Allentown Property Rehabilitation and Maintenance Code

Category: Tenant Rights & Laws Last Updated: Sunday, 20 December 2015 Published: Sunday, 26 October 2014 Written by ATA Admin

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Allentown Property Rehabilitation and Maintenance Code

The following are codes from the Property Rehabilitation and Maintenance Code for the city. We have simplified the code so it's easier to understand. These codes are the minimum standards for all buildings, structures and properties within the City. Landlords must have the rentals complied with these codes.


Windows: Windows should open and be able to stay open on their own. Windows should not be nailed or painted shut. Note: Landlords are not required to provide screens. Windows should not be broken or cracked. All windows should have working locks. Windows should be substantially weather tight, watertight, and rodent proof. Every bedroom should have at least one window.

Walls: Plaster, wallboard, and paneling must not be damaged or missing. Paint and wallpaper should not be peeling away from the wall.

Floors: All carpets, tiles, floor linoleum, and vinyl must be maintained so as not to be worn, cracked, missing, or damaged. 

Steps: Steps must be kept in good repair, with no broken or damaged treads. Stairs and landings must have intact handrails and/or guardrails.

Electrical: The electrical service to a dwelling must be adequate to prevent tripping circuit breakers. Wiring must be located inside walls, boxes, or conduit. Electrical fixtures must be securely fastened in place. There should be no exposed wiring. Every habitable room is required to have at least two electrical outlets in working condition. One supplied ceiling or wall electric fixture, or one additional switch controlled outlet is also required. Any outlets installed on the floor are not allowed and should be removed.

Plumbing: Water pipes, drain pipes, and fixtures must be properly installed and kept leak free.

Heating System: Furnaces or wall heaters must be in working order and capable of heating all living spaces in a house or apartment to at least 68 degrees. Portable heaters cannot be used to meet this requirement. Oil furnaces should be serviced every year and gas furnaces should be serviced every two years by a certified service technician. Heat should be in working condition from October 1st to May 1st.

Hot Water: Hot water heaters must be equipped with a pressure relief valve and pressure relief drain tube. The hot water should not be less then 110 degrees and not more then 120 degrees. All gas hot water heaters should be vented to the outside.

Basement Floor: There should not be standing water on the basement floor. If there is it is required the water be eliminated. 

Insect or Rodent Infestation: Insect or rodent infestations must be prevented or eliminated. In single family homes the tenant is responsible for extermination. In multi-unit buildings if more than one apartment is infested the landlord is responsible for extermination. If only one apartment is infested the tenant is responsible.

Foundation: Settling, cracked, or excessively leaning foundation walls must be repaired or replaced.

Doors: Every door shall be maintained in sound condition and provided with proper hardware. Every bedroom should have a door. All doors leading to the outside require working locks.

Kitchen Sink: Kitchens require a sink in good working order without leaks. Kitchen sinks should have both running cold and hot water. Hot water should not be less than 110 degrees and no more than 120 degrees.

Kitchen Stove: Kitchen stove should be installed with at least two working top burners. Oven or similar device should also be present. 

Kitchen Refrigerator: Refrigerator or similar device is required to safely store perishable food at temperatures less than 50 degrees. (The landlord may delegate the responsibility of the refrigerator to the tenant under a written lease signed prior to the date of occupancy. 

Kitchen Cabinets: Kitchens require cabinets and/or shelves for storage. Cabinets and shelves should have sound construction furnished surfaces that are easily cleanable.

Kitchen Outlets: Any electrical outlet within 6 feet of a water source are required to be GFIC protected. These outlets usually have a breaker built into them. If not they could be GFIC protected at the breaker panel which a test button would be present on the breaker in question.

Bathroom: One bathroom must have a bathtub or shower present. Same applies for a working toilet. Sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets should not leak and should be in working condition. All bathrooms are required to have ventilation by either a window or ventilation device such as a gravity duct or mechanical ventilation device. 

Bathroom Outlets: Any outlet within 6 feet of a water source are required to be GFIC protected. These outlets usually have a breaker built into them. If not they could be GFIC protected at the breaker panel which a test button would be present on the breaker in question. 

Fire Egress: There should be a safe unobstructed means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level. You should be able to exit without having to go through another dwelling unit, rooming unit, or bedroom.  

Emergency Exit: Each apartment or house must have at least one emergency exit. 

There should be two exits if the building is two stories and contains more than four apartments. Two exits are also required if the buildings exceeds two stories and contains a combination of three or more dwelling units, rooming units, bedrooms, or non-residential units. Fire escapes may be accepted but must be in sound working condition and serve every unit above the first floor.

Smoke Detectors: Working smoke detectors are required in each bedroom and the immediate vicinity of each bedroom. Smoke detectors are also required on each floor including the basement and attic. In multiple unit buildings containing two more units require interconnected smoke detectors in the common use areas such as hallways, corridors, stairways, stair towers, lobbies, and basements. Smoke detectors in the apartments can be battery operated. Smoke detectors in the common areas must be hard wired with battery backup. Note: If the building has a sprinkler system then the interconnected smoke detectors are not required. Also smoke detectors are than not required in each bedroom however at least one smoke detector is required in the vicinity of the bedrooms.

Porches: Broken and deteriorated porch desk boards, steps, and handrails, as well as broken outdoor concrete steps, must be repaired.

Siding: Siding must be maintained free of damage, missing, loose, or rotten boards and peeling paint.

Roof: Loose, missing or excessively worn shingles must be replaced to prevent leaks. Sagging and/or damaged rafters must be repaired. Roofs should be free of leaks.

Gutters & Downspouts: Gutters and downspouts should drain and be properly connected in order to channel water away from the foundation. 

Chimneys: Chimneys should be structurally sound with no cracks, deteriorated mortar, missing or broken brick. Chimneys must be maintained to prevent fires and the back of noxious gases.

Fences: Damaged or broken fences that pose a danger to people or a neighbor’s property must be repaired or replaced.

Walkways: Cracks and damage in all walkways must be repaired to prevent pedestrian injury.

Address Identification: Houses and buildings shall have approved address numbers placed in position to be visible from the street.

Outside Outlets: All outsides outlets should be GFIC protected. These outlets usually have a breaker built into them. If not they could be GFIC protected at the breaker panel which a test button would be present on the breaker in question.




The following are codes from the Property Rehabilitation and Maintenance Code for the city. We have simplified the code...

Posted by Allentown Tenant Association on Saturday, November 14, 2015





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