It’s been reported that one out of seven renters in Philadelphia faced eviction in 2014 and 2015. There were 24,000 landlord-tenant cases filed in court last year.
Rising housing prices, stagnant wages, damages to the property, failure to pay rent and even too many police calls for domestic abuse or disturbances can result in an eviction. Having an eviction can lead to difficulties when applying for a Section-8 voucher and to homelessness.
If a renter stops paying rent because a landlord doesn’t fix standard maintenance requests, the landlord can take the renter to court where most landlords have lawyers and most renters are without representation. Recently, the City of Philadelphia set aside $500,000 to help renters fight evictions.
On Wednesday’s Radio Times, host Marty Moss-Coane asked Rasheedah Phillips, managing attorney of the landlord-tenant housing unit at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia about the acceptable income to rent ratio.
“For a person who is considered low income generally we think that they should be paying no more than 30 percent of their income towards rent and household expenses,” Phillips said. “In Philadelphia, I think what we’re seeing is that people are paying up to and more in some cases 50 percent of their income towards rent.”
Listen to the full conversation on Radio Times.