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Landlord wants me to move into basement apt to allow a friend to live in my apt, do I HAVE to move?

Wilkes Barre, PA |

I've been living here, since April, 2012, with originally a month-to-month lease, changed in Dec to a 2 year lease, (to help them save the farm from foreclosure-which they didn't tell me about, but which I helped them with when I found out in Nov-I found them an attorney, helped with their paperwork, assisted them in finding other financial help so they wouldn't leave. I also dealt with leaks, etc for 6 months.) They helped me move last year, and I wanted to help them in return. Not to mention, being legally blind & many other health problems means a LOT of $$ to move.
I pay over $1000/mo, got this apt specifically for the deck & windows. She now has basically said "we're going to help you move downstairs because X really wants this apt, get things ready by July 1." Can she do this?

Just for more info: I have not violated ANY terms of lease, I AM legally blind and DO have many health problems, BUT, the stairs have NEVER been a problem for me. But with a terrible allergy to mold and mildew, moving down to a basement apartment, surely wouldn't be healthy. She DID say that another reason for her moving me downstairs was for my safety, but in almost 15 months, there hasn't been a single problem. Could this be a "legal" reason for her to justify moving me?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    Dear Wilkes Barre tenant:

    I am an attorney licensed to practice in New York. I do not practice law in Pennsylvania.

    You seem terribly reasonable perhaps to your own detriment. Basement apartments are not often legal for dwelling purposes, so you absolutely must have the basement apartment inspected for toxicity and legality.

    You may have special rights as a person with a disability to a special accommodation by your landlord. Those rights first flow from federal law and most states have adapted their own versions of laws that require landlords to provide reasonable accommodations in housing to persons with special needs.

    Your landlord at a minimum must provide a proper notice pursuant to state law. In essence she is terminating the two year lease you made in December illegally. The illegal termination of the two year lease that helped them save the farm is also possibly mortgage fraud. You were important to the owners when useful but they do not consider that you are needed much any more.

    You will need an attorney to protect your tenancy rights and your two year lease.

    Good luck.

    The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

  2. I don't practice in your state , but from what you have said a move would have to be voluntary. You should ask her why you should move and what concessions will they make ? lower rent for example. Otherwise your lease sounds as if it describes your existing unit and not the basement.
    Good Luck

    If this answer was helpful, please mark as helpful below. Please be sure to indicate the best answer Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes

  3. You absolutely are not required to move out, or into the basement, of the property which you are leasing. Your landlord cannot force you out of your apartment so that it may be leased to somebody else, this is essentially an eviction and there are judicial procedures for such.

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