My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Pennsylvania
I am very disillusioned right now. First a brief background.
In 2004 I was a victim of a flood. My landlord took his anger out on me in response to the damage to his building that the flood had caused and one day would not let me enter. He told me he was going to cut my "ugly Arab head off" if I tried to enter the front door to the building (of my home) and and that he doesn't want people on SSI in his building. I was a good tenant and paid my rent on time out of my SSI leaving me about $70.00 and food stamps for the month. I got by as I have for years this way. Even the police were rude to me. I had to stay at a Red Cross shelter due to the flood damage and my fear of the landlord but I could have at least slept in my apartment since it was on the third floor.
Whilst I was staying in a hotel paid for by the Red Cross. I walked 2 miles to view an apartment in a building that I lived in and paid rent from 90-92. The very same lady that owns it told me on the phone (when I was waiting for her to show up to view the apartment) "I hear from my employee that you are on SSI, well I just don't think I can rent it to you, you have to be making more money than that". I told her I was disabled and that I pay my rent as soon as I get my money as I have for years. I also told her i rented from her property managers from 1990-92. I made the point that the money is mainly for shelter and that the hardship of being poor is something that I have to endure not her. I was also receiving food stamps. There was about 60.00 left over after I would pay the stated rent. She refused to meet me at the specified time and I had to walk the 2 miles back to the hotel.
TODAY in 2024 if I find a clean and safe place that I can afford, I am so afraid to tell the truth about my disability status because I know the stigma attached to it. Many landlords say that I have to be making 3 times the amount of rent in income. That kind of statement shows how out of touch private investors are with political realities in Pennsylvania with the federal and state austerity cuts imposed by both democratic and republican parties and the low wage/unemployment epidemic. In PA alone one out of four people are earning poverty wages according to the Keystone research Center. I won't get into the details of that.
My other concern is Craig's List ads for rooms rented in houses (sharing). Many owners of houses or condos or even renters who need a roomate are demanding that one has a job. I am embarrassed to let them know that I am on disability and receive the full SSI amount. I know that as soon as they see I am not working they will kick me out without following rules. I am in my 50's, I am clean and no I don't take drugs or "party". They advertise these CL ads because they are also suffering and feeling the pinch from the capitalist crisis just as low paid workers and those on disability are.
Can anyone that is really interested in protecting tenants give me some advise? Is any of the above permitted? Please, NO LANDLORD FRIENDLY RESPONSES. There is enough of them on Google searches.