A reference of Pennsylvania Eviction Laws, and steps of the Pennsylvania eviction process for landlords and renters, updated 2021.

  • What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Pennsylvania eviction laws?
  • What notice do Pennsylvania eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
    • For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must provide a 10-day notice. (PA 1951 Act 20 Gen. Assbly. § 501(b)).
    • For evictions based on having illegal drugs on the property, the landlord must provide a notice of 10 days. (PA 1951 Act 20 Gen. Assbly. § 501(d)).
    • For evictions based on non-compliance with the lease, the landlord must provide a 15-day notice if the tenant has lived in the rental property for less than one year or 30 days if the tenant has lived there for more than one year. (PA 1951 Act 20 Gen. Assbly. § 501(b)).
  • Do Pennsylvania eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 
    • No. Pennsylvania law prohibits self-help measures. The court can award damages in its discretions to a tenant aggrieved in this way. 

Eviction Process in Pennsylvania: Step-by-Step

The eviction process in Pennsylvania involves the following steps:

  1. The landlord serves the eviction notice. The landlord must give the eviction notice to the tenant. The notice must be in writing and must be given to the tenant in person or posted on their door. The notice must state the reason for eviction.
  2. The landlord waits for the tenant’s response to the eviction notice. If the tenant is being evicted for non-payment of rent and pays all overdue rent and court costs, they can stay in the rental unit. (PA 1951 Act 20 Gen. Assbly. § 503(c))
  3. The landlord files an eviction action. The landlord begins the official eviction process in Pennsylvania by filing a Landlord/Tenant Complaint
  4. The landlord serves the tenant. The landlord must have the tenant legally served. 
  5. Parties attend the eviction hearing. The parties attend the hearing and present their case. The court rules in one of their favor. 
  6. The landlord requests an order of possession. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, the landlord can request an order of possession ten days after receiving the court’s judgment. The order of possession gives the sheriff the right to enter the premises and forcibly remove the tenant. 

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