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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 5, 2021 03:34 PM
From: Representative Sara Innamorato
To: All House members
Subject: Suspension of Notice to Quit
The COVID-19 pandemic has created extra stress for so many families due to health concerns, the loss of jobs, and anxiety about being able to pay rent and bills. A moratorium was placed on certain residential evictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure during these troubling times families were not losing their homes and forced into shelters, which will increase the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, there are many problems that prevent the CDC moratorium from being fully effective in Pennsylvania.  First, the moratorium does not trigger automatic order to obtain protections, tenants must first know about the moratorium, understand whether they are covered, sign the CDC declaration, and deliver it to their landlord.  This allows many renter households to fall through the cracks. Second, many Pennsylvania Courts have interpreted the moratorium as only applying to evictions for non-payment of rent.

This has created a loophole that effectively denies the protection of the CDC order to renter households who are on month-to-month leases or whose leases are up for renewal. It has also meant that, for many tenants, whether they are protected by the CDC moratorium will depend on what county – or even what magisterial district – they live in.  Finally, even when the moratorium clearly applies, many landlords provide tenants with a Notice to Quit, claiming they are going to evict the tenant, while knowing that they are unable to proceed due to the eviction moratorium. This is being used as a tool of intimidation against struggling families and needs to be stopped.
In order to help families, I will be introducing legislation which would suspend the giving of Notices to Quit except for conduct that presents an imminent threat to the health or safety of other residents or property staff, while a federal or state moratorium on evictions is in effect. Once the moratorium is lifted these orders can begin again.
Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation and help families feel safe at home. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Keontay Hodge at Khodge@pahouse.net.