The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues rental and property licenses in the City of Philadelphia. Licenses are generally renewed on a regular basis and require a renewal fee.
What kind of license do I need?
The Rental License is the most common type of property license.
You need a Rental License to rent dwelling, rooming, or sleeping units to tenants in Philadelphia. That includes residential dwellings and units, rooms in a home, dormitories, and certain visitor accommodations.
A Rental License is a type of business license. All businesses that operate in the city need to:
- Register for an Activity License, or
- Get a Commercial Activity License.
Landlords in Philadelphia need to follow certain requirements in addition to obtaining a Rental License. Learn how to rent your property long-term.
Still have questions? See the Rental License FAQ.
Common rental and property situations
In most cases, you will need a Rental License to operate your rental property. However, there are some situations where a different license or approval is needed. Here are some common examples:
|To rent out …||You’ll need a …|
|A unit to a family member, without collecting rent.||Notarized affidavit of non-rental|
|Your primary residence or a room in it for 30 days or less (e.g. using a short-term rental platform like AirBnB)||Limited Lodging Operator License|