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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 2, 2022 11:43 AM
From: Representative Jason Dawkins
To: All House members
Subject: Expanding a Tennant’s Right to Place Rent in Escrow in Extreme Circumstances
Tenants throughout Pennsylvania routinely encounter living conditions that are unsafe due to the neglect and carelessness on the part of their landlord. Pennsylvanians deserve to live in homes that are safe and habitable for themselves and their families. Far too often, people are forced to live in conditions that put the health and safety of their families at risk. If a landlord does not adequately address a tenant’s concerns or does not swiftly address a repair or safety hazard in the rental property, tenants should have the right to put their rent in escrow until these issues are addressed.
Philadelphians have the right to withhold rent if there are serious, ongoing repair issues that impact the habitability of their rental unit. The Rent Withholding Act calls for a city agency to certify that the issue has rendered the property uninhabitable. This would occur only after the tenant has given the landlord adequate opportunity and written warning of their intent to withhold rent. Once the landlord has been given time to address the issues, and nothing has been done, under the advice of an attorney tenants are able to place their rent in escrow until the landlord makes the necessary repairs.
My legislation would amend the Landlord Tenant act to allow individuals to pay rent into an escrow account if habitable conditions are not met within their dwellings once an agency or department certifies a dwelling is uninhabitable.
Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation.