On December 4, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved two recommendations from the Minor Court Rules Committee that are beneficial to landlords. These changes increase the timeline for landlords to file a Request for Order of Possession following a hearing before the local magistrate. The amended rules can be found here.
Traditionally, a landlord has between 10 and 120 days to file the Request for Order of Possession. The eviction moratoria, coupled with several magistrate offices closing due to COVID-19 cases, has made it increasingly difficult for landlords to obtain those Orders within the aforementioned timeframe. The amended rule now allows up to 180 days. Furthermore, a landlord can now ask for up to two extensions of 60 days each, provided the first extension was filed during the initial 180 day window.
These changes will go into effect on January 1, 2021. As a result, landlords will preserve the initial judgment from the magistrate hearing while allowing an even longer window to negotiate private forbearance agreements to allow tenants affected by the pandemic time to pay outstanding rent.
As always, the attorneys at Stock and Leader can help landlords navigate these regulations along with other COVID-19 related regulations. Contact a member of the Stock and Leader COVID-19 Response Team for further guidance.