Written by attorney James S. Tupitza

Pennsylvania Land Lord Tenant Timeline

Pennsylvania Land Lord Tenant Timeline

Many of the questions on this board relate to the timelines applicable in LLT matters in Pennsylvania. If you want to evict a tenant in Pennsylvania here are the steps:

  1. Look at the lease, list the defaults (failure to leave at the end of a term is a default)

  2. Identify the notice requirement, both as to number of days between notice of default and number of days to cure, and also the method for giving notice.

  3. Prepare and Notice of Default and Notice to Quit.

  4. Serve the notice. Section 250.501 of the LLT Act is tricky. It provides for 15 day notice to be given in the case of leases for one year or less and 30 days for leases for more than a year. CAUTION unless the lease so provides, certified mail is not an appropriate form of service. These are appropriate: 1) hand to tenant, 2) post on the door, and 3) slip under the door.

  5. Decide where you are going to file, Common Pleas or District Court. Let’s make this easy. For commercial tenants you may be able to confess judgment. You must go to Common Pleas to do this. For residential tenants go to District Court (small claims).


  1. File a LLT complaint. You must decide whether you will take the tenant back if they pay up or if you want to terminate the lease and throw them out even if they pay. Make sure to ask for rent and possession.

  2. Hearing must be set not less than 7 days nor more than 15 days from the filing of the complaint Rule 504

  3. If the Tenant files a counter claim, the trial is delayed to no less than 7 days and no more than 15 days after filing the counter claim Rule 508

  4. The Court must enter judgment with 3 days of the hearing. Rule 514

  5. LL may request Order for Possession after the 15th day following judgment. Rule 515

  6. On or after the 16th day following service of the Writ of possession the constable my forcibly evict. Rule 519

What if the tenant appeals? In order to prevent eviction the tenant must pay rent into court. If they stop paying, they can be evicted.

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