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legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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I need to know if it is legal in PA 2-yr lease to

Customer Question

I need to know if it is legal in PA for a 2-yr lease to automatically renew for one year. Our landlord is telling us that we needed to give her 90 days notice in February since our lease auto-renewed in April for another year. We never received any notice from her stating that the lease would auto-renew. When we looked at the house, she told us it would go month-to-month, but the after receiving her letter, we looked at the lease and it states 1 yr.
JA: OK. The Real Estate Lawyer will need to help you with this. Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: Pennsylvania
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: Not yet!
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Real Estate Lawyer should know?
Customer: Nope. We gave notice on May 1st that we would be leaving on June 15th. She wrote us that she will need ~$5500 to break the lease on 6/15 or we would owe her $13,000 for the balance of the lease. We responded that we were will to give her a 90 day notice and pay until July. She is not returning any of our calls. And she hasn't cashed our May rent check yet.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Real Estate Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  legalgems replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your patience as I reviewed this.
Landlord tenant laws are codified at 68 PS 250.101 et seq.

Unfortunately a lease is a contract, and if the lease specifies that a certain time frame re: notice to vacate is to be provided to the landlord, that term would be enforceable as there is no statute prohibiting it.

Most leases have a provision allowing for early termination (ie a fee to be paid to release the tenant). Many people will pay that to avoid liability on the entire lease, since the law is unclear as to whether a landlord has a duty to mitigate its damages by actively locating another tenant. (in contrast, most states do have a duty to mitigate requirement)

I am sorry this is not the information you would like to hear but I have a moral duty to provide accurate information.

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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 4 months ago.

Checking to see how the above worked out for you.

If you decide to hire an attorney:

Here is a link to the bar association's legal referral site:

Thank you for using JA!

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