At-Will Eviction Term in a Residential Lease for One-Year Term

A residential lease is usually for a term of one year. There are other terms, like month-to-month leases, or six-month terms, or even a term for over a year.

Usually, the terms between the landlord and tenant are memorialized in a contract, called a lease.

The lease is a mixture of several areas of law. It is governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951, 68 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 250.101; Contract Law; Property Law; and Equitable Remedies.

If, one were to sign a lease for one year residential lease and unbeknownst to one who signed the lease there was an At-Will eviction term, say stating that for any reason the landlord can evict the tenant for any reason as long as notice of eviction is given thirty days in advance, this term would not be enforceable.

One can only be evicted from a residential lease that is for a certain period of time, before the term expires, is if the tenant violated a term of the lease.

Under property law, a month-to-month residential lease is a tenant at will and one can be evicted, or rather the landlord does not have to renew the month-to-month lease for any reason so long as notice is given fifteen days in advance. Some landlords give thirty days advance notice with month-to-month leases.

Landowners always have superior rights to tenants.

There is no self-help eviction in Pennsylvania. The only way to gain repossession of land is by eviction or ejection. Eviction is the usual way to remove tenants in a lease.

A month-to-month lease is a tenant at will, and it could be oral or written. Anything dealing with land should be in memorialized to satisfy the Statue of Frauds.

Again, with a month-to-month lease, once the month is up, the landlord for whatever reason can evict you, or simply give notice to vacate and it must be given at least fifteen days in advance. Notice must be given by: (1) hand delivering the notice, or (2) posted on your door. It cannot be mailed or emailed.

Remember, it is very simple to start the process by filing a complaint with MDJ where you live, whether one is a landlord or tenant, but it is always better to have an attorney on you side, especially if there is an appeal since that is when it really gets complicated.

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