Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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

1410 Posts and Counting

Tip to Landlords: Don’t Mail or Email a Notice to Quit.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | July 25, 2010

No. 485

The Landlord and Tenant Act contains specific instructions on how to serve a notice to quit when evicting a tenant.  The landlord must hand it to the tenant, post it on the door or slip it under the door.  No other method will do.

In the AVVO Answer, linked here, the landlord sent an email to the tenant’s lawyer. My colleague, who knows the law well, correctly pointed out that an email does not comply with the statute.  However, he said that the magistrate would probably accept it.

Maybe he is right.  So the landlord wins and the tenant appeals.  Then what happens when the case is finally ends up before an arbitration panel?  If the tenant’s lawyer is sharp (or reads PLBT) he or she will put a torpedo right in the bow of the landlord’s case.  I’ve seen it happen, its devastating to the landlord.

Suddenly, the case must start over, but now it is two or three months later.  The money in escrow goes back to the tenant. The tenant continues to occupy the premises.  And the landlord may never be able to recover all of the rent. Ever.



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.

  • Recent Posts

  • Posts You Might Like

  • Subscribe to our feed