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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: August 5, 2019 02:53 PM
From: Representative Elizabeth Fiedler
To: All House members
Subject: Eviction Expungement
Many tenants face eviction through no fault of their own, yet under current law that record will follow the person for years. Having an eviction case on record makes it harder for people to get new housing and can negatively impact their credit score. It follows people regardless of the reason for their eviction and impacts some of our most vulnerable neighbors, including people who are evicted after failing to pay rent on time while they are going through a medical emergency or other unforeseen financial hardship.

Our current eviction records law benefits bad acting landlords, who can threaten tenants with frivolous evictions to keep them from demanding safe and sanitary housing conditions. Renters aren’t the only ones hurt by the current state of affairs — the law as is also makes it harder for small landlords, who need accurate information about their tenants and who can’t afford to be misled by spurious eviction records.

To help Pennsylvania families, my legislation establishes eviction expungement procedures. The bill would still allow eviction cases to be unsealed for five years if it was found that the tenant did indeed breach the lease. Any eviction cases dealing with a “not-for cause” eviction or a foreclosure eviction would be automatically sealed. The bill will also retroactively seal all cases which meet the “not-for cause” criteria, which will give a clean slate to many families who are looking for safe and affordable housing.

I ask that you join me and support this legislation that will help Pennsylvania families access safe housing.

Introduced as HB2382