Eviction Lawyer


We offer superior representation at competitive rates for you and your family:


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. Finally, if a tenant is being removed for termination of the term the landlord must provide good cause for termination of the leasehold.   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”). Such agreements may be beneficial to both sides as landlord is ensured possession of the property and a delinquent tenant may escape some financial liability for missed payments.


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. 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.


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.


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.

The Law Office of Mark D. Copoulos was founded on our commitment to the client. We pride ourselves on unparalleled service. Our firm answers all incoming calls from clients, at all hours, and strives to promptly resolve your legal issue.

Areas of Practice

1628 JFK Blvd., Ste. 1301
Philadelphia, PA 19103