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The Eviction Process: How Does it Work?

This is 1 0f 3 series on the eviction process: The 5 Steps in Defining Eviction

Whether a renter has defaulted on rent, are in breach of contract, or otherwise; Eviction procedures can be a daunting and confusing subject.

Eviction is defined as “the action of expelling someone, especially a tenant, from a property.” But what does that mean and how does the process actually play out?

If the required notice has been delivered to a resident and they do not voluntarily vacate, the landlord can move to evict them.

 

There are several steps to expect when going forward with an eviction.

Proper Notice. Notice must be given to the tenant that there is cause for an eviction. The landlord must wait at least 10 days from the time notice is given until actually filing the eviction. During that time the tenant must be given the opportunity to remediate the problem.

Landlord Tenant Complaint. The landlord would first need to file a Landlord Tenant Complaint in the Magisterial District Court. A Landlord Tenant Complaint is a summary court procedure and in most cases, court action moves along quickly. The landlord would be listed as the “plaintiff” whereas the resident would be listed as the “defendant”.

Hearing. The court will hold a hearing where both parties can present their evidence and explain their case. The judge will then decide the verdict and rule in favor of either the landlord or resident.

Writ of Possession. If the court rules that the landlord is victorious and the resident needs to vacate they will typically be given 10 days to leave the property. If the tenant has not left by the 11th day a Writ of Possession must be filed with the same court. The local Sheriff with schedule a time to go to the property and forcibly evict the tenant if they still refuse to leave. The landlord is responsible for changing the locks at this time.

OR

Resident Wins. If the court rules in favor of the resident, they will not be evicted and depending on the lease agreement, the landlord may have to pay the resident’s attorney fees.

There are many important factors to consider before filing a Landlord Tenant Complaint with the court. Eviction can be a difficult process and in the end, nobody really wins. Legal fees, loss of rent, and moving expenses are just a few of the consequences suffered on both sides of an eviction. At Real Property Management Lehigh Valley, our goal is to provide you, the property owner, with a quality tenant to hopefully avoid such issues in the future. If eviction is unavoidable, whether you are a landlord or a resident, it is best to contact an attorney for guidance and assistance through the eviction process.

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