There are many ways to get your landlord to make necessary repairs or deal with the problem yourself if that does not work. Most landlords will respond to maintenance requests and have a procedure for making sure repairs are made timely. When they do not respond to your reasonable requests, you should consider all your options.
Warranty of Habitability
The “warranty of habitability” is a guarantee that the landlord must provide safe and sanitary conditions in the rental unit. It is implied by law into every residential lease. It does not mean that the housing was inspected and/or approved to meet local housing standards. It just means that if the landlord does not provide basic conditions to ensure that the place is safe and sanitary, the landlord can be held responsible.
The landlord must provide drinkable water, heat, a working sewer system, a working electrical system, a working smoke detector, a working lock for your outside door, a place not infested with insects and/or rodents, and a safe structure both inside and outside the home. While it may be a tenant’s responsibility to pay for certain utilities, for example, the landlord must make sure the wires and pipes are in good working order.
Complain to local Code Enforcement or Health Bureau
Many areas have local Code Enforcement Officers and/or Health Inspectors whose job it is to make sure that landlords meet the requirements of the building codes. Some municipalities require the landlord to obtain a certificate of occupancy before a property is leased, which may have included an inspection. If your landlord is not providing a safe and sanitary place, then you should call your local Code Enforcement Office or Health Inspector. In rural areas, contact the township or municipal office for the name of the housing officer or Pennsylvania agency responsible for inspection of residential property.