Tenants have a legal right to a safe home.

Every residential landlord is legally responsible for giving the tenant a decent place to live. Although the law does not guarantee a comfortable and beautiful home, landlords have a responsibility to maintain their property in good repair and to correct any conditions that make it unhealthy or unsafe regardless of what the lease says. 

Your landlord must also maintain anything (such as an air conditioner or a refrigerator) that was included when you rented your home or apartment, even if it is not covered by the Housing Code.

See the landmark Pennsylvania case of Pugh v. Holmes pdf-icon which states that a warranty of habitability is implied in every residential lease.

If you have a repair problem, your first step is to ask your landlord for the repair in writing, and keep a copy for your own files! Your written notice should give your landlord a reasonable period of time to fix the problem. You should also take pictures. If the problems are serious you should also request an inspection from Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) at 215-686-2463.  All inspections are free.

To find out if your rental unit has reported code violations go the L&I website and type in your address. Code and licensing information is posted there.

You have 4 legal options when your landlord is unresponsive to your repair requests that are material breaches to your implied warranty of habitability: