Pennsylvania Renters Rights
Current Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Law deals very extensively over when and how a landlord can evict a tenant from a rental unit. It states that a landlord may evict a tenant for any of three reasons. The first is when the term of the lease has expired, the second is when the tenant is behind in their rent payments and the third is when the tenant has broken a clause laid out in the lease.
In cases where the landlord has given the tenant property back at the end of the lease arrangement, no other stipulations are required.
Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Law also lays out eviction procedures very clearly. The landlord must adhere to this procedure very stringently. The landlord must provide written notice to tenant that he or she is being evicted and must state the reason for this. This notice must be given in writing. In some cases, a tenant may have given up their right to entitlement of this written notice and if it is not forthcoming, they should carefully check their lease to see if that is the case. This notice of eviction must be delivered in person or posted on the door of the dwelling by the landlord. Any evictions notices that are delivered by post are usually unenforceable. Most written leases state very clearly how many days notice must be given before an eviction can take place.
Prior to serving a notice of eviction, the landlord must file a complaint with the appropriate District Justice’s office. This will initiate a hearing proceeding. At that time, the Pennsylvania Landlord Tenant Law has a provision to allow the landlord is permitted to sue for any back rent owed. The tenant is allowed to file a counterclaim upon receipt of notification of the hearing.
At the hearing, both the landlord and the tenant will be sworn under oath. Either party may have a lawyer present at the hearing to represent him or her. The landlord will usually testify first after which time, the tenant is allowed to cross-examine him or her. Then vice-versa. Both are permitted to bring any materials such as photographs or documents to court which will strengthen their case. Both are also permitted to call any witnesses they believe will strengthen their case, as well. Continue reading