Tenants rights in PA - Sign a Horrible Lease?

hobokenkitchenFebruary 23, 2008

I realize that the obvious answer to this is don't sign anything we're not comfortable with, but we have been looking for a while and have finally found something we like, only to find that the lease is horrible.

We have been landlords ourselves on several occasions and have never asked anyone to sign anything like this.

It has a whole section called Tenant Gives Up (Waives) Rights.

In it it states that the landlord can give the tenant notice to vacate for reasons NOT relating to payment of rent. Eg; the unit gets sold - we have to be out in 10 days.

Also states that the tenant gives up the right to trial by jury while the landlord can pursue the tenant to the full extent of the law.

Does this sound legal? I have never seen a lease so heavily weighted to the landlord in New Jersey, but perhaps PA (Philadelphia) is different?

We are going to attempt to talk to the landlord about removing this section of the lease, but I was wondering if anyone has seen this in a lease before?

Any insight appreciated. Do people just sign away and not worry??

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I'm a landlord and my State laws explicitly say that certain situations (such as notice time) cannot be altered by the landlord. In other words State Law takes precedence over what's in a lease if push comes to shove.

I found some links for you to check out:
PA Atty General web site, link to PA Landlord Tenant act at bottom of page.

PA Landlord Tenant Handbook. If you scroll to the bottom, you'll see "When you have problems", click on that and there are all kinds of offices to contact. I'd suggest calling them before you sign.

My humble .02, as a human being first and landlord second: the guy is out of line. Sign away your right to trial by jury? Good grief! Makes me wonder why they even need to put that in there? In my state I can give 10 days notice to vacate for non-payment of rent. Anything else, it's 30 days. That's the law, and I can't get around it, even if I wanted to. Landlords have to cover themselves, but it sounds as if this one is really going to an extreme, and again, I wonder why?

Be careful...

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 9:38PM
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Thanks moonshadow - I'm going to make some calls. Appreciate it.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Ok, crises over - I didn't read the section properly. Oops.

The 10 day notice relates to a different section of the lease and is if we do something in violation of the lease.

Then it states that a sale takes priority over the lease, so we would have to move if it gets sold, but it doesn't state a notice period so we do need to check that.

Still don't like waiving the trial by jury, but as this is now our only real concern in the lease and I can't see any reason why we would ever want a trial by jury, I am not inclined to let that be a make or break.

Thanks for the links though - good to have them just in case!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 10:40AM
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You're welcome, and best of luck! ;)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 11:19AM
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My landlord gave me a lease in april 2011 . I sign the lease for april 16,2011 . He sign the lease january25,2011 . The lease started feb. 1,2011. Is this lease still useable?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 7:41PM
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My landlord gave me a lease in april to sign on april 16,2011. He sign the lease on jan.25,2011 . I lease started on feb.1 2011. Is the lease still good?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:09PM
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Nicole, I'm not sure what your question is.

It seems that your landlord signed a lease in January, 2011. You moved in to the place in February, 2011? And then the landlord had you sign the lease in April, 2011? When does the lease end?

It all seems a bit backward, but unless there is something wrong with the way the lease is written, I would think the lease is still good. You could consult a lawyer if you have any questions about the lease.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:06AM
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