Philadelphia Tenant Defense Attorney
Tenants have rights in the Philadelphia, PA. The City Council has enacted the Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code, which places stringent enforcement procedures on landlords who rent properties to tenants. The Code requires landlords to provide fit and habitable properties to tenants to collect rent. Additionally, the landlord must be procedurally compliant with the Code to successfully process an eviction. Many unrepresented landlords file procedurally improper complaints that a tenant may successfully defend in Philadelphia Landlord Tenant Court.
The landlord must provide the tenant a Certificate of Rental Suitability and Partners for Good Housing Handbook at the inception of the leasehold. If these documents were not provided to you then landlord cannot legally collect rent. The landlord must also provide you with a Philadelphia Lead Safe Certificate in certain cases where the property is constructed before 1978 and there are young children in the property. If landlord fails to certify the property is lead safe as required then you may be eligible for a rental refund.
Finally, Tenants have a right to assert uninhabitability as a defense to rent owed. If there are issues with the property you may be entitled to a rental abatement. Such issues often include leaking ceilings, electrical issues, water plumbing issues or any violations of the Philadelphia Property Maintenance code. It’s a good idea to take photographs of the violations in anticipation of a trial before a judge.
An aggressive tenant defense lawyer may be able to negotiate rental forgiveness in consideration for possession of the property. Conversely if it is your intention to remain in the unit you may hire a lawyer to discuss a “pay and stay” agreement with the landlord. Tenants also have an automatic “de novo” right to appeal landlord tenant trials in Philadelphia Municipal Court. Therefore if you feel the outcome was against you there is an opportunity to start again. Contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your goals and objectives. We are confident we can work with you to satisfactorily resolve your landlord tenant dispute.