|March 8, 2017 09:19 AM
|Representative Madeleine Dean
|All House members
|Early Termination of Rental Agreements by Individuals with Disabilities and Senior Citizens
|In the near future I will be re-introducing legislation amending the Landlord and Tenant Act to grant senior citizens and individuals with disabilities early termination rights pertaining to rental agreements under special circumstances. Last session, I sponsored similar legislation – House Bill 975 – which passed the House (160-30). The revised version of this legislation incorporates changes that were filed as amendments (A07025 and A09463) to my bill last session.
As many of you are aware, Pennsylvania’s senior citizen and disabled population is among the highest in the nation. According to the Pennsylvania State Data Center, recent Census data counted more than 2,134,521 Pennsylvanians age 65 and over, while the organization Disabled World estimates that there are approximately 1,851,000 Pennsylvanians over the age of five that are afflicted with some form of disability. These particular demographics constitute a population who must confront the grim and inevitable prospect of declining or deteriorating health. Many of these individuals in the course of their lifetime will undergo or have undergone placement in a health care facility or require home health care for the purpose of receiving the adequate amount of long-term treatment and care that they both need and deserve.
Sadly, it is oftentimes during the period when our elderly and disabled citizens should be primarily focused on their own convalescence that they are instead burdened with financial worries. Therefore, out of compassion and consideration, I am proposing to create special exceptions for senior and disabled persons seeking early termination of residential rental agreements.
Under current Pennsylvania law, landlords are not required to permit the early termination of a rental agreement, irrespective of the circumstances necessitating such an action. My legislation would allow both elderly and disabled persons to terminate a lease prior to its expiration – without penalty – during special circumstances when they are required to move or are placed in a licensed long-term care service provider due to medical reasons. In addition, this exception would be applicable when elderly or disabled individuals are required to move in with another individual for the purpose of receiving care from a home health care agency or older adult daily living center. This legislation would provide reasonable protection to landlords by requiring at least 60 days’ notice of lease termination.
The intent of this legislation is simply to lessen the financial burden and contractual obligation for our most vulnerable citizens during one of the more challenging experiences of their lives. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB900