Category Archive: I’m being evicted

  1. What is the status of my landlord’s EDP application?

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    Landlords must successfully submit an application for EDP and participate in good faith for a least 30 days before attempting to evict through court. You can check the status at any time here

    The landlord’s Applicant ID starts with the letters “EVP” and then 9 numbers or letters. The EVP number is provided in all communication with the program including texts and emails. Ask the landlord to confirm the applicant ID.

    If you are scheduled for an eviction court hearing, check the status online.  Compare with the information below.  If landlord participation is incomplete, you may show this status at court as a possible legal defense.  Show the landlord and ask the landlord to explain.  Show the trial commissioner or speak with the judge. 

    Some common status outcomes and next steps

    Participation in Eviction Diversion Program is NOT Complete:

    Your landlord may NOT proceed to eviction court if the status of your application is any of the following.

    • Application currently under review. The landlord submitted an application and the application is pending review. Contact your landlord to negotiate an agreement. Landlords must negotiate in good faith for at least 30 days following the approval of an application.
    • Request has been denied. The landlord’s application was denied and the landlord may correct the existing application or be instructed to submit another application. Confirm if the landlord submitted another application with a new Applicant ID number. Present this outcome at court and request the landlord participate in EDP in good faith.
    • Assigned for direct negotiation. You have 30 days to communicate directly with your landlord to prevent eviction. Some additional information is included in the status including if rent or fees requested, the amount of rent or fees, the end of the lease term and other possible issues the landlord wishes to address. More resources visit
    • Your request has been approved. You have been selected for additional help to work with a housing counselor and be assigned a mediation date. Contact the Save Your Home Philly hotline right away at 215-334-4663 and choose option #3. Resources for counseling are limited. 
    • Participation in Eviction Diversion Program is NOT complete. The landlord must take further steps to complete the Eviction Diversion Program. You may show this outcome to the court and ask the landlord be sent back to the Program to complete participation. Continue to seek an agreement with the landlord and reach out for legal help.

    Participation in Eviction Diversion Program is Complete:

    • Agreement reached by parties. You reached an agreement. If you are able to maintain this agreement, the landlord should not seek to evict you through the legal process. Bring a copy of your agreement and proof of payments to court. You may ask the court to dismiss or remove the landlord’s complaint because you have an active ongoing agreement. Ask for legal help at court from the Lawyer of the Day.
    • Participation in the Eviction Diversion Program is complete. The landlord has successfully applied for the Program and 30 days have passed. If you have not reached an agreement, the landlord may proceed through the legal process of eviction. For further help visit
  2. Eviction Diversion Program: Mediation Pathway

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    I received a message to contact the Save Your Home Philly hotline to be scheduled with a housing counselor. What do I do next?

    • If you were assigned the Mediation Pathway, contact the Save Your Home Philly Hotline to be scheduled with a housing counselor Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm 215-334-4663 #3.
    • If you were assigned the Direct Negotiation Pathway, review our article about the Eviction Diversion Program: Direct Negotiation Pathway.

    Why should I participate in the program?

    The Eviction Diversion Program can be good for tenants because attending eviction court is often stressful and can end with you being evicted AND getting a judgment on your record. Many landlords also want to participate in the program to avoid paying costly attorney and filing fees, attending hearings and evicting tenants. In addition, some tenants may be eligible for Targeted Financial Assistance (TFA).

    What should I do to prepare for mediation?

    1. Meet with your free housing counselor to review your finances, discuss your goals and prepare a proposal. Your housing counselor will attend mediation to support you in reaching an agreement.
    2. Collect any documentation you have such as your lease, proof of rent payments or texts, emails or letters relating to your rental property.
    3. Explore any additional resources offered by your housing counselor to help resolve the dispute.

    What happens at mediation?

    Mediation is a telephone call.  Landlords and tenants receive automated notices with the date and time of mediation as well as the call in code.  On the call, a trained mediator helps guide the conversation.  The landlord says what the landlord wants.  The tenant and housing counselor share the tenant’s goals and available resources.

    If the landlord and tenant reach an agreement, the mediation coordinator writes down the agreement and provides a copy to both parties.  It’s important all issues are addressed to help prevent an eviction filing in court.  Both parties review the agreement and follow the agreed steps.  These steps may include regular payments from the tenant and other issues the parties want to resolve such as repairs, utility bills and access to the property.

    Mediation is not a courtroom and there is no judge to decide who is right or wrong.  Instead, mediation is a first option to prevent eviction court filings whenever possible.

    For help with legal issues, attend a TURN tenants’ rights workshop or contact the Philly Tenant Hotline 267-443-2500. For more details about good faith participation in the program and other resources, visit

  3. How can I request a virtual court hearings or other accommodation?

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    I’m concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic. Can I have a virtual hearing?

    As of January 2022, if you have a hearing scheduled in Municipal Court, you may contact the court to have the hearing held remotely (over Zoom or by phone) instead of going to court in person. Follow the instructions in this flyer. Landlord Tenant Court is still open and you must attend your hearing in person if you have not asked and been approved for a remote hearing in advance. You do not need to give a reason for wanting a remote hearing.

    I have a disability. Can I have a virtual hearing?

    If you have a disability–either temporary or permanent–and your disability prevents you from attending a court hearing in person, then you may request a virtual hearing as a reasonable accommodation for your disability. You should submit your request at least 5 business days before your hearing.

    Here are the steps:

    1. Fill out the court’s Reasonable Accommodation Request Form.
      • Where it says Nature of the disability for which an accommodation is requested, briefly describe your disability. A disability is any physical or mental condition that substantially limits your ability to see, hear, walk, breath, perform manual tasks, care for yourself, learn, speak, or other major life activity.
      • Where it says Accommodation Requested, state that you are requesting a Zoom hearing because of your disability.
    2. Attach the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form to an email and in the message write your case number, the courtroom, the date and time of the hearing and the reason for your request.
    3. Send the email to these three court staff members:
    4. For questions, you may call the court at 215-686-2910.

    I have a disability. Can I get an accommodation for my in-person hearing?

    If you are attending your hearing in person, but you need the court to accommodate your disability in some way, you should submit a request at least 3 business days before your court hearing.

    1. Fill out the court’s Reasonable Accommodation Request Form.
      • Where it says Nature of the disability for which an accommodation is requested, briefly describe your disability. A disability is any physical or mental illness that substantially limits your ability to see, hear, walk, breath, perform manual tasks, care for yourself, learn, speak, or other major life activity.
      • Where it says Accommodation Requested, state what you need the court to do because of your disability. For example, you might request a sign language interpreter.
    2. Email the form to these two court staff members:
    3. Or send your form by fax to 215-686-2947 Attn: Frank Figaniak and Karen Quick.
    4. Or call 215-686-7986 and leave a voicemail with your case number, your full name, and your contact information.
  4. Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project (PEPP)

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    What is PEPP?

    In 2017, City Council, the Mayor and legal services agencies partnered to create the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project (PEPP), an innovative project to assist tenants facing eviction through legal representation, financial counseling, a live hotline, a court help center, community trainings & educational materials. Community Legal Services leads PEPP in collaboration with Clarifi, Legal Clinic for the Disabled, SeniorLAW Center, TURN, & Philadelphia VIP.

    Services include:

    • Tenant Hotline – live support and referrals to legal services at 267-443-2500.
    • Lawyer of the Day – free, same day representation to income-eligible tenants on the day of their eviction hearing at Municipal Court at 1339 Chestnut St, 6th Floor.
    • Court Navigators – professionals to explain the process, provide resources and offer neutral information at Municipal Court at 1339 Chestnut St, 6th floor.
    • Tenant Help Center – speak with legal staff at the 10th floor of Municipal Court at 1339 Chestnut, 6th floor.
    • Tenant Rights Workshops – learn about your rights and responsibilities with TURN staff:
      • Mon – Fri at 12:30p at 100 S Broad Street Suite 800
      • Tues & Wed at 6:00 at 100 S Broad Street Suite 800
      • Saturdays at 11am at 1701 West Lehigh Avenue Room 1102.
    • Financial Counseling – speak with a financial counselor by calling 267-765-2711.
    • Pro Bono Representation – free representation to income-eligible tenants from private pro bono attorneys working with Philadelphia VIP.

    Here are all of the services under PEPP: English and Spanish

  5. Tenant Tuesdays at Two

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    Join Community Legal Services every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. for a weekly tenant-focused conversation on the latest information for tenants, where we answer your housing-related questions.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020: New Rental Assistance Program Starts July 6, 2020 English

    Tuesday, June 23, 2020: Fair Housing Commission English/Español

    Tuesday, June 16, 2020: Legal Clinic for the Disabled English/Español

    Tuesday, June 9, 2020: Emergency Housing Protection Act in Philadelphia City Council. English

    Tuesday, May 26, 2020: How to Get Legal Help for a Housing Issue English/Español

    Tuesday, May 19, 2020: Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project English/Español

    Tuesday, May 12, 2020: Rental Assistance and Disability Rights during COVID-19 English/Español

    Tuesday, May 5, 2020: Utilities during COVID-19 English

    Tuesday, April 28, 2020: CARES Act Protections for Tenants English

    Tuesday April 21, 2020: Repairs during COVID-19 English

    Tuesday April 14, 2020: Illegal Evictions during COVID-19 English

  6. I need a lawyer. What is Right to Counsel?

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    Call 267-443-2500 for the Philly Tenant Hotline.

    Tenants may speak to a live housing counselor at the Tenant Union Representative Network (TURN) for:

    • Free legal information
    • Referral for legal advice and representation

    If no one is available to take your call, we will do our best to return your call within 2-3 business days.  We receive more calls than we can answer at the moment, so please review for legal information, links and templates for your use.

    You can also attend one of TURN’s daily free Know Your Rights webinars.

  7. Good Cause Protections: Can my landlord end my lease?

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    What are Good Cause eviction protections in Philadelphia?

    • For leases less than one year, such as a month-to-month lease, your landlord must give you thirty (30) days written notice stating a Good Cause reason to end your lease.
    • For leases of one year or more, your landlord must give at least (10) days written notice and is not required to state a Good Cause reason to end your lease.
    • For subsidized housing leases, it is likely that you have Good Cause protections. Find your subsidy program to learn more.

    What are some examples of Good Cause?

    • Breach a lease term such as repeatedly late on rent;
    • Cause damage to the unit or refuse access for repairs;
    • Refuse to sign a new written lease with changes including a reasonable rent increase with some exceptions;
    • The owner or owner’s immediate family wants to move into the unit;
    • The owner is renovating the unit with some exceptions.

    What if my landlord ends my lease without Good Cause?

    • Challenge it. If your landlord sends you a Lease Termination Notice or a Notice to Quit without a Good Cause reason and your lease term is currently less than one year, you have the right to file a compliant with the Fair Housing Commission. You must file within fifteen (15) business days of getting the lease termination notice from your landlord.
    • Defend yourself. If your landlord files an eviction in Municipal Court before you are able to file a complaint with the Fair Housing Commission, then you must attend your court hearing and raise Good Cause as a defense.
    • Get legal help. If your landlord files an eviction in Municipal Court and you have low income, you may be eligible for free legal help.
    • Call City Council. While the law doesn’t apply to leases that are a year or longer, you can ask your Councilmember to pass a bill that would extend Good Cause protections to all leases. Look up your city council member.
  8. My landlord wants me out. What is the legal eviction process?

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    Prior to Court

    Before filing in court, your landlord must send you a Notice of Diversion Rights and apply for Diversion through the city’s Eviction Diversion Program. If you are a tenant and you received a Notice of Diversion Rights, call the Save Your Home Philly Hotline immediately to connect with the program at 215-334-HOME (4663).  If you are a landlord, you can apply at the Eviction Diversion website.

    Step 1: Eviction Notice

    You may receive an Eviction Notice (also called a Lease Termination Notice or Notice to Quit) telling you when your landlord wants you to move out. You do not have to move out by that date. Your landlord must take you to court in order to evict you.

    Step 2: Court Complaint

    If you do not move out, the landlord can file an Eviction Complaint against you in Municipal Court. The Complaint should state the reason your landlord is evicting you and the date/time of the court hearing. The Complaint should be sent to you by mail, attached to your door or hand delivered.

    Step 3: Hearing Date

    Eviction hearings are in Municipal Court at 1339 Chestnut St, 6th Floor. You must arrive on time to court, or you will likely lose. On the date of your scheduled hearing, you have legal options and may raise legal defenses: request a continuance, have a hearing in front of a judge or come to a written agreement with your landlord, often called a Judgment by Agreement. These types of agreements are binding and cannot be appealed.

    Step 4: Appeal (if applicable)

    If you lose at the hearing, you will have 10 calendar days to file an appeal in the Court of Common Pleas, City Hall, Room 296. The appeal stops an eviction from taking place until the court rules on the case, as long as you pay ongoing rent to the court.

    Step 5. Eviction

    If you lose in court and do not appeal, or if you break your agreement, your landlord can move forward with the eviction process. First, your landlord must obtain a number of writs, which can be completed in 21 days. After that, the landlord tenant officer can evict you. However, if you are being evicted for nonpayment of rent only, you can prevent the eviction if you pay the full amount of the judgment plus the writ costs to your landlord before the lockout takes place. Call the Landlord Tenant Office at (215) 563-2133 or email to find out the day and time of the lockout.

  9. My landlord evicted me. Where do I go for emergency shelter?

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    Monday-Friday, 7am-5pm

    Apple Tree Family Center 1430 Cherry St (near Cherry and 15th) 215-686-7150, 7151 or 7153

    Roosevelt Darby Center 802 N Broad St (near Broad & Fairmount) 215-685-3700

    After 5pm and Weekends

    For Single Women: House of Passage Kirkbride Center 111 N 48th St (near 48th & Haverford) 267-713-7778

    For Families: The Red Shield 715 N Broad St (near Broad & Fairmount) 215-787-2887

    For Single Men: Station House 2601 N Broad St (near Broad & Lehigh) 215-225-9230

    Additional Services

    Office of Homeless Services Rental Assistance list call 215-686-7177.

    Homeless Outreach Hotline at 215-232-1984

    Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 866-723-3014

  10. My landlord is taking me to court. What are my options at the hearing?

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    Where do I go?

    Municipal Court is at 1339 Chestnut St on the 6th Floor.

    You can also ask for a remote hearing. See our flyer for instructions on how to ask for a remote hearing.

    What should I bring?

    Any documents that relate to the reason your landlord is trying to evict you. Example: lease, rent receipts, utility bills, photos, letters or texts to or from the landlord.

    What are my options in court?

    1. Ask for a continuance.

    • You can get the hearing postponed if you need an interpreter.
    • You can ask for the hearing to be postponed to get a lawyer, but the landlord may object.

    2. Have a hearing in front of a judge.

    • You have the right to have a hearing in front of a judge.
    • You can present your evidence and defenses to the judge.
    • If you lose, you must appeal within 10 days of the judgment if you want to stop the landlord from evicting you.  You will have to pay your rent to the Court of Common Pleas on the appeal.

    3. Sign a Judgment by Agreement.

    • You do not have to sign a Judgment by Agreement.  You can always ask for a continuance or have a hearing in front of a judge.
    • Do not sign an agreement unless you agree and can keep it.
    • If you sign an agreement, it is final. You cannot appeal.
    • If you break the agreement, the landlord can evict you.

    How do I get an attorney to represent me?

    Seek legal help.

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