Q: Can a landlord reclaim the property when you have a month to month lease that has expired without evicting you?
Receiving certified letter to vacate premises and that landlord is reclaiming his property, not renewing month to month lease but is claiming he is NOT evicting us.
A: The law in Pennsylvania is that on the date that the term of a lease expires, the lease itself expires and terminates. If a lease terminates, it terminates and no longer exists. This means the tenant no longer has any right to remain at the leased premises and the tenant must vacate the leased premises. No eviction lawsuit is required for the lease to terminate when it says it terminates, but under Pennsylvania's Landlord Tenant Act, the landlord has the right to sue a tenant in eviction in the case where the tenant did not move out before the lease terminated. In addition, the landlord has the right, in the same eviction lawsuit, to demand the tenant pay to the landlord money for damages, court costs, filing fees, and (perhaps) attorneys fees. The money judgement awarded by the court is automatically a lien against the tenant's property and the court may issue additional orders, if requested, to collect the money owed, which could be orders to the tenant's bank, employer or taxing authorities to compel payment. The money damages demanded by a landlord could include money lost by the landlord as a direct result of the tenant's failure to move out on time. All of the above should apply unless the lease agreement has provisions clearly to the contrary. To avoid the cost, stress and time involved in a lawsuit a tenant has little chance to win, many tenants try to meet personally with the landlord, in a calm, unemotional and reasonable frame of mind, to try to find an alternative that is acceptable to both of them.
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