Dealing with L&I - Need Advice

4 Replies | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Need Advice dealing with L&I...

Just settled on SFH in West Philadelphia and the house was rerecently slapped with a L&I violation - House is unsafe for occupancy.

The back bedroom has fire (smoke) damage, but nothing too serious.

My question is what is the best way to deal with L&I.

I could rehab the whole house and call L&I when I'm done to inspect or engage L&I now and have them tell me what to fix and how to fix it.

Anyone have experience dealing with L&I?


Would highly recommend going through the process and calling L&I as many times as it takes to get the inspector out to the property and let him physically show you what he wants done. It saves you a lot of head aches and restless nights especially if the job gets shut down. Usually the inspectors are decent guys and if you explain the situation they will pretty much give you step by step instructions on how to rectify the issue.

I agree with @Jack Liberi Jr. The property is now officially on their radar and getting them in as soon as possible not only will tell you exactly what the require; but it can remove the target off your back some.

They can be nice guys. Just remember to let them "teach you" and that seems to ease things.

I know I'm late to this thread, but here's the process.

  • Call the city and talk to someone who can tell you what they want done to get violation cleared. Sometimes the violation will be detailed enough that you won't  need to call, but not always. will link you to all relevant info about the property.
  • Fill out a building permit. In the box marked, "is this in response to a violation," check the, "yes" box. In the description of work, make sure to describe everything you need to do to clear the unsafe violation and nothing more. There might be work that both clears the violation and preps for a future building permit. It's okay to put language in that says, something like, " . . . in preparation for future work" as long as that work would still be required as part of the make-safe permit.
  • Go to L&I, give them your building permit application. If no plans are needed, you'll get the make safe permit the same day. If plans were required it's a 3-day review period. Last I checked, there is no filing fee for the permit, but there may be a permit fee. 
  • Once you have your make-safe permit, the process isn't any different than a normal building permit. Contact your inspector to let them know you are going to be doing the work. Schedule your inspections and get them to sign off on the work and clear the violation.