Your lease or rental agreement should spell out your landlord’s key rent rules, including:
- the amount of rent (there are no limits to how much a landlord can charge in Pennsylvania since there are no communities with rent control in the state)
- where rent is due (such as by mail to the landlord’s business address)
- when rent is due (including what happens if the rent due date falls on a weekend date or holiday)
- how rent should be paid (usually check, money order, cash, and/or credit card)
- the amount of notice landlords must provide to increase rent
- the amount of any extra fee if your rent check bounces, and
- the consequences of paying rent late, including late fees and termination of the tenancy.
Pennsylvania state laws do not cover most of these rent-related issues.
Pennsylvania Rules on Late Fees
Pennsylvania state law does not cover late fees. If your lease or rental agreement does not say anything about late fees, your landlord may not impose one, no matter how reasonable it is.
Rent Increases as Retaliation or Discrimination
Pennsylvania landlords may not raise the rent in a discriminatory manner—for example, only for members of a certain race. Also, Pennsylvania landlords may not use a rent increase in retaliation against you for exercising a legal right—for example, in response to your legitimate complaint to a local housing agency about a broken heater.
Pennsylvania State Laws on Termination for Nonpayment of Rent
States set specific rules and procedures for ending a tenancy when a tenant has not paid the rent. Pennsylvania landlords must give tenants at least ten days in which to pay the rent or move. If the tenant does neither, the landlord can file for eviction.
Pennsylvania Guide to Tenant Rights
For an overview of tenant rights when it comes to paying rent under Pennsylvania landlord-tenant law, see http://tenant.net/Other_Areas/Penn/harris/pa-toc.html.
Pennsylvania State Laws on, Termination for Nonpayment of Rent and Other Rent-Related Issues
For Pennsylvania laws on termination for nonpayment of rent, see 68 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 250.501(b).
See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.