Landlord Tenant Lawyer Philadelphia
It is difficult for a landlord to deal with unsatisfactory tenants. This is your investment, into which you have put both your time and money. Unfortunately, the laws in Pennsylvania make it difficult to evict a subpar tenant, and in order to do so you will need an attorney who specializes in Landlord’s Rights and Evictions.
Grounds for Eviction
As a landlord, you are bound by the stipulations of the Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Act of 1951. As such, you may only evict for these reasons: (1) non-payment of rent, (2) holdover tenancy, (3) serious breach of lease provision, or (4) tenant engaged in criminal drug-related activity on premises.
You may not engage in self-eviction. This means that you legally cannot take it upon yourself to change the locks or discontinue utility services in order to force a constructive Eviction on your tenant. You must go through the appropriate legal process.
The Eviction Process
- A landlord’s first action in the eviction process is to provide the requisite notice. This period of notice varies based upon the reason for eviction.
- After the notice period has expired, if the tenant has not vacated, your attorney must file a complaint with the Court.
- A hearing will be scheduled, at which point your attorney on your behalf and tenant either proceed to trial or the tenant agrees to a Judgment for Possession by Agreement.
- After this resolution, there is a 10 day allowance for appeal.
- If the tenant remains after judgment and the expiration of the appeals window, the landlord must file a Writ of Possession with the sheriff’s office. The sheriff will then post notice to vacate at the location.
- The tenant is permitted 10 days to vacate. If they remain, on the eleventh day the landlord files an Alias Writ and the sheriff schedules a lockout.
- Finally, on the date of the lockout, the sheriff will come and forcefully enter the premises, if need be, and effect the lockout.
Philadelphia Landlord Tenant Lawyer
An attorney is necessary to advise you on your rights and the steps you, as the Landlord must take to effectuate a legal eviction. An eviction is very intensive with regards to legal process. Even if you are in the right in principal, you can make mistakes which will expose you to civil liability if you do not carry out an eviction to the letter of the law.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.