Asked in Carnegie, PA , on Nov 19, 2010
I moved into an apartment complex on 10-16-2010. I signed the lease on that date but the manager of the complex did not sign and I was told by the leasing agents that I will get a copy once the manager signs the lease. I have not received a copy of the lease till date and I have contacted the leasing office many times and I have been told every time that I will get it once the manager signs the lease.
What are my options to force the management to give me a copy of the lease? Also what is the law in PA on tenant getting a copy of the lease and what is the legal time frame for a landlord to supply tenants a copy of the lease?
Answered on Nov 21, 2010
If things get very bad and the Landlord begins misrepresents provisions of the lease, Pennsylvania has an Unfair Consumer Trade Practice statute, which may be used related to consumer transactions. It provides for the payment of attorney fees and treble damages related to remedying certain unfair or deceptive acts or practices. This includes fraudulent or deceptive conduct which creates a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding. The standard in this regard is very high, however. This is enforced through private suits by attorneys and also through the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
There is a Plain Language Law which tells Landlords to write a lease so that it can be understood by consumers. However, I am not aware of any specific provision of the landlord tenant law that requires or compels a landlord to give a copy of the lease.
Timothy P. Brennan, Esq.
Croslis & Brenn an Law Offices
2030 Tilghman Street, Suite 203
Allentown, PA 18104