Most Read Contributor in United States, August 2016
On June 25, 2016, a new ordinance affecting landlords in
Philadelphia went into effect. Pursuant to Section 9-805 of the
Philadelphia Code, landlords of multifamily buildings who enter
into or renew a lease for a residential dwelling unit shall
disclose in writing to the tenant the building's policy on
smoking in individual dwelling units. The disclosure must be made
part of the lease and shall state whether smoking is prohibited in
all dwelling units, permitted in all dwelling units or permitted in
some dwelling units. If smoking is permitted in some dwelling
units, the lease shall identify the units where smoking is
Under current Philadelphia ordinances, landlords are required to
obtain a housing license for residential dwelling units. Landlords
are also required to provide tenants with a certificate of rental
suitability. On certain occasions, the Philadelphia Municipal Court
has refused to enter a judgment against a tenant for failure to pay
rent if the landlord was not in compliance with the foregoing
requirements during the time of the lease.
It is likely that the Philadelphia Municipal Court would view
the requirement to notify tenants of the building's smoking
policy the same way. Therefore, it is important for landlords to
ensure that they properly notify their tenants, and potential
tenants, of the building's smoking policy in order to avoid any
potential for losing the right to obtain a judgment against a
tenant in default.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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