Lease Obligations for Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence: Bill No. 110498 became Philadelphia law in late 2011.
 It requires rental owners to permit renters who are victims of domestic violence to terminate the lease regardless of the lease term and without penalty. According to the new ordinance, victims must make the request to terminate the lease in writing, within ninety days of a reported incident of domestic violence or sexual assault, and at least 30 days before the requested termination date. They must have obtained a protection from abuse order (restraining order) or consent agreement, an incident report from the police, or written certification from a health care professional or licensed guidance counselor. Additionally, if the abuser is a co-tenant the rental owner may, upon the victim’s request, bifurcate the lease in order to evict the abuser and allow the victim to stay.