You can rent your home or a room in it for fewer than 30 days at a time. To do so, you need to meet certain requirements and limitations.
Property owners and their agents can apply for the licenses and permits required to rent a property short term.
Commercial Activity License
You need a Commercial Activity License to rent your home as a short-term rental.
You need a Zoning Permit to rent your property as a short-term rental to any one person or group:
- You need a Zoning Permit for limited lodging use if your property has a primary resident.
- You need a Zoning Permit for visitor accommodation use if your property does not have a primary resident.
Rental and property licenses
You need a license to rent your property as short-term rental:
- You need a Limited Lodging Operator License if you have a limited lodging use.
- You need a Rental License with a hotel designation if you have a visitor accommodation use.
Requirements for limited lodging use rentals
Rental properties that have a limited lodging use must meet additional requirements and disclose certain information to renters.
You must install smoke alarms:
- In each bedroom.
- In the hallway in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.
- On each floor of the home, including basements.
You must install carbon monoxide alarms:
- 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.
- Post signs for lodging on your home.
- Change your house so that it no longer resembles a private residence.
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.
Disclosures to renters
You must provide the following information to all renters:
- Trash and recycling collection days and any trash disposal rules and regulations. You must also provide proper trash containers for renters.
- The owner or their designee’s contact information. The contact person must handle any complaints from the renters.
You must also inform renters that they are only allowed guests between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight. Excessive noise is prohibited and violators are subject to fines and penalties.
City Hotel Tax
The host or operator must pay the City of Philadelphia Hotel Tax monthly. The tax is 8.5% of the amount received through renting.
Residents maintaining limited lodging 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.