When is a Rental Property Considered Abandoned in Pennsylvania

September 15th, 2023, 6:15 AM

As a landlord in Pennsylvania, it is critical to know when a rental property is considered abandoned. This is because some different laws and procedures apply to abandoned properties.

According to the Pennsylvania Landlord-Tenant Act, a rental property is considered abandoned if the tenant:

  • Has vacated the property and has not communicated an intention to return.
  • Has not paid rent for at least 30 days.
  • Has terminated utility service to the property.
  • Has removed most or all of their personal property from the property.
  • Has left the property in a state of disrepair.

If a rental property is considered abandoned, the landlord may be able to take possession of the property and evict the tenant. However, the landlord must follow certain procedures to do this.

First, the landlord must give the tenant written notice of the abandonment. This notice must be sent by certified mail, and a return receipt requested. The notice must inform the tenant that the property is considered abandoned and that the landlord will be taking possession of the property if the tenant does not return.

If the tenant does not return to the property within 10 days of receiving the notice, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit. The landlord must be able to prove that the property is abandoned to win the eviction lawsuit.

Once the landlord has obtained a judgment in the eviction lawsuit, the landlord may take possession of the property. The landlord may then evict the tenant and re-rent the property.

It is important to note that there are some exceptions to the abandonment laws in Pennsylvania. For example, a property is not considered abandoned if the tenant is temporarily absent due to illness, vacation, or military service.

If you are a landlord in Pennsylvania and you believe that a rental property is abandoned, you should consult with us to discuss your legal options.

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