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barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 36226
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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What legal action can I take to have my father evicted from a rental property I own? There

Customer Question

what legal action can I take to have my father evicted from a rental property I own? There is no lease and this was not a permanent arrangement. I now need to get into the property to finish repairs and he is refusing to leave. He does pay me rent. Can I just send him a formal letter asking him to leave and if he refuses then file formal eviction with court?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
In a situation like this, if there is no written lease, then he is considered an at will tenant under a month to month tenancy and you are his landlord.
In order to terminate his tenancy, you have to first give him a written 30 day notice to vacate, stating the date on which his tenancy ends.
Then if he doesn't vacate during that period, you have to file a formal eviction action in the courts to get a judgment and writ so the sheriff can execute it and physically remove him.
The landlord files the complaint with the appropriate District Justice's office, and the landlord receives a yellow copy of the Complaint. The pink copy of the Complaint will be served on the tenant (father) by the Constable, who may hand the tenant the Complaint or tape the Complaint to the door of the property. The Complaint says that a hearing will be held at the District Justice's office on a particular day and time. The Complaint always requests possession of the property and may ask for back rent or damages as well if applicable
At the hearing, both the landlord and the tenant will be put under oath to tell the truth. Either may have a lawyer to present his/her case. The landlord will then take the stand and present his/her case. When the landlord is finished testifying, the tenant can cross-examine the landlord -- in other words, ask the landlord any questions the tenant may wish to ask about the case. When the landlord is finished presenting his/her case, the tenant takes the stand and presents the tenant's side of the case. Again the landlord has the right to question the tenant after the tenant has presented his/her case. Both the landlord and tenant have the right to bring any papers, pictures, or other evidence which is important to prove their case. Either one can also bring any witnesses they may have.
The District Justice will decide whether or not the landlord is entitled to a judgment for possession of the property. If the landlord wins his/her case, he/she will get a judgment for possession and the tenant must move out. If the tenant wins, the tenant may stay. The District Justice may also decide whether or not either the landlord or the tenant owes the other any money.
According to the PA Attorney General, if the landlord wins a judgment for possession, the Magisterial District Judge will make a decision, either at the hearing, or within 3 days after the hearing. You will be sent a copy of the decision, called a judgment, in the mail. If the Magisterial District Judge grants possession to the landlord, the landlord must wait 10 days from the date the judgment is entered and then go back to the Magisterial District Judge to get an Order for Possession.
The Order for Possession will tell the tenant the date they have to move. That date cannot be less than 10 days from the day the Order for Possession is issued. If they haven't moved by the date set forth in the Order for Possession a constable or sheriff's deputy will forcibly remove them at that time..

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