Pennsylvania by A2u4DNV

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									                            Pennsylvania Evictions
The foundation of any Landlord / Tenant relationship is the contract between the parties
referred to as the Lease Agreement. Most Landlord / Tenant relationships involve written
contracts or leases, but verbal agreements may also be binding and enforceable.
When you enter a Landlord / Tenant relationship, it is recommended that you have an
attorney review the lease, which can be costly. A poorly worded lease can mean the
difference between winning and losing a Landlord / Tenant dispute. Just make sure you
have a good lease that states very clearly the rules and stipulations. We customize our
lease to each tenant. If there previous Landlord had any smaller problems with them, we
make sure to highlight that area. Our 1 Year Rental Lease Agreement is very detailed to
cover almost everything; it is worth the investment of $14.95. And you can download it
and have it forever.

EVICTIONS:

Under Pennsylvania law, in order to legally evict tenants or recover any funds paid under
a lease, you are required to go to court.

This is a quote from a reputable law firm…”If you attempt this without counsel, you may
unknowingly miss out on recovering all that you deserve. You could even subject
yourself to civil or criminal liability by engaging in the unlicensed practice of law!”

Law Firms want you to hire them. We do recommend if it is a complicated eviction
beyond an eviction for non-payment of rent, or termination of lease because of damage or
additional persons living on the property, etc. The typically evictions are easy to do
yourself. We will provide you with the forms you will need to complete an eviction
yourself. (See our Forms Page)

Legal Grounds for Eviction:
       Non-payment of rent;
       End of lease term;
       Breaking the lease agreement.

In order to comply with the law, Landlords are required to do the following:
       a. Provide to a Tenant Notice to Vacate (Eviction Notice) in compliance with the
               lease and / or Landlord and Tenant Act prior to filing any legal action in
               court.
       b. File an action in court seeking an order of possession. Landlords can seek rent
               and other monetary damages from the Tenant at this time or in a
               subsequent suit with the court.
       c. Upon obtaining an Order for Possession, a property owner must give
               appropriate notice under Pennsylvania law and allow the Tenant at least
               ten (10) days, if residential, or fifteen (15) days, if commercial, to vacate
               the premises.
       On the eleventh (11) day or the sixteenth (16) day, a property owner can then
              have the local Constable or Sheriff remove any remaining persons from
              the property.

LANDLORD / PROPERTY OWNER RIGHTS:

The rights of Landlords and Tenants are dictated both by the terms of the Lease and
Pennsylvania Law. For Property Owners and Landlords, these rights generally include
the right to:
Right to receive monthly Rental obligations;
Right to receive rent on time;
Right to have a Tenant sign a written lease;
Right to have a Tenant move out on time;
Right to money damages for any damage done to your property;
Right to conduct inspections on the property (if mentioned in the lease.)
Right to request an initial security deposit;
Right to terminate lease (under certain conditions and situations)
Right to withhold a security deposit if damage is done to the property;
Right to request a credit check;
Right to Appeal the Initial Court determination!


TENANT RIGHTS:

For Tenants, rights generally include the right to:
Right to request a lease be placed in writing;
Right to a Habitable Environment;
Right to Safe and Clean Housing;
Right to Privacy;
Right to Inspect the property before signing any lease;
Right to stay in the residence for the duration of the lease;
Right against any Self-Help Eviction;
Right to a return of the Security Deposit within 30 days after vacating the residence;
Right against any rent increase during the lease period;
Right to terminate the lease (under certain conditions and situations);
Right to a Court hearing prior to any Eviction!
Right to Appeal the initial Court hearing!

In Pennsylvania, Magisterial District Courts are courts of original jurisdiction for
Landlord-Tenant disputes and for civil disputes involving $8,000.00 or less, in addition to
serving other functions.
Filing suit at Magisterial District Court is often the quickest and most effective way to
regain possession of a property or recovery funds due under a lease. At a Magistrate
Hearing both parties have an opportunity to testify and present evidence to the Judge.
(Most Law Firms will represent your interests at a District Magistrate hearing for a flat
fee as low as $500.00.)

Arbitration

An arbitration is an equitable legal proceeding adjudicated by a panel of attorneys.
Actions for money damages where the amount in controversy is less than a prescribed
jurisdiction amount, e.g. $25,000.00, must first be submitted to and heard by a panel of
arbitrators before the matter can proceed to a Court of Common Pleas Trial.

Landlord-Tenant disputes may be determined by arbitration if a party appeals the
decision rendered by a Magisterial District Court or if the action is initially filed with the
Court of Common Pleas, Arbitration Division.
(Being presented by a law firm for Arbitration can cost well over $1000.)

Court of Common Pleas

Usually an Eviction does not make it this far in the court system. But if a Landlord-
Tenant dispute is appealed, the matter will proceed to either a Judge or Jury Trial before
the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division

Conducting a trial before the Court of Common Pleas, (if it gets this far) should require
an experienced trial attorney to draft pleadings, conduct discovery and litigate all aspects
of the case

The Superior Court is one of Pennsylvania's two statewide intermediate appellate courts.
This court reviews most of the civil and criminal cases that are appealed from the Courts
of Common Pleas. The court often is the final arbiter of legal disputes. Although the
Supreme Court may grant a petition for review of a Superior Court decision, most such
petitions are denied and the ruling of the Superior Court stands.
Decisions rendered by the Court of Common Pleas are reviewed by the Superior Court to
determine if the trial court made an erroneous legal ruling.

								
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