If the rent is late, can the owner evict a family in 10 days?

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If the rent is late, can the owner evict a family in 10 days?

My dad and I do not have lease, due to my parents working for them until my mom passed away 3 years ago. The current ower wants my dad to pay rent now but we have not signed a lease. My dad had called the person who takes the rent and said we would pay in a few days. She wrote us an eviction notice to evict us in 10 days. Can she legally evict us in 10 days even if I have a 2 year old?

Asked on May 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A landlord may bring an eviction action against a tenant as soon as the rent is late--there is no obligation to wait  at all. Therefore, the landlord could give you 10 days notice to pay or leave, or else she will bring the eviction action--or she could file an eviction action immediately. Remember, though, the landlord herself cannot lock you out, change the locks, turn off the utilities, etc.; if you do not leave when she tells you to, she must bring an eviction action in court, and you can only be locked out by a court officer (e.g. a constable or sheriff's deputy).

If there is currently no written lease, you are month-to-month tenants on an oral lease. That means that even if you were paying rent on time, the landlord could provide 30 days notice terminating your tenancy (or conversely, you could provide 30 days notice you were moving out).

If you are being evicted for nonpayment, if you pay the rent at any time before the landlord obtains her judgment of possession (basically, before the court date), you cannot be evicted for that nonpayment--though as noted above, if you are a  month-to-month tenant, the landlord could still provide 30 days notice terminating your tenancy.

The fact that you have a 2-year-old is irrelevannt. Having a small child does not give you the legal right to stay in another's property rent free.


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