Every landlord or entity that rents-out a residential housing unit(s) in Philadelphia is required to obtain a housing rental license (formerly known as a housing inspection license). Along with the actual rental license, there are other types of compliance checkboxes you need to tick.
We wrote a step-by-step guide that walks you through the steps to obtain your rental license and all of the associated approvals and compliance needs. You can read it here.
Why Getting Your Rental License is Important
Having any property without the proper rental licenses is a major issue for you as a landlord. It’s like driving without a license: it’s all fun and games (except it’s not, because you are constantly bugging out about getting caught…) until you get pulled over; your license suspended, and your car impounded.
Tenants can reach out to the city to file a complaint about anything going on at the property at any time. It happens constantly. If you do not have your rental license, you can and likely will be cited for violations. Violations turn into fines that turn into cease operations.
Even if you have a great and well-maintained property, tenants can still file complaints about anything with the city that they are not happy about; even something that maybe hasn’t even been brought to your attention. As soon as inspectors catch wind of the lack of rental licenses, they will issue a citation. (There’s inspectors dedicated to uncovering these things, so it’s usually only a matter of time.)
The longer you wait to get your license(s), the less leverage you have if anything were to go sideways with any of your tenants. It is your duty as a landlord to obtain the licenses and supply the required materials; the city holds you to it and will not side with you if you do not take all of the steps.
If you read our guide and find that it’s just too much for you to handle and coordinate yourself, we can help. We can consult you through the process, or you can simply hand over the whole thing for us to deal with for you.