Basic Tenant Rights

As a tenant, you have the right to a safe environment and privacy.  Notify Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections if your landlord doesn’t provide a safe and habitable property.

Partners for Good Housing outlines the responsibilities of owners, tenants, and landlords for maintaining houses and apartments in a safe and clean condition. This is great if you need to complain or learn more about your legal rights.

And here is a list of other organizations that will help you with Tenant’s Rights Issues.

Basic tenant rights

  • A flush toilet in a room with a door
  • A bathtub or shower in a private room—it has to be ventilated, too.
  • A kitchen sink
  • A safe gas or electric cooking range
  • Running water and hot water
  • Heat at 68 degrees minimum from October through April. If you have control of your own heat (i.e. a thermostat), the landlord is not required to keep the heat at 68 degrees minimum.
  • Electricity
  • Windows or a ventilation system in every room
  • Two electrical outlets in every “habitable” room, which does not include bathrooms, closets, or hallways.
  • Lighting in all public hallways
  • All repairs: Roofs, walls, windows etc. have to actually do their job, and it is the landlord’s job to maintain them.
  • Landlords are responsible for extermination or vermin control prior or after leasing. So if you’re a tenant and currently have a roach issue, it’s on you to get that sorted out.
  • Functional doors and windows
  • A lead paint certificate that assures you as a tenant that the property is lead safe, when the property was 1) built before 1978 and 2) Any new occupant is aged six years or less.


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