In Philadelphia and many other cities across the country, the rising cost of rent is outstripping the cost of living index, meaning that affordable housing is a dream instead of a reality for many people. Affordable housing advocates cite the growing need for controls that keep renters from becoming exploited by landlords. Here are the current situation and a promising possibility for renters in Philadelphia.
No Rent Cap
Pennsylvania is one of the many states that does not have rent control laws in place. Rent is tied to conditions outlined in the lease and can change each time the lease expires. This means that tenants can have their rent increased legally as long as the landlord gives adequate notice, which is 30 days before the contract expires.
Security Deposit Oversight
One notable control that Pennsylvania law has in the rental industry is the allowed amount for an apartment security deposit. It must not be more than the amount of two month’s rent for the first year of your lease, and can only be equivalent to one month’s rent or less in following years. If a landlord takes more than 30 days to return your deposit, the landlord has to pay you double the deposit amount.
An Open Door
The difference between Pennsylvania and two-thirds of the states without rent control laws is that the other states have laws prohibiting rent control regulations while Pennsylvania does not. This leaves the door open to future rent control efforts. With the rise in rent costs, there may be the momentum to achieve some type of regulatory structure to maintain a level of affordable housing in the city.