The Philadelphia Municipal Court has changed the procedure for filing complaints in landlord and tenant court. Under the new procedures, filing landlords are screened for compliance with Philadelphia ordinances. Before filing the complaint the prospective plaintiff must certify compliance with Section 9-3902 of the Philadelphia Code by having a valid Rental License. The landlord must further certify compliance with Section 9-3903 of the Philadelphia Code having provided tenant a Certificate of Rental Suitability and City of Philadelphia Partner for Good Housing Handbook. Finally, the Plaintiff is asked to represent the condition of the property, whether children six years or younger reside there, and whether a lead safe certificate was provided in compliance with the Philadelphia Anti-Lead Ordinance.
If landlord has not complied with all Philadelphia ordinances, he will be deemed “non-compliant.” The court may then order his case dismissed or rule for defendant on a procedural basis. While these ordinances have long been in effect, the heightened enforcement of said ordinances took place in January 2018. Accordingly, many more tenants are demanding to “see the judge” rather than make an agreement.
Now, more than ever, it is critical that landlords be aware of the Philadelphia Code relating to rental properties. In years past, if landlords ignored certain codes they could obtain possession but not rent. Under the more stringent guidelines, a landlord may not reclaim or his property or collect rent if he has not strictly followed the code.
If you are dealing with a landlord and tenant issue, contact the Law Office of Mark D. Copoulos. We can assist you in navigating the technicalities of Philadelphia landlord and tenant law. We can ensure you are compliant and your eviction is prompt and successful. For a free consultation, call our office at 267.535.9776.