In order to protect yourself as a tenant, please review the following tips:
- Before signing a lease, make sure the apartment is up to your standards.
- Make sure you agree with all the terms of your lease.
- Make a list of any problems with the apartment and send the list in a certified letter to the landlord. Make sure you keep a copy of the letter for your records. This way you will protect yourself from being blamed for damages you did not cause.
- Any grievance you have concerning your apartment should always be sent to your landlord in writing, via certified mail.
- After you have resided in the apartment for one year, the landlord should require only one month's rent as a security deposit.
- The landlord must take you to court to have you evicted.
- If you wish to leave at the end of your lease, be sure you give your landlord proper notice in writing. Check your lease for terms and conditions.
- You must give the landlord a new address, in writing, so that the landlord may return any security deposit due.
- When you move out, the landlord has 30 days to give you a written list of any damages and to refund your security deposit, less the cost of the listed repairs.
- You should take photographs of the apartment after your belongings are removed, including cabinets, counters, tile, walls, windows, and inside and out of appliances such as the refrigerator and stove. You do not have to develop the photographs unless the landlord charges you for damages which you believe are unjustified.
For a free landlord/tenant information packet, contact the Consumer Protection office at 215-348-7442 or 215-348-6060. View the Landlord/Tenant Act (PDF) to know your rights.