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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37971
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My mother has owned a home that she has rented to the same

Customer Question

My mother has owned a home that she has rented to the same people for 14 years. The rent started out at $600 and she just increased it for May from $800 to $850. She has replaced sliding glass door, frig & stove and they use her washer/dryer. They had a dishwasher which broke after 10 years of use & mom said she's not replacing it. There is mom & dad and 7 children. The wear & tear on the applicances & everything else is a lot. Me & my husband are now taking over my moms affairs , she doesn't want to deal with it. After taking a tour of the house we are certain they have taken advantage of my moms kindness. We want to increase the rent to $1000 and we want to know if we can legally do that & as far as applicances, what do we do allow them to use them till they brake & then when they leave were left paying the tab. We live in Coudersport pa
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 months ago.
Hello, There is no limitation on the amount of a rent increase under general Pennsylvania law, or in the Borough of Coudersport. Consequently, you can do whatever you wish with the rent. as long as you provide 30-day written notice of the rent increase. Concerning the appliances, if they are damaged in a manner that exceeds normal wear and tear, then you can demand that the tenant pay for the damage, or you can terminate their lease on 30-day notice and simultaneously sue the tenants for the damage (assuming that their security deposit is insufficient to cover the damage). If the damage is ordinary wear and tear, and the appliance is simply old and in need of replacement, then that is the landlord's obligation to maintain the property in habitable condition. The trick is to draw the line in the appropriate manner. This is not easy to do, and there is no rule of thumb. However, a judge would likely depreciate the appliance over its reasonable life, and then subtract that depreciation from any award that you would receive. This could effectively reduce your recovery to zero, dependent upon the age of the appliance. So, you need to be realistic about the value of the appliance, the cost of replacement vis-a-vis repair, before you start a fight -- because you could lose. Obviously if an appliance is one year old, and it's seriously damaged due to misuse, then you have a reasonable claim. But, if the appliance is 10-years old, and not expected to last much longer than that, then you're probably going to have to take the loss, replace the unit, and then if it is quickly damaged, at that point, you will have a claim for damages. I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using Justanswer!
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 months ago.
Hello again,I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer – otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using Justanswer!