How to Know Whether to File an Ejectment or Eviction

Real estate investors often purchase properties that are occupied at the time of purchase. It some cases the investor purchased the property for the rental income and desires rent-paying tenants to remain. But some investors may wish to have the property vacated due to non-paying occupants or to renovate the property. Investors who choose to vacate a property must select the right legal process. Selecting the wrong process wastes time and money and delays the ultimate plans for the property’s use.


Removing an occupant is accomplished through either an “eviction” or an “ejectment” case. Which type of case is the right one? The answer depends on the legal status of the occupant.



When should an Eviction be filed?


Evictions may only be used to remove tenants. Tenants are persons who have a landlord-tenant relationship with the owner. A landlord-tenant relationship exists if the tenant had a lease or paid rent. A lease does not have to be in writing. If there is an agreement between the owner and the occupant to use the property in exchange for money, then a landlord-tenant relationship is exists.


The advantages of an eviction compared to an ejectment in Philadelphia are lower cost and a relatively short legal process. Tenants can often be evicted in 6-7 weeks.


When should an Ejectment be filed?


Any person who is not a tenant must be removed through an ejectment action. As a real estate investor or property owner, it is frustrating when a property is occupied by someone who does not pay to use the property. An ejectment action can restore possession to the owner or grant possession to a recent purchaser.


The best practice is to start the case without delay because ejectments can be a lengthy process.


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