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Learn about the Pennsylvania eviction notice process and tenants' rights. Find out what to expect and how to respond. Get help today!

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Pennsylvania
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eviction-notice

A Pennsylvania eviction notice is used by landlords to inform tenants of a specific lease violation and provide a legal timeframe within which the tenant must either vacate the property or cure the violation.

For instance, if a tenant fails to pay rent on time or violates other lease provisions, the landlord can serve an eviction notice.

A landlord cannot lawfully evict a tenant without first giving an eviction notice, which serves as the first step in the legal eviction process.

Types of Eviction Notice in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania recognizes several types of eviction notices, namely:

Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

This type of Pennsylvania eviction notice is used when a tenant fails to pay rent when it is due. In that case, the landlord can serve the tenant with a notice to quit, giving the tenant ten days to pay the rent or vacate the rental property.

Non-Compliance

Causing damage to the property, disturbing the peace, or engaging in illegal activities on the premises are forms of breach of the lease agreement and give the landlord the right to send an eviction notice to the tenant with a request to vacate the premises.

When the lease is for one year or less, the tenant has 15 days from the receipt of the eviction notice to vacate the premises, and when the lease is for more than one year, the tenant has 30 days to vacate the property.

Drug Activity

If a tenant is found guilty of illegal drug activity such as selling, manufacturing, or distributing drugs on the property or the seizure of drugs on the leased property, landlords have the right to remove tenants by delivering them an eviction notice, which states that they have ten days to leave the rented property.

Lease Expiration

When it comes to lease agreements with a specific term, different notice-to-quit periods apply depending on whether the lease term is for less than one year or more than one year.

If the lease is for a term of less than one year, the landlord must send a notice to quit that provides the tenant with 15 days to vacate the property. For a lease term longer than one year, the landlord must provide the tenant with 30 days to vacate in the eviction notice.

Eviction Laws and Requirements in Pennsylvania

Laws & Requirements

  • Non-Payment of Rent: 10 days. (§ 501 (a)(b))

  • Non-Compliance: 15 days for a lease lasting less than a year and 30 days for a lease lasting more than a year. (§ 501 (a)(b))

  • Drug activity: 10 days. (§ 501 (d)) and (§ 505)

  • Lease Expiration: 15 days to vacate for leases under one year and 30 days for leases over one year. (§ 501 (b))

When is Rent Late in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, there is no grace period for late rent payments. Therefore, the tenant must pay the rent by the due date specified in the lease agreement, or the landlord can issue a 10-day notice to vacate.

Grounds for Eviction in Pennsylvania

The reasons that can lead to the eviction process and removal of a tenant in Pennsylvania are as follows:

Grounds for Eviction

  • Failure to pay rent by the due date specified in the lease

  • Use of illegal substances, such as drugs

  • Violation of the terms of the lease

  • Expiration of the lease term

Eviction Process in Pennsylvania

To legally carry out the eviction process in Pennsylvania, the landlord must follow these steps:

#1. Write a Notice

The eviction process begins by sending an eviction notice to the tenant, either by mail, in person, or by posting it visibly on the leased property. The eviction notice should contain details about the breach of the lease agreement and the period in which the tenant must vacate the premises.

#2. File the Complaint

If the tenant does not comply with the eviction notice and vacate the premises, the landlord can file a complaint with the Magisterial District Court. Like the eviction notice, the complaint must contain details of the lease violation as well as other evidence and facts supporting the landlord's claim.

#3. Serve the Tenant

After filing the complaint, the tenant must be served with a copy of the complaint and a court hearing date. A process server or certified mail both have the ability to do this. 

#4. Wait for the Court’s Judgment

The final step is for the landlord to attend the court hearing and present their case. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, a judgment for possession of the property will be granted, and the tenant will be required to vacate the property within a certain amount of time, typically within 10–30 days.

If the tenant fails to vacate the property, the landlord can then obtain an order of possession, which allows law enforcement to physically remove the tenant and their belongings from the property.

Other Eviction-Related Forms in Pennsylvania

In tandem with the eviction notice, parties use different forms as integral components of the eviction procedure, such as:

Other Eviction-Related Forms

  • Landlord/Tenant Complaint. This form is used by landlords to file a complaint against tenants who have violated the lease agreement, failed to pay rent, or refused to vacate the rental property.

  • Request for Order for Possession. This form is utilized by landlords who have previously obtained a possession judgment.

  • Tenant's Supersedeas Affidavit. It allows the tenant, who can't afford to pay the rent or the judgment amount and whose income is below a certain level, to temporarily delay or "stay" a court judgment or eviction order while they appeal the decision.

Eviction Information for Landlords in Pennsylvania

The legal eviction process cannot begin without the first step, which is serving an eviction notice to the tenant with reasons and a deadline for vacating the premises. Only if the tenant fails to comply with the eviction notice order and vacate the property does the landlord file a complaint with the court to initiate a legal process and obtain a court judgment.

On the other hand, the landlord cannot forcefully remove the tenant from the property by changing the locks or cutting off utilities such as electricity, water, or gas.

Eviction Information for Tenants in Pennsylvania

Tenants in Pennsylvania are protected by a specific eviction process.

First, the landlord must notify them if they believe there has been a violation of the lease, stating the reason and a deadline for correcting the violation or vacating the property. 

If the tenant does not comply with the eviction notice, they will also be informed of the reasons for seeking possession of the property in the complaint that must be served on them.

Tenants have the right to attend the hearing and present their own evidence.

How to Write an Eviction Notice in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Eviction Notice Checklist

Pennsylvania Eviction Notice FAQ

  • You can file an eviction notice in Pennsylvania when a tenant violates the terms of the lease, such as by not paying rent, causing damage to the property, or engaging in drug activities on the premises.

  • You need an eviction notice in Pennsylvania to notify the tenant of the violation and provide them with a set period to either rectify the situation or vacate the property.

  • The length of time it takes to evict someone in Pennsylvania varies depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

  • No, a 3-day eviction notice is not legal in Pennsylvania. Landlords must provide a minimum of 10 days' notice for non-payment of rent and drug activity on the property.

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