Posted on October 15, 2021
As of October 13, the Renters’ Access Act, passed by the Philadelphia City Council in June, is now enforceable by law.
Intended as a way to make the rental process more transparent and less discriminatory for prospective tenants, the Renter’s Access Act enacts new guidelines for landlords to follow. These include requiring landlords to inform all applicants in writing of the criteria used to judge applicants during the initial screening process; requiring landlords to provide the reasons for rejecting an applicant, including third-party reports; and giving applicants the chance to dispute incorrect information or clarify mitigating circumstances regarding their rejection.
Additionally, landlords are no longer permitted to automatically deny an applicant due to credit score or, under certain circumstances, eviction record. This includes any evictions experienced during the COVID-19 Emergency Period (defined from March 2020 to September 2021), unless the landlord claims the eviction was due to violent or criminal activity.
With the passage of the Renters’ Access Act into law, tenants may now have a greater chance at a fair and accessible rental process, without the burden of past eviction records preventing them from stable housing. These new guidelines now provide new rights for many marginalized communities in Philadelphia, including seniors, disabled persons, and POC communities.
Learn more about the new guidelines and expectations at bit.ly/RAAguidelines.