The Right of Quiet Enjoyment
Pennsylvania law says that every lease (whether verbal and written) contains a promise that the landlord will not unreasonably interfere with your right to possess the leased premises.
Does your landlord have the right to enter your home at any time and for any reason?
No. Landlords only have the right to reasonable access to the leased premises. This means they have the right to enter the leased premises for reasonable purposes, such as to inspect the premises for needed repairs, to make repairs, and to show the premises to potential buyers and renters. “Reasonable” means that the landlord, unless there is an emergency, should come at a reasonable time, should give you advance notice first, and should knock first.
Does your landlord have the right to take your belongings, sell them, or give them to someone else?
- No. If that happens, you may want to contact the police. The only persons who are allowed to take your belongings and sell them are sheriff deputies and PA constables, and they must have a court order issued after a hearing, and you have the right to attend such a hearing.
- However, if your landlord has obtained a monetary judgement against you, he may levy on your property and ask for a sheriff or constable sale to get his money.
Does your landlord have the right to sell the leased premises?
Yes. The new landlord steps into the shoes of the old landlord and must honor the lease. However, at the end of your lease term, the new landlord has the right to evict you or raise the rent.
Does your landlord have the right to control who can visit you?
Generally, no. However, if your visitors are damaging the property, engaging in drug activities, or bothering other tenants, your landlord may have grounds to try to evict you. If your visitors move in with you, your landlord may be allowed to ask you for more rent or to move out.