Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1398 Posts and Counting

ZONING: Can a zoned single family residence be rented for short-term occupancy?

No. 1,380 SLICE OF LIFE, LLC v. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP ZHB, 164 A.3d 633 (2017) The Township Zoning Officer issued an enforcement notice charging Slice of Life, LLC with violation of an ordinance creating a single family residential district where the property [Property] was located by “[u]se of [the Property] as Hotel and/or other types of transient […]

Qualified Tenant Cannot Be Rejected under Seattle City Ordinance.

No. 1,379 The City of Seattle has adopted an ordinance requiring a landlord to accept the first qualified applicant.  The idea is to screen out all housing discrimination, including unconscious bias.  Of course, we can all think of reasons for rejecting a prospective tenant that are hard to quantify, like a bad attitude. No matter […]

A dialogue: Does a Broken Toilet Seat Not Replaced by Landlord in a Month Create an Uninhabitable Condition?

No. 1,362 Here’s a question that appeared the other day in the AVVO forum where landlords and tenants pose questions to lawyers.  Attorney Leslie Margolis and I answered the question at about the same time and we then traded comments. Unfortunately, I don’t have my comments available to reprint, but hers are better anyway.  Consider […]

When Should a Court Award Treble Damages Under UTPCPL?

No. 1,362 E.S. MANAGEMENT v. GAO et al., 2017 PA Super 362 (November 15, 2017 A group of students, all citizens of China, were searching for housing for the 2014-2015 school year at Carnegie Mellon University.  While still overseas, they asked a friend to look at an apartment being advertised by E. S. Management.  E. […]

What Does It Mean to “Attorn”?

No. 1,353 Not what you think.  Its not what attorneys do.  It is usually what tenants of commercial property do — acknowledge the new owner as landlord or the mortgage holder as having rights that precede the lease. Its a verb, used as follows: “Lessee hereby agrees to attorn to subsequent purchasers of the leased […]


No. 1,349 NEXUS REAL ESTATE, LLC v. ERICKSON, 1217 Pa. Super 180 (2017) Just before his lease was about to renew, a two-by-two portion of the ceiling fell into the bath tub of John Erickson’s apartment.  He called his landlord and learned that the building had been sold. So the information was relayed to a […]

TENANT: Make Sure You Know What You Are Getting Before Signing Lease.

No. 1,344 I get variations on this question, which I answered below in AVVO, all of the time.  Although under the law of contracts, the landlord did not provide what was bargained for, as a practical matter, the tenant has no remedy.  

Seminar Presentation: Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment in Pennsylvania

No. 1,313 The following is a seminar presentation I gave for the Continuing Legal Education program sponsored by the Community College of Allegheny County on April 10, 2017. IMPLIED COVENANT OF QUIET ENJOYMENT IN PENNSYLVANIA Rise of the Implied Warranty of Habitability Everybody knows about the Warranty of Habitability.  The landmark case in the Supreme […]

Commonwealth Court Explains How to Avoid Realty Transfer Tax When Drafting a Renewal Clause in a Long-term Commercial Lease.

No. 1,296 SATURDAY FAMILY LP v. COMMONWEALTH; TECHSPEC INC. v COMMONWEALTH, Nos. 781 F.R. 2013, 782 F.R. 2013 SUMMARY:  To avoid real estate transfer tax on a long-term lease, it is necessary to make the initial term less than 30 years and to price any renewals at fair market value at the time of the […]

Landlord-Tenant: Domestic Violence Exception to 10-day Appeal Limit in Eviction Cases.

No. 1,293 STEPHANO BROS. REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT ASSOCIATES v. DEBORAH WILLIAMS, NOS. 2571 EDA 2015, 2629 EDA 2015. Superior Court, filed November 2, 2016 In this non-precedential decision, the Superior Court construes a little-known provision in the Landlord and Tenant Act regarding appeal of a landlord-tenant case involving recovery of possession of the leased premises […]

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CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 40 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.


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