Understand Eviction in Pennsylvania
An eviction is a legal action started by the owner of a property to force a tenant to move out of the property. A court ordered eviction is the only legal way a landlord may force a tenant to leave a rental property. A lawful eviction requires a court proceeding. The length of the process will vary depending on the circumstances of the eviction.
Falling Behind on Rent
As a tenant, you are legally responsible to pay the full amount of rent on time in accordance with your lease agreement. If you do not pay your rent on time, your landlord can file an eviction action against you. It does not matter if you are disabled or lost your job, have a sick family member, have children, or if it is during the winter months — you can still be evicted.
Eviction Process in Pennsylvania
A landlord will probably begin by giving a tenant a “Notice to Quit”. This notice can be posted on the tenant’s door or the landlord may hand it to an adult on the premises. It cannot be sent by regular or certified mail. Any notice that is only sent by mail should be considered void and argued as such in court.
If you have not paid your rent, then the landlord has the absolute right to evict you. It does not matter if you fall behind in rent because you get sick or lose your job or because you have other bills to pay.
Magisterial District Court Q&A
A Magisterial District Judge is a locally elected official who can decide small civil lawsuits such as landlord-tenant matters. The Magisterial District Judge used to be called a Magistrate or Justice of the Peace.