Landlord-Tenant Disputes Attorney in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
The relationship between a tenant and a landlord can usually be complicated. When renting an apartment or property, a rental or lease agreement is often established between the landlord and tenant to indicate each party’s responsibilities. Landlord-tenant disputes occur when one party fails to fulfill any of the terms of their expected obligations under the rental or lease agreement. This may include nonpayment of rent, inadequate maintenance, property damage, or violation of community codes.
If you're involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, it is imperative that you hire a strategic Pennsylvania real estate law attorney for detailed guidance. At The Downey Firm, LLC, I’m dedicated to protecting the best interests of clients involved in landlord-tenant disputes. As your legal counsel, I can evaluate every last detail of your unique situation, identify the terms of the rental or lease agreement that were breached, and propose a possible dispute resolution.
My firm – The Downey Firm, LLC – proudly serves clients across King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas of Delaware County and Chester County.
Pennsylvania Landlord-Tenant Laws
In Pennsylvania, landlord-tenant laws address the rental of residential and commercial properties and outline the respective rights and obligations of both the tenant and landlord. Here are some vital laws that landlords and tenants in The Keystone State should know:
Surprisingly, there are no rent-control rules in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Nonetheless, landlords may only change or raise rents in accordance with the terms of the rental/lease agreement.
In Pennsylvania, landlords are required to charge two months' rent for the first rental year and one month's rent for subsequent years as the security deposit. Also, the security deposit must be returned within 30 days after a tenant moves out.
Required Landlord Disclosures
According to Pennsylvania law, a landlord is required to disclose the following information and policies to the tenant:
Existing damages to the rental property
Details about security deposits
Whether the landlord charges some refundable and nonrefundable fees
Details about local rent-control rules
Shared utility arrangements
Information about the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors and alarms
Late Fees and Payment Rules
In Pennsylvania, there is no limit on the amount a landlord can charge as a fee for a late payment of rent. However, the late fees and grace period must be clearly stated in the rental agreement.
Tenant Right to Withhold Rent
Under Pennsylvania law, tenants may be entitled to withhold rent or exercise their right to "repair and deduct" if a landlord doesn’t fix the problem in the property after being informed through a written notice.
Landlord’s Access to Property Rules
Additionally, information about the landlord’s access to the rental property, the circumstances that might warrant the landlord to enter, the required notice, and the particular time of the day must be clearly indicated in the lease agreement.
Repair and Maintenance Requirements
Under Pennsylvania law, upon receiving a complaint about property damage, the landlord must carry out the required repairs or replacements that are needed to keep the rental apartment in a sanitary, safe, and livable situation.
Termination and Eviction Rules
In Pennsylvania, a landlord might evict a renter for nonpayment of rent or violating other terms of the lease agreement. However, before filing an eviction, the landlord must issue a 10-day written eviction notice (Notice to Quit) to the tenant. This will allow the tenant to settle any unpaid rent or address the landlord’s concern.
Here are some common issues between landlords and their tenants:
Nonpayment or failure to pay rent
Breaching the lease
Interests and taxes
Cleanliness and orderliness
Safety and security issues
Cleanliness and orderliness
Failure to comply with community codes, rules, and guidelines for residents
If you’re involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, you need to reach out to a highly-skilled real estate law attorney immediately. Your legal counsel can evaluate the surrounding details of your case and help you understand the available remedies or dispute resolution options.
Landlord-tenant disputes can be settled in a number of ways. These include:
Organize a Settlement Meeting: A settlement meeting can be scheduled between the landlord and the tenant to resolve any pending disagreements or rental issues.
Arbitration: In arbitration, both the landlord and tenant will submit relevant evidence and testimony to one or more arbitrators. The arbitrators will examine the available evidence and decide the best possible way to resolve the dispute.
Mediation: Resolving landlord-tenant disputes through mediation requires both parties to meet and discuss a feasible resolution with the guidance of a neutral third party. The mediator or mediation lawyer will allow each party to state the dispute from their perspective and help facilitate or negotiate a compromise.
Litigation: However, if the landlord and tenant are unable to achieve a feasible resolution after pursuing other alternative dispute resolution methods, they may consider litigation. In litigation, a private judge will step in to help settle the issue in court. The judge will schedule a hearing where the disputing parties will have an opportunity to state their case.
A trusted lawyer can assess all of the facts of your case, enlighten you about the benefits and limitations of each dispute remedy, and determine the best one to pursue.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Disputes between tenants and landlords are completely inevitable. However, when such disagreements occur, allowing them to escalate can result in an eviction or fierce legal battles. Therefore, when involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, you need to hire a seasoned real estate attorney for proper guidance and to determine the best course of action.
At The Downey Firm, LLC, I have the diligence and experience to assist and guide clients through the complex procedures involved in settling landlord-tenant disputes. As your attorney, I can review the surrounding details of your personal situation and decide the right approach or remedy to resolve such landlord-tenant issues. Above all, I will fight vigorously to protect your legal rights and help you achieve the most favorable outcome for your unique circumstances.
Landlord-Tenant Disputes Attorney Serving King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
If you’re involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, contact me at The Downey Firm, LLC today to schedule a simple case assessment. I can offer you the reliable legal counsel and skilled advocacy you need to settle the issue and move forward quickly. My firm proudly serves clients across King of Prussia, Delaware County, and Chester County, Pennsylvania.