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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that residential leases are considered consumer transactions. That doesn’t seem like a big deal to us today, but back then it was a big shift in real estate law. Real estate law developed from English common law to define the relationship between landlords and tenants. Before the industrial revolution, most of those tenants were tenant farmers, and the relationship included money and crops to the landlord in return for the right to farm the land for a period of years.