Pennsylvania eviction notices are used by landlords to give their tenants notice that their lease will be terminated and they will be evicted if they do not move out or remedy their non-compliance before the notice expires. An eviction notice, also known as a “notice to quit,” will relay the reason for the termination, the terms under which the tenant may be able to retain their lease, and the number of days that the tenant has to comply with the notice. The length of the notice period granted to the tenant will depend on the reason for the notice as well as the type of rental agreement they have with the landlord.
10-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment – Informs a tenant that they must pay their overdue rent or move out within ten (10) days.
15-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance – Gives a tenant fifteen (15) days’ notice to cure a lease violation or quit the premises.
30-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance – Informs a tenant that they have broken their terms of their lease and gives them thirty (30) days to remedy their non-compliance or move out
Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Tenancy – A document that landlords and tenants can use to terminate their month-to-month rental agreement.
10-Day Notice to Quit for Illegal Activity – If a tenant has been involved with the use, sale, or production of illegal drugs on the premises, the landlord can serve them with this document to terminate their lease with ten (10) days’ notice.
- Grace Period: Not mentioned in state statutes.
- Non-Payment of Rent (§ 501(b)): Ten (10) Days
- Lease Non-Compliance (§ 501(b)): Fifteen (15) or Thirty (30) Days
- Periodic Tenancy Termination: Not mentioned in state statutes.
- Illegal Activity (§ 505-A and § 501(d)): Ten (10) Days
When terminating a lease, a landlord is legally required to give their tenants notice and follow the formal eviction court procedure before a tenant can be removed or locked out of their rental unit. However, in Pennsylvania, the terms of a written lease can waive or alter notice requirements. Therefore, notices to quit must conform to the lease, even in contravention of statutory requirements regarding notice periods.
Step 1 – Download and Complete Notice to Quit
Landlords must issue notices to quit in accordance with state law and the written lease (if there is one). The following forms can be used to give a tenant notice and terminate their lease for non-payment of rent, breach of a lease agreement, termination of a periodic tenancy, and involvement with illegal drugs, respectively:
- 10-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment
- 15-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
- Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Tenancy
- 10-Day Notice to Quit for Illegal Activity
Step 2 – Deliver Notice to the Tenant
The landlord must serve the notice on the tenant by hand (presented in person) or by posting it on the premises; the notice cannot be sent by mail. After receiving the notice, the tenant must comply with terms therein by moving out or curing their lease violation to avoid a formal eviction.
Step 3 – Begin Legal Action
If the tenant has not moved out or fulfilled the notice conditions, the landlord may begin legal action by filing a Landlord/Tenant Complaint with the Magisterial or Municipal Court of the county in which the property is located. The court will schedule a trial date for the case which will take place one (1) to two (2) weeks from the date that the Complaint is filed.
Step 4 – Serve Tenant with Summons
After setting a trial date, the court will issue a Summons form that states the date and time that the hearing will take place. The landlord will need to make arrangements for the local sheriff’s office to serve this document on the tenant. When service has been completed, the landlord must obtain a record of service from the sheriff’s office and file it with the court.
Step 5 – Attend Hearing
On the day of the trial, both the landlord and the tenant are required to arrive on-time. Failure of either party to appear in court may result in a verdict in the opposing party’s favor. They both should arrive with any material evidence (receipts, communications, notices to quit, photographs, etc.) and witnesses who can support their case. After hearing both individuals present their case, the judge will reach a decision and issue a judgment, which will either be given at the hearing or up to three (3) days after. If the tenant wins the case, they will be allowed to continue their tenancy.
Step 6 – Order of Possession
If the landlord wins the case, the court will issue a Judgment for Possession. If the tenant hasn’t vacated the landlord’s property ten (10) days after a Judgment has been issued against them, the landlord can file a Request for Order of Possession to have them evicted. Once an Order of Possession has been served by a sheriff’s deputy or constable, the tenant will have eleven (11) days to leave the premises or be forcibly removed by law enforcement.