Many Philadelphia residents have been affected by illegal or “self-help” evictions. The Illegal Evictions Action Team is working to educate landlords, citizens, and law enforcement officials about self-help evictions to discourage illegal actions and ensure that tenants know their legal rights. The Illegal Evictions Action Team is comprised of representatives from different organizations and agencies in the City of Philadelphia with relevant qualifications and knowledge.

The Philadelphia Police Department Directive 3.17 defines self-help evictions and how PPD officers should respond to protect the people. Some examples of self-help eviction practices are:

  • Forcing a tenant to vacate by use of force or threat of violence or injury to the tenant or property.
  • Interfering with utility services such as electricity, gas, telephone services, etc.
  • Removing or changing locks or blocking access (lockouts).
  • Any actions which make a house, apartment, or place to live unavailable to the tenant.

The Illegal Evictions Action team helps individuals understand self-help evictions by providing public education and resources to citizens. Some available resources include:

Organization Contact Telephone Number
The Fair Housing Commission 215-686-4670
Philadelphia Eviction Defense Hotline 445-888-1113
Philly Tenant Hotline 267-443-2500
Attorney General Bureau of Consumer Protection 800-441-2555


How to learn more and take actions to help prevent self-help evictions
For more information about self-help evictions, you can see the Explainer on our website HERE. Citizens can also file a complaint against a Philadelphia Police Officer if the officer does not follow proper procedures when responding to a self-help eviction. You can file a complaint of police misconduct on CPOC’s website.