The Philadelphia Lawyers for Landlords & Tenants
Legal Services for Landlords
Pennsylvania law and Philadelphia ordinances are very protective of tenants’ rights. In disputes, landlords must be extremely diligent to ensure they follow all required steps. If they fail to do so, their ability to evict a tenant or collect unpaid rent may be in jeopardy.
We counsel owners of residential and commercial property every step of the way:
- Drafting or negotiating lease terms
- Addressing lease violations
- Collections of unpaid rent
- Disputes over repairs
- Security deposits
- Wage garnishments
Representation for Tenants
Is your landlord trying to evict you without just cause, with open L & I (Licenses and Inspections) violations or before your lease term has expired?
Even if you have fallen far behind on your rent or are in clear violation of the terms of your lease, you still have rights. Your landlord cannot simply change the locks, kick you out, harass you or cut off the utilities. There is a legal process that must be fulfilled.
David Denenberg does pro bono work through the SeniorLAW Center for senior citizens who are facing evictions in Philadelphia.
When you need skillful legal representation in matters of eviction and property condition disputes in both municipal court and common pleas court, you can count on Abramson & Denenberg, P.C.
Pennsylvania laws offer many protections for tenants, but a significant amount of renters do not know about all of their rights. If you find yourself renting from a Philadelphia landlord whom you think has violated one or more terms of your renter’s agreement, our attorneys can help. We can answer questions about all of the following issues that commonly affect tenants.
Custom Legal Solutions for Philadelphia Landlords and Tenants
The laws associated with rental properties should be straightforward, but often they are not. Knowing and understanding your rights as a landlord or tenant can require the assistance of an attorney. At Abramson & Denenberg, P.C, we have extensive experience representing both Philadelphia landlords and tenants. As a result, our attorneys have comprehensive experience in a range of different leasing issues.
Philadelphia’s Landlord-Tenant Act
The Landlord-Tenant Act of 1951 governs all of the landlord and tenant disputes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Disputes between landlords and tenants often become complicated. The city or township in which the property is located may have additional laws concerning the landlord-tenant relationship. We recommend discussing your rights and responsibilities with an attorney before you enter into a lease agreement, attempt to breach the lease agreement, or prematurely conclude a rental agreement. Under the Landlord-Tenant Act, a landlord can only evict a tenant for the following reasons:
- Non-payment of rent
- Holdover tenancy
- Serious breach of a lease provision, and
- A tenant engaging in criminal drug-related activities on the premises.
Even in these scenarios, you cannot take action into your own hands. There is a specific process outlined in the Landlord-Tenant Act that you must follow. According to the Act, landlords have a right to default by:
- Allowing the property to fall into a state of disrepair
- Failing to provide essentials, such as heat, water, or electricity, and
- Failing to fix a dangerous condition within the property
If you are a tenant and your landlord has defaulted on any of these three grounds, we recommend contacting Abramson & Denenberg, P.C. immediately to discuss your options.
It is important that you understand the amount you should expect to pay, how your landlord can use your deposits, and when you can expect the return of your deposit after you decide to not renew your lease. In Pennsylvania, landlords can only charge up to two months’ rent as a security deposit for the tenant’s first year and one month’s rent as a deposit for the following years that the tenant remains. Landlords must return the security deposit to tenants within 30 days after a tenant vacates the unit.
Landlords in Philadelphia cannot evict tenants without just cause. We can help you understand when your landlord has a legal justification to break your lease and ask you to leave and when they do not. In most cases, tenants have 10 days to pay the landlord any rent that is overdue before the eviction process can begin.
As a tenant, you have a legal right to privacy from your landlord. Landlords can only enter your home in a few different types of situations. We will discuss the valid and invalid situations in which your landlord can legally enter your residence
Landlords cannot discriminate against renters on the basis of their protected class, such as their age, race, religion, and more. If you suspect that your landlord is treating you differently from other tenants because of your membership in a protected class, we recommend reaching out to an attorney as soon as possible
Landlords have a legal obligation to repair certain types of issues, such as malfunctioning heating or cooling systems and other dangerous conditions in the rental unit. When landlords fail to repair stoves, heaters, refrigerators, A/C units, etc., tenants have the right to withhold rent to repair the broken item and deduct the expense from their rent.
Representation for Commercial Tenants
Many commercial leases favor landlords. If you are a commercial tenant, you should carefully consider all the provisions of your lease before you agree to it. The skilled commercial real estate attorneys Abramson & Denenberg, P.C can carefully review your lease with you to examine the fine print. We will be able to explain all the legal terminology and the impact that agreeing to the lease agreement will have on you and your business. Our legal knowledge and experience help us protect your best interests.
If we find red flags that could hurt you down the road and your lease agreement, we can negotiate with the landlord to arrive at a fair lease agreement. When necessary, we will represent you if you have a dispute about a lease or at least provision. Our attorneys can also help you should any disputes arise regarding your commercial lease agreement.
Skilled Legal Representation on a Wide Range of Landlord/Tenant Matters
At Abramson & Denenberg, P.C., we provide legal representation for a wide range of landlord and tenant issues. We have successfully represented clients on many different legal issues covered under Pennsylvania’s Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951. These issues include the following:
- Fair housing rights related to federal discrimination laws
- What to do with abandoned property left behind by tenants
- The types of prohibited retaliation by landlords against tenants
- Termination and eviction rules, including Unconditional Quit Terminations and Termination for Violation of Lease
- Tenant rights regarding “repair and decide” for broken amenities, equipment, or services
- Rent rules, including the termination for nonpayment of rent
- Security deposit guidelines for landlords
- Security deposit lawsuit filings for tenants
- Limits and deadline return for security deposits
- Disclosures required by landlords
At Abramson & Denenberg, P.C., we have an understanding of disputes from both sides. Whatever your legal needs, we will advocate aggressively to protect your rights. When possible, we will strategize to try to resolve the issue out of court. When going to court is necessary, our trial-ready attorneys are prepared to help fight for you.
Schedule a Free Legal Consultation
We provide initial consultations free of charge. Call 215-398-7066 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.