Philadelphia Eviction (What next?)

7 Replies | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hello Everyone!

I recently received an order (in my favor) from a judge in a landlord tenant dispute here in Philadelphia. I was granted immediate possession of the property but no lock out until July 31, 2021. In the event that the tenant still doesn't leave, what is the next course of action that I can take? Do I need to get the sheriff involved, or can I proceed with turning off the utilities effective that date? I understand that every jurisdiction is different, but what has your experience been when evicting a bad tenant?


I can't speak for Philadelphia but I'm going to say it's never going to look good for you to turn off the utilities on a non-vacant building.  Even if you did get the possession order, if a tenant is injured because the electricity was cut off, you'd probably be liable.

@Kenneth C.

You absolutely cannot turn off the utilities nor proceed with any type of enforcing eviction/lock-out yourself. You have to file for a writ with sheriffs office and follow the rest of the process.  I'd suggest to use an eviction attorney. Or call sheriffs office, they should be able to explain what's is needed. 



I've gone through multiple evictions on tenants in philly over the past 7 years and I would strongly suggest not waiting to see what the tenant will do. In the future, always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. In the case of evictions - that means moving forward with the sheriff lockout after you receive a judgement.

If you have an attorney, ask them to move forward with the writ and alias writ. 

If you don't have an attorney and are doing it yourself - I would IMMEDIETLY contact the Landlord Tenant Office to find out how to start the process for your specific situation. NOTE: The Philadelphis Sheriff's office does not handle the paperwork to start the lockout process for landlord tenant cases, so you have to contact the Landlord Tenant Office instead.

For all my previous evictions in Philadelphia County, I had to wait 10 days after the judgement to file for a "praecipe for writ of possession" and a "writ of possession". Then I had to wait another 10 days to file for a "praecipe for alis writ" and an "alis writ - before I could get in the list to be scheduled for a lockout. There are fees associated with all of these filings as well as paperwork that you need to provide before the filings can be completed, so contacting their office ahead of time will save you a ton of headaches.

On your lockout date, the sheriff will come to the property, post the eviction notice, allow you to change the locks, and facilitate the physical removal of the tenant if that is needed. 

Hope this helps. If there are other landlords reading this post looking for info on philly evictions, and you're going through the process on your own - don't just wait and see what happens! Especially now, where the wait times on lockouts in some cases are months away. Once you get that judgement, contact the Landlord Tenant Office to find out the soonest possible date you can start the sheriff lockout paperwork.

Good luck Kenneth!

@Marie Kyle Thank you very much for your insight and the detail that you provided. I actually started the process shortly after receiving the judgement in my favor. This post will definitely be helpful for other landlords that will likely have to go through the process for the first time.