You need a Rental License to rent housing units or properties to tenants. This license is issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I).
If you rent 1-3 units in a property that you occupy, you need an Activity License Number instead.
You do not need a Rental License if a unit is being occupied by a family member and no rent is collected. However, you need to submit an Affidavit of Non-rental. This document must be notarized.
This was previously called a Housing Inspection License.
Property owners can apply for this license.
Other licenses and registrations
Owners must certify that they are following rules related to lead safety.
You must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
You must not have any outstanding L&I violations.
Where and when
Use the eCLIPSE system.
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
Office closes at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.
Maximum fee: $22,000
There is no fee for owner-occupied units.
Maximum fee: $22,000 or
$160 for a vacant property or lot
Payment methods and details
Accepted payment methods
|Online through the eCLIPSE application||
|In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building||
|In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building
(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)
Checks and money orders
- Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
- The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
- Personal checks are accepted.
- Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected
L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:
- Starter checks without account info
Returned payment policy
If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:
- You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
- The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
You can apply for this license online using eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.
Applications are reviewed within five business days.
If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.
L&I can review most applications while you wait.