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A03461
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1549
Session of
2023
INTRODUCED BY MADSEN, SMITH-WADE-EL, MADDEN, HILL-EVANS, WAXMAN,
McNEILL, KAZEEM, PIELLI, ABNEY, KINSEY, BURGOS, SANCHEZ,
SCOTT, CEPEDA-FREYTIZ, KIM, INNAMORATO, DELLOSO, HOWARD,
GUENST, GREEN AND FIEDLER, JUNE 29, 2023
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT,
JUNE 29, 2023
AN ACT
Amending the act of April 6, 1951 (P.L.69, No.20), entitled "An
act relating to the rights, obligations and liabilities of
landlord and tenant and of parties dealing with them and
amending, revising, changing and consolidating the law
relating thereto," in tenement buildings and multiple
dwelling premises, further providing for landlord's duties;
and providing for tenant relocation payments.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 502-A of the act of April 6, 1951
(P.L.69, No.20), known as The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951,
is amended to read:
Section 502-A. Landlord's Duties.--The following:
(1) The retention of control of the stairways, passages,
roadways and other common facilities of a tenement building or
multiple dwelling premises places upon the landlord, or other
possessor, the duty of reasonable care for safety in use. This
responsibility of the landlord extends not alone to the
individual tenant, but also to his family, servants and
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employees, business visitors, social guests, and the like. Those
who enter in the right of the tenant, even though under his mere
license, make a permissible use of the premises for which the
common ways and facilities are provided.
(2) It is the duty of the landlord to provide a tenant a
safe, clean and habitable dwelling.
Section 2. The act is amended by adding an article to read:
ARTICLE V-C
TENANT RELOCATION PAYMENTS
Section 501-C. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Displaced tenant." A temporarily displaced tenant or a
permanently displaced tenant.
"Permanently displaced tenant." A tenant that is required to
and does vacate rental housing for 30 60 days or more because
the rental housing is condemned as unfit for human habitation by
a municipality or determined to be uninhabitable by another
governmental entity with oversight of the property through no
fault of the tenant.
"Temporarily displaced tenant." A tenant that is required to
and does vacate rental housing for less than 30 60 days because
the rental housing is condemned as unfit for human habitation by
a municipality or determined to be uninhabitable by another
governmental entity with oversight of the property through no
fault of the tenant.
Section 502-C. T emporary displacement.
For a temporarily displaced tenant, within 24 hours of the
posting of condemnation on the rental housing, a landlord shall
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provide the following:
(1) Alternative, safe and legal comparable housing for
the temporarily displaced tenant and the temporarily
displaced tenant's belongings for the full temporary
displacement period. A temporary displacement period shall
not exceed 30 days.
(2) A relocation payment equal to one month's fair
market value rent for a unit of comparable size as
established by the most recent United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development schedule for fair market rents
for the zip code of the tenant. The relocation payment shall
be paid to the tenant by check or money order.
(3) Payment for the costs of the immediate relocation of
the temporarily displaced tenant and the tenant's belongings.
(4) At the end of a temporary displacement period,
payment for the costs to move the temporarily displaced
tenant and the temporarily displaced tenant's belongings back
to the tenant's original rental housing.
(5) If a temporarily displaced tenant returns to the
tenant's original housing, all lease provisions, including
provisions regarding the length of the lease term and the
amount of rent due at the time of the displacement shall
remain in place for the remainder of the lease in effect at
the time of the tenant's displacement.
(a) General rule.--For a temporarily displaced tenant, a
landlord shall comply with the provisions of this section within
60 hours of the posting of condemnation on the rental housing.
(b) Alternative offer from landlord.--
(1) For a temporarily displaced tenant, a landlord may
offer any alternative available dwelling unit of comparable
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size and rental price for the temporarily displaced tenant
and the temporarily displaced tenant's belongings for the
full temporarily displaced period.
(2) A temporary displacement period shall not exceed 60
days.
(3) If a displaced tenant accepts a landlord's offer of
an available dwelling unit under this subsection for the
remainder of the temporary displacement period, the landlord
shall have no other requirements under this article.
(c) Movement of tenant's belongings.--
(1) At the beginning of a temporary displacement period,
a landlord shall either:
(i) provide p ayment for the costs of the immediate
relocation of the temporarily displaced tenant and the
tenant's belongings; or
(ii) with the tenant's written approval, move the
tenant's belongings at landlord's expense.
(2) At the end of a temporary displacement period, a
landlord shall either:
(i) provide payment for the costs to move the
temporarily displaced tenant and the temporarily
displaced tenant's belongings back to the tenant's
original rental housing; or
(ii) with the tenant's written approval, move the
tenant's belongings.
(d) Lease terms.--If a temporarily displaced tenant returns
to the tenant's original housing, all lease provisions,
including provisions regarding the length of the lease term and
the amount of rent due at the time of the displacement shall
remain in place for the remainder of the lease in effect at the
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time of the tenant's displacement.
Section 503-C. Permanent displacement.
Once a tenant has been displaced for more than 30 60 days,
the tenant shall be considered a permanently displaced tenant.
Within 72 hours of the 30th 60th day of displacement, the
landlord shall pay, by check or money order, the following to a
permanently displaced tenant:
(1) The permanently displaced tenant's security deposit
with interest. If interest is not stated in a lease, the
interest rate shall be 5%.
(2) Any pro rata rent for the remainder of the month.
(3) Either six months' fair market value rent for a unit
of comparable size, as established by the most recent United
States Department of Housing and Urban Development schedule
for fair market rents for the zip code of the rental housing
being vacated or six months of the permanently displaced
tenant's rent under the lease at the time of displacement,
whichever is greater.
Section 504-C. Alternative agreement.
Notwithstanding a relocation payment required under this
article, a landlord and a displaced tenant may agree to an
alternative arrangement if the alternative agreement is of equal
benefit to the displaced tenant and is evidenced by a signed
written agreement between the displaced tenant and the landlord.
The written agreement detailing the alternative arrangement must
contain:
(1) The names of current occupants of the condemned
rental housing.
(2) The address of the condemned rental housing.
(3) A statement indicating the amount of the relocation
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payment to which the tenant is entitled under section 502-C
or 503-C.
(4) A statement that the tenant has waived the right to
a relocation payment.
(5) A description of the alternative arrangement.
(6) The address, if known, of the location to which the
tenant plans to move.
(3) If the permanently displaced tenant had unpaid debts
or arrearages owed to the landlord prior to the rental
housing becoming uninhabitable, a landlord may use the
security deposit to recoup the unpaid debts or arrearages.
The remainder of the security deposit, after the unpaid debt
or arrearage has been collected with interest, shall be
returned to the permanently displaced tenant as required
under paragraph (1).
Section 504-C. Landlord tenant agreement.
A landlord and a displaced tenant may agree to an
arrangement, including:
(1) The tenant shall have the first right of refusal
when the original rental housing is made habitable.
(2) A landlord may offer to a displaced tenant any
available dwelling unit of comparable size and rental price
for the remainder of the lease period. If the tenant accepts
an arrangement of the dwelling unit under this paragraph, the
landlord shall have no other requirements under this article.
(3) A landlord may offer to a displaced tenant to be
released from the requirements of the written lease early if
the rental housing will not be made habitable by the end of
the original lease agreement. If a displaced tenant agrees to
being released from the lease early, in writing, a landlord
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shall have no other requirements under this article.
Section 505-C. Proof of compliance.
Within five days after a tenant vacates the rental housing, a
landlord shall provide the local housing authority or
municipality with a copy of the check or money order provided to
the displaced tenant and a receipt signed by the displaced
tenant. If an alternative arrangement is agreed upon between the
displaced tenant and the landlord, the landlord shall provide
the local housing authority or municipality with a copy of the
signed written agreement letter stating that the landlord and
the tenant have reached an agreement .
Section 506-C. First right to reoccupy.
A landlord shall provide a permanently displaced tenant with
the first right to reoccupy rental housing once the rental
housing becomes habitable and is compliant with all municipal
codes. The following shall apply:
(1) A landlord shall provide a permanently displaced
tenant with written notice of the tenant's first right to
reoccupy.
(2) The notice provided by the landlord shall include
the landlord's current address and telephone number which the
permanently displaced tenant can use to contact the landlord.
(3) It is the responsibility of the permanently
displaced tenant to provide the landlord with the permanently
displaced tenant's current address and telephone number to be
used for future notification.
(4) When the rental unit becomes habitable, the landlord
shall give written notice by certified mail to the
permanently displaced tenant informing the tenant that the
rental housing is habitable and ready to be occupied.
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(5) If the landlord cannot locate a previous permanently
displaced tenant after two attempts over a two-month period,
the second attempt must occur 30 days after the first
attempt, the landlord is deemed to be in compliance with the
provisions of this section and the tenant's first right to
reoccupy is forfeited.
(6) (5) A permanently displaced tenant shall notify a
landlord of the tenant's intent to reoccupy the rental
housing no later than 15 five days after the second attempt
to notify receipt of the certified letter notifying the
tenant that the rental housing is ready to be occupied.
(7) (6) A permanently displaced tenant must reoccupy the
rental housing within 30 days after the tenant notifies the
landlord of the tenant's intent to reoccupy the rental
housing.
(8) (7) A permanently displaced tenant may waive the
right to reoccupy the rental housing at any time after
displacement from the rental housing.
Section 507-C. Exception.
A landlord shall not be required to provide a relocation
payment or first right to reoccupy if it is deemed by the
municipality that the rental housing is condemned due to events
that are beyond the control of the landlord. This section shall
not be applicable if the condemnation was a result of lack of
maintenance, neglect or other preventable action that could have
been taken by the landlord.
Section 508-C. Applicability.
This article shall not apply to a landlord that resides in
this Commonwealth and operates less than five residential
dwelling units within this Commonwealth.
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Section 507-C. Applicability.
This article shall not apply to either of the following:
(1) A landlord or managing agent who:
(i) resides in this Commonwealth and operates less
than 15 residential dwelling units within this
Commonwealth;
(ii) employs an on-site property management team
within this Commonwealth;
(iii) employs an on-site property maintenance team
within this Commonwealth; or
(iv) has entered into an agreement with a third-
party property management company or property maintenance
team within this Commonwealth.
(2) If the rental housing is condemned due to:
(i) events that are beyond the control of the
landlord, including fires, water damage, natural
disasters or acts of God; or
(ii) damages that are the result of the lack of
maintenance, neglect, failure to pay utility bills or
other preventative action that could have been taken by
the tenant.
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days one year.
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