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Documents You Need To Rent A House In Philadelphia

Guide on How to Rent Your House in Philadelphia

Owning a rental property in Philadelphia (or anywhere else) is an achievement. It is understandable that you can't wait to rent out your property and join the league of happy landlords. This is not exactly how it works, however. You will need to sort out different things before getting the legal backing to rent a house in Philadelphia. One of which is Philadelphia Rental license.

For the first time landlords, sorting out the documents, licenses, and certificates required before a renting can be challenging. Here, we will discuss the necessary steps you need to take before renting out your house.

First Things First: Get Your Business Tax Account Number and Commercial Activity License

Renting a house is more like a business transaction, and you will have to pay taxes for rental income. This means you will need a Philadelphia Business Tax Account Number as well as a Philadelphia Commercial Activity license. These documents must be presented when you want to apply for a rental license, so you need to sort them out first. The Tax account number can be done online for free. The commercial activity license can also be done online. It used to cost about $300 in the past, but it is free now.

How to Get a Rental License in Philadelphia

Philadelphia rental license is one of the most important documents that qualify you as a landlord. If you are applying for the first time, we would recommend going to the City of Philadelphia municipal building. Afterward, you can renew it online annually. As of September 2020, the license costs $56 per unit. If you need to apply online, you can do it in your Eclipse account.

Get a Certificate of Rental Suitability and Other Documents for Your Potential Tenants

After getting your rental license, you have legal backing to rent your house, but there are a few more things to sort out. A certificate of rental suitability for the property, which you need to present to your new tenants, is one of the most important ones. You can get it right here. You should also provide them the brochure "partners for good housing" and the booklet "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home."

Provide a Certificate of Lead Safe Status

If your rental property was built before 1978, you would also need to present a Certificate of Lead Safe Status to your new tenants. In the past, this was only necessary if your new tenants have a child who is six years or younger. The new rule, which takes effect from October 2020, stipulates that you need present this certificate to every tenant. This will start with a few zip codes in the city. To get this certificate, you need to hire a certified Lead Inspector to conduct the test. This can cost you between $190 and $300 per unit. You can read more about this here.

Sort Out A Few Extra Issues and Sign the Lease

Depending on the type of rental property you own, you may need a few more things like fire alarm and fire extinguisher inspection before completing the rental arrangement. You should also include a smoking policy in your lease. When you are through with all of these, you can proceed to sign a lease and become a happy landlord.

Reach out to us if you have any questions. Our team will gladly help you and guide you in the right direction or help you rent your property.


TrustArt recently took over management of a building where I've been living since early this year. I worried about what the change in management would mean for me as an existing tenant here, but I've had a really positive experience so far. Ethan is an exceptionally kind and helpful property manager — he has consistently provided prompt, straightforward, and personalized help for any issues that have come up, and clearly cares about making sure that tenants have a positive experience living here. I really appreciate his clear communication and all of the updates and repairs he's handled for my apartment!

Cullan Bonilla Tenant