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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 5236
Experience:  Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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My granddaughter came home Aug. 1st, 2016 to find her gas

Customer Question

My granddaughter came home Aug. 1st , 2016 to find her gas and hot water turned off. Maintenance told her PGW turned it off for safety reason. She would have to contact them. On Aug. 2 and 3rd PGW came to the house bit maintenance was not there to let them in. The leasing office call to find when PGW would come again. They were told on Saturday. Maintenance did not come. After 2 weeks and not being able to get I touch with them she put her things in storage and moved. Three weeks later when she checked her mail the gas was still not on. They called to asked where was the rent. She said. when you turn on the gas I'll pay the rent. She received a letter that if she did not pay the rent by the end of the They month she would be evicted. They had renewed her lease there was nothing she did to cause this. What can she do?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Pennsylvania
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The effect it had on her 6 yr. old. After seeing his mother crying and not having his bed TV toys. his Day care provider says he is not the same child he was before this happened. She hasn't been able to find an apartment because she paying for storage and don't have money for a lawyer
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney with Just Answer. I'll be here to help today! Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? By the way, the system will automatically ask for a phone call. By no means are you required to accept it.

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

This appears to be a classic case of a violation of the implied warranty of habitability. In 1979, the PA Supreme Court decided that landlords who rent property for people to live in must make sure such property is "safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation." They called this the Warranty of Habitability. [Pugh v. Holmes, 486 Pa. 272, 405 A.2d 897 (1979)] A landlord's obligations under the Warranty of Habitability cannot be taken from you even if you sign a lease that says you are renting the property "as is" or that you are responsible for all repairs.

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

So, things like heating and gas are going to be those items that are going to make the home habitable. Gas and heating are necessary for people to stay warm and to cook food so its absence makes the place unlivable. One of the remedies is to withhold rent from the landlord. So, if your granddaughter had to move out because of this, then she is able to withhold rent under Pennsylvania common law. I would recommend that she send a breach of contract letter to the landlord explaining that what they are doing is a retaliatory eviction. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract (click here).

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 5 months ago.

Follow up questions are free, so did you have any additional questions? If not, were you satisfied with my service today?