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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20130&cosponId=13108
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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: July 12, 2013 05:11 PM
From: Representative Scott A. Petri
To: All House members
Subject: Disposition of Abandoned Personal Property
 
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will amend the Landlord and Tenant Act in order to provide greater clarity and predictability for landlords and tenants when it comes to dealing with what’s sometimes left behind when the tenant is gone.

In the last session, we passed SB 887 (Act 129), which addressed the issue of a tenant’s abandoned personal property for the first time. While the law is a huge improvement over the uncertainty and, often, litigation that it replaced, its utility is limited. My bill builds on existing concepts of procedural protections for the tenant and safe harbors for the landlord.

It also provides for disposition of personal property upon the death of the tenant, by clearly setting forth certain requirements of the landlord regarding communications, notice, and the exercise of rights on behalf of the decedent. It protects the tenant’s estate and as well as the interests of the landlord, and ensures fairness and predictability at a time that is often particularly difficult.

Finally, the bill clarifies the notice provisions by removing “cross-notice” requirements and several conflicting provisions and amends the language to distinguish between relinquishment of real property and abandonment of personal property. This is significant for purposes of protecting the tenant’s procedural rights and reducing the likelihood of de facto evictions, whether intentional or unintentional.

If you have any questions, or would like a copy of the language, please contact Lea Farrell at 787-9033 or lfarrell@pahousegop.com.



Introduced as HB1714