In Pennsylvania, The Landlord-Tenant Act of 1951 (68 P.S. § 250.101-250.602), governs most issues affecting the rights between landlords and tenants.
A common area that is often disputed between landlords and tenants is the security deposit. The Pennsylvania statute governs the following areas regarding the tenant’s security deposit:
- The maximum amount of money a landlord can require for a security deposit.
- Conditions required for a landlord to retain a security deposit.
- The period of time a landlord is required to return a security deposit.
- Other conditions the landlord is obligated to fulfill when returning the tenant’s security deposit.
- The tenant’s obligations at the end of the lease.
- Penalties assessed against the landlord for wrongfully failing to return the tenant’s security deposit.
In Pennsylvania, a landlord is permitted to retain a tenant’s security deposit for damages to premise or for the nonpayment of rent. However, before the landlord can keep any portion of the security deposit, the landlord is required by law to provide the tenant with a list of damages within 30 days of the expiration of the lease.
The landlord may then setoff any damages incurred from the security deposit and must return the remainder of the security deposit to tenant. Failure to provide the tenant with a list of damages with any remaining portion of the security deposit can result in a forfeiture of the landlord’s rights to retain the security deposit and can even result in a penalty of double the amount of the security deposit being assessed against the landlord.
To ensure that you’ve complied with the law in Pennsylvania concerning security deposits, please contact me.
Most tenant’s are unaware of their rights regarding the non-return of security deposits. Landlords often play fast and loose regarding the return of a tenant’s security deposit. Landlords will often claim that there is damage to the property that does not exist or rely on language in the lease as their basis for not returning the tenant’s security deposit. Sometimes these provisions contained in leases are void and cannot be enforced in court.
One group that is often vulnerable to the landlord’s wrongful retention of a tenant’s security deposit are college students. Whether you’re attending Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College, Lafayette College, or Moravian College, landlords often like to take advantage of these situations by not returning the student’s security deposit.
If your landlord has not returned your security deposit, I would like to speak with your about the situation and help you obtain the money that is rightfully yours. Please call me at (484) 362-9286 to discuss your case today or email us through the contact form provided.