Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
The relationship between a landlord and tenant can be great for both parties, but unfortunately disputes and uncertainty often arises. Pennsylvania landlord/tenant law is governed by state regulations as well as local codes and ordinances. The complexity of landlord/tenant disputes can be overwhelming even for experienced renters and established landlords.
Your landlord tenant lawyer can use their experience and knowledge to assist you to a favorable outcome when such issues come to light. For help in Juniata, Perry, or surrounding Counties, contact our experienced civil litigation lawyer at Czekaj Law, LLC at (717) 275-9770 to help you achieve a desired outcome when problems arise.
The Requirements of a Landlord
Landlords have to follow many requirements in order to protect their tenants’ rights and safety. Not only are there a great number of laws and housing codes, but the complexity and nuances of these rules lead to a lot of confusion and varying interpretations. In Pennsylvania, landlords are required to:
- Provide for habitable housing – A rental premises must be considered livable by meeting an established standard of safety for residents. This requires landlords to quickly repair important things such as broken locks, heaters, and anything else that is required to maintain this standard of livability.
- Follow anti-discrimination laws – State and federal government laws forbid a landlord from discriminating against possible tenants for a variety of reasons such as race, age, family status, or country of origin. However, landlords are still able to refuse tenants for certain reasons including past failures to pay rent or bad credit history.
- Prepare a proper lease – While rental agreements may vary, there are laws against certain provisions which may illegally be added to a lease. This contract must be drafted properly in order to be enforceable.
- Properly handle security deposits – Security deposits cannot exceed certain values depending on factors such as how long the tenant has lived at the premises and the cost of rent itself. Additionally, the landlord must be sure to properly deposit and hold security deposits or face possible penalties.
- Not retaliate against renters for exercising their tenants’ rights – A tenant has the right to complain about unsafe living conditions, and it is illegal for a landlord to evict or raise the rent on a tenant in retaliation for such complaints. In order to prevent confusion regarding possible retaliation claims, both parties should keep proper paper records of how repairs and other problems are handled.
Your Central Pennsylvania attorney should have a good understanding of these requirements and how they can apply to your case. Whether you are a landlord seeking how to best protect your business, or a tenant seeking to protect your rights, Czekaj Law, LLC has an understanding of Pennsylvania landlord/tenant law that can be of great help to you.
The Eviction Process in Pennsylvania
A landlord can evict a tenant from a rental property for failing to pay rent as well as for other violations of the rental agreement. The eviction process is governed by a strict set of procedures which are meant to protect the rights of the tenant. An experienced landlord/tenant dispute lawyer can be of great help in understanding and making the most of an eviction situation.
The Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Act sets the basis for legal evictions in the state. It is illegal for a landlord to use so-called “self-help” actions in order to evict a tenant. Examples of such actions would include removing the tenant’s belongings from the property to get them to leave, changing the locks without proper notice, or canceling basic services in order to make the residence uninhabitable. Parts of the eviction process include:
- Drafting a Notice to Quit – This document is required to start an eviction. It must include the names of the parties involved, the reason for the notice, and a deadline for when the tenant should move out or pay overdue rent in order to end the eviction. A notice to quit is appropriate if the tenant has violated any terms of the rental agreement, such as failing to pay rent, or if the term of the lease has ended and the landlord no longer wishes to renew with the tenant. An eviction lawyer can make sure that a notice to quit is properly written and delivered within the proper time frame.
- Delivering the Notice to Quit – To properly deliver a notice to quit, it must either be personally handed to the tenant or left securely at the rental premises in an easily visible location. A notice to quit must detail when the tenant is to leave the rental, and it must give the tenant at least 10 days’ notice. So, if delivered on the 15th of March due to failure to pay rent, the tenant would have until the 25th of March to pay rent and avoid the eviction.
- An Eviction Lawsuit – If the tenant does not leave the premises in accordance with a notice to quit, the landlord can then proceed to file an eviction lawsuit seeking a court order for the tenant to leave. After filing the suit, the tenant must be served with a copy of the complaint. Either party to an eviction action may be represented by an eviction lawyer at the scheduled hearing, at which time the court will consider the case and determine if the eviction is proper. If the tenant is ordered to leave the rental premises by the court, the tenant must comply or face physical removal at a later time by law enforcement officers.
Czekaj Law, LLC has helped clients on both sides of the eviction process. With the vast amount of forms and deadlines, your experienced eviction lawyer can help you protect your property and business if you are a landlord who is considering the eviction process. If you are a tenant seeking to protect your rights when facing an eviction, do not hesitate to call our eviction lawyer to discuss how best to proceed during this difficult time.
How a Landlord/Tenant Dispute Lawyer Can Help You
Disputes between landlords and tenants can be frightening and stressful for all parties involved. Tenants must seek to protect their rights and prevent themselves from unfairly being kicked out of their homes. Landlords can be overwhelmed with legal codes and details as they try to protect their property and income. We have experience in navigating the housing and court processes in Juniata County, Perry County, and surrounding counties.
At Czekaj Law, LLC you can discuss your situation with a knowledgeable Perry County landlord/tenant dispute lawyer. Call us today at (717) 275-9770 .