Should Landlords Get Advice on Landlord Tenant Law Before an Eviction?
Landlord tenant law in Pennsylvania governs many of the aspects of a relationship between a landlord and a tenant. While the laws provide some protection to landlords, the laws are mainly focused on protecting tenants and ensuring that tenants have a right to a safe and habitable place to live. Landlords must ensure they understand how the laws protect tenants so they do not run afoul of regulations and find themselves facing lawsuits or investigations.
There are many situations in which landlord tenant laws impose obligations or restrictions on a landlord's behavior and actions. A Conshohocken landlord tenant law attorney at Curley & Rothman, LLC can provide legal advice and guidance to landlords on what the regulations require in each situation that arises. One of the most important times for landlords to get legal advice from an experienced attorney is when a landlord needs to evict a tenant for any reason.
Why Landlords Need Legal Advice Before an Eviction
Landlords may wish to evict a tenant for a number of reasons, such as a desire to move in a tenant who will pay more; a tenant who is violating the terms of the lease; or a tenant who is not paying rent as required. Whatever the reason why a landlord wants to evict a tenant, a landlord should not move forward unless and until the landlord has spoken with an attorney and is confident of how the eviction process will work. This is because tenants have many rights during eviction and landlords cannot just force them to leave.
The University of Pittsburgh provides a summary of the rights of tenants before an eviction occurs. Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of leased property, which means they have the right to live undisturbed in the rental property for the length of their lease and for as long as they follow their lease. Landlords are strictly restricted in what they are permitted to do regarding trying to evict tenants. A landlord, for example, cannot take action to prompt a tenant to leave before the end of a lease just because the landlord has decided he no longer wants to rent.
Even when landlords have cause to evict, such as a violation of the lease or unpaid rent, there is a procedure which must be followed. This includes providing written notice a set amount of time before moving forward with the eviction. For a breach of lease, for example, a landlord has to give 30 days notice. If the term of the lease has ended and the landlord wants to evict a tenant, 30 days notice is also required. When the eviction is motivated by a tenant's failure to pay rent, 10 days notice is required before eviction.
After notice is provided, there is still a court process which has to be followed as well. A complaint must be filed with the office of the appropriate district judge. A hearing must be scheduled, and the landlord and tenant will both have the opportunity to provide information and make arguments.
Only if the judge finds in the landlord's favor and orders eviction can the landlord move forward with the eviction process. Even then, a landlord cannot simply lock a tenant out or shut off utilities to force a tenant to leave. The judge will issue an order of possession if the tenant is evicted, and the landlord will need to get law enforcement's help to enforce the order if the tenant does not voluntarily go.
Getting Help from a Conshohocken Attorney With Landlord Tenant Law
Failing to follow the proper procedure when trying to evict a tenant could result in delays in the eviction process, which could cost you signifiant money if it takes more time to rent the property or if the property is damaged by a tenant who is violating lease terms.
If you break the rules regarding eviction and fail to respect the lease agreement or the legal rights of tenants, you could also find yourself facing a costly lawsuit that you need to defend. You want to avoid these undesirable outcomes and ensure that you follow all necessary protocols so the eviction process goes as smoothly as possible.
A Conshohocken landlord tenant law attorney at Curley & Rothman, LLC understands all of the different Pennsylvania rules and regulations applicable during the eviction process. Regardless of the reasons you have for wanting a tenant to leave, we can help you to get through the eviction process as quickly as possible so you can get your apartment back. Give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can help with your case.