When you are done reading about the Pennsylvania Eviction Process below, we recommend you purchase the corresponding Pennsylvania Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
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This description of the Pennsylvania Eviction Process addresses the way that a private landlord would evict a tenant. If you are a landlord of subsidized housing or Section 8, your eviction process may be different.
Pennsylvania Eviction Laws
The eviction process in Pennsylvania is governed by the Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Act of 1951. A landlord in Pennsylvania can evict a tenant for (1) failing to pay the rent, for (2) violating terms in the lease, or (3) simply because the lease term is up and the landlord does not want to renew.
Failure to Pay Rent
If a landlord in Pennsylvania needs to evict a tenant for failure to pay the rent when due, the landlord must serve the tenant with a 10 Day Notice to Quit form. This gives the tenant 10 days to move out of the rental property unless they pay the rent.
If a landlord in Pennsylvania needs to evict a tenant for a breach of the conditions of the lease (unauthorized pets, criminal activity, damaging property, etc.), the landlord needs to serve the tenant with a 15 Day Notice to Quit Form. HOWEVER, if the lease with the tenant is for more than one year, the landlord needs to serve the tenant with a 30 Day Notice to Quit Form.
Lease Term is Up
If the lease term is nearing the end, and the landlord does not want to renew the lease (either because they do not like the tenant, they want to sell the property, etc.), the landlord needs to serve the tenant with a 15 Day Notice to Quit Form for leases that are for a term less than a year, and a 30 Day Notice to Quit Form for leases that are more than a year.
Mobile Home Parks
If a Pennsylvania landlord needs to evict a tenant from a mobile home park, the time periods are different. For Notice to Quit forms served for non-payment of rent on or after April 1st and before September 1st, the landlord must give the tenant a 15 Day Notice to Quit form to pay rent or vacate. For Notice to Quit forms served for non-payment of rent on or after September 1st and before April 1st, the landlord must give the tenant a 30 Day Notice to Quit form to pay rent or vacate. To evict a mobile home tenant because the lease term is up or for breach of a lease agreement (lease violation), the landlord must give a 30 Day Notice to Quit form for lease terms of less than a year, and 3 Months Notice to Quit form for lease terms of a year or more.
In order to properly deliver the Notice to Quit, the landlord must either personally hand it to the tenant, leave it at the principal building on the premises, or post it conspicuously on the lease premises. This website always recommends taking a photograph of the delivery method, in case it has to be proved later in court.
Filing a Pennsylvania Eviction Complaint
If after the Pennsylvania landlord serves the notice and the tenant still has not complied or moved out, then the landlord needs to file a Complaint with the Justice of the Peace for the district where the property sits. The Justice of the Peace will issue a Summons, which will be served upon the tenant by either a constable, sheriff, or process server. A hearing will be set 1 to 2 weeks after the filing of the complaint by the landlord. At the hearing, each side will be able to present their case to the judge. The landlord needs to show the lease (if there is one), the eviction notice that was properly served on the tenant, and any other evidence that the court requires. The judge has the power to award the landlord possession of the premises, money damages, and unpaid rent.
Writ of Possession
If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant will have 5 days to vacate. After the 5th day, the judge can issue a Writ of Possession ordering the Sheriff to go to the premises and forcibly remove the tenant.
Tenant can Appeal
It is also important to note that the tenant may appeal the judgment within ten days of losing the eviction hearing, but to stop removal by the sheriff the tenant must deposit rent into an escrow account with the prothonotary at the county courthouse.
Next Step: We recommend you purchase the corresponding Pennsylvania Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
This site strives to have the most current information on state eviction laws and forms, however, legislatures and judges’ rulings are always changing the laws. The information on this site is to be used as a guide, and is not to be used as legal advice, or as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you believe any information on this site is incorrect or needs to be updated, please Contact Us immediately.