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Get free legal help to avoid eviction

Philadelphia’s Right to Counsel law guarantees free legal representation to eligible low-income renters. Eligible renters have a Right to Counsel when they face:

  • Eviction proceedings.
  • Lease or other tenancy termination proceedings.
  • PHA housing subsidy termination proceedings.

Under these circumstances, Right to Counsel is available for:

  • Judicial proceedings, such as those in Municipal Court.
  • Administrative proceedings, such as those held by the Fair Housing Commission.
Renters can learn more by contacting the Philly Tenant Hotline at (267) 443-2500. Additional renter resources are available at PhillyTenant.org.

Eligibility

To qualify for Right to Counsel, you must:

  • have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level; and
  • live in a ZIP code that is covered by Right to Counsel.

Currently, the eligible ZIP codes are 19139 and 19121.

Your immigration status will not affect your eligibility.

Cost

Right to Counsel provides free access to a lawyer. There is no cost for exercising this right.

How

1
Call the Philly Tenant Hotline at (267) 443-2500.

The hotline is staffed by Tenant Union Representative Network. Interpretation services are available.

If you don’t have access to a phone, you can visit Community Legal Services (CLS) to be screened for services. They’re located at:

1424 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The CLS walk-in hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

2
Describe your situation to the hotline staff.

You’ll need to provide some information to help the staff determine whether you’re eligible for Right to Counsel. This might include your household income, ZIP code, and other details.

You may also be asked to provide documentation like a hearing notice or a notice of housing subsidy termination.

3
Learn about your options for getting help.

If you’re eligible for Right to Counsel, the staff will refer you to a legal service provider. The provider will ask you for more information so that they can support your case.

Providers include:

  • Community Legal Services
  • Legal Clinic for the Disabled
  • SeniorLAW Center

If you’re not eligible for Right to Counsel, the staff will still try to connect you with other services or advice.

Related content

Resources for residents

Right to Counsel law

Publications


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