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Lead and Healthy Homes Program

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Laws and Regulations

The City of Philadelphia enforces a variety of laws and regulations designed to protect its residents from unsafe and unhealthy living conditions.

Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code
The Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code sets out the requirements to ensure property is safe and properly maintained.

Section PM-102.6.4 of the Code requires residential property owners to provide new tenants with a copy of the City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing brochure issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

Housing Rental License
Philadelphia landlords must obtain a Housing Rental License issued by the City of Philadelphia, which must be renewed annually. The owner must provide a written statement to the tenant that the unit is licensed and provide the license number.

Certificate of Rental Suitability
Residential property owners must provide tenants with a Certificate of Rental Sustainability, issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections, no more than sixty (60) days prior to residence. This Certificate states that properties have obtained all required rental licenses and do not have critical code violations.

Philadelphia Health Code
The Philadelphia Health Code prohibits any lead paint on exterior or interior surfaces of a building where the Department of Health determines there is a lead hazard to children under the age of six. Upon determining a lead hazard, the Department issues an order to the owner to eliminate the lead-based paint hazards and the owner is prohibited from evicting the tenant, coercing the tenant to leave or changing the lease terms.

All landlords must hire an EPA-certified firm to do the work. The complete list of EPA-certified films is available at the PA Department of Labor and Industry website.

In addition, if the owner fails to remove the lead hazard within 30 days of receiving the order, the owner is prohibited from collecting rent until the property is cleared by the Department of Health. Property owners who do not comply within 30 days must appear in “lead court” in Common Pleas Court where a judge may order fines, an order for the owner to abate the lead and/or to pay the City Department of Public Health to abate the lead.

Philadelphia Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification Law
The Philadelphia Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification Law requires owners of property built before 1978 and rented to children six years or younger to provide the tenant with certification prepared by a certified lead inspector stating that the property is either lead free or lead safe.

Philadelphia Fair Housing Ordinance
The Philadelphia Fair Housing Ordinance prohibits certain unfair rental practices by landlords against tenants. It also gives the Commission the authority to address unsafe and unhealthy conditions in rental property.

The Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance protects a person’s right to fair and equal treatment by landlords and other providers of housing. It prohibits discrimination including denial of housing, higher rent, or refusal to rent based on a person’s race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, age, source of income, familial status, or domestic sexual violence victim status or whether or not a family has children (familial status). For example it is illegal to refuse to rent to a family with children under six years old.

EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule
Landlords must follow the EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule that sets out standards for renovation, repair or painting of properties visited or occupied by children less than 6 years of age to protect against the danger of lead dust. Landlords who do their own work or the contactors they hire must by EPA RRP- Certified RRP.


Resources

For resources about laws and regulations related to lead and healthy homes, please visit Landlords and Tenants.