Flipping in Philadelphia

15 Replies | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

According to a trusted source, L&I has enacted a new rule that can cause a slight hiccup if you’re planning on flipping a property in Philadelphia.  

Starting October 1st, you will need architecture plans in order to rehab a non-owner occupied property.  With out plans, you will not be able to receive permits for the work that needs to be done.  Look at the “Waste Hauler” and “construction” sections.


Updated almost 2 years ago


Interesting. Trying to understand this...so you now need a driver's license tied to a property to apply for EZ permits? How does this make sense if you just bought a house and are renovating it before moving in? How would the city know whether you intended to flip or move in post-renovation? Something doesn't make sense.

Let's say this is actually true, so you can't get EZ permits if you don't have plans. This seems like a big deal. Oftentimes my jobs are big enough for plans, but I always start a job with an EZ alteration permit to get non-structural things moving while the plans are getting drawn up. Also, does this impact EZ Demo, EZ Electrical, EZ Mechanical, etc.? Anyone have more info on this??

@Alex T. from what I understand, this is being enacted to make it more difficult for shady developers/flippers to hide behind their LLCs.  As far as my source tell source tells me, all non occupied rehabs will require plans.  When it comes to people moving in after rehab, I assume they will have a separate process. 

@Bill Plymouth Times are changing! I emailed L&I and got this response: "If the property is not owner-occupied then no EZ Permits will be issued. Plans will be required to be submitted and a 10 business day review will be assigned."

Not a ton of info, but yeah, it seems like EZ permits may be done for developers. 10 business days is a long time to wait for such permits like an EZ Interior demo, an EZ Alteration if you're trying to do something non-structural, or an EZ electrical/mechanical when you're in the middle of the project. I guess you could always change your driver's license to the property address...but if the property is held in an LLC perhaps that eliminates all options.

@Alex T. it sure makes the process more difficult.  I wonder if this is a bigger plan enacted to help slow down gentrification.  

@Alyse Oz I don’t have any in my network to recommend.  I’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, google is out best friend 

@Malik Eleby I don’t think house hacking will have any issues.  At the end of the day. You’re going to love on the property.  Have your friend e-mail L&I if he’s got more questions regarding this.  If you have more hour hacking questions, feel free to DM me!

This is an older thread, but just wondering if anyone has had recent experience with pulling an EZ permit for an investment property?  Just trying to get a sense for whether plans will be required for an upcoming project that would otherwise be covered by an EZ permit. 

So I got in touch with L&I and was told that this rule is currently in effect and that for non-owner occupied properties you either have to (i) submit plans (in which case you’re subject to the 10 business day review period) or (ii) submit a sealed engineer’s report that no structural work will be done (in which case you can still get a permit same day).  This applies to both alteration and demolition permits.