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Rental suitability

Learn about the documents that you should get from your landlord when you sign a new lease.

Landlord responsibilities

Philadelphia law requires landlords to give new tenants certain documents when they sign a lease. This does not apply to lease renewals.

Landlords must provide:

  1. A Certificate of Rental Suitability. Landlords who fail to get this certificate may be subject to fines and penalties. This document must be signed and dated during the time frame the certificate is effective. It confirms that:
    • The landlord has the necessary licenses, including a Rental License.
    • The property has no outstanding maintenance issues.
    • The property has no fire code violations.
    • The unit has working fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.
    • The operating systems and the property do not have health and safety defects.
    • The landlord will maintain the operating systems and condition of the property throughout the tenancy.
  2. The Partners in Good Housing Handbook. This handbook describes the responsibilities of owners, tenants, and landlords for keeping properties in a safe, clean condition.

Landlords must also follow the lead certification law and certify that rental properties are lead-safe or lead-free.