Someone told us recently that there is a two-year maximum term for leases, after which of course they can be renewed. We have ALWAYS rented our properties for 1 year at a time. Of course, the one time we make an exception we end up with nightmare tenants. We are already involved in various legal actions but there is no current way to evict them cleanly and quickly. If, however, the lease is void because the term is too long we are back in happy land. What are our chances?
I am sorry to tell you that there is no law in Pennsylvania making leases having a term of 2 years or more illegal or unenforceable. Perhaps you heard about the Pennsylvania law which requires leases leased for a term of more than three years to be in writing and signed by the parties, "otherwise it shall have the force and effect of a lease at will only and shall not be given any greater force or effect either in law or equity", "unless the tenancy has continued for more than one year and the landlord and tenant have recognized its rightful existence by claiming and admitting liability for the rent, in which case the tenancy shall become one from year to year."
The three year rule in pa as applied to real property is found 33 P.S. § 1, which provides that all conveyances of an interest in land , including leases for periods in excess of three years, must be in the form of a signed writing in order to be enforceable in a court of law.
If you signed a lease, it was a fair deal and both parties acted in an arms length agreement the court will most likely not rescind it unless there was some extenuating circumstance or exception like duress or fraud as is standard in contract defenses.
As the other attorney have indicated, three year leases are authorized. If the tenants are truly from hell, perhaps they have other lease violations that can be used to support an eviction. Consult with an attorney to explore your options.
All information provided in this comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not, by itself, create an attorney client relationship. Without the benefit of a personal consultation to explore all of the facts of your legal problem, the information in this posting may be inaccurate and for that reason it should not be relied upon.
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