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UPDATED: Feb 13, 2020
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Pennsylvania landlords who wish to evict their tenants must complete a multi-step process. In cases where there is a lease with a specific expiration, landlords may only evict tenants for certain reasons. Regardless of the terms of the lease, landlords must go through the proper steps of the eviction process or risk penalties.
Available Pennsylvania Termination Notices
Before beginning eviction proceedings, Pennsylvania landlords need to give notice to a tenant to move out. The most common reasons a landlord may give notice is when a tenant’s lease expires (or if there is no specified expiration), when a tenant violates a condition of the lease, or when a tenant is past due on rent. Please note that notice requirements regarding mobile homes may vary from those listed here.
Notice must be given a minimum number of days before the tenant is to leave. There are different notice periods depending on the circumstances of the tenancy (68 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. Section 250.501):
10-Day Notice: In cases where the tenant will not pay owed rent after it is demanded by the landlord.
For any other reasons not related to past due rent, a landlord may give one of the following notices:
15-Day Notice: In cases where the lease is for one year or less or for an unspecified amount of time.
30-Day Notice: In cases where the lease is for more than one year.
In Pennsylvania, evictions are handled in circuit court. Find your local circuit court here. If you think you may be heading for court, or if you have questions about the process at any point along the way, you may wish to hire or consult an experienced Pennsylvania landlord or tenant attorney. You can refer to Questions to Ask your Pennsylvania Evictions Lawyer below.
Self-Help Evictions in Pennsylvania
While simply changing your tenant’s locks or shutting off utilities may seem like the easiest solution to a landlord’s tenant problems, self-help evictions are not permissible under Pennsylvania law. Tenants can bring claims or counterclaims against landlords who attempt to use these types of actions, and punishments vary depending on the circumstances and judge.
Questions to Ask Your Pennsylvania Evictions Lawyer
- How many evictions cases have you handled?
- How many were successful/unsuccessful?
- How long will the eviction process take?
- For tenants: How long do I have before I MUST move out?
- For landlords: Will I be able to get a judgment for back rent for the amount of time the tenant has been living in the rental property illegally?
- What do you charge?
- For landlords: If I hire you, will I be subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?