So your tenant is stiffing you and now you want them out – so what do you do? You call a lawyer and the lawyer tells you that he can help you and then he tells you his fees. I can not tell you how many calls I get from Landlords asking me if they can recover attorney’s fees if they bring a suit.
The quick answer as to whether or not a landlord can recover attorney fees from a defaulting client is found in the four corners of the lease agreement. It is well established law in Pennsylvania that Plaintiffs can not recover attorney fees in contract actions, unless the contract says they can. A lease is a contract between the Landlord and the tenants and, therefore, contract laws apply. Accordingly, generally speaking, unless the lease says the Landlord can. This fact is why it is so important that a landlord have the requisite language in the lease at the time of signing.
I will be blogging in the near future on how a Landlord can recover monies on a judgment and other Landlord rights. In the meantime should you need legal advice on this matter, feel free to contact my Pittsburgh Law Firm, Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, to speak with an experienced attorney.