How to File an Eviction Notice to a Live-In Boyfriend in Pennsylvania

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Letting your boyfriend move in with you might have been a good idea when your relationship was sweet, but if things have gone sour you’re probably not going to want to continue living under the same roof. If your boyfriend refuses to move out (no matter how often or how nicely you ask), you need an eviction notice. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that you have been cohabiting and do not have a landlord/tenant relationship.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Pennsylvania does not have specific laws for evicting a live-in boyfriend, but you have a few different options, depending on your circumstances. If your boyfriend refuses to leave, it could be a lengthy process.

Evicting a Tenant

If your boyfriend is a tenant named on the lease, you cannot evict him. Only your landlord can do this, and he must have grounds to do so, such as nonpayment of rent. First, the landlord notifies the tenant in writing of the reason for eviction. The landlord must then wait for a number of days before beginning the eviction process. Unless the lease contains a shorter notification period, this waiting period can last for up to 90 days, depending on the circumstances. For example, tenants require 30-days notice for leases that are less than one year and 90-days notice if the lease is for one or more years. However, as the other co-tenant, you would also be evicted.

Evicting a Guest

Pennsylvania law does not provide guidance for distinguishing a "guest" from a "tenant" if a person living in a property is not named on the lease. If your boyfriend doesn’t receive mail at the property and doesn’t have the address of the property on any identification documents, he may be classified as a guest. Contact the police and ask them to escort him from the property. However, if your boyfriend spends every night at the property, receives mail there, has moved furniture and other belongings into the property and uses the address for identification purposes, he may claim that this gives him tenancy rights (even if he doesn't pay rent). This makes it more difficult to evict him. It may be easier for your landlord to evict you (as the official tenant), which would mean your boyfriend (as your guest/unofficial tenant) also has to leave.

Following the Correct Procedure

Send a letter to your ex-boyfriend via certified mail to the address of the property in which you both currently reside. State that you want him to move out of the property and give your reason for this, for example, overstayed welcome, non-payment of rent, non-payment of utility bills, etc. Give him a deadline for moving out, such as 30 days from the date of the letter. Send one copy by certified mail and one by regular mail, and get proof of mailing. Next, visit your local district or municipal court office, explain your situation (you are a tenant evicting an unofficial flatmate) and ask for the paperwork you need to start the eviction process. Take a copy of the eviction letter you sent to your ex-boyfriend, together with a copy of your lease and utility bills.

If the court decides your boyfriend has tenant's right, it may schedule an eviction hearing, which your landlord and boyfriend will be required to attend. Your landlord and your boyfriend will tell their sides of the story under oath, and you will be given the opportunity to speak. The judge will decide whether your landlord can evict your boyfriend. If she determines that he can be evicted, she will file an order for possession against him, and he will have to move out within the time period specified in the order.

If you are concerned that your boyfriend is going to harm you, contact the police for information on temporary restraining orders and communicate your fears to your landlord.

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About the Author

Claire is a qualified lawyer and specialized in family law before becoming a full-time writer. She has written for many digital publications, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Vice and HealthCentral.