Pennsylvania Contract Law
Pennsylvania's landlord and tenant law specifically states that rooming, boarding and hotel accommodations are not covered under the protection of that act. Instead, Pennsylvania's contract law applies between you and your landlord, whether the contract is a written lease or a verbal agreement. If you are under a verbal agreement, you need to hold on to rental receipts and any other hard copy documentation to have handy in case you need to prove your rental amount or any other issue that your landlord may cause.
The lease agreement, if one is written, contains the entirety of your rights in an eviction situation. The lease agreement should specify exact reasons for eviction, all of the rights and regulations that you need to follow to avoid getting evicted, your rental agreement and any other clauses relevant to your living situation. The main section you want to check is the eviction clauses, so you know what kind of notice you get and how much time you have before you are evicted from the home.
A typical residential Pennsylvania eviction process consists of several notices and a hearing before the landlord can physically remove the tenant from the home. In the situation of a rooming house, however, the landlord can simply lock you out of the room unless a different eviction process is specifically detailed in the lease agreement or oral agreement provided by the landlord to the tenant.
If the landlord has written out the exact reasons for eviction and has followed the word of the contract, then you have very little recourse against the landlord. You do not have the same rights and protection that a regular residential tenant has due to the nature of your housing situation, although long-term tenants of a rooming house may be able to get the courts to consider them tenants on a case-by-case basis. This is only considered in extraordinary circumstances, however.