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Rental License FAQ

This page contains some frequently asked questions about getting a Rental License in Philadelphia. For basic information about getting a Rental License, see the Get a Rental License page.

General

The Rental License application asks for the “Rental License Category.” What is that?

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I recently changed the number of dwelling units. How do I update my license?

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What is the difference between a Zoning Permit and a Certificate of Occupancy?

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Ownership

The property is owned by more than one person. Who is responsible for the Rental and Commercial Activity Licenses?

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The owner is identified as a disregarded entity (an LLC that is not separate from the owner for federal income tax purposes) or “Doing Business As” (DBA) on the tax account associated with this property. Will the Rental License be issued in the name of the disregarded entity/DBA or the owner of primary tax account?

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Licensing obstacles

I purchased a property as a multi-family dwelling. When I filed for a Rental License I was told that I must submit proof that the use was continuous or legally established. What does this mean and how do I prove it?

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I got a property certification with the correct number of units when I purchased a property. L&I is now telling me that the use was never legally established or was discontinued. Why am I getting conflicting information?

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I own a unit in a condo building. There are open violations for common areas or shared retaining walls. Will this prevent me from getting or renewing my Rental License?
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