The Pennsylvania lease agreement is the legal document that outlines the main conditions for residential and commercial leases in the state of Pennsylvania.
The main contractual parties in the lease agreement are the landlord (lessor) and the tenant (lessee). They are free to insert any provision in their lease agreement that is not prohibited by federal or state laws and regulations.
Some of the basic clauses in the lease agreement are:
Details about the landlord and the tenant
Information about the property
Rent amount and rent payment due date
Security deposit amount
Rules about the lease agreement termination
The tenant usually submits the rental lease agreement to the landlord with all the relevant financial details and references from previous leases. The landlord then reviews the application and, if everything is in order, starts the lease agreement drafting process.
Pennsylvania Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
If you are drafting the lease agreement for the property located in Pennsylvania, there are a few mandatory disclosures you must include in your lease agreement, including:
Lead-based paint disclosure. This disclosure must be included for any leased property built before 1978 or if there is a known presence of lead-based paint. It must include information about any lead-based paint present at the leased property. (Section 1018 of Title X)
Consumer notice. The licensee who is showing the leased property to the tenant who has any interest in the property (e.g., the licensee is also the property owner or manager) must disclose this interest during the first meeting with the prospective tenant.
Pennsylvania Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
Although not declared mandatory by any federal or state law, there are a few disclosures that shall be included in the lease agreement for additional protection, namely:
Asbestos disclosure. This disclosure shall be included in a lease agreement for every property built before 1981 or if there is a known presence of asbestos in the construction. The landlord shall also provide guidelines on how to use the leased property without disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Bed bug disclosure. The landlord shall inform the tenant if there was previously a bed bug infestation at the leased property. Disclosure shall also inform the tenant on how to act in case a new bed bug infestation appears.
Medical marijuana disclosure. The landlord can allow or forbid medical marijuana smoking at the leased property. The usage of medical marijuana can also be limited to non-smoking methods or only at designated places in the leased property.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
The tenant can sue the landlord in civil court for any damage caused by health and safety hazards that weren't mentioned in the lease agreement.
Federal law provides a penalty of up to $19,507 for the landlord who fails to include the lead-based paint disclosure in the lease agreement. (24 CFR § 30.65)
Pennsylvania Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
During the first year of the lease, the security deposit cannot exceed two months’ rent. (§ 250.511.1(a))
For the lease renewal, the security deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent.
Security Deposit Return
The landlord must return the security deposit or any remaining amount no later than 30 days after the lease is terminated or the tenant has surrendered the premises, whichever comes first. (§ 250.512)
If any deductions were made from the security deposit, the landlord should send the list of deductions along with the remaining deposit.
The security deposit shall be kept in escrow, and the tenant is entitled to any interest on the amount held as the security deposit.
When is Rent Due in Pennsylvania? (Grace Period)
The due date is the date provided in the lease agreement for the rent payment.
The Pennsylvania statutes don’t provide a grace period for the rent payment. Therefore, if rent is not paid by the due date provided in the lease agreement, the landlord can start the eviction process after sending a 10-day notice to the tenant.
The tenant can also start charging late fees as long as they are defined in the lease agreement.
Pennsylvania Rent Late Fees
There is no federal or state law that limits the amount of the late rent payment fee. That means that the landlord can charge any amount they deem reasonable. However, to be legally charged, any late fee must be properly disclosed in the lease agreement.
Pennsylvania NSF Checks
The landlord can also provide an additional fee for any instance where the tenant issued a bad check for the rent payment.
The state law limits that fee to a maximum of $50 for each returned check. (§ 4105(e)(3))
Pennsylvania Landlord’s Right to Enter
The state of Pennsylvania doesn’t set a minimal time for the advanced notice the landlord must issue to the tenant before accessing the leased unit.
However, to protect the tenant’s right to privacy, it is advised that the tenant send at least a 24-hour advance notice to the tenant. The landlord shall limit the visits only to reasonable times, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Yes, the lease agreement is a legally binding contract in the state of Pennsylvania.
The lease agreement is considered valid and legally binding from the moment both the landlord and the tenant sign it. Any non-compliance with the lease terms after that moment can have legal consequences.
Typically, a Pennsylvania lease agreement should include the following clauses:
Names and addresses of contractual parties
Details about the leased property
Lease duration and rules for the extension of the lease
Rent amount, due date, and methods of payment
Mandatory disclosures required by federal and state law
Optional disclosures provided by the parties
Rights and duties of the landlord and the tenant
Lease agreement termination rules
The best way to get a professional lease agreement for the property in Pennsylvania is to download one of the lease agreement templates available on our website.
Based on the type of your lease, you can choose between different types of lease agreements:
Residential and commercial lease agreement
Long-term lease agreement and month-to-month lease agreement.
Room rental agreement
Rent-to-own lease agreement
After drafting and signing the lease agreement, make sure you do the property inspection. Both the landlord and the tenant shall be present for the property inspection.
By doing the property inspection, you will ensure there are no existing damages or cleaning needed before the tenant moves in.
After the inspection, you should:
Sign the move-in form.
Pay the first month’s rent and security deposit (if you are the tenant).
Hand over the keys and enable access to the property (if you are the landlord).