You need a Make Safe building permit to repair a structure that has been marked as unsafe or imminently dangerous. A Make Safe Permit is also called a permit to remediate a dangerous condition.
You can only use a Make Safe Permit to address unsafe or dangerous conditions. Failure to address an outstanding violation could result in fines or the demolition of your building or structure by the City.
The permit does not authorize any unnecessary renovations or additions. You need separate permits to do additional construction, plumbing, electrical, or other work.
The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this permit.
Property owners and their authorized agents can apply for this permit. Authorized agents include:
- Design professionals.
- Licensed expediters.
The permit application must include the complete scope of work and current owner information.
- If the property was recently sold, submit a copy of the settlement sheet or deed with the application.
- You must apply for all permits under the legal address established by the Office of Property Assessment (OPA).
- A licensed Philadelphia contractor must perform the work, except when the project involves an existing one-or-two-family home. Then work may also be performed by:
- If a contractor is required, they must be named before final payment for the permit can be accepted. The contractor must:
- Have an active license
- Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes
- Have current insurance on file with L&I.
Reports and plans
You’ll need to provide plans, pictures, and a PA-licensed engineer’s report.
- Provide pictures that depict building conditions.
- A report describing conditions and remediation prepared by a PA-licensed engineer:
- L&I may waive this requirement for minor repairs, but the applicant must fully describe remediation.
- Plans that are signed and sealed by a professional engineer.
- Plans must be drawn to scale on a minimum sheet size of 18 in. by 24 in.
- Provide three copies of the report and plans.
- Structural Design Criteria form
- This form is intended for IBC regulated buildings. Designs under the IRC may note structural design parameters on the plans.
- Special Inspections documentation
- Duties & Responsibilities Agreement signed by all parties
- Statement of Special Inspections Schedule with categories and frequency selected
- Name of licensed Special Inspection Agency qualified for all inspection categories
For all historic properties
You need approval from
The Historical Commission
You must have this approval in order to apply. L&I will refuse your permit application without Historical Commission approval. See how to get approval for work to a historic property.
You’ll need your plans with stamped approval from the Historical Commission before you make your application at the Permit and License Center in the MSB.
Submit your stamped plan as proof of approval when making your application.
Where and when
Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.
Fee types that may apply
- For one-or-two-family dwellings: $25
- For all other buildings: $100
This fee is nonrefundable and is applied towards the final permit fee. This fee is not required for permits without plans.
The cost of your building permit depends on your project size and type.
Before applying, review the summary of building permit fees to estimate the cost.
- City surcharge: $3 per permit
- State surcharge: $4.50 per permit
Record retention fee
- Per page larger than 8.5 in. by 14 in.: $4
You must apply for this permit in person.
Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified.
The applicant must respond to any request for information within 10 business days or the application will be abandoned.
If the application is not approved, L&I will tell you what is missing or required.