some lawyer sent me the non-renewal of lease

is that allowed? and if that is the case shouldnt the letter say the lawyer is representing the landlord?

Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz answered on Feb 4, 2020

Technically, you may have an argument. There does exist a case concerning a long-term commercial lease with a similar provision which held that a letter declaring a non-monetary default sent by an unknown lawyer was not effective because the unknown person didn’t identify himself as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Energy, Oil and Gas and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: Suspect gas lines aren't setup properly. Overcharged on gas bills.

My gas Bill's tripled dec and Jan. $140 in dec and $193 jan. I live in an efficiency smaller than most hotel rooms. I paid less in 3 bedroom houses monthly in past even in winter. I keep bugging and disputing and landlords avoiding. Bill is due Friday. Can I call gas company out without his... Read more »

Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz answered on Feb 3, 2020

I assume that you live in a building which houses more than one tenant; that neither you nor any other tenant has its own gas meter; that you have lived at the building for a long time and that you have a written lease with a term longer than month-to-month; that you have read the lease carefully... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: Northwestern, P.A. I want to confirm My understanding of the law n looking for 2 case laws to look up.

In P.A. The landlords need to wait for the time frame they gave in the “notice to Evict”, before going to the court to File a “Writ of Possession. My understand is Yes. If my hunch is right, can you be so kind as to let me know to case laws to look up, please. Thank you

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Feb 1, 2020

In Pennsylvania, a law called the Landlord/Tenant Act tells landlords what they must do to evict a tenant. The landlord has to follow this law no matter the reason for the eviction. (This law may not apply if you are staying in a rooming or boarding home, or are a guest in a hotel/motel.)

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: My landlords just informed me today that my rent will be more than doubling with the renewal lease. what can I do?

They told me it is because my rent was a special rate at the time I signed the lease. However the realtor and the rental company failed to disclose this information before I signed the lease. My rent is now going from 1250 to 2725. Is there anything I can do?

Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz answered on Jan 3, 2020

Not much you can do, except move out. If the rental market in your area for tenants is not good, you may ask the landlord for a short term renewal for a few months so you have some time to find a new apartment. Make sure it’s a “ renewal” as opposed to an “extension” because a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: I will be renting my father in law house, he will be leaving the house in Jan 17 and we then will start the lease.

Do we have to pay the whole month for January? He wants us to pay 2,000 by January 17 for Security deposit and rent, also the house has a basement and my brother in law rents it and will be paying my father in law but will be using water and electricity which will be in our bill. Please help me... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jan 2, 2020

Sounds like your problem is that you don't have a written lease - and that's why you have unanswered questions. A written lease will explicitly set out the lease term (when it starts, and ends, and for how long). A written lease will also determine on what date your rent is due, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am a renter. I have had no heat for 6 DAYS. Do I have the right to a rent reduction?

I pay the electric. I provided the space heaters. the heater is more than 20 years old.

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Dec 20, 2019

Read you lease. Let your landlord know that you have no heat. Ask you landlord to provide accommodations with heat at his cost.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: I would like to know my rights and as to whether I'm a tenant or a guest in Pennsylvania

I have been invited to live with my sister in law, I've been here for 2 months and the utilities are in my name. Apparently the landlord didnt know and he told them I had to leave by friday but no written notice. I dont want my family evicted but I dont want to be forced out without time to... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Dec 11, 2019

If there is a lease that governs who can living in the property--as far as number of adults. These are frowned upon, however the question is why does the landlord have an issue with it? Technically if the tennant pays rent, barring a lease provision there should not be a problem. If there is no... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I have to give defendants in a civil action a 20 day notice of a subpoena to produce documents?

I am the plaintiff in a ejectment action. I served , by certified mail, a subpoena to my tenants ( Defendants ) to produce documents. Their Attorney filed a motion to quash subpoena because I didn’t give them 20 day notice.

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Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Nov 28, 2019

A subpoena would ordinarily be used to require a non-party to appear for a deposition or produce documents. It is not used to request another party to appear or produce documents. Your lawyer can serve the defendants with a Request for Production or a Notice of Deposition, as the case may be.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: What law if any prevents a landlord from going through personal belongings, for example my desk drawer?

This desk drawer contains personal belongings including my passport and checkbook.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Nov 26, 2019

Privacy rights. I assume you hadn't abandoned the apartment or had your stuff removed.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Q: We rent a house from his parents. We are divorcing. It’s civil. I am disabled. Can his parents evict me.

The house and land were to be inherited by us.

Kathryn Hilbush
Kathryn Hilbush answered on Sep 4, 2019

Yes, they can.

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