A solid rental agreement will contain several provisions that lay out the expectations for the tenant and outline what actions constitute a violation of the lease agreement. The general notion is that the tenant’s behavior will abide by the rules and regulations of the landlord and any homeowners association. In addition, the tenant is responsible for the behavior of their guests and invitees. A lease agreement should include language that specifically notifies the tenant that the tenant and guests will refrain from using the premises or common areas in a way that does any of the following:
- violates any law or ordinance, including laws prohibiting the use, possession, or sale of illegal drugs;
- damages the premises, common areas, or surrounding property; or
- disturbs the peace and quiet of any other tenant or nearby resident.
Pennsylvania also has a statute that deals more specifically with acts related to illegal drugs, 68 P.S. § 250.505-A. The statute outlines the following illegal acts relating to drugs which constitute a breach of the rental agreement and serve as reason for removal of the tenant.
- First conviction for an illegal sale, manufacture, or distribution of any drug in violation of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act,”1 on a single-family dwelling or any portion of the multiple dwelling premises or tenement;
- Second violation of any of the provisions of “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act” on a single-family dwelling or any portion of the multiple dwelling premises or tenement;
- Seizure by law enforcement officials of any illegal drugs on the leased premises in the single-family dwelling or multiple dwelling premises or tenement.
Rules and regulations
A landlord is allowed to have rules and regulations that concern the tenant’s use and occupancy of the premises. Many landlords will compile a “house rules” document to have the tenant sign along with the lease documents. A general rule is to make sure the rules are known to the tenant prior to lease signing and that the same rules are applied to all tenants on a property. Rules and regulations are enforceable with a few caveats, which are provided below.
- Their purpose is to promote the convenience, safety, or welfare of the tenant; preserve the landlord’s property from abusive use; or make a fair distribution of services and facilities held out for the tenants generally
- They are reasonably related to the purpose for which they are adopted
- They apply to all tenants in the property in a fair manner
- They are sufficiently explicit so as to to fairly inform the tenant of what must be done to comply
- They are not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord
- Tenant has notice of them at the time tenant enters into the lease agreement, or when they are adopted