There is no law that requires landlords to allow ordinary pets.  Many landlords do not allow them.

However, some landlords do allow pets under specific conditions and requirements, and they charge additional monthly rent for them.  Many have found this to be a good source of additional income, provided that they are dealing with responsible pet owners.

Having a responsible pet owner is even more important than screening out the type or breed of animal that is allowed.  A pit bull can be a good pet with the proper training, and under the control of a responsible pet owner.  Whereas, under the control of an irresponsible pet owner, even a tiny pekinese dog can be a vicious nightmare.

To screen out irresponsible pet owners, certain requirements are specified, which responsible pet owners should have no problem complying with, but which irresponsible pet owners won’t be able to comply with, or won’t generally agree to.

Requirements include: 

  • Provide Spay / Neuter verification from the veterinarian who performed the operation (applicable for all uncaged mammals).
  • Provide a Record that shots and other inoculations are up-to-date.
  • Provide a Copy of rabies tag documentation.
  • Provide a Copy of dog license or other required license from the municipality where the rental is located.
  • Provide a Color photo of the specific animal to be housed.  Only that specific animal is to be permitted.
  • Tenant must warrant that the animal is housebroken (applies to all uncaged animals).
  • Tenant must warrant that there is no past history of causing physical harm to persons or property, and no vicious history.
  • Animals must be controlled at all times, and on a short leash while in common areas or grounds.
  • Barking will not be tolerated.
  • Tenant must agree that the animal will not cause danger, damage, nuisance, noise, health hazard, nor soil the rental unit.
  • Tenant must agree to clean up after the animal and be responsible for any damage, injury, or actions arising from or caused by the animal.

The attached Pet Packet contains an agreement which can be attached to the tenant’s lease.  it authorizes the specific  pet or pets.  It sets forth the requirements which must be complied with, the pet deposit which must be paid, and the additional monthly rent.  The tenant is held liable for damages, and the landlord’s has the right to immediately terminate the agreement if the tenant fails to comply with all the requirements.

 

SERVICE ANIMALS

Regardless of whether or not ordinary pets are allowed, landlords are required to allow a service animal (such as a seeing-eye dog) as a reasonable accommodation for tenants with disabilities.  No deposit may be charged, and no monthly rent may be charged.  The landlord is also limited in what questions can be asked about the tenant’s disability, and what documentation can be required.

The attached Service Animal Packet contains an explanation of the questions a landlord is allowed to ask, and the documentation a landlord is allowed to require, when a tenant requests an accommodation to allow a service animal.

Also included is a Service Animal Agreement, which which can be attached to the tenant’s lease.  This agreement authorizes the specific service animal.  It also sets forth the requirements which must be complied with.  The tenant is held liable for damages, and the landlord has the right to terminate the agreement if the tenant fails to comply with all the requirements.

In addition to the specific questions and documentation relating to service animals, the same general requirements must be complied with as for ordinary pets (listed above).

 

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS

Regardless of whether or not ordinary pets are allowed, landlords are required to allow emotional support animal as a reasonable accommodation for tenants with emotional or mental disabilities, who require the emotional support provided by the animal.  No deposit may be charged, and no monthly rent may be charged.  However the Landlord is allowed to require documentation from the tenant’s licensed mental health professional of the need for the emotional support animal.

The attached Emotional Support Animal Packet contains an explanation of what questions and documentation a landlord is allowed to require when a tenant requests an accommodation to allow an emotional support animal.

Also included is a Emotional Support Animal Agreement, which can be attached to the tenant’s lease.  This agreement authorizes the specific emotional support animal.  It also sets forth the requirements which must be complied with.  The tenant is liable for damages, and the landlord has the right to terminate the agreement if the tenant fails to comply with all the requirements.

In addition to the specific questions and documentation relating to emotional support animals, the same general requirements must be complied with as for ordinary pets (listed above).

 

DISCLAIMER

We are providing these materials to other PROA chapter organization only in the hope that they may prove useful to other PROA members.

No liability or responsibility is assumed by the Pennsylvania Residential Owners Association (PROA), or by the Apartment Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Inc., or by their respective boards of directors, staff, or members relating to the use of these materials by anyone.  We are not lawyers.  We do not make any legal or other representation regarding these materials or their use.

Landlords should consult with their own legal counsel regarding all matters, including contract language, and business decisions.

For Pet Agreement, Emotional Support Animals (ESA) Documentation Requirements and Service Animal Reasonable Request Documentation, login to members area, then go to links and download forms.

THE MEETING WAS STANDING ROOM ONLY!

PRESIDENT HARVEY OPENED THE MEETING WITH A TRIBUTE TO DARRELL ZASLOW, ESQ.; THE SLIDESHOW WAS BEAUTIFUL AND MOVING. COUNCILMAN DEREK GREEN AND COUNCILMAN BOBBY HENON BOTH PRESENTED A PROCLOMATION FROM THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA TO THE ZASLOW FAMILY.

Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Shadow
Slider

KATHLEEN MACWILLIAMS, MANAGER, RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS @ PECO ADDRESSED THE CROWD REGARDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY (RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL) AND LOW INCOME PROGRAMS (CONTACT THE HAPCO OFFICE IF YOU WOULD LIKE A FLYER FROM PECO)

PAUL COHEN, ESQ., DISCUSSED THE NEW LEAD PAINT ADDENDUM FOR RESIDENTIAL LEASES WHICH CAN BE FOUND UNDER LINKS ONCE YOU SIGN INTO THE HAPCO WEBSITE.

KEN BARITZ, ESQ., DISCUSSED THE RENTAL SUITABILITY CERTIFICATE AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE.
HAPCO WILL BE POSTING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE EVENT.

Effective as of March 1st this year, in addition to the requirements regarding lead paint, the City of Philadelphia now requires Landlords to disclose the presence of any known lead plumbing component or lead service lines. Lead plumbing components are defined as any pipe, pipefitting, plumbing fitting, solder, flux or fixture through which drinking water may pass that is not lead-free as defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. § 300g-6. Lead Service Lines are lines made of lead which connect the water main to the building.

HAPCO has provided the new recommended Lead Addendum to all members, which among other things, contains the required plumbing component and lead service line disclosure. The recommended Lead Addendum is designed to fully comply with the ordinance and limit members’ liability. As the ordinance is written, even a small amount of lead solder would constitute a lead plumbing component under the ordinance. Therefore, the recommended Lead Addendum allows the owner to choose one of two disclosures. The owner states that there may be lead plumbing components or service lines, but the owner is not aware of them, or that the owner is aware and acknowledges them.

The Lead Addendum also addresses the ordinance’s requirements for leases. All new leases must provide tenants ten days to obtain a comprehensive lead inspection and risk assessment from a certified lead inspector. If the inspection reveals lead plumbing components, lead based paint or lead based paint hazards, the tenant has two days from receipt of the inspection report to terminate the lease. In addition, the Lead Addendum also complies with all existing requirements regarding lead paint.

Other documents tenants must receive in addition to the Lead Addendum are the EPA Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home pamphlet, the Partners for Good Housing, and the new Supplement to the Partners for Good Housing. Members should have all tenants sign an acknowledgment of receipt of all of these documents in addition to signing the Lead Addendum. HAPCO has provided the recommended acknowledgment form to accompany the Lead Addendum on its website.

NOTE: All forms can be found under “Links” once you sign into the HAPCO website with your username and password.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections appreciates the opportunity to contribute to this month’s HAPCO Newsletter. Read on for information about upcoming deadlines for some HAPCO members and changes to the 2012 Philadelphia Lead Disclosure Law.

FIRE ESCAPES and Façades: UPCOMING INSPECTION DEADLINES

Fire Escapes

Bill No. 160462, passed by City Council last year, amended the Philadelphia Fire and Property Maintenance Codes to require that building owners have fire escapes and fire balconies regularly inspected by a licensed professional engineer with experience in structural engineering.

Pursuant to the bill, the engineer must conduct an inspection, provide the building owner a full report on the inspection, and submit a summary of the report to L&I. The inspection report must include a classification of the condition of the fire escape/balcony or façade as Safe; Unsafe; or, if the condition is not currently Unsafe but will become so unless specified repairs and maintenance are completed, as Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program. If the report:

  • Identifies any Unsafe conditions, you have 24 hours to take actions necessary to protect public safety, including posting notice of the condition inside the building; 3 days to apply for necessary permits to repair the fire escape/balcony; and 10 days to begin work to correct the condition. Following the repairs, the engineer has two weeks to reinspect and submit an updated report.
  • Identifies any conditions as Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program, you are responsible for taking the actions identified in the report to keep the conditions from becoming Unsafe.
  • Classifies your fire escapes/balconies as Safe, they will be tagged with weather-resistant placards that include the date of inspection and the date of the next required inspection.

Due Date: Inspections, reports, and summaries are due July 1, 2017, or ten years after the construction of your building, whichever comes last, and then every five years thereafter. If you have restored your fire escapes/balconies since June 30, 2016, you may request an extension of the due date for your first inspection by contacting L&I at fireescapereports@phila.gov.

For more information and required forms, please see the L&I website at http://www.phila.gov/li/Pages/PermitsCertificates.aspx.

Façades

Similarly, Bill No. 090568-AAA, which went into effect in 2010, requires regular professional inspection of the façades of buildings that are 6 or more stories in height or are higher than 60 feet at any point. Façades include a building’s exterior walls except for those areas of the walls that are less than 12” from the exterior wall of an adjacent building. Façade inspections may be carried out by either a licensed professional engineer knowledgeable in the design, construction, and inspection of building façades or a licensed registered architect with these qualifications. The bill requires that the engineer is to give the building owner a full report on the inspection, and submit a summary to L&I.

Due Date:  All building owners should have submitted at least one report by now. If you have not had your building façade inspected and submitted a report in more than five years, you are required to do so  by July 1, 2017.If your façade was renovated since June 30, 2012, you may request an extension of the due date for your first façade inspection from L&I at facadereports@phila.gov.

For more information and required forms, please see the L&I website at http://www.phila.gov/li/Pages/PermitsCertificates.aspx.

LEAD DISCLOSURE LAW IMPLEMENTATION

Since 2012, the Lead Disclosure Law, found in the Philadelphia Health Code, has required landlords to ensure that rental properties are Lead Safe or Lead Free when the properties (1) were built before 1978 and (2) are or will be occupied by children aged six years or younger. If you are a landlord whose properties fall into this category, the law requires you to have a certified lead inspector test the properties for lead every two years and provide you with a certificate stating that the property is Lead Safe or Lead Free. This certificate must be signed by your tenant, who gets a copy, and sent, along with results of the dust-wipe testing performed to detect lead, to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Unfortunately, although approximately 26,000 rental units are occupied by children aged 6 or younger, only a few thousand Lead Safe or Lead Free certifications are submitted to the Health Department. To encourage compliance with the Lead Disclosure Law, including submission of certificates to the Health Department, L&I has changed the language on the rental license application. As you know if you’ve obtained or renewed your rental license recently, the new language takes you step-by-step through the determination whether you must obtain and submit a certificate, and requires that you certify that you are in compliance with the law.

Here’s an example of what you might see when you renew your license online through L&I’s eClipse system: