What are my options?
When you receive an eviction notice, you will not be forced to leave by the date on the eviction notice. Consider the following options:
- Negotiate an agreement with your landlord.
- Wait to resolve the dispute through the Eviction Diversion Program or in Eviction Court.
- Move out by the date on the eviction notice.
I want to stay. How do I negotiate an agreement with my landlord?
- If you want to stay, you may have defenses that prevent the landlord from evicting you or reduce the amount of money you may owe. Learn about your possible legal defenses.
- Review strategies for negotiating an agreement.
- Consider attending a tenants rights class.
- Write up an agreement that works for you.
- Propose the agreement to your property manager, landlord or landlord’s attorney.
- Remember, all agreements should be in writing and signed. Do not sign any agreements that you cannot follow.
- If you cannot reach an agreement, you can wait for the landlord to apply for the Eviction Diversion Program and try to negotiate an agreement then.
- If you still cannot reach an agreement, then you can wait to negotiate an agreement or present your legal defenses in Eviction Court.
- If you cannot come to an agreement in Court, you have the right to have a hearing before the Judge. Here are your options for a hearing.
I am willing to move. What should I do?
- If you leave before the move-out date on the eviction notice, you may avoid getting an eviction filing on your record. However, keep in mind that your landlord can still file in court even after you’ve moved out, if they believe you owe back rent.
- If you decide your best option is to move out, notify the landlord or property manager that you plan to leave by a certain date.
- Return your keys and remove all of your belongings from the rental property to be legally considered as having moved out.
- Provide your landlord with a forwarding address.
The eviction notice says I have to move by a specific date. Can I be locked out that day?
No. Your landlord cannot lock you out without first filing a case in eviction court and getting a judgment against you. If you do not leave by the date in the eviction notice, your landlord’s next step may be to apply for the Eviction Diversion Program or file a complaint in Eviction Court.
If your landlord locks you out without going to court or during the court process, it may be an illegal eviction.
Is my landlord allowed to send me an Eviction Notice?
In most cases, yes. The landlord can send an eviction notice if they believe you fell behind on rent, breached your lease in some way or your lease term is over.
The landlord is not allowed to send you an eviction notice because you requested repairs or called License & Inspections (L&I). If this happens to you, consider filing a complaint with the Fair Housing Commission for unfair rental practices.
The landlord also not allowed end your lease on the basis of your sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, source of income, familial status or disability. If this happens to you, consider filing a complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations for housing discrimination.