Revised landlord/tenant forms coming soon
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Revised landlord/tenant forms will be released on Saturday, July 1.

A task force was formed to address questions and comments from members, as well as to accommodate guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on best practices when offering housing services to persons who use service or support animals and those who have criminal histories.

Persons who use service, guide or support animals for disabilities are part of a protected class under the Fair Housing Act. Pennsylvania law also protects individuals who are trainers or handlers of service and guide animals. Having a criminal background is not in itself a protected class, but HUD has stated that blanket bans on providing housing to persons with criminal histories could result in the unintentional discrimination of racial minorities due to the disproportionate incarceration rates in the U.S. To avoid discrimination, landlords and other housing service providers should conduct a case-by-case evaluation of applications, considering factors such as the type of crime committed and the time that has elapsed since conviction. Any policy to exclude persons based on a criminal history must have a substantial, legitimate and non-discriminatory purpose.

On July 1, four revised forms will be released containing changes intended to keep members on the right side of the law. Below is a list of some of the upcoming changes:

Application Decision (Form AD):

  • A notification to applicants that an approved application does not create rights of a tenant
  • Updated information to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • An additional signature line for brokers and licensees who act as property managers and have the authority to approve or deny applications

Pet Addendum to Residential Lease (Form PAL):

  • Additional notations that guide and support animals are not pets
  • Revised and new obligations for the tenant regarding pets
  • A revised procedure for the removal of pets for breaches of the terms of the Addendum

Rental Application (Form RA):

  • A new name, this form replaces the Rental Application for Represented Tenants (Form RART)
  • An updated cover page to be similar to other PAR standard forms
  • Notations to remind applicants and landlords that guide and support animals are not pets
  • Notifications to applicants that revealing a criminal history will not automatically disqualify them from tenancy

Rental Application for Landlord Agents (Form RALA):

  • A new name! This form replaces the Rental Application for Represented Landlords (Form RARL)
  • An updated cover page, which has removed the option to use this form in any instance other than when the broker is a landlord agent only
  • Notations to remind applicants and landlords that guide and support animals are not pets
  • Notifications to applicants that revealing a criminal history will not automatically disqualify them from tenancy

This list does not detail all the changes to the forms, but the forms are available for you to review on the Standard Forms page. If you have any questions about these forms, or any others, please contact me at dbrougher@parealtor.org.