Philadelphia City Council amended the Property Management Code requiring residential Landlords to have a Certificate of Rental Suitability. The applicable Code Section is PM-102.6.4.
Philadelphia residential landlords cannot collect rent without a Certificate of Rental Suitability.
Section PM-102.6.4 of the Property maintenance Code reads in relevant part..." an owner shall (issue) provide to the tenant a...Certificate of rental Suitability issued by the Department no more than sixty(60) days prior to the inception of the tenancy along with a copy of the owner's attestation of the suitability of the dwelling unit as received by the department and a copy of the " City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing Handbook..." Landlords who fail to provide these documents cannot collect rent during the period of non-compliance.
Beginning January, 2018, Philadelphia Municipal Court requires residential Landlords to attach a copy of the Certificate of Rental Suitability to their eviction complaints, otherwise, the Court may not accept the complaint for filing with the Court. If the Complaint is accepted, it may be marked, Not Complied which means the Landlord, at trial, will have to explain the failure to have or timely obtain a Certificate of Rental Suitability.
Additional information regarding Certificates of Rental Suitability.
To obtain a certificate, go online . Google www.phila.gov. After accessing the cover page, click on..."Rental Suitability." If there are problems accessing the City website, Landlords may need to visit the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections at Philadelphia Municipal Services Building, Public Services Concourse, Certifications Unit.
Certificates must be signed and dated by the Landlord, owner and given to the tenant along with a copy of the Partners for Good Housing Handbook.
Additional resources provided by the author
If a Landlord does not have a Certificate of rental Suitability, that does not necessarily mean tenants can obtain rental refunds during the period of non-compliance. Kindly review Goldstein v. Weiner, a decision of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
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