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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27256
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Can a tenant in Pennsylvania sue and habitability issues if

Customer Question

Can a tenant in Pennsylvania sue for negligence and habitability issues if he has already lost an eviction hearing due to not payment of rent?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. Can you share with me a little more about what the landlord did and why these issues were not previously addressed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My LLC entered into an installment contract of sale with someone via seller financing. This person was responsible for all maintenance and contracted with a property management company. The tenant claims to have slipped and fell because of a loose handicapped accessible bar in the shower. There was no handicapped bar in the shower. He also claims there were squirrels in his apartment. These alleged issues were all claimed in the civil action against us, but the court sided with the property management company when they sued to take back the apartment for non payment of rent. This hearing had taken place 4 to 6 months after the alleged claims by the tenant. He was given proper notice of the hearing so if these issues were brought up at the eviction hearing would the court not have sided with the tenant? This tenant has a laundry list of arrests for harassment, dwi in 3 states, alcohol restrictions placed on him by the court, criminal mischief with property damage, theft, driving with a revoked license. My favorite was in his timeline while he was supposed to be in a rehabilitation facility for an amputated leg, he was being arrested for driving with a suspended/revoked license.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. If there were issues with habitability when he resided there, he needed to first address them with the landlord/management and if they failed to correct these and the rental was not habitable, he could have had grounds to vacate and sue. If he continued to live there, it would defeat the claim that the property was not habitable. Now, you also shared that he alleged to have slipped because of a loose bar but if there was never on/in the shower and this was not a handicapped accessible shower, then the claim would have no merit. If he had a claim, it would have been for monetary damages and based upon what you described above, he seems to have some issues and appears just to be making claims without evidence to support it. Even if he did slip from the bar, if he did not suffer any damages, there would be nothing to recover. In addition, he could have filed a counter-claim, if he wanted to sue, so the allegations and claims, without the filing of a lawsuit, has no merit.

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Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!