Permits, violations & licenses

Rent your property short-term

Service overview

You can rent your home or a room in it for short periods. This short-term renting is considered limited lodging.

You can rent property as limited lodging for fewer than 30 days at a time and up to 180 days in a calendar year. You also need to meet certain requirements and limitations.

Who

Property owners and their agents can apply.

Where and when

Online

Use the eCLIPSE system.

In person

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.

How

Commercial Activity License

You need a Commercial Activity License to rent your home as limited lodging. You do not need a Rental License.

Permits

You don’t need a permit to rent your property for 90 days or fewer per calendar year.

You need a Zoning Permit for a Limited Lodging Home to rent your home between 90 and 180 days per calendar year.

You need a Zoning Permit for Visitor Accommodation:

  • To rent your home for stays of 30 days or fewer but for more than 180 days per calendar year.
  • If the property is not your primary residence.

Housing requirements

  • Smoke alarms must be installed:
    • In each bedroom.
    • In the hallway in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.
    • On each floor of the home, including basements.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed:
    • Within 15 ft. of the entrance to every bedroom or within 15 ft. of a bed in sleeping areas if there isn’t an enclosed bedroom.
    • Centrally on a wall or the ceiling, but not directly in front of a door to a bathroom or within 5 ft. of a cooking appliance.
    • Under the installation requirements for smoke alarms if they are combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • You can’t post signs for lodging on your home.
  • The home can’t be occupied by more than three people (including the owner and renters) who aren’t related by blood, marriage, life partnership, adoption, or foster-child status.
  • You cannot change your house so that it no longer resembles a private residence.

Information you must provide your renters

  • Renters are only allowed to have guests between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight.
  • You must tell renters the trash and recycling collection days and any trash disposal rules and regulations. You must provide proper trash containers for renters.
  • Excessive noise is prohibited and violators are subject to fines and penalties.
  • The owner or their designee must provide contact information to the renters. The contact person must handle any complaints from the renters.

Record-keeping

Residents conducting short-term rentals must keep records for at least one year that show:

  • That the home remained their primary residence.
  • The dates the home was rented.
  • The number of renters.

City Hotel Tax

The host or operator must pay the City of Philadelphia Hotel Tax monthly. The tax is 8.5 percent of the amount received through renting.


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