Hand deliver the notice or send with proof that you mailed it. Proof of mailing can be certified mail or a certificate of mailing from the post office that a first-class letter has been mailed.
This Notice lets your tenant know you both have the right to participate in Philadelphia's free Eviction Diversion Program. The Diversion Program helps landlords and tenants work out issues to prevent eviction.
The Eviction Diversion program will schedule you a mediation date. The mediation happens by phone. A neutral mediator will help you and your tenant see if you can work out an agreement outside of court.
While you wait for your mediation date, start drafting a proposed payment agreement. This can help you and your tenant come to an agreement that works for both of you.
Fill in as much detail as necessary for the sections that are relevant.
A housing counselor will review the proposal with your tenant and mediator.
If the issue is still not resolved, you can submit a case with the court.
Gathering Your Documents
You will need different documents depending on the kind of case you are submitting. Make sure you have your documents ready and include them when you submit your case. You may not have all the documents listed. Do your best to collect what you have so you can show the court and support your case. Remember to make copies for the court and the other side.
If you have documents that you did not submit with your original case you can still use them. Send them to the other side at least 10 days before your hearing.
For Landlords: Overdue Rent or Evictions
You will need these documents if you are a landlord and your tenant owes you rent or if you want to evict your tenant:
A written lease, if you have one (if not, you can mark that it is a spoken lease)
A current Business Privilege License
A current Housing Inspection License
If the rental unit is a multiple-family property, rooming house, dormitory, hotel, a one-family property, a two-family property, or a rooming unit
A completed Certificate of Rental Suitability that was given to the tenant
A Lead-Safe Certificate
Unpaid utility bills
If the lease requires the tenant to pay them
A copy of the Notice to Quit letter
Unless the lease says that no notice is required.
This letter tells the tenant that they must leave the property because:
Rent is overdue
The rental term of the lease has ended
The tenant has broken a rule of the lease
The letter must also tell the tenant the date they need to leave the property.
Unless the lease specifies a different time period, the landlord must give the renter:
10 days if rent is overdue
15 days if the tenant has broken a rule and they have rented the unit for less than a year
30 days if the tenant has broken a rule and they have rented the unit for more than a year
For Landlords: Repair Costs
A written lease
Photos of the damage
Proof of payment, invoices, and estimates for the repair
Other documents (like communication) about the damage
For Tenants: Getting a Security Deposit Back
A written lease
Proof that you returned the key and told the landlord where to send your security deposit
Proof that you asked for the security deposit back
Communication (like letters, emails, messages) from the landlord explaining why the full amount of the security deposit was not given back.
The court tells the other side to give you documents
If there are documents you need to support your case, you can ask for them. You should try and ask the other side for the documents first. If they will not or are unable to give you the documents, you can ask them with a court form. This is called a subpoena. A subpoena means they need to give you the documents. If they do not give you the documents, they might be arrested or have to pay a fine. You can ask for documents from anyone by giving them a completed Subpoena Form.
Here is how you fill out a Subpoena form:
Include your claim number
Complete the caption of the case. The caption is your claim number, the other side's name and address, and your name and address.
Include the name of the other side getting the subpoena
Explain in detail what documents you want from the other side
Take the Subpoena Form to the First Filing Unit so it can get a court seal
1339 Chestnut Street, 10th floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Pay the $3.30 fee with cash, credit, or debit card
If you have any questions, please contact the First Filing Unit at 215-686-2901
Information About the Other Side
Because you are suing someone else, you are called the plaintiff. The other side is called the defendant. Make sure you know the name and address of the other side you want to sue. Do not include titles such as Mr. or Ms. The address cannot be a post office box. If the other side is a corporation or other organization, make sure you have the correct name.
You can submit a Landlord-Tenant case if you are the tenant or property owner. If you are a tenant or a property owner, you can also allow someone else to take action for you. You can do this by filling out the Authorized Representative Form.
Submit in Person
Go to the court - First Filing Unit office on the 10th floor of 1339 Chestnut Street, Room 1000.
You can also allow someone else to take action for you. If you are out of state or an elderly person, you may want to have a representative go to court for you. You can do this by filling out the Authorized Representative Form. They are not allowed to submit a case for you without filling out this form first. If your lawyer is a member of the bar they do not need to fill out the form.
Complete the paperwork. The court has interviewers to help you complete the right paperwork. The interviewers cannot give you legal advice.
Pay the fee. The fee will pay for your case to be processed and for someone to tell the other side about the case (this is called service of process). To learn more about how to tell someone about a lawsuit, watch this short video. Find out how much you will have to pay to submit a case. We accept Money Orders, Business Checks, and Attorney Checks. We do not accept personal checks. Checks should be made payable to The Office of Judicial Records.
If you are unable to pay the fee, you can submit a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis Form. The judge will decide if you do not need to pay the fee based on your income and expenses. Bring proof that you cannot afford the fee when you go to court.
Submit by Mail
Download, print, and complete the Landlord-Tenant Form Packet. Make sure you type the form. Remember to clearly explain the reason you are submitting a case and include dates when possible.
Complete the Affidavit of Non-Military Form for each individual person you are suing. This is not needed if the other side is a business or organization.
If you represent a corporation, you must be an executive officer (President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer). You must also go to Court in person unless you complete an Authorized Representative Form. You must also include proof that you are an executive officer. We can accept minutes of a meeting, articles of incorporation, or a signed tax return.
Include a copy of all the documents you need for your case. Review the documents you need to include above.
Include a stamped envelope addressed to the person you are suing. We will use this to send copies to them as well.
If you are unable to pay the fee, you can submit a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis Form. The judge will decide if you do not need to pay the fee. Bring proof that you cannot afford the fee when you go to court.
Include a self-addressed and stamped envelope. We will use this to send you the hearing information.
You can call us at 215-686-7988 to confirm that all your documents and fees are correct.
Mail your packet to the First Filing Department
1339 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Once the court processes the case, you will receive a packet of information. This packet will have your case files, relevant forms, and affidavits (sworn statements). It will also include instructions to create a Case Participant Account. A Case Participant Account allows you to view your confidential documents and other information online.
Relisting a Case
Relisting a case means you are trying to submit the case again. There are a few reasons this might happen. When you submit a case, you must tell the other side that they are being sued. Sometimes the other side cannot be contacted. Other times, a case may be dismissed or ended early. This can happen if there are mistakes or errors in the case. This is called “dismissed without prejudice”. If your case was dismissed without prejudice, you can fix any issues with your case and then submit it again.
You can relist a case with the Second Filing Unit. 1339 Chestnut Street, 10th floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-686-7980