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§ 9-804. Unfair Rental Practices.

(1) Whenever any premises are found in violation of any provision of The Philadelphia Code and a notice of violation has been issued by any department or agency of the City, it shall be unlawful for any owner, landlord, agent or other person operating or managing such premises to:

(a) terminate the lease with the existing tenant unless the tenant has failed to pay rent, committed a nuisance, committed waste or caused the premises to have been in such violation under The Philadelphia Code;

(b) offer, tender, give, exchange or transfer possession or the right to possession to any person not in possession of the premises upon any terms or conditions until the violation has been corrected; or

(c) make, alter, amend or modify any term or condition of any existing lease or arrangement of tenancy with any person in possession of the premises at the time notice of violation is issued until the violation has been corrected;

(d) make, alter, amend or modify any term or condition of any existing lease or arrangement of tenancy with any tenant for a period of one year after correction of any violations where the action against the tenant is intended to collect the cost or value of making any or all of the corrections necessary to comply with The Philadelphia Code and where also any violation has remained uncorrected, whether or not recorded by the Department of Licenses and Inspections, for a period of one year or more prior to the date of correction. The burden shall be on the landlord to show that the violation has not existed uncorrected for a period of one year or more prior to the date of correction in any legal proceeding in which the provisions of this ordinance shall be relevant.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any owner, landlord, agent or other person operating or managing premises to terminate a lease with a tenant or make, alter, amend or modify any term or condition of any existing lease or arrangement of tenancy with a tenant in retaliation for:

(a) any violation having been found against the premises;

(b) the filing of a complaint alleging a violation;

(c) the joining of any lawful organization, or any other exercise of a legal right. It shall be unlawful for any owner, landlord, agent or other person operating or managing premises to refuse to lease any premises to a prospective tenant because he believes the prospective tenant has exercised any such right;

(d) an incident of domestic violence or sexual assault in which a tenant was the victim, or a tenant's status as a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. For purposes of this subsection (2)(d) the meaning of the terms "victim", "domestic violence" and "sexual assault" are as defined in Section 9-3201 of this Code.

In any civil proceeding involving this provision in which the notice of termination or alteration of a term or condition of the lease was given within one year after a violation was found, a right of the tenant against the landlord, agent or other person operating or managing premises was exercised, or a correction made, whichever is the latest, it shall be the burden of the owner, landlord, agent or other person operating or managing such premises to prove that the notice was not given in retaliation for the exercise by the tenant of his legal rights.

(3) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to:

(a) Any bona fide transfer of title incident to a sale of the premises, but any subsequent owner, landlord, agent or other person operating or managing such premises shall be subject to the provisions of this Chapter.

(b) Any owner, landlord or agent or other person operating or managing any premises against which a notice of violation has been issued who desires to terminate an existing occupancy in order that the premises may be rehabilitated and the violation cured, and the Department of Licenses and Inspections issues a certification that such work requires that the premises be vacated.

(4) No owner, landlord, agent or other person operating or managing any premises shall unlawfully retain any security deposit, however styled in a lease.

(5) No owner, landlord, agent or other person operating or managing any premises shall accept any rental payment under any written lease on the premises until he has given a fully executed copy of the lease to all the parties to the lease.

(6) The owner, landlord, agent or other person operating or managing the premises shall, at the request of a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, permit the tenant to terminate the lease regardless of the lease term and without penalty for early termination provided:

(a) the request is made, in writing, within ninety (90) days of (i) the reporting of an incident of domestic violence or sexual assault, (ii) the issuance of a protection from abuse order or (iii) the approval of a consent agreement, and at least thirty (30) days before the requested termination date;

(b) the victim vacates the premises no later than the early termination date; and

(c) at the time the request is made for termination of the lease, the tenant provides:

(i) a court order or approved consent agreement for protection from abuse pursuant to the Protection from Abuse Act, Act of December 19, 1990, P.L. 1240, No. 206, § 2 (23 Pa. C.S. § 6101 et seq.);

(ii) an incident report from the Police Department stating that a domestic abuse or sexual assault complaint was filed by the tenant; or

(iii) written certification from a health care professional or professional guidance counselor, licensed under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or a victim's services organization, as defined in Section 9-3201 of this Code, stating that the tenant sought assistance as a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.

(7) If the abuser or perpetrator of the domestic violence or sexual assault is a cotenant, the owner, landlord, agent or other person operating or managing the premises may, upon the victim's request, bifurcate the lease in order to evict the abuser or perpetrator of the domestic violence or sexual assault, while allowing the victim to remain in the premises provided the victim's request complies with (6)(a) and (c) of this Section.

The provisions of subsections (6) and (7) shall be implied in all leases and made a written term in all leases reduced to writing for any lease executed or renewed after the effective date of this Section.

(8) All terms and conditions of the lease remain in effect until the date of termination or bifurcation. If any tenant wishes to inhabit the leased premises after early termination or bifurcation, a new lease with the landlord must be executed.

(9) Nothing in subsection (6) or (7) limits the authority of the landlord, owner, agent or other person operating or managing the premises to evict a tenant, who is the victim of domestic or sexual violence, for any violation of a lease other than one premised on the act or acts of violence in question against such tenant, provided that, in determining whether to evict, the landlord, owner, agent or other person operating or managing the premises does not apply a more demanding standard, than that applied to other tenants who are not victims of domestic or sexual violence.

(10) Nothing in subsection (6) or (7) changes the authority of any court to evict an abuser under the Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Act, Act of December 19, 1990, P.L. 1240, No. 206, § 2 (23 Pa. C.S. § 6101 et seq.).

(11) Notice Requirement.

(a) Landlord Notice to Tenant of Rent Increase. Unless the lease provides a longer period of time for the landlord to notify the tenant that the tenant's rent will be increased at the end of a residential tenancy, the following notice requirements shall apply: At least 60 days prior to the effective date of a rent increase where a residential tenancy is one year or more, and at least 30 days prior to the effective date of a rent increase where a residential tenancy is less than one year, the landlord shall notify the tenant of the following: (i) the amount of the rent increase; (ii) the effective date of the rent increase; and (iii) the new payment amount. The landlord shall provide such notice, in writing, by hand delivery or by first class United States mail with proof of mailing.

(b) Tenant Notice to Landlord of Non-Renewal of Lease. For any residential tenancy of one year or more, if the tenant has received timely notice of a rent increase under subsection (11)(a), and if the tenant will not renew the lease at the end of the lease term, the tenant shall notify the landlord of the non-renewal, within 30 days after receiving notice of a rent increase. The tenant shall provide such notice, in writing, by hand delivery or by first class United States mail with proof of mailing.

This subsection (11) shall not apply to any property under the jurisdiction of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(c) The provisions of this subsection (11) shall apply to any residential lease that is executed or renewed after the effective date of this subsection.

(12) Any person aggrieved under the provisions of this Section may file a complaint with the Fair Housing Commission or may allege any violations in an initial pleading or, where appropriate, in a responsive pleading in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(13) No provision of this Section can be waived or made subject to a contract between the parties depriving a tenant of the benefits of this Section.

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Keywords
tenant
term
premises
lease
violation
agent
managing
operating
condition
notice