Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be an attorney to serve an eviction notice. Any landlord can begin the eviction process in Pennsylvania, by themselves or with the help of an eviction service in South Philly. However, if you don’t take the right steps and follow the legal eviction process, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a massive fine or lawsuit. A legal eviction begins with an eviction notice. Here’s how to write and serve an eviction notice and begin the process the right way.
Cooperate with your tenants. There’s no grace period in the state of Pennsylvania, which means that you may begin the eviction process as soon as your tenant is a single day late on rent. However, an eviction can be time-consuming and expensive, which is why it’s always a good idea to talk with your tenant before you proceed. Ask why rent is late and offer a few more days to pay. Don’t shut off water, electricity, or any other services to “encourage” the tenant to pay up.
Write a Notice to Quit. A Notice to Quit is a written statement telling the tenant that he or she may either pay the remaining rent (or quit a behavior that’s against the terms of the lease) or move out within ten days. A Notice to Quit needs to include the following information to be considered valid:
- The names and address of the tenant.
- The date on which the Notice was served.
- The reason why the tenant is being put on Notice.
- A statement that says the tenant has ten days to correct his or her behavior or move out.
- The total amount of unpaid rent and late fees the tenant must pay, if relevant.
- An ultimatum that tells the tenant that the landlord may pursue a legal eviction if rent remains unpaid by a specific date.
- A statement saying how the Notice was served to the tenant.
Serve the Notice. You have three options when it comes time to serve the Notice:
- You (or someone over the age of 18) may give the Notice to the tenant in person.
- You may post the Notice on the building the tenant is living in (for example, taping it to the front door).
- You may post the Notice in a conspicuous area where the tenant is sure to see it (for example, taping the Notice to the front gate of a property).
Don’t post the Notice somewhere where it might become hidden, like under a welcome mat or in a mailbox. Take a photo of the Notice if you choose to tape it to the exterior of the property.
From the time you serve the Notice, your tenant has ten days to either pay the overdue rent or leave. If they don’t, you may need the assistance of a company that provides local property management in Philadelphia, like DJCRE, to proceed with the eviction. If you need assistance evicting an uncooperative tenant, don’t take matters into your own hands. Give DJCRE a call today.