Philadelphia L&I inspection and contractor recommendations

5 Replies

Hello I am new to Bigger Pockets. I have a duplex in Philadelphia that I've acquired from a family member. I have never rented myself before and the house is older and in need of some repairs in order to rent out the larger portion of the building. I am not sure where to start with repairs. Since the building is older (but relatively well maintained) I am imagine there are some updates that need to be done to comply with rental requirements. Where do I go to get the information needed to know which repairs are needed in order to pass inspection. My instinct is to schedule an License and Inspection appointment then have the contractor out to conduct repairs. Is this the correct order to do things? Do I contact L&I first, are there any negative consequences to having them come out more than once etc? I just don't have any idea what underlying repairs may need to be done in order to rent the duplex out. Second question is for recommendations for reliable contractors in the Philadelphia/Overbrook area. I am reading the Rental Property Investing book by Brandon Turner which has been extremely helpful. 


Thanks for advice offered

LaJuan Tucker

    Read the Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing booklet along with landlord tenant laws.

    There are a few specifics for Philadelphia, but I’m a nutshell, it’s not hard to meet their requirements.

    You’ll need a business license (and pay taxes) to get a rental suitability license, which basically says the house is habitable, has smoke detectors, etc.
    in certain cases they can/do inspect, but it’s not common from what I understand.

    Good luck. It’s all quite a bit of work, but it’s a good rental market here. :)

    Originally posted by @LaJuan Tucker :

    Hello I am new to Bigger Pockets. I have a duplex in Philadelphia that I've acquired from a family member. I have never rented myself before and the house is older and in need of some repairs in order to rent out the larger portion of the building. I am not sure where to start with repairs. Since the building is older (but relatively well maintained) I am imagine there are some updates that need to be done to comply with rental requirements. Where do I go to get the information needed to know which repairs are needed in order to pass inspection. My instinct is to schedule an License and Inspection appointment then have the contractor out to conduct repairs. Is this the correct order to do things? Do I contact L&I first, are there any negative consequences to having them come out more than once etc? I just don't have any idea what underlying repairs may need to be done in order to rent the duplex out. Second question is for recommendations for reliable contractors in the Philadelphia/Overbrook area. I am reading the Rental Property Investing book by Brandon Turner which has been extremely helpful. 


    Thanks for advice offered

     There are too many rental properties for LNI to inspect.They don't do that. You just need to make it habitable and safe. Once either you or your designated person get a license from City hall, you just go online and print certificates of rental suitability. But if you are planning to use section 8, I believe there are more paperwork to fill out. I really don't have any experience with that.

    @LaJuan Tucker if you are interested in just getting rid of this property, I would be interested in purchasing it.  Otherwise, I wish you the best of luck.  The best answer to your question is that if you are able to locate and hire a good general contractor, he will be able to make suggestions to make the property habitable.  

    Irfan Raza, Real Estate Agent in PA (#RS331743)

      Thanks  @Irfan Raza for this information. I am not looking to get rid of the property. The question was mostly the order in which to do things not if it could be done. You confirmed my steps though, the location is habitable already I was looking to make improvements. I found other conversations as well that are discussing similar questions. 

      Thanks everyone for your feedback.

      LaJuan Tucker

        Hi Tucker, I have someone highly recommended as general contractor. PM me for more info. Thanks.

        Yong Wu, Real Estate Agent in PA (#RS337258)

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