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Getting started as a landlord is never easy, especially when you have to deal with drafting your first Pennsylvania rental application. 

Whether you're going for a Pennsylvania commercial lease agreement or a residential one, you must understand how the law works in this state so that you can get started right away.

The following page will outline how Pennsylvania rental agreements work, including what every Pennsylvania landlord must show their prospective tenant so that everyone understands the conditions of the lease term. 

At the end of this page, we'll show you a bit of how you can manage your Pennsylvania lease agreement through property management software, so keep an eye out for that.

Pennsylvania Lease

A rental agreement in Pennsylvania (also called a Pennsylvania lease agreement) is a document that outlines all of the conditions that Pennsylvania landlords have for tenants who want to live on their property.

Overall, this written contract is supposed to provide notice to the new tenant of required disclosures, including monthly rent payments, security deposits, and other important state laws.

Landlords may permit tenants to draft a Pennsylvania sublease agreement if they consider it appropriate. However, a Pennsylvania roommate agreement must adhere to additional rules according to the landlord's requirements.

What to Include

Below is a list of all the things that your current lease agreement in Pennsylvania must include:

Rent

The state of Pennsylvania doesn't have any particular rules regarding rent control, so landlords are free to charge any amount of money they consider appropriate for their rental agreement. 

Moreover, there's no limitation for raises in rental prices, so landlords can also increase the amount of rent whenever they consider it appropriate without notice.

The only requirement the state has regarding rent is for returned checks. Here, there's a $50 fee limit for returned checks.

Security Deposit

A security deposit is one of the most vital parts of any rental application, whether it's for a person or a business entity. Overall, the security deposit allows landlords to take care of any damages caused to the property under a particular amount of time, including:

  • Holes, cracks, and dents
  • Unpermitted painting
  • Damaged fixtures, flooring, or furnishings

In the state of Pennsylvania, the security deposit’s maximum is two months of rent, although it can be less than that for tenants who last more than a year in the lease. 

Once the tenant moves out of the property, federal law requires the landlord to return the deposit within 30 days. Otherwise, the tenant may contact licensed attorneys and take legal action.

Warranty of Habitability and Repairs

Although landlords in Pennsylvania are required to preserve their units in a livable condition and provide repairs within a reasonable amount of time, the law doesn't state what "reasonable" is.

A "habitable" unit consists of the following basic factors:

  • Cooling
  • Heating
  • Sanitation
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical

Lease Termination Conditions / Evictions

In monthly leases, landlords must provide their tenants with at least 15 days of notice before terminating the rental agreement. However, the landlord may be able to evict their tenant under any of the following conditions:

  • Lease violation
  • The tenant doesn't pay rent
  • Illegal drug activity

On the other hand, the tenant may be able to terminate the clause under the following conditions:

  • Active military duty
  • Landlord harassment
  • Poor habitability
  • Early termination clause

Miscellaneous Rules

  • Pet rules
  • Smoking rules
  • Loud noise/disturbance rules
  • Other conditions considered by the landlord

Download a Rental Contract Template for Free

You can download a free form for your Pennsylvania residential lease agreement here:

Mandatory Disclosure

The following is a list of mandatory disclosures that every rental application in Pennsylvania must have:

Lead Paint Disclosure: Any property built before 1978 must include information regarding lead-based paint and its hazards.

Utility Disclosure: If the landlord has agreed to furnish or pay for utilities, they're responsible if the company responsible for providing these utilities cuts off the service.

Mold Disclosure: Finally, the landlord must advise the tenant if there are any areas with mold on the property, as well as other things considered "known material defects."

Other disclosures you can include for Pennsylvania lease agreements include the following:

  • Use of medical marijuana
  • Bed bug disclosures
  • Asbestos disclosures
  • Late and returned check fees
  • Move-in checklist

Agreement Types

Depending on the type of property or personal needs, you may have to use one of the following types of rental agreements:

Build Your Own

Is it possible to build your own rental lease agreements? 

Yes! You can now create fully-customized lease documents online. If you don't want to go through the work of drafting everything by yourself, this multiple-choice quiz may help you come up with something that works for you.

Get Started

If you want to take things to the next level, using property management software like DoorLoop can help you. DoorLoop provides a platform where you can upload your lease templates and auto-fill them with everything you need.

Moreover, you will be able to go through the screening process for tenants much more smoothly, get paid on autopilot, manage work orders easily, and so much more. 

You can request a demo today and see how the software works by yourself.

FAQs

How long can leases be in Pennsylvania?

Typically, the maximum duration of a leasing agreement in this state is three years.

Are Pennsylvania leases automatically renewable?

Yes. You can automatically renew your lease, but you must include a clause that includes that information.

How does the landlord's right to entry work in Pennsylvania?

Currently, the state of Pennsylvania doesn't have any laws regarding the landlord's right to entry, meaning they can enter their units at any point they consider appropriate. Most landlords provide at least twenty-four hours of notice, though.

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David Bitton

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!