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John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Over 15 years legal experience.
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Landlord/Tenant issue, PA - We are renting a home for large

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Landlord/Tenant issue, PA - We are renting a home for large amount of money. It started as a 2-year lease which was renewed once and we are 3/4 through the current year. We have a complete yearly inspection inside and outside done by the property manager as the owners live out of state.

The property management company is responsible for all major maintenance which includes, in this case the furnace and air conditioning, which has gone out before, was told by the repair companies that it needed to be replaced but was "fixed". No regular maintenance has been done on either unit.

The end of March we had a furnace "blow back" which was disastrous. The house has been uninhabitable ever since and we have been living in a hotel. We had renter's insurance up until Nov. of last year when it somehow didn't auto-renew...we now have it again. Anyway, the owner's insurance company determined that it as their liability and has been covering cleaning and replacing our belongings and our hotel expenses.

However, the owner's have now decided to evict us. The facts in the eviction are completely baseless. We have pre-paid legal services through my husband's employment and we have obtained the services through a local attorney.

Even though we have communicated with the attorney and his associate, a "notice of possession" was obtained even though we asked for a continuance since I was scheduled for surgery even before the eviction was filed; an appeal was not filed in a timely fashion because we were not notified that the court hearing had even been held and so we did not have enough time to gather the 3 months rent in advance necessary to put in escrow, I will now shortly have an eviction on my record making it impossible for me to rent another home.

None of this has been our fault! We are homeless. We our out our last month's rent and security deposit ($5,000). My credit record now has an eviction on it. And we have not had a chance to defend ourselves. Do we have any recourse at all? We thought our interests were being looked out for. Please advise.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John Legal replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for trusting Just Answer. As an attorney I will answer as clearly as possible. I ask for you Accept my answer so I am paid when we are done.

You may be able to request leave from the appellate court for leave to file your appeal. Unfortunately, although you may have had a good chance at arguing that the eviction was untimely and not appropriate given the circumstances, your failure to appear in court and plead your case has removed your ability to be heard on the matter.

Who did you ask for a continuance from? Was it from the attorney or the court. Did anyone agree to give you a continuance?

John Legal and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

We asked our attorney to file a continuance with the court after receiving the main eviction filing. I was already scheduled for surgery that day. I asked him by e-mail, no confirmation, phone messages, no confirmations, and finally the day before the scheduled hearing, I demanded to stay on the line until he came to the phone to get an answer. They said they would have it pulled from the docket.


After not hearing anything from their office for a week, I made an appointment where they informed me that apparently the hearing went on as scheduled despite them sending a letter to the judge. A Notice of Possession had been granted to the owners which gave us 10 days to appeal along with 3 months rent in advance. This was day 9 and I had no time to think yet alone come up with $7,500.

Expert:  John Legal replied 6 years ago.
Sounds like you have a malpractice claim against the attorney. Since the attorney did not fully follow up on the continuance there is nothing you can do to change the outcome in court but you can sue the attorney for your damages, including any effect this may have on your credit or rental history.