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Renting a home or apartment in Philadelphia can be both exciting and daunting, especially if you’re new to the process. Whether you’re a first-time or seasoned renter, there are always questions that come up along the way. In this blog post, we’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions by renters, providing guidance to help you navigate the rental landscape with confidence. If you are looking for a rental in the Philadelphia area, we’d love to assist you! We have over a decade of experience working with renters so no matter if you are looking for a home to rent in Center City or South Philly or Northern Liberties, please read some of the common questions we get. If you need help finding your dream home, contact us or check out our available listings here. 

1. How much rent can I afford?

Determining how much rent you can afford is crucial for maintaining financial stability. A common rule of thumb is to spend no more than 30% of your gross monthly income on rent. It’s also important to take into account other expenses such as utilities, cable and wifi, renters insurance, and moving costs. 

2. What documents do I need to rent a property?

Landlords in and around Philadelphia typically require:

  • Proof of income, such as pay stubs or tax returns
  • Income verification 
  • Bank statements
  • References from previous landlords
  • Employment verification
  • A copy of your ID
  • A completed rental application.

3. What is a security deposit, and how much is it?

A security deposit is a sum of money paid upfront to the landlord to cover any damages beyond normal wear and tear. The amount varies, it can be as low as $500 or as high as two months of rent for some landlords. At PhillyLiving Management Group our security deposits are typically equal to one month’s rent, but there are situations where additional money is required.  Be sure to review the terms of the lease regarding the security deposit to understand when and how it will be returned to you after your tenancy. 

4. What are some steps I can take to increase the chances of getting my security deposit returned?

All leases and companies have different vacating policies, please be sure to receive this information from your landlord. Before handing in your keys, here are some general tips you can follow from PhillyLiving Management Group’s real estate agent, Cristy Michaels to help you get your security deposit back. 

5. How do I request repairs from my landlord?

If something in your rental home needs repairs, it’s important to notify your landlord promptly. Many of the homes in Philadelphia date back to the 1800s. With that, there are some common issues like AC repairs or drafty windows so these are items that the landlord will be required to repair. Most leases outline the procedure for submitting repair requests. At PhillyLiving Management Group, residents can easily request a repair through an online portal. We have a maintenance team available 24/7 for any emergencies. 

6. Can my landlord increase the rent?

In most cases, landlords can increase the rent, but they must provide proper notice as outlined in the lease agreement. Philadelphia is a major metropolitan area so with that comes a lot of advantages and disadvantages. There are lots of options for things to do but with all of the options comes cost. It is important to make sure you understand what the typical monthly rent is in different areas of Philadelphia. At PhillyLiving Management Group we notify current tenants, around 90 days before the end of the lease term, and residents will have 30 days to respond. 

7. What is subletting? Am I allowed to sublet my rental unit?

Subletting is when a tenant rents out all or part of their rental unit to another person. At PhillyLiving Management Group do not allow tenants to sublease, however we do allow a lease takeover if you need to end your lease early. In a lease takeover, a renter hands off the responsibilities that come with their lease to a new tenant. While it can be a tedious process, finding someone to take over a lease is a promising way to get out of a lease.

8. What happens if I break my lease? 

Breaking a lease can have financial and legal consequences. Review your lease agreement to understand the terms and conditions for early termination. In some cases, you may be required to pay a penalty or forfeit your security deposit. Make sure you communicate with your landlord or property manager as this varies case by case. 

9. What utilities am I responsible for?

The utilities renters are responsible for can vary depending on the terms outlined in their lease agreement. Typically, renters are responsible for paying for electricity, gas, water, and sometimes trash removal. However, it’s essential for renters to carefully review their lease agreement, as it can differ from one rental property to another.


PhillyLiving Management Group is your best choice for rentals in Philadelphia. We’re known for our honesty, reliability, and making sure our tenants are happy. We keep things straightforward, respond quickly to maintenance needs, and have fair policies. With us, you can rent with confidence, knowing we’ve got your back every step of the way.

About the Author:

Jamie has been a licensed Pennsylvania agent since 2007. After advancing into rentals and sales with various brokers throughout the years, her experience landed her at PhillyLiving Management Group in 2019. The company’s impressive Philadelphia portfolio is overseen by Jamie exclusively. Leading a team of high volume producers, tenant and owner relationships, along listing management, are amongst her strong suits.

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