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Pennsylvania Eviction Notice basics

A Pennsylvania Eviction Notice is the first step in the formal eviction process in Pennsylvania. It tells the tenants that you are wanting to end the tenancy relationship. Most often this notice is used when renters do not pay their rent. Eviction Notices can also be used for other reasons, including holdovers.


When can the Pennsylvania Eviction Notice be used?


You may use the Pennsylvania Eviction Notice if:

  • Your tenant has failed to pay the rent.
  • Your tenant has violated the lease or rental agreement.
  • The lease or rental agreement has expired and the tenant has remained on the property (holdover).

In most cases, you need to deliver an Eviction Notice, often called a Pay Rent or Quit Notice in Pennsylvania. In this state, tenants have ten days to pay rent or move. Others states support three-day notices, but Pennsylvania gives renters a bit more time.

Other names for this document: Notice to Quit, 10-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit


What are the eviction laws in Pennsylvania?


Pennsylvania requires landlords unless otherwise noted in the lease, to give notice before they start the legal eviction process with the courts. You can deliver the notice as soon as they are late paying rent or when they otherwise violate their lease. For late rent, they have ten days to pay or move. Tenants renting in a mobile home park get twice that amount of time. For lease violations, they may have 15 or 30 days to move depending on the situation.

Pennsylvania does not, however, have a legally enforced grace period, and weekends and holidays are counted in the ten days. If a different time frame is noted in the lease, that time frame must be followed.

If a tenant decides to move out but not pay rent, then the landlord can use the security deposit to pay towards the money owed. If the security deposit is not enough to cover costs, landlords can sue for the remaining amount owed, which may include late fees.


How do I make a Pennsylvania Eviction Notice?


The Rocket Lawyer document builder can make 10-, 15- and 30-Day Eviction Notices suitable for Pennsylvania. These notices can be used for nonpayment of rent, lease violations and expired leases (holdovers). This property management document is simple to make and customized for your use.

Here is the information you'll need to make this Eviction Notice:

  • Addresses. Addresses of the property and the landlord or property management company.
  • Names. The names of every person listed on the lease.
  • Lease term. Whether the lease is for more than one year.
  • Dates. Date of the lease, date the notice will be signed and date the tenant must move.
  • Reason for Notice. Reasons may be a failure to pay rent, lease violation or expired lease.
  • Date when served. If served between September 1st and April 1st, notice must be 30, not 15 days.

Once you have entered the above information, the correct PA Eviction Notice will automatically generate for you. You can download the document in PDF or Word format. You can log in to your Rocket Lawyer account at any time and edit the notice. If you need a different type of property management document, see our essential landlord documents.


How do I have to deliver an Eviction Notice?


In Pennsylvania, you or another adult can deliver the notice in person. Or, the notice can be posted in a conspicuous place. We recommend that if you post the notice you take a picture of it to prove when and where you left the notice. If you don't deliver the notice properly, you have to deliver it again and start the 10-day count all over again. It is in your best interests that you attempt to deliver it correctly the first time.


How do I file with the courts?


In Pennsylvania, you file a complaint with the local Magisterial District court. Once you file, a court date will be scheduled. Court dates are usually within about two weeks of filing.


How long does it take to evict a tenant in PA?


After you provide proper notice, you may file a complaint with the local Magisterial District court. Once you file, a court date will be scheduled. Most often, your court date will be within about two weeks of filing. All in all, it can take between four to eight weeks to evict a tenant in Pennsylvania.


How do I evict someone from my home in PA?


Assuming the person you wish to evict is a tenant, then you must follow the laws of the state of Pennsylvania to legally evict the person from your home. Pennsylvania requires landlords, unless otherwise noted in the lease, to give notice before they start the legal eviction process with the courts. You can deliver the notice as soon as they are late paying rent or when they otherwise violate their lease. For late rent, they have 10 days to pay or move. For lease violations, they may have 15 or 30 days to move depending on the situation.

If, on the other hand, the person you wish to evict is not a tenant, then you may evict them using the normal court process for evictions, without having to provide notice. Individuals who are not tenants are typically called "guests." On the other hand, if the person pays rent or provides services in lieu of rent, or has offered to do any of those things in the past (whether or not they actually followed through), then they may be considered a tenant under the law. In that case, you would need to follow the notice and other requirements under Pennsylvania eviction laws. Ask a lawyer if you're not sure whether the person you wish to evict is a tenant or a guest.


What is a self-help eviction and is it legal?


A self-help eviction is when a landlord forces a tenant out using tactics that are not part of the legal eviction process. It is in your best interest to follow the legal process when performing an eviction. If you try to do it on your own, you may end up being sued by the tenant. Additionally, if you do end up filing a complaint with the courts, you might lose your case. You can negotiate with your tenants for a payment plan or talk to them about moving out, but you cannot "make" them move without following the legal eviction process.

Self-help eviction tactics include:

  1. Changing the locks or padlocking entryways
  2. Moving tenant's belongings
  3. Shutting off utilities or vital services
  4. Harassing or threatening tenants or their family

You also cannot evict a tenant based on discriminatory or retaliatory reasons. Some states and cities also have their own list of protected classes as well. If you are not sure about your discrimination or harassment laws, ask a lawyer.


What rights do tenants have against an eviction in Pennsylvania?


In this state, you have tenants rights against discrimination and harassment, and you have the right to appear in court to contest the eviction. If you do not attend the court hearing, you will automatically lose the case, so attending is important if you need to defend your side of the case.

Here are a few answers to common PA eviction questions:

How long do I have to pay rent?

In PA, you have more time to pay rent than most states, You have ten days from the day you receive the Notice to Quit. If you are renting in a mobile home park, you get twice that amount of time. Pennsylvania does not, however, have a legally enforced grace period and weekends and holidays are counted in the ten days. If a different time frame is noted in the lease, that time frame must be adhered to.

What happens if I move out but don't pay?

The landlord can use your security deposit to pay towards the money owed. If your security deposit is not enough to cover costs, they can sue you for the remaining money owed, which may include late fees.

What if I feel I am being discriminated against?

Pennsylvania has a few unique discrimination laws to protects its citizens. Like most states, landlords cannot discriminate based on race, color, familial status, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin or disability. In PA, you also cannot be discriminated against based on age if you are over 40. See the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act for more information. If you feel you are being discriminated against, you may want to hire a lawyer and/or consult with the local fair housing authority.

Can a landlord evict me without going to court in PA?

A landlord must provide proper notice before evicting a tenant. If a tenant does not pay rent or cure any lease violations by the time specified on the notice, then the landlord can file a lawsuit with the courts.

What happens if I'm evicted?

If you are evicted, you will have a judgment (if money is owed) and eviction added to your rental history, which may make it more difficult to rent in the future. If you don't move out in time, you can be forcibly removed by a sheriff or constable. If you left belongings behind, they will be put in storage at your expense. Notify your landlord in writing within ten days of being evicted about your plan to pick up your things. You have 30 days to pick up your things before they can be sold or disposed of.

To learn more about basic tenant rights, see our tenant's legal help center.


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