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What Is a Pennsylvania Lease Agreement?

A Pennsylvania lease agreement is a contract between the landlord or property management company and the tenant(s) who want to rent a specific property. Once it is signed and dated by the parties, the tenant may then take legal possession and move in. A Pennsylvania lease agreement can be used for residential or commercial property.

Most Commonly Used Pennsylvania Lease Agreements

The most commonly used Pennsylvania rental agreements are standard residential lease agreements, month-to-month leases, roommate agreements, sublease agreements, and commercial lease agreements.

While all of the most commonly used Pennsylvania lease agreements rely on the same elements, they also have their own features. Here are a couple of examples.

  • A roommate agreement is one version of a residential lease agreement. In addition to including the elements of a residential lease, it also explains which areas of the rental are for the exclusive use of the roommate and which areas are for the use of all occupants.
  • A standard residential lease agreement is generally written for a one year term. At the end of that year, it may convert to a month-to-month lease or it may automatically renew for another year. However, both a standard residential lease and a month-to-month lease are similar. One of the most common similarities is the inclusion of a requirement of a 30-day written notice to move out at the end of the lease term if either party does not plan to renew the agreement.

How to Write a Pennsylvania Lease Agreement

Pennsylvania lease agreements must follow Pennsylvania landlord-tenant laws. Otherwise, they cannot be enforced. There are other laws that must also be followed. You’ll learn more about those laws under the sections related to disclosures and security deposits.

Before you sign a Pennsylvania lease agreement, make sure that you carefully read its terms. You also have the right to have an attorney review it before you sign it.

A Pennsylvania lease agreement should include:

  • Names of the Parties - This is the full name of the landlord or the legal business name of the property management company as well as the legal name of the tenant(s).
  • Property Address - This is the full street address for the rental, including the city, zip code, and, if applicable, the unit or lot number.
  • Term Information  - This is the type of lease agreement the parties agree to enter into. For example, a month-to-month lease or a fixed term. A fixed-term lease means that the parties agree that the tenant will keep possession of the rental for a certain amount of time, usually one year. If it is a fixed lease, this section should include the date that the lease ends.
  • Rental Amount  - This section includes the date the lease will begin, the amount of the monthly rent, the day of the month that rent is due, and the address where the rent may be paid.
  • Security Deposit - This is the amount of money that must be paid in advance of the tenant taking control of the property. A security deposit is used to repair damages caused by the tenant.
  • Initial Payment - This is the total amount of money that the tenant must pay to move into the rental property or unit. This should include the amount of the first month’s rent, security deposit, and the total of the two numbers added together.
  • Occupants - This section includes the full name of each tenant even if they are a minor or are not signing the lease. This part of Pennsylvania residential lease agreement establishes who will reside in the residential unit. For commercial space leases, it designates those who have permission to use the space. If the presence of additional occupants changes the price of the rent, it should be included in this section.
  • Utilities - This section explains which utilities or services a tenant does not pay.
  • Parking - This section informs the tenant if they will receive a parking space. If a parking space is reserved and there is a designated spot, the spot should be listed in this section.
  • Furnishings - This section tells the tenants what they are allowed to install (such as a washing machine or dishwasher) or what they may not install. If the tenant is not allowed to bring their own appliances, that should be designated in this section
  • Notices - This section documents the names of the landlord or property manager and tenant along with each mailing address. This contact information is used if the parties need to send out a notice to the other party.
  • Eviction - This informs tenants how eviction would be carried out in the event of nonpayment or breach of other lease terms.
  • Additionally Terms - This section lists any other terms that the parties agreed to that haven’t been included in any other section of the lease agreement.
  • Signature and Date - The document should be signed and dated by all parties.

Which Disclosures Belong in a Pennsylvania Lease Agreement?

The State of Pennsylvania does not require that any specific disclosures be made to tenants.

Federal law requires a lead based paint disclosure for residential units built before 1978.

What You Need to Know About Pennsylvania Lease Agreement Deposits

Under Pennsylvania law, the landlord may not request more than two months’ rent as a security deposit. The security deposit must be returned to the tenant within 30 days of the end of the lease. If the landlord keeps funds for repairs, they must provide an itemized list of deductions.

Download a PDF or Word Template

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