Philadelphia, PA

This page is only designed to give you an overview of the local requirements, but it is your duty to know and comply with the local laws. misterb&b is not a legal adviser : you should read carefully the relevant laws and contact a local adviser or the local authorities for further understanding.

The City of Philadelphia has amended some parts of its Municipal Code to regulate the short-term rentals of accommodation and apply Hotel tax on it. (see the amendments here).


Limited lodging definition

Limited lodging is defined as “the accessory use of a dwelling unit for temporary rental for occupancy for dwelling, sleeping or lodging”. It may not exceed 30 consecutive days for each visitors.

As limited lodging must remain an accessory use of the residential dwelling unit, it is not permitted to rent it out more than 180 days by calendar year. If a Host want to rent out his or her dwelling unit more than 180 days, the property is not his or her primary residence, so a permit for Visitor Accommodations use must be obtained.



Section 14-604 (13)(c) of the Philadelphia Code set the standards that every Limited Lodging must meet. For instance, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide shall be installed at different point of the rental unit. Also, guests must be provided with some information (trash collection days, avoidance of any noise disturbance, etc) and must be given a contact to reach the Host or a local person anytime.

Hosts are also required by local laws to maintain for 1 year minimum, and make available upon city requests, records demonstrating primary residency, the dates of limited lodging and the number of Guests.


Use Registration Permit

“Limited Lodging Short Term” (rented out for 90 days or less per calendar year) does not require a permit.

However, “Limited Lodging Home” (rented out between 90 and 180 days per calendar year) must file an application for the use registration permit with City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections.


Commercial Activity Licence

Operating a short-term rental activity requires a Commercial Activity license. To obtain this license, it is required first to get a Business Income and Receipts Tax ID (can be done online)

Then it becomes possible to apply for a Commercial Activity licence online or at the Municipal Services Building. Visit this page for more information.



Short term rental activities may be subjected to different taxes, including without limitation  :

  • City of Philadelphia Hotel Tax : paid by the Guest and collected by the Host whom remits it to the City.


For more information and contact on Limited Lodging (short-term) rentals, refer to this FAQ and this page on the official website of the Philadelphia City.