Tenants Rights

Legal Information

Other Housing Problems

Rental unit.

This section of PALawHelp.org has information and resources about issues relating to Tenants Rights
in Pennsylvania.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.

Tenants Rights

Information on the rights of tenants in a landlord and tenant relationship.

Landlord’s Interference With a Tenant’s Right to Utility Service

Information from MidPenn Legal Services on a Tenant's rights regarding utility service in a rented residence. [PDF] (June 2011)

Tenant and Landlord Relationships (Audio-MP3)

This is an episode of Northwestern Legal Services' "Access to Justice" Radio show broadcast on JET 1400 AM in Erie, PA on 7/12/07. Consumer Protection Law in Pennsylvania and Landlord/Tenant Relationships are discussed by NWLS Attorneys John Gandrud & David Hull in this episode. (28:15)

Common Landlord-Tenant Myths (Video)

This video, Common Landlord-Tenant Myths, provides information on most of the problems arising during the tenancy, including written versus oral leases, eviction notices, illegal self-help evictions, security deposits, and warranty of habitability.

Utility Service for Tenants (Video)

This video from Neighborhood Legal Services Association explains what a tenant should do when a landlord fails to pay the utility bill and the service is going to be shut off.

Tenants! Being Evicted?

Information from Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. on the rights of tenants who are being evicted.

Illegal Lockouts in Philadelphia County

Flyer on illegal lockouts and the legal eviction process in Philadelphia County. (June 2016)

Illegal Lockouts (Video)

This video from Neighborhood Legal Services Association explains tenants' rights under the law in Pennsylvania that offer protection against self-help evictions when the landlord changes the locks or renders the property unusable without following the property eviction procedures.

Can my landlord increase my rent?

Information from PhillyTenant.org on rental increases and your rights in Philadelphia County.

Consumer Guide to Tenant and Landlord Rights

The Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Civil Rights Enforcement Section, and the Impact Litigation Division of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General offers this Consumer Guide to Tenant and Landlord Rights in Pennsylvania. The Guide provides an overview of the state and federal legal requirements that govern the landlord-tenant relationship, as well as best practices when renting a place to live. The Guide informs you about what to look for when applying to rent and reviewing a lease, what to expect while renting, and what to anticipate when a lease ends.

Know Your Rights as a Renter in Pennsylvania

This guide from the Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania provides general information and self-help resources regarding state and federal Fair Housing laws and Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Law as it pertains to the rental of private residential property. Topics include Fair Housing; Application & Lease; Moving In &Rights; Repairs & Security Deposit; Utilities; and Eviction.

Landlord Tenant Handbook

Detailed information about renting a residence from a landlord from North Penn Legal Services (NPLS). Fair housing (housing discrimination) information is included throughout the entire handbook. There is a Lehigh Valley Edition and a Northeast PA Edition. NPLS revised the Landlord-Tenant Handbook in December 2019.

What Kind of Notice to Vacate Is Required for Residential Leases under Pennsylvania Law?

Information from Neighborhood Legal Services Association on notice requirements in eviction.

Tenants' Rights - Going to Court

Northwestern Legal Services provides general information for tenants regarding district justice court hearings.

Illegal Lockouts in Philadelphia County

Flyer on illegal lockouts and the legal eviction process in Philadelphia County. (June 2016)

How to Prepare for Landlord-Tenant Court if You are Facing Eviction (Video)

Video from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project, providing a description of your rights when being evicted and about how the eviction process works. Specific information is included about the eviction process that is followed in Philadelphia, along with some resources for people facing eviction in Philadelphia.

Appealing a Landlord/Tenant Judgment for Possession Pro Se

Information from MidPenn Legal Services on how to file an Appeal to the Court of Common Pleas if the Magisterial District Judge rules against you in a lawsuit filed by your landlord. (June 2011)

Defending a Lawsuit

Information on how to defend a lawsuit provided by the Erie County Bar Association.

PAHousingSearch.com

This is a free resource from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and other Commonwealth partners to help you find a home that fits your needs and budget. Property providers can list available apartments or homes at any time, which means the listings are current. The web site lets you define what you want in your next living space, and then it does all the research – presenting you with the relevant housing vacancies that best fit your parameters in the community where you want to live.

Residential Tenant Rights

Information on rights of tenants from the Erie County Bar Association. (August 2018)

Defending a Lawsuit

Information on how to defend a lawsuit provided by the Erie County Bar Association.

Starting a Lawsuit

Information from the Erie County Bar Association about filing a lawsuit. (February 2018)

Becoming a Responsible Renter (Video)

Video from the Allegheny County Department of Human Service on steps you can take to become a responsible renter. (2019)

Resident Rights and Responsibilities

A brochure for tenants living in federal housing from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This brochure does not apply to the Public Housing Program, the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Program (except for multifamily housing projects that are insured by HUD), and the Housing Choice Voucher Program (except when a voucher is used in a multifamily housing project with a HUD-insured mortgage). (PDF format, 8 Pages)

Attention Renters: Are You Protected?

Information from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department about Renter's Insurance in Pennsylvania.

Consumer Guide to Tenant and Landlord Rights

The Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Civil Rights Enforcement Section, and the Impact Litigation Division of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General offers this Consumer Guide to Tenant and Landlord Rights in Pennsylvania. The Guide provides an overview of the state and federal legal requirements that govern the landlord-tenant relationship, as well as best practices when renting a place to live. The Guide informs you about what to look for when applying to rent and reviewing a lease, what to expect while renting, and what to anticipate when a lease ends.

Housing Navigator Unit (Allegheny County)

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services Housing Navigator Unit was established in 2018 to help homeless persons served by DHS find and maintain safe, affordable housing in the private market. The Housing Navigator Unit works toward this goal by recruiting and supporting landlords in the private market who rent to DHS tenants. The unit also works with the agencies charged with providing support services to the tenants. This public/private partnership aims to speed up access to private rental properties, improve communication and trust, resolve concerns and complaints, and increase accountability among all parties - the landlords, the service providers and the tenants.

Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control

The Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) provides funds to state and local governments to develop cost-effective ways to reduce lead-based paint hazards. In addition, the office enforces HUD's lead-based paint regulations, provides public outreach and technical assistance and conducts technical studies to help protect children and their families from health and safety hazards in the home.

PAHousingSearch.com

This is a free resource from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and other Commonwealth partners to help you find a home that fits your needs and budget. Property providers can list available apartments or homes at any time, which means the listings are current. The web site lets you define what you want in your next living space, and then it does all the research – presenting you with the relevant housing vacancies that best fit your parameters in the community where you want to live.

Relocation Assistance to Tenants Displaced From Their Homes

This booklet describes the relocation payments and other relocation assistance available to tenants displaced from their homes as a direct result of rehabilitation, demolition or acquisition for a project in which Federal funds are used. [PDF]

What should I do if the house or apartment I’m renting goes into foreclosure?

Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on what to do if your landlord defaults on the mortgage to your residence and it goes into foreclosure.

Can my landlord increase my rent?

Information from PhillyTenant.org on rental increases and your rights in Philadelphia County.

Know Your Rights as a Renter in Pennsylvania

This guide from the Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania provides general information and self-help resources regarding state and federal Fair Housing laws and Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Law as it pertains to the rental of private residential property. Topics include Fair Housing; Application & Lease; Moving In &Rights; Repairs & Security Deposit; Utilities; and Eviction.

PhillyTenant.Org

PhillyTenant.Org is your resource for tenant rights in Philadelphia. PhillyTenant.org is the product of a collaboration of legal services and advocacy organizations in Philadelphia including: AIDS Law Project; Community Legal Services; Dechert LLP; HELP: MLP; Landlord/Tenant Legal Help Center @ Municipal Court; Legal Clinic for the Disabled; Legal Help Center; Philadelphia Legal Assistance; Philly VIP; Regional Housing Legal Services; SeniorLAW Center; and Tenant Union Representative Network. The information provided on PhillyTenant.org is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. For legal advice or representation, tenants should seek legal help.

Philly Tenant Resource Guide [PDF]

Resource from the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project providing information for people facing eviction in Philadelphia. The guide also provides contact information for agencies and organizations that provide assistance to people facing eviction on a variety of legal and practical topics, including housing, utilities, food, health and work. (2018)

Legal Assistance Program for Tenants and Homeowners in Pittsburgh

The Legal Assistance Program (LAP) of the Urban Development Program of Pittsburgh provides a variety of free housing legal services to eligible tenants and homeowners who live in the City of Pittsburgh. Income limits apply for services.

PhillyTenant.Org

PhillyTenant.Org is your resource for tenant rights in Philadelphia. PhillyTenant.org is the product of a collaboration of legal services and advocacy organizations in Philadelphia including: AIDS Law Project; Community Legal Services; Dechert LLP; HELP: MLP; Landlord/Tenant Legal Help Center @ Municipal Court; Legal Clinic for the Disabled; Legal Help Center; Philadelphia Legal Assistance; Philly VIP; Regional Housing Legal Services; SeniorLAW Center; and Tenant Union Representative Network. The information provided on PhillyTenant.org is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. For legal advice or representation, tenants should seek legal help.

Information for PHILADELPHIA RENTERS During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Resources and information for renters in Philadelphia relating to COVID-19.

Tenant Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors During COVID-19

The current COVID-19 epidemic has created a public health crisis, including increased reports of the incidence of domestic violence in the midst of shelter-in-place orders. This advocate resource provides a brief overview of the housing rights of survivors in the context of COVID-19.

Back to top