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legalgems
legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 7442
Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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Going to need someone familiar with Philadelphia Landlord

Customer Question

Going to need someone familiar with Philadelphia Landlord Tenant law for my question.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes, I filed to have tenant evicted.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Concerns Philadelphia laws regarding Landlord's right to enter property.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Good Day!A few minutes please as I review your question so I can provide you with legal information. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Hello; what is your question please regarding the landlord's right to enter?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Tenant hasn't paid since June 2016. Lease expires 31OCT16. Filed for eviction...court date 20OCT16. I want to enter property to show a prospective buyer and to check for damage before going to court. Tenant has texted that she will not allow me to enter and that she will file that I am trespassing if I try.QUESTION: As an owner/ landlord, how do I get in to inspect prior to court? Was going to send certified letter and then go to sheriff or police, but fear tenant will do damage if I do.
Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your patience; the statutes governing landlord tenancy law are located in chapter 68, section 250 and I have reviewed them in detail and there is no statute that addresses entry rights, meaning that the legislature has not felt it necessary to pass laws on this issue. So based on that, the common law doctrines would be applicable as is the case when there is not an explicit statute.

A landlord can address entry issues in the lease, stating the right to entry with reasonable notice (usually 24 hours) to show the property to prospective tenants. If that is not in the lease, then there is no definitive right to enter, the reason being that each lease has an implied covenant of quiet enjoyment, meaning that the tenant is entitled to reside in the unit without interference by the landlord. So while the landlord may enter in order to make repairs (again, with notice) there is no definitive right to enter to show to prospective tenants.

As for checking for damage, according to section 68 PS 250.512, the landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit, deducting for damages. So since the landlord has 30 days to return the deposit, any walk through for damages would occur with the tenant's permission (often they prefer that as it helps protect them, if the landlord signs off after the walk through) or during that 30 day period post-tenancy. Here is that statute:

a) Every landlord shall within thirty days of termination of a lease or upon surrender and acceptance of the leasehold premises, whichever first occurs, provide a tenant with a written list of any damages to the leasehold premises for which the landlord claims the tenant is liable. Delivery of the list shall be accompanied by payment of the difference between any sum deposited in escrow, including any unpaid interest thereon, for the payment of damages to the leasehold premises and the actual amount of damages to the leasehold premises caused by the tenant. Nothing in this section shall preclude the landlord from refusing to return the escrow fund, including any unpaid interest thereon, for nonpayment of rent or for the breach of any other condition in the lease by the tenant.
(b) Any landlord who fails to provide a written list within thirty days as required in subsection (a), above, shall forfeit all rights to withhold any portion of sums held in escrow, including any unpaid interest thereon, or to bring suit against the tenant for damages to the leasehold premises.
(c) If the landlord fails to pay the tenant the difference between the sum deposited, including any unpaid interest thereon, and the actual damages to the leasehold premises caused by the tenant within thirty days after termination of the lease or surrender and acceptance of the leasehold premises, the landlord shall be liable in assumpsit to double the amount by which the sum deposited in escrow, including any unpaid interest thereon, exceeds the actual damages to the leasehold premises caused by the tenant as determined by any court of record or court not of record having jurisdiction in civil actions at law. The burden of proof of actual damages caused by the tenant to the leasehold premises shall be on the landlord.
(d) Any attempted waiver of this section by a tenant by contract or otherwise shall be void and unenforceable.
(e) Failure of the tenant to provide the landlord with his new address in writing upon termination of the lease or upon surrender and acceptance of the leasehold premises
shall relieve the landlord from any liability under this section. (f) This section shall apply only to residential leaseholds and not to commercial leaseholds.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Also please see the bottom of page 1 and top of page 2 here.

Expert:  legalgems replied 1 month ago.

Hi. Just checking in to see how the above situation worked out. Hoping the information was useful. Thanks!