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Landlord tenant lawyer Pittsburgh

Finding a clean and safe place to live is critical no matter who you are. If a person is a renter, they must find a place that is affordable and has the space and amenities they need to live a comfortable life. Stoner Law provides legal services to landlords and tenants. We can help you with all residential and commercial real estate transactions.  

Owners need to know that the people living in the homes and apartments they rent out can pay their rent. Knowing the tenants have enough money to pay their rent and all their other bills is the only way that a management company or individual owner will guarantee that their investment is worthwhile.

Any landlord wants to know that the people renting from them are law-abiding and have a good reputation and rental history. This is not only necessary to protect the owner’s investment but for the safety of their other renters and people who live in the neighborhood. It is important to do a criminal background check and a credit check on any tenant.

Landlord Tenant Law Book With Judges Hammer And Glasses

Typical Conflicts

The most common conflicts we see between landlords and tenants have to do with the destruction of property or non-payment of rent. The associates at our practice are trained negotiators with years of experience in real estate law. We can mediate conflicts and represent you in civil litigation if it becomes necessary. 

Landlord-tenant disputes should be taken seriously by both parties. Eviction threatens the well-being of renters and non-payment or destruction of a home threatens the financial well-being of property owners.

Landlord Tenant Laws in Pennsylvania 

All states have laws about rental leases and the Quaker State is no exception. There are several tenant rights that a person renting a PA house or apartment must abide by.

  1. You may not refuse to rent to somebody based on race, sex, nationality, familial situation, color, religion, or disability. It is also illegal to advertise the exclusion of any group when you are trying to rent out a property, For example, you cannot say “no children” in an ad. You cannot say you are only renting to Christians or opposite-sex couples.
  1. A landlord must have a potential tenant’s approval before they run a credit check.
  1. If a property contains any lead-based paint, the owner must disclose this information to the tenant. The government provides tenants with an EPA-approved pamphlet about base paint.
  1. A tenant has the right to the quiet enjoyment of their property. They have a right to privacy as well. A landlord cannot just come into a rental unit whenever they want. The home a landlord rents to a tenant must be safe and habitable.
  1. A landlord must provide a home with running drinking water, hot water for bathing, smoke alarms, and heat. They must have windows that can be locked and a bathroom that works.
  1. If there is an issue with the property that makes it uninhabitable, a tenant has the right to withhold rent. A tenant must have a city inspector come to the property to confirm that it is uninhabitable to exercise this right. A tenant can also pay for the repair and deduct the amount of the repair from the rent. 
  1. The state of Pennsylvania only allows two people to inhabit one bedroom. However, landlords cannot prevent tenants from having overnight guests. 
  1. If a landlord decides not to renew a tenant’s lease for any reason, the landlord must give the tenant 15 days’ notice on a month-to-month basis or 30 days’ notice on a year-long lease. 
  1. Owners who are renting out their property can charge up to two months’ rent for a security deposit. They will have 30 days to give the deposit back minus any damages the tenant has incurred. Security deposits can also be kept for back rent.

Pennsylvania Law for Evictions

One of the most common things landlord-tenant lawyers have to deal with is eviction. There were 66,193 evictions filed in the state in 2021. Real estate law in Pennsylvania dictates that a landlord can evict a tenant if they do not pay rent or if they do not live up to what they have agreed to in a written lease. 

It is important to work with a Pittsburgh disputes and litigation attorney If you are a landlord who is thinking of evicting a tenant. Our law firm can walk you through the process of an eviction.

When an owner evicts a tenant, they must first post a document called a notice to quit on their door. It needs to be posted in a conspicuous place or handed to the tenant. If the tenant doesn’t pay, the landlord can file for an eviction in court. The court date will be set, and the tenant will be notified.

In many cases, the tenant will pay once the eviction has been filed. However, if the tenant still does not pay, the case will go to court. If you live in Pittsburgh, you will need a 

Western Pennsylvania real estate attorney to represent you. Landlords almost always win in this situation.

If the landlord does win the case, they must give the tenant five days to cure and pay all the months of rent that they owe. 

If the tenant still does not pay, the landlord can order a writ of possession. This is a document that is to be posted on the tenant’s door. It will usually be posted by a law enforcement officer or writ server.

How Long Does a Tenant Have to Leave Once They Have Been Evicted?

The tenant will have 10 days to leave the property. If they do not leave the apartment within 10 days or pay up, the landlord can call a sheriff to have them physically evicted.

It is always best for both landlords and tenants to try to work something out before proceeding with an eviction. Evictions are very expensive for both the landlord and the tenant. If you are a landlord and you want to do an actual physical eviction, you will have to pay somebody to clean out the apartment. You will also have to advertise for a new renter.

Having an eviction on your record can ruin your life. It will make it very difficult for you to rent another apartment under your name. You may have difficulty buying a house as well. An eviction will stay on your credit for a minimum of seven years.

One Person Giving Keys To Another Person Over A Table

Why You Should Choose Us For Landlord Tenant Issues

There are plenty of attorneys who specialize in real estate law in Pittsburgh, but few who have as much experience with landlord-tenant issues as our lawyers. Daniel Stoner, Kenneth Snyder, and Corey Leon are experts in laws affecting renters. They constantly educate themselves and their team on changes to landlord tenant laws.

We offer aggressive representation to tenants and real estate owners alike in Pittsburgh, PA. Our law offices are large enough to handle the research required on every case. However, we are small enough to give each landlord and case personal attention. If you need a real estate attorney in Pittsburgh, a Pittsburgh foreclosure attorney, or a lawyer for any other real estate issue, call our office today for a free consultation. Our business is committed to settling landlord-tenant disputes in a way that is fair to everyone. 

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