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When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant in Philadelphia?

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Evicting a tenant is a legal process that landlords in Philadelphia may initiate under specific circumstances. The laws are designed to balance the rights of property owners with the protections for renters. In Philadelphia, a landlord can legally begin eviction proceedings if a tenant fails to pay rent on time, violates the terms of the lease, or engages in illegal activities on the premises.

Grounds for Eviction

In Philadelphia, a landlord can legally evict a tenant for a variety of reasons. These eviction grounds are stipulated by local and state laws. Tenants facing eviction might seek advice from a Philadelphia tenant lawyer to understand their rights and options.

Non-Payment of Rent

If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, then the landlord must issue a notice demanding rent payment before proceeding.

Lease Violations

Violations might include exceeding occupancy limits or keeping unauthorized pets; however, tenants typically receive notice to cure the violation or face eviction.

Illegal Activity

This can involve criminal acts, such as drug dealing, occurring on the premise but the landlord must generally provide proof of the illegal activities to evict.

End of Lease Term

Tenants must vacate at the end or face eviction unless a new lease is signed. Landlords can terminate these leases with proper notice, typically 30 days.

Property Damage

Damage beyond normal wear and tear can be grounds for eviction. Landlords must show significant damage and provide a chance for repair in most cases.

Eviction Process

The eviction process in Philadelphia is a structured legal procedure that landlords must strictly adhere to when seeking to remove a tenant from a property. It encompasses several key steps, beginning with a notice to vacate and culminating in a lockout.

Notice to Vacate

Landlords must provide tenants with a written Notice to Vacate as the first step in the eviction process. The notice period—typically ranging from 10 to 90 days—depends on the reason for eviction, such as non-payment of rent or violation of lease terms.

Court Filing

If the tenant does not vacate after the notice period, the landlord may then proceed to Court Filing. They file a complaint with the Philadelphia Municipal Court and serve the tenant with a copy.

Hearing

A Hearing is scheduled, during which both parties can present their case. Tenants may benefit from the counsel of a Philadelphia tenant lawyer to provide legal representation and argue on their behalf.

Issuance of the Order

Following the hearing, if the judge finds in favor of the landlord, an Order of Possession will be issued, specifying the date by which the tenant must leave the property.

Lockout

The final step is the Lockout, where a landlord, with the aid of a sheriff or constable, legally removes the tenant and their possessions from the property if they haven’t vacated by the order’s effective date.

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