How Does The Eviction Process Work in Philadelphia?
For over a year now, there have been multiple eviction moratoriums in place to help protect renters affected by COVID. With these moratoriums coming to an end, many renters are unsure of their next steps. So, how will the end of eviction moratoriums affect you if you in Philadelphia? We will try to answer some common questions regarding the eviction process in Philadelphia.
How long does the eviction process take in Philadelphia?
Because evictions are legal processes, there are some set guidelines. These guidelines help establish somewhat of a timeline for the eviction process. The first step is the eviction notice or notice to vacate. The timeframes are based on a few circumstances. The Pennsylvania state guidelines are listed below. However, the landlord may waive this notification period in the lease terms.
If the lease is being terminated because of non-payment:
- 15 days between the months of April – September
- 30 days between the months of September – April
If the lease is being terminated for a breach of the lease:
- 30 days for leases under a year or month to month leases
- 90 days for leases over a year
Eviction Hearing Process in Philadelphia
After this period, if the tenant does not vacate the property, the next step is a hearing. The landlord will submit a form to the courts to set a court date. There is no set timeframe on when the court date will be set. Rather, it is based on how backed up the courts are. There could be significant delays due to eviction moratoriums ending.
A judgement will be issued at the hearing or within 5 business days after. The tenant then has 30 days to file an appeal. Then, it may take up to 12 months to get a court date after the appeal. The final step in most cases is for an Order of Possession to be served to the tenant after a minimum of 15 days after the judgement. Then, the tenant has another 15 days minimum to vacate.
As you can see, an eviction could easily take over a year. Obviously, this can be very helpful for a tenant with a legitimate case. On the other hand, it could be a nightmare for a landlord that is trying to remove a tenant.
What do I do if I am facing eviction in Philadelphia?
If you are facing an eviction due to financial issues, you may have some options. There are many renters and families that were affected by the pandemic, leading to a situation where they may be facing an eviction. First of all, although it is an emotional situation, remember to always be cordial and professional with your landlord. You may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your landlord if you have a good payment history.
It is also very important to keep any relevant documentation. If you decide to file an appeal, any paperwork you have can help support your case.
What resources does Philadelphia have for facing eviction?
Luckily, with such a large population, Philadelphia does have some resources for those facing eviction. This article is meant to be informative for those seeking information on eviction – not legal advice. See below for some more resources, including lawyers.
Philly Tenant – Philly Tenant is your legal resource for tenant’s rights in Philadelphia. This site has many resources and links for anyone facing eviction in Philly.
Philly Fair Housing Commission – The Philly Fair Housing Commission has resources for both tenants and landlords regarding evictions.
Philly Tenant Hotline – You can call the Philly Tenant Hotline at 267-443-2500 for help with rental assistance applications, eviction diversion programs, legal advice, and legal representation.