Pennsylvania Eviction Law: Understanding the Eviction Process

Pennsylvania Eviction Law: Understanding the Eviction Process

Last year, 66,193 eviction cases were filed in Pennsylvania. An eviction is a civil process where a landlord moves to legally remove a tenant from a rental property. Eviction can happen when a tenant fails to pay their rent or breaches any clause of the rental agreement. 

All eviction court proceedings are managed by the state and local municipalities. However, in order to follow eviction law, landlords must be very deliberate when they evict tenants. Keep reading to learn more about Pennsylvania eviction law and the eviction process. 

Send a Written Notice

Tenants have a right to stay in a rental property unless they are in breach of contract. However, if a tenant fails to hold up their end of the contract, a landlord is able to effectively remove you from your home. 

A written lease is a legally binding contract between a tenant and landlord. Landlords are responsible for informing their tenants that they are being evicted through a written notice. If you have maintained a strong landlord-tenant relationship, this may be an awkward situation. 

In the state of Pennsylvania, landlords need to provide a 15-day notice for tenants who have been on the property for a year or less. If a tenant has been in the property for over a year, landlords must give a 30-day notice. If there is illegal activity, landlords only need to issue a 10-day notice. 

File Forms 

Landlords must file a landlord-tenant complaint after the notice period. They can file this complaint with the Magisterial District Court or Court of Common Pleas. The landlord is responsible for paying the filing fees. 

Serve the Tenant Documents

A sheriff, writ server, or constable will be responsible for serving the tenant with the complaint. This document may be delivered to tenant's front door, arrive through the mail, or arrive via in-person delivery.

Once the tenant gets this served, they don't need to file an answer. They simply need to prepare their case and wait for trial. 

Wait for Final Judgement 

After the trial, the court will issue a ruling to determine who gets the Writ of Possession. If the landlord wins the tenant must move out of the property. The tenant will be responsible for paying all court expenses before the order of possession is issued. 

According to Pennsylvania Eviction Law, once the Writ of Possession is issued, law enforcement must serve it within 48 hours. At this point, the tenant only has 10 days to move out. This may seem like a quick turn-around time, however tenants should be preparing themselves through the eviction process. 

Understand Pennsylvania Eviction Law 

As a landlord or tenant, it is important to have a robust understanding of Pennsylvania eviction law. Evictions can be extremely trying for landlords; however, as long as they follow the legal protocol, the process should be easy. 

Contact us for all of your property management needs. 

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