If you’re researching laws and procedures related to evictions, check out the LSC Eviction Laws Database, an online tool that “allows users to explore the entire legal process of eviction - from pre-filing to post-judgment - in communities across the country.” Developed by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and Temple University’s Center for Public Health Law Research, this database compiles eviction laws* and helps shed light on how such laws vary across jurisdictions. Users can focus on one particular area at a time or use the database to compare laws in different places.
The resource includes two different sets of data that can each be explored through the interactive database or downloaded as an Excel file. The State/Territory Dataset includes information on state-level eviction laws for all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as territory-level laws for all U.S. territories. The Local Dataset focuses on state/territory, county, and local eviction laws for 30 cities that represent a varied group of communities (no Pennsylvania or New Jersey cities were included in the local dataset).
When using the database, users can choose to filter or explore the multiple sets of questions and answers about eviction law in each dataset by selecting the corresponding tab on the left-hand sidebar.
In the explore function for both datasets, users select one eviction-related question at a time. The answer to that question will then be displayed for all jurisdictions. In the State/Territory Dataset, for example, clicking on Question 5 (“Does the law require that landlords have a just cause to terminate a tenancy at the end of a lease term?”) will show how the laws of each state or territory answer that question. Users can choose to display the answers in either a Map view or in a Profile format.
The filter function lets users select (answers to) multiple eviction-related questions at a time to see which jurisdictions meet the set of narrowed criteria. In the Local Dataset, for example, selecting “Yes” under Question #1 (“Is there a law regulating residential evictions?”) shows that each of the 30 local jurisdictions meet that criteria. Subsequently selecting “Yes” to Question #2 (“Is there a state/territory law preempting local eviction laws?”) in the same dataset shows that only 9 of the 30 locations meet the criteria. The results of the filter function can also be displayed in both Map and Profile views.
For more details on how to interact with the datasets and understand the information presented, click on the “Help” button in the upper right-hand corner of the menu or select “How to use the… Dataset” in the related resources above the menu. The research protocols and the codebooks used to create the Laws Eviction Database can also be found in the related resources above each dataset’s menu.
If you're looking for practical information on evictions in Philadelphia, check out our Landlord Tenant page of our Self-Help Research Guide.
*As of the time of this writing, the LSC Eviction Laws Database includes laws that were in effect as of January 1, 2021. To be thorough, users should check on whether any more recent laws or regulations were implemented in any particular area since that date.