19-0043317 Urgent Need
Client seeks assistance with a landlord/tenant matter. The eviction complaint seeks possession based on termination of term and breach of lease conditions (failing to keep property from damage, keeping pets in the property, failing to allow access for inspection or repairs, failing to keep the yard clean), and also seeks ongoing rent. Client moved into property in August 2014 and notified landlord multiple times of habitability issues such as a mice infestation, multiple leaks, broken front door hardware, unsecured windows, and uneven floors. In January 2019, client began withholding rent in a bank account because of unaddressed repairs. L&I inspected in February 2019 and issued 11 violations. Client received a default judgment against her after missing the initial hearing because she did not understand the court documents but went to seek legal assistance and filed a Petition to Open the same day. Defenses include open L&I violations, failure to provide tenant with a Certificate of Rental Suitability and “City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing” Handbook, and breach of implied warranty of habitability. Client’s goal is to negotiate as much time as possible to find a new home and avoid a money judgment. Opposing counsel is Michael J. Williams, Esq. The petition to open and eviction hearing is on April 18, 2019, at 2:00 pm in Courtroom 3.