In March 2006, the City of Philadelphia passed a law which requires Landlords to obtain a Certificate of Rental Suitability prior to renting their property.

You Cannot Rent or Evict Without the Certificate of Rental Suitability!

To obtain a Certificate go to Under licenses, permits & certificates, click on Rental Suitability or in the search bar type: Suitability and follow the instructions. You will need to have your rental license to apply for the certificate. The rental license number must be entered on the certificate. You will need to print two copies of the certificate, one for the tenant and one for the landlord.

Additionally, when you sign a new lease, you will need to print the city handbook called: Partners for Good Housekeeping. You must give the handbook to your tenant. Make a copy of the front page, have your tenant sign and file with your Lease and Rental Suitability Certificate. To print the Handbook:

Understand if you have rented after the above date and you have not obtained a Rental Suitability Certificate you MUST obtain the certificate at ONCE.

If you print a Certificate when you file an eviction, the Judge may not allow you to collect back rent. If your lease date was prior to the above date, you will still need to print the Rental Suitability Certificate to evict but the judge may allow back rent.

  1. If you sign a new lease you must obtain the Rental Suitability Certificate prior to the signing of the lease.
  2. If you signed a tenant after September 2006, get a Rental Suitability Certificate ASAP.
  3. If you leased prior to September 2006, it is not required, but it is suggested that you obtain
    a Rental Suitability Certificate now. You will still be required to submit a Certificate with your eviction paperwork.

By Jim Sims
HAPCO Board Member

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