Tenant Law in Pennsylvania

In Collegeville, Pennsylvania, relationships between tenants and landlords can sometimes become strained.

Landlords and tenants have several rights and responsibilities. What follows is a partial list of the rights that landlords and tenants have, and the corresponding duties of the other party.

Landlord's Rights in Collegeville, PA

The most basic right that landlords have is the right to be paid the agreed-upon rent by their tenant. Obviously, renting apartments is how landlords earn a living, so they are entitled to collect the rent that the tenant agreed to pay.

They also have a right to compensation for any damage that a tenant causes, beyond ordinary wear and tear. Landlords are free to bill the tenants for repairs to damage they caused, and deduct the cost from the security deposit.

Tenant's Rights in Collegeville, PA

Most basically, tenants have a right to get what they're paying for: a dwelling fit for human habitation. To this end, landlords have to ensure that the units they rent meet Collegeville, Pennsylvania's minimum standards for habitability. These requirements are usuallyy not difficult to meet. They include basic amenities such as running water, electricity, a working phone line, heating, and protection from the elements.

Additionally, tenants have rights to common areas that are free of physical obstructions, as well as serious health and safety hazards. Common areas are the places in apartment buildings and other residential complexes which every tenant can access, and include hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes. In Collegeville, Pennsylvania, these areas must be kept in a safe condition, at the landlord's expense.

Under federal and Pennsylvania law, tenants are also entitled to protection against discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, marital status, or gender. Such discrimination can lead to severe civil penalties against the landlord. Landlords also cannot discriminate against tenants based on physical disability, and have to make reasonable accommodations for physically disabled tenants. For example, they have to allow disabled tenants to make minor physical alterations to the unit (at the tenant's expense) to make it more accessible. Now, they don't need to allow the tenants to have the building remodeled. We're just talking about things like installing handrails in the bathroom, and similar things. The landlord can, however, require tenants to restore the apartment to its original condition, at the tenant's expense, once the tenant leaves.

Finally, the laws of most states protect tenants from unfair eviction. In general, as long as a tenant is paying rent on time, and is not damaging the unit, they cannot be evicted before the term of the lease expires, unless there is a very good reason to do so (such as excessive noise caused by the tenant, or illegal activities in the apartment).

Can a Collegeville, Pennsylvania Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, chances are that you want to avoid conflict. But if you do end up in a seemingly irresolvable conflict with the other party, a Collegeville, Pennsylvania attorney can help you protect your rights.