An eviction proceeding is the process used by a landlord to terminate a lease and remove a tenant from a rental property. Typically, the landlord must first give a Notice to Quit, also called an Eviction Notice. The Notice to Quit must contain certain wording that informs the tenant that the lease has been breached. After giving the Eviction Notice to the tenant, but prior to taking any further eviction action, the landlord usually has to give the tenant a certain amount of time to either correct the problem or to move out of the property. If the tenant has not corrected the problem or vacated the leased property by the end of that waiting period, the landlord can then file a complaint with a Magisterial District Judge seeking the removal of the tenant, as well as any rent and damages which may be due.
The court system has very strict rules regarding eviction proceedings, and therefore it is critical that landlords carefully abide by the correct procedures. If a landlord fails to follow the appropriate rules, the landlord could lose the case and/or find themselves sued by the tenant. Most eviction proceedings begin before a Magisterial District Judge. However, if the landlord is not successful before the Magistrate, in order to pursue the case, an appeal would need to be filed with the County Court of Common Pleas, seeking ejectment of the tenant. Typically, ejectment actions are significantly more complex, technical and usually more expensive to pursue.