Does a Landlord Have to Give Notice Before Evicting a Tenant? How Much?
The landlord-tenant relationship is often a confusing one from a legal standpoint. All too often a property owner and renter enter into a rental agreement without either side completely understanding what happens in the event of a default. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you need to know the answer to some important questions, such as “Does a landlord have to give notice before evicting a tenant? How much?”
The rental relationship between any landlord and tenant is governed by the written lease agreement executed by the parties as well as by local, state, and even federal laws. In Pennsylvania, for example, there are state law procedures that must be followed if a landlord wishes to evict most tenants; however, if the property is located in certain areas, such as Philadelphia county, local rules apply. Different rules also apply to mobile homes located in a mobile home park. In addition, if the property is public housing, federal rules provide additional protection to tenants. Finally, the reason for the eviction can alter the procedures a landlord must follow before evicting a tenant. If the reason for the eviction is based on the tenant’s involvement in drug-related criminal activity on the premises, for instance, the standard notice requirements do not apply.
In most cases, however, the eviction process begins with the landlord sending the tenant a written notice at least ten days before filing an eviction lawsuit, if the reason for the eviction is non-payment of rent. For any other reason, a landlord must provide written notice 15 days prior to filing the lawsuit if your lease is for one year or less, or 30 days for a lease that is longer than one year. Be sure to check your lease agreement, though, as the lease agreement itself can provide for a longer or shorter notice or even forego the notice requirement entirely.
If the tenant remains on the property and has not cured the default (paid the rent, for example), the landlord must file a Complaint for Eviction. Both the landlord and the tenant are then required to appear at the scheduled hearing and present evidence. If the landlord is successful at the hearing, the tenant will then be ordered by the court to vacate the property within a specified number of days. At that point, a tenant is under a court order to vacate the premises.
If you have questions regarding the Pennsylvania eviction process, contact an experienced Pennsylvania landlord-tenant attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. Contact the landlord-tenant attorneys at Curley & Rothman, LLC by calling 610-834-8819 today to schedule your free consultation.