In Pennsylvania, a landlord has the right to file a lawsuit in Magisterial District Court if a tenant fails to make timely rental payments. Once a landlord receives a judgment, and no appeal is filed, the landlord has the right to request an order for possession from the Court. An order for possession gives a sheriff or constable the right to evict a tenant from the leased property. However, a landlord may be faced with a tenant who wants to make payment of the judgment before the eviction.
Tenants in Pennsylvania have the right to pay and stay under the Landlord Tenant Act. 68 P.S. § 250.503(c). This means that a tenant can make payment up to the actual time of the eviction and remain in the property. The landlord would not be permitted to proceed with an eviction. But what amount must the tenant pay? And what amount must a tenant pay if additional rent came due after the date of the judgment?
The Landlord Tenant Act requires a tenant to pay “rent actually in arrears and the costs.” 68 P.S. § 250.503(c). This means that the tenant must pay the judgment amount plus the landlord’s costs in obtaining an order for possession. In a situation when additional rent comes due after the judgment, a landlord may think that the tenant would also have to pay such additional amounts to remain in the property. However, this is not correct. A tenant is required to only pay the amount of the judgment plus costs, even if additional rent comes due after the judgment and before the eviction. Therefore, a landlord may be faced with a situation in which a tenant pays the outstanding judgment, but is still delinquent in rent. The landlord must then proceed from the beginning with another lawsuit in Magisterial District Court to obtain a judgment and order for possession.
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The information above is general: we recommend that you consult an attorney regarding your specific circumstances. The content of this information is not meant to be considered as legal advice or a substitute for legal representation.