Pennsylvania Lease Agreement Template – Forbes Advisor

Christy Bieber, J.D.
Christy Bieber, J.D.

Christy Bieber, J.D.

Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. She earned her JD from UCLA School of Law and was an adjunct professor at the start of her career, teaching paralegal studies and related courses. In addition to writing for the web, she has also designed educational courses and written textbooks focused on a variety of legal subjects.


Adam Ramirez, J.D.
Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Adam Ramirez has been writing and editing about the law and legal issues for more than 20 years. After earning a law degree from the University of Arizona, he clerked for two years for a U.S. District Court judge. He researched and wrote legal precedent in published opinions on behalf of the Court. He previously was an editor, columnist and journalist at the Miami Herald, The Dallas Morning News, The Oregonian, Golf Digest, and other media outlets.

Published: Aug 17, 2023, 8:08am

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A PA lease agreement is a legally binding contract. It is used when a landlord allows a tenant temporary possession of their property in exchange for rental payments. A PA lease agreement typically contains numerous provisions governing the details of this arrangement.

This guide explains what a PA lease agreement is and provides information on how to create a legally valid lease of your own. To start making your own lease, you can get a free Pennsylvania lease agreement template from Forbes Advisor. Simply enter your email address below.

PA Lease Agreement Template

A PA lease should include all of the details necessary for a landlord and tenant to understand what their rights and their obligations are in a rental arrangement. Leases must be made in compliance with state law and can be customized to fit the details that are negotiated between a landlord and tenant, such as the amount of rent and the duration of the lease.

Starting with a template—like our free template available above—can be a good idea when drafting a lease agreement as these contracts should be comprehensive enough to protect the rights of both the landlord and the tenant.

What Is a PA Lease Agreement?

A PA lease agreement is a private contract negotiated and signed by a landlord or tenant. Leases must be written unless they are for less than three years in which case they can be oral. The contract establishes all of the details of the rental relationship, including the space to be rented and the rent the tenant will pay. PA lease agreements also go by other names including the following:

  • PA rental agreements
  • PA rental contracts
  • PA rental leases
  • PA rental lease forms
  • PA tenancy agreements

Different types of property are also rented out in PA, such as commercial and residential spaces. The type of lease a landlord and tenant need depends on the type of property and how it will be used. Here are some common types of PA leases:

  • Residential leases
  • Commercial leases
  • Roommate contracts
  • Subleases

When Is a PA Lease Agreement Used?

A PA lease agreement should be used whenever a landlord and tenant enter into a rental agreement. The purpose of the agreement is to:

  • Ensure both parties understand the terms of the rental arrangement. For example, the landlord and tenant need to be on the same page about when and how rent will be paid, what the tenant has access to in the space, what the landlord’s obligations are and what the tenant is permitted to do and prohibited from doing on the property.
  • Provide a clear answer if there is conflict. For example, if the tenant breaches the lease agreement and the landlord pursues eviction, the rental contract can be introduced as evidence in a trial to show the tenant’s breach and the landlord’s right to a remedy.

It is in the best interests of both the landlord and the tenant to have a lease agreement in place.

Who Needs to Create a PA Lease Agreement?

Pennsylvania requires a written lease agreement if a tenant will be renting a property for a duration of three or more years. But, while it’s possible for an oral lease to be created and enforced, it is much more difficult to determine each party’s rights and obligations if the contract is not in writing.

Usually the landlord prepares the lease agreement and provides it to the tenant to sign after the tenant has submitted an approved rental application. When a landlord does not have a lease agreement, tenants can use a PA lease agreement template to prepare one. This is enforceable if the landlord agrees to the terms and signs the contract.

Which Parties Are Involved in a PA Lease Agreement?

Usually, there are two parties to a lease agreement:

  • A lessor: This is the legal term used to describe the landlord/property owner who is renting the space out for a tenant to use.
  • A lessee: This is the legal term used to describe the renter/tenant who is renting property owned by the landlord in order to use it for a designated period of time

Cosigners are also party to some lease agreements. They agree to share responsibility for fulfilling the lease obligation. A landlord may require a cosigner if they have concerns about the tenant’s ability to comply with lease terms. For example, if a student with limited income and no credit is renting an apartment, the landlord may require a parent cosigner who is better qualified to pay the rent.

What Should Be Included in a PA Lease Agreement?

Pennsylvania leases must identify all material terms and conditions of the relationship between the landlord and tenant. This typically means a lease should include details about:

  • The names of the landlord and tenant
  • The exact address (including apartment or unit number) of the rented space
  • The length of time the lease will last
  • Details on the procedure for paying rent, including the amount, how it must be paid and what happens in case of late payments
  • The security deposit amount
  • Who is responsible for paying for utilities
  • When and how the lease can be renewed
  • Rules for early termination of the lease
  • Whether subleasing is permitted
  • Who should be contacted for maintenance, repairs or other issues
  • Rules and regulations the tenant must comply with
  • Rules regarding pets

State law also prohibits certain things from being included in a PA Lease agreement. For example, landlords are not allowed to impose excessive late fees and cannot require tenants to waive certain rights in leases such as the right to represent themselves in a hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does a Pennsylvania lease need to be in writing?

Pennsylvania leases must be in writing if the duration of the rental arrangement is three or more years. Even though leases do not always have to be in writing if the contract is for a short-term rental arrangement, it’s a bad idea to rent property with an oral lease only. It could be very difficult to prove a breach and identify an appropriate remedy if problems arise under an oral lease.

What should be included in a Pennsylvania lease?

PA leases should include all of the necessary details governing the relationship between the landlord and the tenant. The specifics of what should be included depends on the kind of lease (such as a residential or commercial lease), as well as the lease terms the parties agree to when negotiating their rental contract.

Is there a standard PA lease agreement?

There is no standard PA lease agreement as leases are contracts negotiated between landlords and tenants. However, you can find details about the laws governing the landlord/tenant relationship on the website of the PA Attorney General. You can customize your lease terms as long as you remain within the boundaries of state law. A PA Lease agreement template can help you to ensure you are creating a comprehensive, enforceable lease.

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Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. She earned her JD from UCLA School of Law and was an adjunct professor at the start of her career, teaching paralegal studies and related courses. In addition to writing for the web, she has also designed educational courses and written textbooks focused on a variety of legal subjects.

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