Notice to Vacate

What Kind of Notice to Vacate Is Required for Residential Leases Under Pennsylvania Law?

If the tenant has a written lease with a private landlord for private housing which states that the tenant waives the right to receive a Notice to Vacate, the landlord does not have to give the tenant a Notice to Vacate before filing a Complaint for Possession at the Magisterial District Judge office. Generally, all other landlords must give the tenant proper Notice to Vacate before filing a Complaint for Possession at the Magisterial District Judge Office. All public, subsidized, and Section 8 leases require a notice to vacate. If the tenant has an oral rather than a written lease, a notice to vacate must be given. If no notice is given when required, the Magisterial District Judge has no authority to hear the case and should dismiss it. To be proper, a Notice to Vacate must be written and clearly stated, must give the tenant sufficient time to vacate, and must be served upon the tenant in a certain way.

  1. 1. THE NOTICE TO VACATE MUST BE IN WRITING AND MUST SPECIFY WHEN THE TENANT MUST VACATE.
  2. 2. THE NOTICE TO VACATE MUST GIVE THE TENANT A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME TO VACATE.
    1. If the tenant has a written lease with a private landlord for private housing, the landlord need only give the amount of time stated in the lease. In most other cases, the following rules apply:
    2. If the eviction is for end of lease term or for breach of the lease — 15 days notice if the lease term is for one year or less, and 30 days notice if the lease term is for more than one year.
    3. If the eviction is for failure to pay rent — 10 days notice.
  3. THE NOTICE TO VACATE MUST BE SERVED UPON THE TENANT IN A CERTAIN WAY.
  4. Notice by any kind of mail is not sufficient. The landlord must give the Notice to Vacate to the tenant in one of the following ways:
    1. By personal service. (It must be presented to the tenant.); or
    2. By leaving it at the principal building upon the premises; or
    3. By posting it conspicuously on the leased premises.