Question Details

Eleanor, Other/Just Looking in Philadelphia, PA

do you need a license to rent out investment properties in Philadelphia County?

Asked by Eleanor, Philadelphia, PA Mon Sep 15, 2008

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License Requirements for Philadelphia Properties

1) Business Privilege License and Rental License

Business Privilege License -- You must have a Business Privilege License for each ownership entitiy under which you own properties. For example, if you have one property under your personal name, you only need one (1) Business Privilege License. If you own more than one property with some under a corporate name and some under your personal name, you will need a Business Privilege License for each entity. The Business Privilege License is a lifetime license. The Business Privilege License Fee is $300 per entity.

The Business Privilege License form are here ===> Click Here

Rental License -- You need a rental License for each and every property you own in Philadelphia. Therefore, if you have ten (10) properties, you will need ten (10) rental licenses. The Rental License fee is $50 per unit (Example - Duplex is 2 units or $100)

o For the Rental License form go here ===> Click Here. Please print out the form and complete sections 1 through 7. If you are applying for both the Business Privilege License and Rental License, section 5 should be left blank.
o Once completed, please sign section 17 and fax the form to us at 610-240-9887 or mail to us at MVL Property Management, LLC, PO Box 2486, Southeastern, PA 19399.
o If your account has sufficient funds, we can prepare a check from your account, or if you prefer, you can prepare a check made out to the "City of Philadelphia" for the approprite fees.
o We will complete the form and mail to the City of Philadelphia.
o It generally takes several weeks to get a response from the City regarding your approved license.

2) Landlord Cooperation Act

As a property owner in Philadelphia, you are responsible for the unpaid gas bills for your property, unless you previously enrolled in PGW's pilot program, the Landlord Cooperation Program (LCP). If you register your property and remain in a cooperative status, PGW will not place a lien on your residential rental property during the term of the LCP. If you decide not to enroll in LCP or are deemed uncooperative (e.g. refuse entry to a PGW employee), then you will be held liable for gas usage incurred at your residential rental property after, August 9, 2006.
Cooperation with LCP includes:

1) You must enroll in the Landlord Cooperation Program;

2) You must register each of the properties you own in the program; and

3) You must fully cooperate with the terms & conditions of the program. For example, as part of the terms and conditions, you must work with PGW to allow access to the property when requested by PGW.

In order to enroll in PGW's LCP, you must have a valid Business Privilege License and Rental License.

To sign up go to"https://www3.pgwork…

There is no charge to sign up and participate in the LCP.

3) Rental Suitablity Certificate

The Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code (Section PM-102.6.4) requires an owner offering residential property for rent to provide the following to the tenant at the inception of each tenancy:

A Certificate of Rental Suitability issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections no more than sixty (60) days prior to the inception of the tenancy.
The owner’s attestation that all fire alarm and detection systems required for the premises are present and in proper working order, that the operating systems and the property are free of defects which affect the health and safety of the occupants and that the owner will continue to maintain the operating systems and the property throughout the tenancy.
A copy of the “City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing" brochure issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections

The fee for the Certificate is $25.00. (There is a $3.00 service charge for credit card payment. Please note: Pre-Paid credit cards will not work on this site.) The printed Certificate will include the required owner’s attestations.

We will obtain this certificate for you with each new tenant and provide the above documentation to ensure you are in complaince with this regulation. If you would prefer sign up for yourself, you can access the web site at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 5, 2011
Evidently, yes, you need TWO licenses to rent out a house in Philadelphia: a Business Privilege Tax required of anyone who engages in business in Philadelphia ($300, one time) and a Rental License ($50, annually). You will also need a Certificate of Rental Suitability ($25) before the tenants move in.

Good write ups in:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
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