Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(a) An applicant for a new license or the renewal of a license shall complete an application provided by the Department. The application shall contain the following information, and such other information as the Department may require:
(.1) The name and address of the owner or owners of the property. 1212
(.a) If an owner of the property is not a natural person or a publicly traded company, the application shall identify, in addition to the owner of the property, the name and preferred mailing address of each natural person who has an equity interest in such owner or owners of the property that exceeds one or more of the following, regardless of whether the natural person has a direct equity interest or such natural person's equity interest is held through one or more tiers of a corporate structure, such as parent-subsidiary structure: (a) forty-nine percent (49%) of the value of the property or (b) forty-nine percent (49%) of the value of the owner of the property. If no natural person has such an interest, the application shall identify the name and preferred mailing address of the two natural persons who have the largest equity interest in the property. 1213
(.2) The address of the property for which application is made and the type of dwelling, if any.
(.3) The name, address and telephone number of the Managing Agent for the property, in compliance with Section 9-3907. The address provided for the Managing Agent shall not be a Post Office Box.
(.4) The owner's commercial activity license number, if the owner is required to have such license.
(b) The Department shall issue or renew a license if it finds:
(.1) The applicant has completed the application and paid the license fee;
(.2) The owner has a valid commercial activity license, if required;
(.3) There are no outstanding violation notices associated with the property for which the application is made that were issued under Title 4 which have been of record for more than 30 days, unless the owner has filed an appeal of the violation which is pending, and the owner has notified the Department of such appeal in a manner prescribed by the Department; and
(c) Applicants shall have an ongoing obligation to provide accurate and up to date information, and to correct inaccurate information. An applicant shall notify the Department of any changes to the information set forth in an application submitted pursuant to subsection 9-3901(2)(a) within ten (10) business days of such change, provided that the Department may rely on the accuracy of the current application on file at a given date. 1214
(b) Licenses are not transferable. If the ownership of a property changes during a license term, the new owner must obtain a new license within ten business days after such transfer of ownership.
(c) If any of the information set forth in a license application or license renewal application changes during the term of a license, the owner shall provide updated information in writing to the Department within ten business days of such change.
(a) The Department is authorized to immediately suspend a license if a property is deemed unfit or unsafe or imminently dangerous.
(b) The Department is authorized to suspend a license at the request of the District Attorney with respect to any property subject to forfeiture to the Commonwealth under the provisions of 42 Pa. C.S. § 6801 or other applicable law.
(c) A license issued may be suspended by the Department for failure to comply with the requirements of this Code after a re-inspection has been made to determine compliance pursuant to Section A-503.1 of Subcode A, or for failure to pay any fine and/or cost imposed under this Chapter or Subcode A, and such suspension shall continue until there has been compliance and until any unpaid fines and costs have been paid.
(d) The Department shall provide written notice and an opportunity for a hearing prior to any suspension of a license under this Section.
(e) Non-compliance. Any owner who fails to obtain a rental license as required by Section 9-3902, or to comply with Section 9-3903 regarding a Certificate of Rental Suitability, or whose rental license has been suspended, shall be denied the right to recover possession of the premises or to collect rent during or for the period of noncompliance or during or for the period of license suspension. In any action for eviction or collection of rent, the owner shall attach a copy of the license.
(f) Private Right of Action. Any tenant of any property subject to the provisions of this Chapter shall have the right to bring an action against the owner of such property to compel compliance with this Chapter. Such private right of action neither limits nor expands the rights of private parties to pursue any legal rights and claims they may possess under a written agreement or at Common Law.
(5) Definitions. 1215 The following terms shall have the following meanings in this Chapter.
(a) Dormitory: A space in a building where group sleeping accommodations are provided in one room, or in a series of closely associated rooms, for persons not members of the same family group.
(b) Dwelling unit: A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation, including such units contained within residential condominium buildings.
(c) Equity interest: A legal or equitable ownership interest in a property or business, however designated, including, but not limited to, capital stock, partnership interests, or membership interests. 1216
(d) Family: A person living independently or a group of persons living as a single household unit using housekeeping facilities in common, but not to include more than three persons who are unrelated by blood, marriage, adoption, or foster-child status, or are not Life Partners.
(e) Hotel: Any building containing six or more guestrooms, intended or designed to be occupied, or which are rented or hired out to be occupied, for sleeping purposes by guests.
(f) Let for occupancy: To permit, provide or offer possession or occupancy of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, building, premise or structure pursuant to a written or unwritten lease, agreement or license, or pursuant to a recorded or unrecorded agreement of contract for the sale of land.
(g) Multiple-family dwelling: A building containing more than two dwelling units.
(h) Occupancy: The purpose for which a building or portion thereof is used or occupied.
(i) One-family dwelling: A building containing one dwelling unit with not more than five lodgers or boarders in addition to the primary family.
(j) Operator: Any person who has charge, care, management, or control of a structure or premises, or portion of a structure or premises, which is occupied.
(k) Owner: Any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property; or recorded in the official records of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or City and County of Philadelphia as holding title to the property; or otherwise having control of the property; including the guardian of the estate of any such person, and the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of real property by a court.
(l) Person: An individual, corporation, firm, partnership, association, organization, or any other group acting as a unit.
(m) Premises: A lot including all buildings and structures erected on that lot.
(n) Rooming house: A building containing rooming units arranged or occupied for lodging, with or without meals, and not occupied as a one-family dwelling or a two-family dwelling.
(o) Rooming unit: Any room or group of rooms which together form a single habitable unit occupied or intended to be occupied by an individual or family for sleeping or living, but not for cooking purposes.
(p) Two-family dwelling: A building containing two dwelling units with not more than five lodgers or boarders in addition to the primary family in each dwelling.
(6) Exemptions. 1217 Properties owned and operated by the Philadelphia Housing Authority and its subsidiaries in compliance with the Department of Housing and Urban Development federal property maintenance standards are exempt from all licensing requirements set forth in Section 9-3902 ("Rental Licenses") and any related fees. The ownership, operation and rental of such properties shall be exempt from all licensing requirements set forth in Section 19-2602 of the Code pertaining to commercial activity licenses.
Amended, Bill No. 150266 (approved June 16, 2015), effective July 1, 2015.
Amended, Bill No. 180939-A (approved January 3, 2019), effective July 1, 2020.
Added, Bill No. 180939-A (approved January 3, 2019), effective July 1, 2020.
Added, Bill No. 180939-A (approved January 3, 2019), effective July 1, 2020.
Added, Bill No. 150266 (approved June 16, 2015), effective July 1, 2015.
Added, Bill No. 180992-A (approved February 6, 2019).