What Is the Eviction Process in Pennsylvania
The eviction process in Pennsylvania begins when a tenant falls out of compliance with their rental agreement. This is usually due to the non-payment of their rent, but a violation of other lease requirements may also qualify for an eviction. A notification from the landlord to the tenant about how they have fallen out of compliance is required for an eviction to begin. When the rent has not been paid, a 10 Day Notice to Vacate is required. It can be issued the day after the rent is due. Pennsylvania allows for landlords to have a shorter notice period in their lease if they so choose to supersede the generalized requirement under state law. For all other violations within the first year of a rental agreement, a 15 Day Notice is required. If a tenant has been living in the same unit for more than 12 months, then a 30 Day Notice is required for issues not related to payment. Criminal activity may supersede these requirements.
Pennsylvania Requires a Summons and Complaint
If the notice to vacate has been ignored or the conditions not met, then a landlord must sue the tenant to have them leave the rental unit. Most hearings are held within 7-14 days of the lawsuit being filed and the tenant being served with the summons to appear. Even after the lawsuit has been filed, however, tenants are able to pay their past due rent and legal fees to receive what is known as a “pay and stay” order from the court. This effectively stops the eviction process in Pennsylvania. Some courts provide landlords and tenants with the opportunity to mediate their case instead of going before the judge. State law does not require either party to participate in the mediation process, however, so landlords or tenants can opt for the hearing instead.
If the judge finds in favor of the landlord, then the court with issue what is known as an Order of Possession. This gives the tenant 10 days to vacate the premises. If a monetary judgment is also part of the process, the tenant will be given 30 days to meet the financial orders issued. A Writ of Possession can be obtained if the tenant violates the court order to leave, allowing law enforcement to forcibly remove tenants. The eviction process in Pennsylvania generally takes 3-4 weeks to complete if every step must be followed. Many disputes are settled without an appearance before a judge.
Use this guide and seek legal help for your situation so that your rights can be properly enforced.
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