Q: I have asked my sister to leave for months. She refuses. She pays me $200 month. Do I need to not accept any money? She only draws $500 from SSD. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: She is a month-to-month tenant under the PA Landlord-Tenant Act and therefore you must follow the landlord tenant laws and evict her.
Q: My brother moved in with our mother to help take care of her 17mths ago. He didn’t have to pay any bills, grocery’s or maintenance in this time-period. She’s now in a nursing home. He said he can no longer care for her. Now he refuses to pay rent or help with the bills for the nursing home. He is living in our mother’s home and driving her car. He verbally said he would pay $500 monthly. I supplied him with deposit slips for this money to go directly into our mothers account to help pay for the nursing home. Can I evict him being I have power of attorney over our mothers estate? (Penn Hills, PA)
A: If your mother is mentally competent and wants your brother to stay in her home and drive her car, that is her decision, not yours. If she is incompetent, you can act in her best interest, if your POA complies with state law and permits you to manage her real estate. If so, you may have to evict him through court since he has been living there so long. You would start this process at a District Justice office. If your mother is receiving funding such as Medicaid, rental payments to her may disqualify her. I would review all the details with an attorney.
Q: Eight years ago, my sister convinced our mother to leave a HUD subsidized senior complex to live in her house instead. At the time she wanted our mother to take care of her house while she lived elsewhere. My mother uses most of her Social Security pension, her only source of income, to pay my sister a monthly rent plus other expenses. My sister has just given notice that she wants our mother out of the house so that she can convert her house into a full rental unit. We are trying to find a place for her, but so far, all the federally subsidized places we have looked at have a one to three year waiting list. My sister says she must be out in six months. Does my mother have any legal rights to remain in the house until she finds another viable living arrangement? (Versailles, PA)
A: I think the reality of the situation is that your mother needs to find elsewhere to live. You could consult with a landlord tenant lawyer. Your mother has rights under landlord tenant law. Normally however, landlord tenant laws are not so generous as to allow six-months-notice unless such time is provided in the lease. You could assist her by reaching out to senior housing programs.
Q: My sister owns her home. She invited her son and his son to live with her. Since that time, she entered a nursing home. Her daughter was given POA. Her son has been selling her items out of the house and damaging the property. The house had to be listed for sale when she entered the nursing home, for financial reasons. The son was supposed to move out within one week of her transition to the facility. However, he refuses to leave and refuses to let his sister, the POA, in to the house to take care of their mother’s belongings. We understand he will have to be legally evicted. Can the POA file the eviction papers for her? And can the utilities legally be turned off since he has no means to pay the bills which are in her name. And she has no funds coming to her as it goes to the facility? (Edgewood)
A: It depends if the Power of Attorney document authorizes the daughter to do the things you mention. If it is a well-drafted General Durable Power of Attorney, it likely will have a panoply of powers and she will likely be authorized to do what you express needs to be done. The document may state something to the effect, of “handling real estate matters”, which should suffice. If she is so authorized, she needs to act promptly to prevent damage to the house or theft of property from your sister. She can take the POA to the local District Justice and file an eviction complaint for possession. She can also contact the utility companies. They will require the POA to be faxed to them but she should be able to control the utilities. You may also want to involve the police.
Q: I press charges against my neighbor for intentionally disturbing the peace because he’s bitter about being evicted. I live in an apartment that I can’t sleep in because he is so loud. But when I am here I call the cops whereupon he gets louder. The landlord has given him 30 days notice to evict but by law he can’t do much else. This guy is intentionally setting his alarm clock to go off after he leaves (all hours of day and night) and when he is here he invites people over to drink and party and generally be loud. He doesn’t work so he does this all the time. I’m under lease so I cannot move without breaking that contract. This has been going on for 2 months. I can’t wait 30 more days. Can I simply press charges and/or have him fined for this behavior? Civil court or claims court is too costly and time-consuming. By then he’ll be evicted. I need a quick solution to an unfair situation.
A: Yes, you can see if the police will take a complaint. You can record the noise electronically or call the police to come over when he leaves the alarm on, so they can witness the disturbance. The better evidence you have, the more likely a criminal case for harassment or disorderly conduct can be proven. If the police won’t take a complaint for Disorderly Conduct or Harassment, you can see if the DA at the local District Justice office will take a Private Complaint. Remember, you will have to face him in court and this may all be over in 60 days when he is evicted.