Evictions Attorney Serving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

According to a study by The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, there were a total of 66,193 eviction filings in Pennsylvania in 2021. Under state law, a landlord may be eligible to serve an eviction notice to their tenant for non-payment of rent, incomplete rent payment, criminal activity, or violation of the rental/lease agreement.  

If you need help serving an eviction notice to your tenant, my firm Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. is ready to help.

I offer comprehensive guidance and advocacy to clients in real estate and eviction-related matters. As your legal counsel, I can enlighten you about the Pennsylvania eviction process and guide you through the legal steps involved.  

My firm proudly serves clients throughout Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas of Shaler Township, Penn Hills, Fox Chapel, Aspinwall, and Ross Township.  

Understanding Eviction

Eviction is a legal process where a landlord removes a tenant from a rented property. In Pennsylvania, a landlord must have legal cause before an eviction can be permitted, which primarily occurs as a breach of the lease or rental agreement.  

This may include a failure to pay rent, engaging in illegal activities on the premises, or other violations stipulated in the contract. In addition, the rules and procedures for evicting tenants in the state are provided in the state's Landlord/Tenant Act.  

Understanding the eviction process is essential for both landlords to protect their rights and property under Pennsylvania law.  

Circumstances for Eviction

There are various reasons for which a landlord in Pennsylvania can evict a tenant, including: 

  • Non-payment of rent. 

  • Damaging the property or its facilities. 

  • Violation of the rental or lease agreement (e.g., pet policy). 

  • Illegal activity or drug use on the premises. 

  • Expiration of lease. 

  • Causing a disturbance or constituting nuisance on the premises. 

  • Threatening harm to other tenants or landlord. 

  • Violating safety or health regulations. 

Landlords should have specific clauses in their rental agreements to address these circumstances and provide the necessary grounds for eviction. A practiced attorney can help evaluate the facts of your case, determine whether you have a legal cause for the eviction, and explore whether you should file for eviction or termination of tenancy.

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How Does Eviction Differ from Termination of Tenancy?

While eviction and termination of tenancy both involve the conclusion of a tenant's right to occupy a rental property, they differ significantly in terms of process and legal implications. 

Termination of tenancy occurs when the landlord ends the rental or lease agreement and requests the tenant to move out of the rental property. This can happen either by mutual agreement or through the natural expiration of the lease term without any breach of contract.  

It does not necessarily involve legal proceedings unless there are disputes regarding the move-out conditions or security deposit return. 

On the other hand, eviction is a court-ordered process initiated by a landlord to remove a tenant from a property due to a breach of the lease or rental agreement. In Pennsylvania, you must serve the tenant with a "Notice to Quit" to evict them from a rental property. If the tenant fails to comply, you can file an eviction lawsuit (also known as an unlawful detainer action) in court. 

A knowledgeable attorney can enlighten you about the differences between eviction and termination of tenancy and help determine the right one for your unique situation.  

What Is a "Notice to Quit"?

A Notice to Quit is a written document from a landlord that is delivered to the tenant, notifying the tenant to vacate the property on or before a certain deadline. The notice should contain the following information:  

  • The landlord's name.  

  • The tenant's name.  

  • The address of the rental property.  

  • The reason for the notice.  

  • The amount of rent due and payment method (for a non-payment of rent notice).  

  • The specific date or deadline for the tenant to vacate the property. 

A trusted Pennsylvania eviction attorney can help file the eviction petition, serve the quit notice on your tenant, and ensure that they vacate the property.  

The Eviction Process in Pennsylvania

The eviction process in Pennsylvania requires specific legal steps to make sure the landlord's actions comply with state laws. Below are the steps involved in the eviction process in Pennsylvania: 

  1. Serve a "Notice to Quit": This notice informs the tenant that they violated their agreement and gives them a set period to either rectify the issue or vacate the property.  

  1. Determine the date or deadline the tenant must move out: In Pennsylvania, the duration of the notice can be 10 days for non-payment of rent or illegal drug use, 15 days for any other violation if the tenancy is under one year, or 30 days for any other violation if the tenancy is over one year. 

  1. File an eviction petition: If the tenant fails to comply with the "Notice to Quit," the landlord must file an eviction petition with the local District Court. The complaint should include details such as the reasons for eviction, a copy of the lease agreement, and evidence of the "Notice to Quit". 

  1. Serve the eviction notice to the tenant: Provide the tenant with a formal eviction notice, which details the reasons for eviction. The tenant then has ten days to respond. If they do not respond or appear in court, the landlord can obtain a "default judgment" against the tenant. 

  1. Attend the eviction trial and wait for judgment: Upon receiving the eviction petition, the court will schedule a hearing. If the judgment is in favor of the landlord, the tenant will be ordered to vacate the property. If the tenant contests again within 10 days by appealing or requesting a stay of execution, this process may extend. 

Navigating these steps can be complex, and it's often advisable to seek legal counsel to ensure compliance with the Pennsylvania Landlord/Tenant Act and to protect your rights as a landlord. 

What Can You Do if a Tenant Refuses to Vacate?

If a tenant refuses to vacate the property even after receiving an eviction order, there are several steps you can take.

However, landlords must refrain from "self-help" eviction tactics, such as changing locks, shutting off utilities, or removing the tenant’s belongings without court authorization. Such actions could result in legal penalties and potential civil claims from the tenant. 

  1. File for a Writ of Possession: If the tenant fails to vacate within the stipulated time, you can request a Writ of Possession, which authorizes local law enforcement to remove the tenant and their belongings from the property. 

  1. Liaise with law enforcement: Work with local law enforcement to schedule a date to physically remove the tenant from the premises. Law enforcement officials will notify the tenant of the scheduled eviction and oversee the process to ensure it is carried out legally and safely. 

  1. Seek compensation for damages: If the tenant owes unpaid rent or has caused damage to the property, you may pursue a monetary judgment to recover these costs. This often involves filing a separate lawsuit for damages if the amounts exceed the security deposit. 

Consult with a knowledgeable eviction attorney to make sure you take the most appropriate and lawful actions to regain possession of your property while minimizing potential liabilities. 

How Can My Firm Help?

No one wants to deal with a delinquent or difficult tenant. Through an eviction notice, a landlord may be able to lawfully eject such a tenant from their property. However, eviction in Pennsylvania can sometimes be a complicated process. If you need assistance serving an eviction, consider hiring a skilled eviction attorney.  

At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I have the experience and resources to assist and represent landlords in their eviction cases. As your legal counsel, I can assess every aspect of your case and outline an effective strategy to move forward with the eviction notice.  

Using my extensive knowledge, I can guide you through each legal phase, make sure your tenant moves out of your property, and help recover any unpaid rent.

Evictions Attorney Serving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to evict a tenant from your rental property, contact me at Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. to schedule a consultation. I can provide you with the skilled legal guidance and representation you need in your eviction case. My firm is proud to serve clients throughout Pittsburgh, Shaler Township, Penn Hills, Fox Chapel, Aspinwall, and Ross Township, Pennsylvania.