Can I file a Fair Housing Commission Complaint?

What is the Fair Housing Commission?

The Fair Housing Commission is a city agency empowered to enforce the Philadelphia Fair Housing Ordinance.  The Commission hears complaints against landlords who engage in unfair rental practices.

What are some examples of Unfair Rental Practices?

When can I file a complaint?

  • You can file a complaint whenever the landlord has engaged in an unfair rental practice.
  • If your landlord already filed an eviction complaint against you in Municipal Court, then you cannot file a complaint with the Fair Housing Commission. However, you can raise unfair rental practices as a defense in Municipal Court.

Where Should I Go to File a Complaint?

What documentation could I gather for a Fair Housing Commission hearing?

  • Proof that you set aside (escrowed) your rent, if you did not pay rent.
  • Your lease agreement
  • Any written communication with the landlord including letters, emails or text messages.
  • Lease Termination Notice or Notice to Quit
  • Department of Licenses & Inspections (L&I) code violation, inspection report or service file number.
  • Photos of code violations or unfair rental practice.

What can the Fair Housing Commission order?

The Fair Housing Commission has the power to:

  • Order that an eviction notice or rent increase notice is invalid.
  • Order no retaliation or change of lease terms for up to one year.
  • Order an abatement of rent (reduction of rent owed) for a period of non-compliance with license or repair issues.
  • Order a landlord to restore access or habitability after an illegal eviction.
  • Fine a landlord up to $2000 for each unfair rental practice payable to the City of Philadelphia.


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