So, you want to rent for your child in the history-filled city of Philadelphia. This is relatively common as it can be quite expensive to buy property within the city and, oftentimes, renting is the best option for university students going to school in the city. However, every city is different, and there are some things that both young renters and their parents should be aware of when renting in this great city.
Three Philadelphia Renting Things To Know
1. Philadelphia Renters Are Afforded Certain Rights
As stated before, there is no denying that Philly is a historical city. With this historicity comes buildings that have stood the test of time. While it may seem really interesting to live in an older building, it can come with a variety of risks.
Firstly, older buildings can sometimes have low functioning or non-functioning features like a lack of hot water, windows that do not open or unsafe gas ranges. With this said, The City of Philadelphia regulates basic tenant rights and what exactly should come standard with any given rental property. Essentially, renters and their parents should be fully aware of the basic tenant rights within the city and be willing to pursue action if the basic rights are not given because of the age of the property. Some of the most important rights to remember are the following:
All tenants should be provided with:
• A flushing toilet
• Safe cooking ranges
• Hot and cold Water
• Available 68-degree temperatures during the months of October-April
• Two electrical outlets in every room
• Proper lighting
• A variety of other important rights
For more information regarding the rights afforded to all renters in the city of Philadelphia, please read through Curbed’s guide of Philadelphia tenant rights.
2. Watch Out For Lead Paint
While this should be a concern for renters in any city, due to the previously mentioned age of some of Philly’s buildings, the presence of lead paint is a real risk. According to Philadelphia law, all landlords should be able to provide certification that their property is free of lead paint if the building was built prior to 1978 or if one of the residents is six years old or younger. But, why should you care about lead paint? While lead paint poses the biggest dangers to young children, it can still be incredibly harmful to adults when exposed to large quantities of lead.
According to some governmental organizations, adults who are exposed to lead paint can experience peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, seizures, nausea, miscarriages and other reproductive effects, hypertension, and constipation. For parents who have chosen to rent for their child in Philly, it is highly recommended that if for some reason, your child’s landlord will not provide a lead-free certification, that the parents have a professional test both the apartment’s paint and the soil around the property for lead exposure. In short, lead poisoning can have life-long effects, so it is better to be safe than sorry when renting in Philadelphia.
3. Security Deposits
Security deposits can be a pain, but, in the end, it saves tenants from paying out of pocket later in case of accidental damages to the property. However, those who have never rented in the city before may be shocked when they see the sum of their security deposit for the first time.
According to Pennsylvania state law, a landlord can choose to charge a tenant a security deposit that is equal to two months’ rent during the first year that the tenant rents the property. After the first year, the landlord can then only charge the tenant a sum up to one months’ rent for the security deposit. Due to the fact that this sum is generally very high, parents should encourage their children to be careful renters and not to damage anything so they can eventually get their security deposit back. This is especially true if the parents are paying the deposit.
All in all, Philadelphia is a great city to rent in and is a great next home for your child. While the above-mentioned things to consider are very important, parents should be supremely aware of all aspects of the renting situation, as there are a variety of other aspects to be aware of as well. Lastly, to ensure the quality of the renting situation, you should always go over the lease agreement with your child.