Governor Wolf Issues Moratorium on Pennsylvania Evictions

Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC
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Following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order on April 28 that directed state courts to open for business on May 4, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued an executive order on May 7 declaring a moratorium on evictions through July 10, 2020. The relevant portion of Governor Wolf’s order states:
 

Commencing on May 11, 2020, the notice requirements mandated by the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 and the Manufactured Home Community Rights Act are stayed for 60 days, thereby tolling the ability to commence the timelines necessary for the initiation of eviction proceedings. All eviction proceedings requiring compliance with the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 and the Manufactured Home Community Rights Act cannot commence for 60 days until July 10, 2020. All eviction timelines must be computed with a start date of July 10, 2020, at which point any previously delivered Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 and Manufactured Home Community Rights Act notices will be deemed delivered and any eviction proceedings may commence. The eviction proceedings requiring compliance with the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 and the Manufactured Home Community Rights Act may proceed from that point forward in the normal course of action.

The effect of this order is to extend the ban on evictions beyond the dates the Pennsylvania Supreme Court set in its April 28 order and by the various Courts of Common Pleas throughout the state.

As a result of Governor Wolf’s Order, landlords are not able to serve eviction notices until July 10 (and if they do, the notices will not be effective until July 10), and if a landlord previously served an eviction notice, based upon which an eviction proceeding had not already begun (e.g., no eviction complaint was filed), the eviction notice will be deemed to have been delivered on July 10, and the time calculation with regard to that notice will begin on July 10. This will further delay landlords’ abilities to initiate eviction actions and get tenants who are in default of their leases out of their properties.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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