Landlording is hard work, especially in places like Chester City. It didn’t take me long to conclude I was never going to be a landlord again. If I’ve got to live in two houses at once, that’s just what I’m going to do before I rent one out again. 

I heard the horror stories going into it, but I figured it couldn’t happen to me. I’ve rented places and understand the golden rule is to leave the place just as nice as it was when you moved in. I’ll confess I may have left a piece of furniture or a little wear and tear but never anything that would put me on the ‘do not rent to’ list. 

People need a place to live and I had just the spot. It didn’t take long to become part of a new Jordan Peele horror movie he could call ‘Get Out.’ Oh, he already used that name? Well, I’m using it again because that’s what eviction is all about. 

Evictions sound so coldblooded. The fact that you can lord over your land and have a family kicked to the curb seems inhumane. Legislators decided to show their human side and allow families to avoid evictions during the first 6-months of the coronavirus. But…

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration reiterated Monday that he will not extend his executive order halting evictions and foreclosures in Pennsylvania because of legal limits that prevent him from taking further action.

I’m not sure what to believe, but maybe Republican’s don’t get evicted because Democratic lawmakers have introduced a slate of legislation to extend the moratorium and provide other tools for tenants to stave off eviction and pay back what they owe in rent while Wolf feels compelled to urge the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to pass legislation to extend the statewide moratorium. Why aren’t they working together on legislation? 

The Philadelphia housing advocates predict a rush to Pennsylvania’s courthouses and a wave of evictions once the moratorium expires Tuesday. But, there’s a bunch of evictions that have been in the queue before the moratorium waiting their turn. Then, there are the new evictions that will be filed since March 2020.

The process to evict a tenant in Delco starts at District Court where the magistrate can order possession but usually only after some effort to make arrangements between landlord and tenant is made. When that fails, you go back to District Court where the magistrate has run out of patience and orders possession of the property back to the landlord. The tenant has 10-days to appeal and usually does. The appeal goes to County Court where the process starts all over again. It takes (or took me) 10 months before a new eviction hearing is scheduled. In the meantime, if the tenant pays the rent to the County Court on time, they can stay in the property. It takes another type of hearing for the landlord to request his rent from the Count which takes months to schedule. In the meantime, the tenant is still living in your property but you’re not getting any of the rent money. 

If it takes 10-months to get to County Court for an eviction hearing during normal times, imagine all the cases that have been on hold during the moratorium that have to come first before they get around to new cases marching through the system. 

That’s why I believe an eviction can take close to 2-years to complete before a tenant can legally be put out your property. 

A couple years ago I reviewed a great book on evictions called ‘Evicted.’ In the last few months, the author has been on everyone’s program giving interviews on the crazy eviction process and the impact evictions have on families, especially minority women. 

You can read my review of ‘Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City’ by Matthew Desmond here