Conflicts between landlords and tenants are never simple. Whether you are renting an apartment or a storefront, residential and commercial leases can be complex.
In Pennsylvania the Landlord Tenant Act of 1951 governs disputes between landlords and tenants. Similarly, in New Jersey, landlord tenant law is governed by statute. Additionally, cities, municipalities, and townships may have their own law providing further regulation. For example, in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code also provides regulations that impact the relationship of landlord and tenant and their respective duties.
Whether you are a landlord renting a single-family home or a tenant seeking to lease a commercial property, it is important to not only understand the contract but also make sure that your rights are protected. At the very least, it is always important that you read the lease carefully before signing. Depending on the terms of your lease agreement it may be beneficial to contact an attorney to review the document prior to signing. This is particularly true for commercial lease agreements as the duration is generally longer and the parties have more to lose.
If you have already signed a lease but are experiencing a problem with your landlord or tenant it is important to contact an attorney immediately as applicable laws and the lease agreement require specific types of notice in the event of a default. A default can happen in a numerous ways, the most common default on behalf of a tenant is the failure to pay rent. The most common default on behalf of a landlord is usually failure to keep the property in a state of repair, for example, failure to provide heat or electricity, or failure to fix a dangerous condition.
In Philadelphia, landlord tenant disputes are filed in Philadelphia Municipal Court. Either party has the right to appeal the decision of the Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge. If appealed, the case is transferred to the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. Though these cases can be overturned, it is important to seek representation from an experienced attorney who can explain your rights.
Freundlich & Littman, LLC, has attorneys experienced in all aspects of the landlord tenant relationship. Austin R. Freundlich, Esquire and Gregory C. Littman, Esquire handle landlord tenant negotiations and disputes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you are a landlord with a problem tenant, or a tenant that has an issue with a landlord, contact Freundlich & Littman, LLC today for a free consultation and case evaluation.