Information for Renters in Pennsylvania Affected by Coronavirus
I can’t pay my rent. When do I have to leave my home? A landlord must file an eviction action with a court to legally remove you from your home. Some people receive non-legal eviction threats from landlords and assume they must leave, but this isn’t true. With some exceptions, your landlord must give you a written notice to quit before taking you to court. Your landlord cannot give you a notice to quit until August 31, 2020 at the earliest and cannot file an eviction action until the time specified in the notice to quit has run. Contact your local legal aid office if your landlord tries to lock you out, shut off your utilities, or you have questions about a pending eviction.
Find your local provider at palegalaid.net/legal-aid-providers-in-pa.
Most Pennsylvanians will be protected from eviction due to non-payment of rent or end of lease term through at least August 31, 2020, by order of the Governor.
Even with these protections, you still owe rent. Contact your landlord to try and work out a payment arrangement.
Rental Assistance is Available Some renters may be eligible for up to $750 per month in rental assistance for up to 6 months under the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s rental relief program. Eligibility and instructions are available at www.phfa.org/pacares/rent.aspx.
Some counties offer additional assistance over and beyond the $750 per month. Check with your county Department of Human Services to find out more. What if my landlord has already filed for eviction?
The Governor’s Executive Order does NOT apply to cases that were filed with a court prior to May 11, 2020. If your landlord has already filed to evict you, contact your local legal aid office immediately for assistance. The Governor’s order does not apply where a written lease has waived the notice to quit.
However, the federal CARES act requires owners of properties that receive federal assistance or have federally-backed mortgages to give a 30-day notice to quit, even if the notice has been waived in the lease.
Regional Housing Legal Services is working to inform Pennsylvanians affected by the Coronavirus. As of July 13, 2020, RHLS understands the above. Each situation is different and the information is subject to change.