On February 24, 2021, President Judge Clark issued an Order that permits the filing of new residential landlord tenant cases subject to the CDC Order banning evictions. The CDC Order temporarily halts residential evictions of covered persons for nonpayment of rent through March 31, 2021. This means that a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue an eviction or a possessory action cannot evict for nonpayment of rent any covered person from any residential property.
Pending any overriding action by Governor Wolf or the federal government, Judge Clark’s Order provides, in part:
- Effective March 1, 2021, all residential landlord tenant actions will be accepted in Allegheny County pursuant to the applicable statutes and rules.
WHERE CDC ORDER DOES NOT APPLY:
- If on or before the initial hearing date, the tenant indicates that the tenant has submitted or will submit an application for rental assistance under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), the initial hearing date shall be used to conduct a status conference rather than a hearing. The Allegheny County Department of Health Services shall provide information and assistance for the application process.
- If, at the status conference, it is determined that the case involves an end-of-lease situation in which the payment of money would not prevent an eviction and the tenant would not be able to satisfy a potential judgment, the case shall be continued for a period of time of between 21 and 35 days. The Allegheny County Department of Human Services and/or other agencies will provide information and resources to assist tenants in planning for alternative housing arrangements.
WHERE CDC ORDER DOES APPLY:
- In cases at the Magisterial District Court, the action may be accepted for filing, but the case shall be stayed until after the expiration of the CDC Order. The initial hearing date shall still be used to conduct a status conference rather than a hearing and the ERAP shall be considered by the parties. Following this status conference, the matter shall be stayed until after the expiration of the CDC Order.
Landlords with tenants in Allegheny County now have the opportunity to initiate eviction proceedings in accordance with Judge Clark’s Order. To ensure compliance with the Order and to discuss eviction options, Landlords should contact either Lawrence Maiello or John H. Prorok of Maiello, Brungo & Maiello, LLP’s Real Estate Team.