Philadelphia’s rental and investment property owners’ association says financial guidance and education can help tenants avoid winding up in the City’s eviction court.

HAPCO members go to great lengths to make sure prospective and current tenants find low to moderate income housing they can afford, before signing a lease.  

HAPCO president Harvey Spear notes that a majority of cases in landlord-tenant court are because tenants fall behind in their rent.  By counseling and teaching tenants to maintain a realistic household budget, Spear says it helps prevent tenants’ rent from outstripping their income.

Spear also says the proposed City Eviction Court Bill should prioritize funds to give tenants advice, education and training to keep them from falling behind on rent, instead of just paying for eviction court attorneys when it’s too late.  And funds should be used to help tenants pay rent until they get caught up.

“By addressing the causes of unpaid rent up front, HAPCO and their renters can work together to keep them in their apartments, instead of just evicting them,” Spear says.

HAPCO notes that avoiding eviction court allows rental property owners to spend money on maintenance and renovation, instead of on legal fees.  And it also helps rental & investment property owners continue to provide low to moderate income housing. 

“The City can also help HAPCO identify whether a renter is just a bad tenant through a mediation process, before automatically paying for an eviction court attorney,” Spear adds.