Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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One Excellent Reason Why a Landlord Should Not Engage in Self Help.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | September 20, 2016

No. 1,284

I answered a question on AVVO yesterday asked by a landlord who was planning to engage in self-help, that is, locking out a tenant without filing suit under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Of course, if you lock the tenant out, you lock his property in.  Since you have to do something with the current tenant’s property in order to prepare for the next tenant, it is likely that the landlord will either move it to storage or discard it.

Before the 2012 amendment to the Landlord and Tenant Act, codified at 68 P.S. § 250.504, the tenant did not have a practical remedy to this practice.  However, under the amendment, the landlord must give a notice that the tenant has 10 days to remove the personal property in the unit and may request that the property be held (either on or off the premises) for 30 days.  Failure to comply entitles the tenant to sue for treble damages and attorneys fees.

Landlords who short circuited the judicial process in the past had a fair chance of getting away with it.  But not anymore.

To see a copy of the form of the required notice, scroll down to Post No. 1,279.


CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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