Evicting a tenant is never something that landlords enjoy doing. It’s difficult financially and logistically, and even experienced real estate investors run the risk of getting emotionally involved in the process. Working with a professional Lancaster property management company can help you navigate the legal requirements of evicting a tenant in Pennsylvania.
The entire process starts with an eviction notice. Before you can get a court judgment or even file a court case, you have to serve an eviction notice. We’re focusing on that today for rental property owners who need to handle a potential eviction in one or more of their units.
Pennsylvania’s Landlord Tenant Act
When it comes to serving an eviction notice, Lancaster property owners need to follow the Landlord Tenant Act. The amount of notice you are required to give your tenants before evicting them will depend on two things:
- The reason you want to evict; and,
- The terminology in your lease agreement.
As your Lancaster property managers, we spend at least half an hour going over the lease agreement with every tenant we move in. They will understand the consequences and penalties involved in nonpayment of rent or lease violations.
You can basically evict when a tenant doesn’t pay rent or when a tenant falls out of compliance with the lease.
Unless your lease agreement states otherwise, you will serve a 10 Day Notice when you’re evicting for nonpayment of rent. For lease violations, you’ll serve a 15 Day Notice.
The 10 days and 15 days are the legal requirement unless your lease agreement states otherwise.
How to Serve an Eviction Notice in Lancaster
If your tenants have not paid rent or you’ve noticed a lease violation and you decide to serve an eviction notice, you’ll need to follow the prescribed legal procedures. There are two acceptable ways to do this:
- Serve the notice in-person to the tenant.
- Leave the notice on a noticeable location at the property, for example on the door of the apartment or unit. We don’t recommend posting it on the outside of the entire building; put it on the specific door so you’re sure your tenant will see it upon entering the property.
Document the date it was served and the way it was served. You’ll want to have something in writing that indicates how you served the notice, and if you’re posting it on a door, it’s not a bad idea to take a picture so you have the extra documentation.
Eviction Notice Next Steps
Eviction notices invite the tenant to either pay the overdue rent or move out of the home. For lease violation evictions, the tenants have a specific number of days to come into compliance, and prove that they have, or they must move out or face eviction.
After the term of the notice period has ended, if the issue has not been resolved, your next step is to file for the eviction in court.
We strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of an attorney or a Lancaster property management professional. The eviction process in Pennsylvania isn’t terribly complicated, but even a single mistake can cost you extra time and money.
We’d be happy to help. Please contact us at Fetch Home Management if you have any questions or need any help.