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City of Philadelphia

Abuse Protections

In Philadelphia, it is illegal for landlords to evict tenants or change any terms of the lease because they are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

Terminating Your Lease

If you are a victim, you can terminate your lease at any time without penalty so long as you do all of the following:

Put your request in writing to your landlord within 90 days of one of the following:
  • Reporting an incident of domestic violence or sexual assault;
  • Getting a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order; or
  • Approval of a consent decree and at least 30 days before its termination date.
Provide a copy of one of the following:
  • A court order or approved consent agreement for a PFA;
  • An incident report from the Police Department stating that a domestic abuse or sexual assault complaint was filed; or
  • Written certification by a health care professional, professional guidance counselor or a victim service organization stating that you sought assistance.

Vacate the property by the early termination date.

Please call or visit our office and talk with intake staff for more information.

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Evicting the Abuser

If your abuser or perpetrator is your co-tenant, you can request that your landlord bifurcate (“split”) your lease in order to evict the abuser and allow you to remain in the property.

Know Your Rights

It is illegal for your landlord to discriminate against you because you are a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
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