Pennsylvania Farmworker Project

Housing for Farmworkers

For many farmworkers, their landlord is also their boss. Because their living situation and their job are intertwined, workers in this situation sometimes feel that it would be very risky to speak up about bad housing conditions.

Farmworkers who live in housing controlled by their boss usually have the same rights as other tenants. If your boss is your landlord and you have a lease, it will tell you what your boss’ responsibilities are as a landlord. 

If you are a seasonal farmworker living with other farmworkers, there are specific health and safety standards for your housing.

Responsibilities that your boss/landlord has, no matter what the lease says:

  • To make sure the housing is safe and in decent condition.
  • To respect your privacy by choosing reasonable times to come over and knocking before they enter. 
  • Your landlord has to go through a legal eviction process to kick you out of the housing. That means they have to go to court to ask for permission to evict you, a process which can take a week or more. Even if a judge orders you to move out after that, you still have about 20 more days before the landlord can change the locks and remove your personal belongings.

Rights of seasonal farmworkers living in group housing:

  • Your landlord/boss should provide clean sheets and mattresses for you.
  • In the kitchen, you should have a sink, refrigerator, stove, shelves for food storage, and a table and chairs for sitting down to eat.
  • For bathrooms and bathing:
    • The sink(s) and shower(s) should have hot water
    • The landlord/employer should provide toilet paper
    • The bathroom area should have non-slip, easily cleanable floors
  • You should either have a laundry room, transportation to a laundromat, or access to a laundry service.

If your boss is your landlord and you have questions about your rights as a tenant/employee or need help with a housing issue, call us!

Intake Process

Call the Pennsylvania Farmworker Project

Call the Pennsylvania Farmworker Project at 888.541.1544 OR call, text or WhatsApp message the Farmworker Project paralegal at 215.603.9548

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