PHILADELPHIA LANDLORD/TENANT LAWYER

Top Philadelphia Landlord/Tenant Lawyers

Providing eviction and landlord services to property managers
The attorneys at The Law Office of Mark D. Copoulos have experience in Philadelphia Landlord and Tenant Matters.  Our firm has provided eviction and landlord services to many property managers.  We work together with the client to ensure that all needs are satisfied in a timely and efficient manner. For a landlord this means ejectment of the tenant from the property at the earliest possible date. If you are a landlord in Philly, we have the expertise and ability to provide committed and effective representation at a competitive rate.

The Landlord

An eviction is an uncomfortable process for nearly any landlord. There is someone in your house or property, who has defaulted on their obligations to pay rent. Or maybe the tenant has ignored the Notice to Vacate you provided, and has decided to try to make the property their own. Other landlords face tenants with drug issues, lawbreakers who are disruptive, and tenants that depreciate and destroy their homes.

When you’re dealing with a tenant who does not respect law and order or any sense of fairness, you must hire an attorney who will aggressively and proactively defend your rights. Our office regularly handles evictions of tenants, often for landlords residing outside of the state of Pennsylvania. We take care of every element of the time consuming process of an eviction. From notice to lockout, we do not rest until a sheriff or landlord/tenant officer has removed the tenant from the property and restored order.

Our affordable and cost-effective eviction lawyers handle all of the following elements of eviction:

Notice to Vacate

A landlord must give written notice to a tenant to vacate the property. If the tenant has a written lease, the lease governs the terms of notice. If a tenant is being evicted for non-payment of rent, unless specified differently in the lease, a landlord must give ten (10) days written notice. The same requirement stands for all oral leases. If a tenant is being evicted for termination of the term, or violation of a lease condition, the written notice must be at least fifteen (15) days if the lease is for one (1) year or less; if the lease is for more than one year, a minimum of thirty (30) days written notice is required. Notice should be provided by posting the document to the door of the tenants residence. Notice can also be hand delivered. If the landlord opts to mail the notice it should be sent certified mail, return receipt requested at a minimum.

Complaint

The eviction complaint may be filed simultaneously with giving the tenant notice to vacate. It almost always take more than the minimum notice requirement to schedule a court date. Therefore, an attentive lawyer will handle both of these matters at the same time. Upon filing the complaint the landlord through his counsel may sue for damage to the property, nonpayment of rent, and any other costs incurred as a result of the tenancy.

The courts will notify you of the scheduled court date. At trial both sides will discuss a possible non-trial disposition before litigating the case before a judge if the matter is not settled by agreement. A pre-trial settlement is commonly referred to as a judgment by agreement (“JBA”).

The Hearing

If the tenant does not appear a the hearing, the tenant loses by way of default judgment. At the hearing, both parties enter into mediation in an attempt to negotiate a settlement. Agreements created at court are called Judgments By Agreement (“JBAs”). They are legally binding. They cannot be appealed by either side. Thus, if either landlord or tenant is unclear about the terms and conditions of the JBA, they should refuse to sign it. Verbal agreements that are not put in writing are not honored. Therefore, it is critical that your lawyer properly draft the JBA to ensure your rights are protected, and the tenant is not given undue leeway into the future months.

Appeal

The vast majority of Landlord-Tenant cases are not appealed. The high price of appeal is prohibitive for many tenants. The cost of filing a complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is over one-hundred fifty dollars. Additionally, it becomes extremely difficult for a tenant to proceed unrepresented at this higher level of litigation. As such, very few cases are actually appealed. In Philadelphia, cases that are appealed go to the Court of Common Pleas. Either side wishing to appeal must file with 10 day’s of the judgment in Municipal Court. The 10 day rule is rigid and perhaps meant to discourage further litigation of landlord-tenant matters beyond Landlord-Tenant Court. One requirement of any tenant wishing to appeal is to place all monthly rent in an escrow account. The appeal prevents the tenant from being evicted until a disposition is achieved at the Common Pleas level. Numerous times our office has seen tenants lose cases in Common Pleas Court because they tried to proceed unrepresented, and failed to represent their interests adequately in this complex stage of litigation. Our firm charges a different price for handling of appeals because they are costly, time consuming, and more intensive than matters limited to Philadelphia Landlord-Tenant Court. We have had great results in Common Pleas Court for our clients facing appeals in Landlord-Tenant matters.

The Writ of Possession

When the judge grants possession of he premises back to the landlord, the landlord lawyer must obtain a Writ of Possession. The Writ will be served on the tenant, and notify said tenant that an eviction will take place on or after eleven days from receipt of the Writ. This means that the earliest a tenant can possibly be evicted is twenty-one days from the judgment date. Thus, even a tenant who has lost in court can get three additional weeks of rent free tenancy by simply holding out until the lockout.

Eviction

After eleven days from the filing of the Writ of the Possession, the PA Eviction Lawyer files for an Alias Writ. The Alias Writ is often delivered or served by a sheriff, or a sheriff’s representative. This is the critical moment when the landlord is finally vindicated. Locks are changed and the tenant is physically evicted from the premises. The tenant cannot re-enter without express permission from the landlord. Once the Alias Writ is executed, there is no going home from the tenant. The Landlord has prevailed.

We look forward to providing you with excellent and affordable service in your PA Eviction Matter.

Cases

$5,692.00 And Possession For Landlord

Attorney Copoulos represented A.M. in a Landlord-Tenant case. The Landlord came to Mark Copoulos for an eviction. Landlord (“A.M.”) rented to a tenant (“S.A.”) who defaulted on his payment obligations.

Attorney Copoulos sued SA. He sought damages for filing fees, attorney’s fees, late fees, and back rent. At trial, Mr. Copoulos eviscerated the pro se tenant. Tenant’s arguments citing Housing Code violations failed. Tenant’s arguments citing habitability failed.

At the end of the day, tenant was ordered to vacate and pay $5,692.00 in damages to Landlord. The public docket can be viewed here.

Please Note: Case results depend on a variety of factors.  Case results listed herein do not guarantee a similar result in your case.  For more information, speak with a Philadelphia Landlord-Tenant attorney.

Please Note: Case results depend on a variety of factors.  Case results listed herein do not guarantee a similar result in your case.  For more information, speak with a Philadelphia Landlord-Tenant attorney.

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