Vacant Lot Program

Promoting clean neighborhoods by enforcing the City’s property maintenance codes through inspections and cleanups.

What we do

There are approximately 40,000 vacant lots in Philadelphia, and over 74 percent of these vacant lots are privately owned. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their property, disposing of any litter on their property, and keeping the property safe.

The City’s Vacant Lot Program deals with properties that are overgrown or full of litter.

Residents can call 311 to request a vacant lot cleanup. The City will then send the property owner a warning notice, telling them to clean up their property. If the owner doesn't clean up the property within the period listed on the warning notice, City crews will clean up the property and bill the owner for the cleanup cost. This process may take up to 90 days.

Connect

Phone: 311

Process and eligibility

Owners are responsible for securing and maintaining their property. Unfortunately not all property owners take the necessary steps to protect and care for their property. The problem gets worse when owners neglect their property, and when people use empty lots to dump their trash. The process for reporting and addressing vacant lots in Philadelphia is outlined below.

Call to report vacant lot

You can report a vacant lot by calling 311 if you're inside the city, or (215) 686-8686 if you're outside the city. When you call provide the operator with your:

  • Name.
  • Address.
  • Phone number.

You will be given a ticket number so that you can track the progress of your report. All information is kept confidential. Missing or incorrect information may delay the cleanup process.

Inspection and notice

After you report a vacant lot, we send an inspector to the property to verify the complaint. The inspector will take photos of the lot that was reported, as well as of any other unkempt or vacant lots on the block. The inspector will decide if the property owner has violated the City code. If the property is in violation, the City will send the property owner a notice of violation, requiring them to clean up their property within the period listed on the warning notice.

Cleanup

After the initial inspection, the inspector will revisit the property to see if the owner has cleaned up the property. If not, the complaint will be forwarded to our cleanup teams. The owner of that property will be billed for all costs associated with the cleanup. If the property owner does not pay the cleanup bill, the City will place a lien against the property.

Cleanup calendar

We work by cleaning up a few ZIP codes at a time. Use our calendar to see when our teams will be coming to your neighborhood.

Report a vacant lot that should be cleaned up.

You will be given a ticket number so that you can track the progress of your report.


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