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City of Philadelphia

Unfair Rental Practices

Under Philadelphia law, it is illegal for a landlord to terminate a lease or change any terms of a lease when the rental property has been cited for a violation of the Philadelphia Code.
It is also illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant for filing a complaint alleging violations, joining a tenant organization or otherwise exercising a legal right. Retaliation may include raising your rent, shutting off utilities, or attempting to evict you. 

The law also contains certain protections for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

If you believe you are a victim of an unfair rental practice, please call or visit our office and talk with intake staff for more information.


  • The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues a report showing that a rental property is in poor condition and needs repairs. After learning of the report, the landlord raises the rent or gives the tenant a notice to vacate the property.
  • A tenant makes written and verbal requests to the landlord to make repairs to the property. The tenant calls L&I and informs the landlord that she intends to withhold rent until repairs are made. The landlord ignores the requests for repairs and locks the tenant out of the apartment or shuts off a utility.
  • Tenants in an apartment building have asked the landlord to make repairs. The landlord ignores their requests, so the tenants join a tenant union. After learning of the tenant union, the landlord notifies the tenants that their rents will double or they must vacate their apartments.