Appeal from the Judgment entered July 24, 1996 in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Civil Division, at No. 94-7855. Before RUFE, J.
Before: Del Sole, Popovich And Olszewski, JJ. Opinion BY Del Sole, J. Judge Popovich files a Dissenting statement. Judge Olszewski files a Concurring opinion.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Del Sole
Appellee Theresa Branish is a tenant in Appellant NHP Property Management, Inc.'s apartment complex. Appellee's boyfriend, without invitation, entered Appellee's apartment and caused a disturbance and damages. In response, Appellant issued a "no trespassing" letter to the boyfriend indicating that he was no longer permitted on the property with or without invitation. A violation of the letter would be reason to seek eviction of Appellee. Appellee filed a motion for declaratory judgment requesting the court to find the "no trespassing" letter void. Following a stipulated trial, the court found the letter void and ordered that Appellant was barred from evicting Appellee for reasons of violating the letter. Post-trial motions were denied and this appeal followed.
The issue before us is whether a tenant may invite a social guest on to the property of the landlord against the landlord's wishes.
There is an implied covenant of quiet enjoyment in every lease of real property. The covenant is between lessor and lessee. Any wrongful act of the lessor that interferes with the lessee's possession, in whole or in part, is a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Lichtenfels v. Bridgeview Coal Co., 366 Pa. Super. 304, 531 A.2d 22 (1987).
The Landlord and Tenant Act includes the following Tenant's rights:
The tenant shall also have right to invite to his apartment or dwelling unit, for a reasonable period of time, such social guest, family or visitors as he wishes so long as his obligations as a tenant under this article are observed. These rights may not be waived by any provisions of a written rental agreement and the landlord and/or owner may not charge any fee, service charge or additional rent to the tenant for exercising his rights under this act. (Emphasis added).
The Act also provides the following concerning a tenant's duties:
The tenant shall comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of all municipal, county and Commonwealth codes, regulations, ordinances, and statutes, and in particular, shall:
(1) Not permit any person on the premises with his permission to wilfully or wantonly destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the structure or dwelling unit, or the facilities, equipment, or appurtenances thereto or used in common, nor himself do any such thing.
(2) Not permit any person on the premises with his permission to wilfully or wantonly disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the ...