Home  Pennsylvania  Landlord/Tenant

Prohibited Practices/Illegal Lease Clauses

See Repairs

See Discrimination/Fair Housing

See Evictions

See Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance
      Government, nonprofit and commercial groups to help you when you're in trouble.

Discrimination/Fair Housing

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (Consumer-SOS)
Government, nonprofit and commercial groups to help you when you're in trouble.

Learn what housing is covered, the types of discrimination that is prohibited and where to go for help.

Housing Exempt From The Fair Housing Act (Consumer-SOS)
Some housing can discriminate.  Find out which.

Discrimination In Advertising Related To Housing (Consumer-SOS)

What Is a Disability As Defined By The Fair Housing Act

Filing A Lawsuit Under The Fair Housing Act (Consumer-SOS)

Requirements For New Buildings (Built After 19991)

Procedures & Penalties For Violations (Consumer-SOS) 

Guide to finding accessible housing for people with disabilities. 

For More See Prohibited Practices/Illegal Lease Clauses 

Back To Top


Federal law may protect you from a landlord's retaliation if the decision was based on your race, color creed, national origin, marital or family status or age if over 40. For details see Discrimination/Fair Housing.

If the landlord is punishing you for exercising your legal rights, you may have to sue in court.  For help, call your landlord tenant hotline, or get media support through your local TV, newspaper or radio station.

State By State Laws Against Landlord Retaliation (Nolo.com)
Not every state protects tenants from retaliation.

How The Various States Treat Landlord Retaliation
See Part 2 for the statutes and pro tenant case law on retaliatory conduct by landlords against tenants who exercise their rights under housing codes or other laws governing tenant rights. Each state varies with respect to the types of conduct landlords are prohibited from doing, the types of tenant activities that are protected, and the remedies available for a violation of the statute. And not all states are covered.

NOTE: for specific case law, search for key words by holding down the CTRL key and then press the letter F. Then search for your state by entering in the two letter abbreviation.
For example CA or GA or NY.

City And County Housing Codes (All 50 States)
Check your city and county housing codes for further protection. Some expressly protect against retaliation for reporting a violation. Once on your code website, search for retaliat or retaliation.

If you still can't find help, Google your state along with the words Landlord and Retaliation. If you are in a big city, Google that as well


Georgia landlord retaliation
New York landlord retaliation
San Francisco landlord retaliation

Google Scholar
Do the same search above in Google Scholar for state specific case law. Repeat search choosing Articles.

Where To Go For More Help

For more help see Lawyers, Courts & Self Help

Back To Top

Uninhabitable Premises/Constructive Eviction

Sometimes a landlord will create a nuisance or fail to make needed repairs. If such actions make the premises unlivable, the law may permit the tenant to immediately move out and sue for "constructive eviction."  

If the tenant wins, damages can be collected for back rent, damage to furniture and other expenses.

Note a tenant cannot normally sue for constructive eviction unless the problem caused them to move out before the end of their lease.

Some states even allow for a partial constructive eviction, such as when the landlord's negligence makes only part of your apartment unlivable.  For example.  Suppose your landlord did not repair the leaky ceiling and as a result of this you can no longer use your dining room.  Then at least as far as the use of your dining room goes, you have been constructively evicted.

Note: The rules for constructive eviction depend on case law and vary from state to state.

So be very careful about claiming constructive eviction without first seeking help from an attorney.

Help Resources

State Habitability Statutes And Law Reference Guide (50 States)
Scroll down to your state and see what the remedies are for breach of habitability. If listed, this will show you what you need to prove for constructive eviction.  If the statute is silent, there still may be case law in your favor.  But be careful and talk to a lawyer if you can!  For case law, go to Google Scholar, and search for "constructive eviction" and your state.

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (Consumer-SOS)
Government, nonprofit and commercial groups to help you when you're in trouble.

For More Help, See Repairs and Lawyers, Courts & Self Help

Back To Top

Form Letters (Samples)

Free Pennsylvania Sample Lease (Favors The Landlord)

Another Sample Lease (Favors The Landlord)

See State Courts & Court Forms (Consumer-SOS)
See Other Forms (Consumer-SOS)

Where To Go For More Help

The Forms Below Are Generic (Not State Specific)


Tenant's Notice To End The Tenancy

Notice To Landlord To Make Repairs (Lawsmart)


Amendment Of Lease (Lawsmart.com)

Assignment Of Lease (Lawsmart.com)

Sample Residential Lease (Lawsmart.com)

Consent To Assignment Of Lease (Lawsmart.com)

Sample Tenant Notice Invoking Option To Renew Lease

Landlord Demand Letter Informing Tenant Of Breach Of Tenancy And What Tenant Must Do To Make Amends

Landlord Notice To Terminate The Tenancy (Lawsmart)

Lease Termination Agreement (Lawsmart)

Memorandum Of Lease (Lawsmart) 

Notice Of Rent Increase (Lawsmart.com) 

Residential Rental Application (Lawsmart.com)

Notice To Tenant To Make Repairs (Lawsmart.com)

Where To Go For More Help (Consumer-SOS)

Back To Top


Mobile Homes

Mobile Home Owner Rights Brochures (Pennsylvania Legal Aid)

Your Rights In Pennsylvania (Scroll to Page 42)

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (Consumer-SOS)
Government, nonprofit and commercial groups to help you when you're in trouble.

There are no other resources here at this time.  Please check back again later.

Back To Top

HUD/Public Housing

Public vs. Private Housing

Public housing differs from private housing in two important ways. In public housing, a family's rent is based on the family's income and size. In a private house or apartment, rent is set by the landlord. In addition to this, many of the rights and duties of public housing tenants are directed by federal law. In contrast, most rights and duties of private tenants are set by the landlord. In most cases, you actually have more rights in public housing than in private housing.

Low Cost Housing/Subsidized Housing (Pennsylvania)
Scroll down for a list in each county.

Links To Local HUD Offices Throughout US

HUD Help
Federal laws and regulations protect you from discrimination, fraud, and unscrupulous practices in buying and renting a home. Know your rights.

Admission, rents and lease requirements, eviction and grievances procedures and help numbers.

State Housing Authorities (All 50 States, DC & US Territories)
State housing agencies may give money and advice directly to low- and moderate-income people to help with rent, utilities, repairs to remove health and safety hazards, accessibility for the handicapped, and becoming homeowners. They also may construct, own, and manage public housing, which usually includes providing social services for the residents.

Where To Go For More Help (Consumer-SOS)

Back To Top

Right To Tenant's Property Left Behind 

Remedies Available to Landlords When A Tenant Breaks The Lease (Pennsylvania)
How a landlord can recover rent, evict a tenant, collect on a judgment and sell the tenant's possessions to make up for lost rent.

The Landlord's Right To Keep Property The Tenant Left Behind (Pennsylvania)
STOP!!!. Click on Link, in Google Search Box, replace "Your State" with the name of your state, city or county.

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (Consumer-SOS)
Government, nonprofit and commercial groups to help you when you're in trouble.

See Moving Out

Back To Top

Crime Prevention

Contacting Your Neighbors (Consumer-SOS)
Use Internet phone books and reverse lookups to find out who your neighbors are and contact them. Good to organize a neighborhood watch, or simply have them turn down the noise.

Getting Your Landlord To Prevent Crime (General)

Where To Get Legal Or Government Assistance (Consumer-SOS)
Government, nonprofit and commercial groups to help you when you're in trouble.

See Nuisances, Noise & Neighbors

Back To Top

Help Agencies & Mega Sites

Free Legal Help in Pennsylvania For Landlord Tenant Matters

Can't Pay Your Rent, Mortgage or Utilities? (Consumer-SOS)
Step by step on what to do and where to go for assistance.

How To Involve The Media & Consumer Watch Groups

Form Letters (Consumer-SOS)

Find Your Local Newspaper, Magazine, Radio & TV Stations
Give them a little bad press and you're bargaining power increases tremendously. Select your state, and then click on your county or city for the proper media to report to. (DC Not Included).

Find The AARP In Pennsylvania
The AARP offers legal advocacy for seniors and may also have state specific consumer brochures which are available to everyone.

Has help agency #s for 31 states, i.e. where to report your landlord and where to get free legal help. Also has links to each state's landlord/tenant laws.  

This site has excellent resources, help numbers and links to pro-tenant publications in almost every state. It's a really good site!!!

This online resource for residential tenants has links to the law in 28 states, Australia, Canada and the UK.  They also have articles and tips for the lay person.

Has links to landlord tenant laws in most of the 50 states and around the world.  Some of these links go to self help booklets written especially for the lay person.

This site has select laws from each state on security deposits, evictions and landlord laws, but it's not consumer friendly. Their "landlord Laws" sections may have stuff on notice to end tenancy and other stuff tenants should know. 

United Way Help Line  (For All 50 States, DC & Puerto Rico)
Choose your state, select your city, and look up help agencies throughout your city and state. Their stellar search engine can lead you to any social service topic you can think of.  Just type in the words "housing rights" or "HUD" or "housing Authority" or "housing codes", etc.

National Help Orgs For A Variety Of Consumer Problems

The Elderly, Environment, Families, Fraud, Health & Safety, Insurance The Handicapped, Medical Problems, Telemarketing and more.

Media/Consumer Watch Groups

Involving The Media And Consumer Watch Groups

 If the law will not address your wrong, sometimes you can still win in the court of public opinion. This may require that you involve the media and consumer watch groups.  REMEMBER, bad press hurts business and may even prompt lawmakers to pass new legislation to help others in your situation.       

When talking to the media, make your plight a human interest story.  Explain how your problem affects:  safety, business, the city's image, the homeless, crime, drug use, widows, orphans, children, the disabled, the elderly, the economy, the environment, the insane, immigrants, the illiterate, race relations, tourism, violence, the state and federal budget, health, disease, safety...etc. 

Give the reporter the names and numbers of other victims (first get their permission) and have these people call in with similar stories.  Also provide the reporter/agency with a list of names and phone numbers so that he can interview the landlord, the management company and its agents.  Make sure the reporter can write your story without ever leaving his chair.

If you receive a positive response, send it immediately to each and every other agency/newspaper.  The more support you have the more likely you will be taken seriously.  Watch your cause build momentum as people jump on the bandwagon.  Lastly, write your state senator/house  representative to pass legislation to stop this terrible wrong.  Send a brief cover letter explaining your situation and how it effects others.  Also enclose favorable responses from the media and other agencies.  

Find Your Local Newspaper, Magazine, Radio & TV Stations
Trouble getting the government to act on your behalf? Give them a little bad press and you're bargaining power increases tremendously. Select your state, and then click on your county or city for the proper media to report to. (DC Not Included).

Call For Action  

American Association Of Retired Persons  

Back To Top


For More General Advice, See


Back To Top


Renter's Insurance In Pennsylvania

Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 (Pennsylvania Statutes)
Current law that regulates landlords and tenants.

Find Your City's Municipal Codes
Learn how your city code treats, garbage, nuisance and safety hazards. If you can't find your city, follow their links to other code sites that can help you.

Back To Top