As HAPCO Philadelphia has explained time and again to City Council, the current private eviction officer system used by Municipal Court works the way it should a majority of the time.

The recent incident between an eviction officer and a tenant being evicted is an isolated incident, given the decades the current system has been in place.

The recent City Council hearing looking at supposed “solutions” was heavy on tenant testimony, and very light on testimony from small, independent Mom and Pop rental owners who struggle to stay in the affordable rental housing market.

HAPCO Philadelphia says talk of using sheriff’s deputies to perform all evictions is problematic given recent controversy and corruption surrounding the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office.

The track record is very good for the current system of using private, court-appointed eviction officers.

The frequent claim by many tenants is that they are “blindsided” by their eviction.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There is already ample opportunity and warning in the existing eviction system to arrange a payment agreement.  And that’s been increased by the city’s mandated Eviction Diversion Program.

The simplest remedy for tenants facing difficulty paying rent is to do what HAPCO Philadelphia has always advocated:  Communicate with your rental owner.  Let them know you’re having trouble.  And start and dialogue and mediation to work out a solution.  Just halting rent payments and ignoring communication from a rental owner is the surest way to face an eviction that the tenant knows is coming.