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How to evict

Philadelphia, PA |
Attorney answers 4


More facts would be required for a thorough answer, but if you reguarly accept rent every month, then you likely have a month-to-month lease. In that case, you should give at least thirty days notice to the tenant that you are not renewing the lease and want him/her to move out. Once the thirty days has passed, you have some options if the tenant doesn't move out. You should contact a local attorney to discuss these options. As for the failure to pay rent, again, you should contact a local attorney to discuss your options.

The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this answer without seeking professional counsel.


Leave a notice on the door demanding that the premises be vacated in 15 days.
Go to the Magisterial District Judge in the jurisdiction where the house is located (you can look it up on the internet and call first if you are uncertain of the district).
Fill out a Landlord-Tenant complaint and pay the fee for filing and service. Be prepared to pay between $150 and $200. The fee will depend upon the amount claimed and the number of defendants.
Go to the hearing prepared to explain your claim as succinctly as possible.
If you get an award, wait ten days after the award.
If the tenant does not appeal to arbitration, go back to the MDJ and fill out paperwork and pay a fee to get a writ of possession. It should cost under $150.00.
Be prepared to change the locks when the constable comes to evict. The eviction will be scheduled 10 days after service of the writ.

These are the basics. There are plenty of issues that can arise. If this happens, you may need a lawyer at the second level.

Clifford L. Tuttle, Jr.
Attorney at Law
Pittsburgh, PA

The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Answers are based upon the facts stated and may change if there are additional facts not contained in the question.


The most common method of eviction is to file a suit in small claims court (i.e. a magisterial district court-Philadelphia its municipal Court) for possession & rent. In this situation, however, no lease governs the relationship between the parties so you may not be entitled to any rent. Further, due to the fact that no rent has been paid in several years it might not even be considered an eviction of a tenant. To protect your interests, you might want to file an action in the Court of Common Pleas for ejectment (but also include counts for possession and rent). Essentially, eviction/possession actions relate to tenants who had a right at some point to possess property but subsequently breached a lease agreement. Ejectment actions, however, typically refer to people who possess property with no claimed right to it. As with most legal matters, it is best to hire an attorney to fully protect your interests.

Stew Crawford, Jr., Esq.

Crawford Law Firm
A Full Service Law Firm Serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Philadelphia Area Office
223 North Monroe Street
Media, Pennsylvania 19063


All information provided in this comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not, by itself, create an attorney client relationship. If you wish to consult with an attorney, or have any questions concerning this comment, please feel free to contact our offices through any of the above contact sources.


If you're in Philadelphia, you need a rental license and business privilege license too. You should call a landlord attorney to help you. Though I represent tenants, I would be happy to give you some names of excellent landlord attorneys.

This answer is informational only and does not create an attorney client relationship. I am not expressing an opinion on the merits of your case based on the facts above. My answer to this question might seems curt or mean. My job is not to be your friend, but to tell you the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts. You don't want a lawyer that tells you everything you want to hear, pats your head, rubs your belly, and gives you a balloon. That lawyer is not doing you any favors. This is not legal advice. This is free. You pay for legal advice.