Renting an apartment from an owner in Philadelphia can be a fantastic option for those seeking more personalized housing experiences. By bypassing property management companies, you can often find unique properties at competitive prices. In this expert review, we will guide you through the process of renting an apartment directly from an owner in Philadelphia, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

  1. Begin Your Search:
    Start by searching online platforms, such as Craigslist, Zillow, or local classifieds, for available apartments "for rent by owner" in Philadelphia. These platforms typically offer a wide range of options, from cozy studios to spacious family homes. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods and consider factors such as proximity to schools, transportation, and amenities.

  2. Contact the Owner:
    Once you find a potential apartment, reach out to the owner to express your interest. Provide a brief introduction, mentioning your desired move-in date and any specific requirements you may have. Be prompt in your communication to demonstrate your seriousness as a tenant. Remember to ask any questions you may have about the property, lease terms, or maintenance responsibilities.

  3. Schedule a Viewing:
    Arrange a viewing of the apartment with the owner. This step

Any owner who fails to obtain the rental license is required by §9- 3902, or to comply with §9-3902, or to comply with §9-3903 regarding a Certificate of Rental Suitability, or whose rental license has been suspended, shall be denied the right to recover possession of the premises or to collect rent during or for the

How to rent out your condo in Philadelphia?

To rent out a property that: You occupy and has three or fewer units, you'll need an Activity License Number. You don't occupy or has four or more units, you'll need a Commercial Activity License and to pay the ⁠Business Income & Receipts Tax (BIRT).

Do I need a license to rent my house in Philadelphia?

Every landlord or entity that rents-out a residential housing unit in Philadelphia is required to obtain a rental license (formerly known as a housing inspection license).

Do you need a license to be a landlord in PA?

Is a rental license required to be a landlord? Pennsylvania doesn't have a statewide requirement on rental licenses. However, the City of Philadelphia does require landlords to have a license to rent to tenants.

What a landlord Cannot do in Pennsylvania?

Under the right to a safe and habitable home, a landlord cannot force a tenant to move into a home or unit “as-is” and cannot demand that the tenant be responsible for repairs. To be safe, and habitable, a unit or home should have: Working smoke alarms. Working hot water.

What is the vacancy rate for apartments in Philadelphia?

Population trends

Among 19133 residents, there is a homeowner vacancy rate of 1.4% and a rental vacancy rate of 2.6% from a total of 10,913 units.

Are rents going down in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia rent growth in 2023 pacing below last year

Ten months into the year, rents in Philadelphia have risen 2.9%. This is a slower rate of growth compared to what the city was experiencing at this point last year: from January to October 2022 rents had increased 4.7%.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most a landlord can raise rent in Philadelphia?

There are no rent control laws that limit how much a landlord can raise your rent. That means that theoretically, if your landlord wanted to, they could double or even triple your rent, and no law would expressly prevent them from doing so.

What credit score do you need to rent an apartment in PA?

600 to 650 or higher

Depending on the property and the location, most landlords look for a score of 600 to 650 or higher. Poor Credit- Credit scores below 580 are typically considered poor. That said, renting a property with a poor credit score may be more difficult.

Why are Philly apartments so cheap?

Philly is unique in having a lot of housing density (tons of rowhomes) vs. e.g. Boston meaning that while Boston has grown more, it has less dense housing downtown so that's all full now and very expensive, while Philly still has plenty of housing in center city that isn't completely full so it's more affordable.

What do I need to rent out my house in Philadelphia?


  1. Commercial Activity License (CAL) or Owner-Occupied Housing License.
  2. Business Income & Receipts Tax (BIRT)
  3. Zoning approval.
  4. Rental License.
  5. Proof of legal occupancy.
  6. High-Rise License.
  7. Certificate of Rental Suitability.
  8. Lead paint responsibilities.


How much of paycheck should go to rent?

A popular standard for budgeting rent is to follow the 30% rule, where you spend a maximum of 30% of your monthly income before taxes (your gross income) on your rent. This has been a rule of thumb since 1981, when the government found that people who spent over 30% of their income on housing were "cost-burdened."

How do I get my first apartment approved?
5 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting Approved for an Apartment

  1. Check Your Credit Score.
  2. Prepare Important Documents.
  3. Create a Renter Profile to Share With Landlords.
  4. Find Apartments Within Your Budget.
  5. Find a Co-Signer or Guarantor.
Do you need a license to be a landlord in Philadelphia?
You need a Rental License to rent out dwelling, rooming, or sleeping units to tenants. This can include residential dwellings and units, rooms in a home, dormitories, and certain visitor accommodations. One license can cover all units in a single building.
Are short term rentals legal in Philadelphia?
You can rent your Philly home or part of it for less than 30 days at a time. This short-term rental activity is a great way to earn a few extra dollars to help you pay the mortgage and cover other household costs. But before you offer your property for rent, you must get the necessary permits and licenses.

How to rent apartment from owner in philadelphia

What if my landlord doesn't have a rental license in Philadelphia? If your landlord does not have a rental license, it is illegal for them to collect rent from you. To find out if your landlord has a rental license, use the city's Atlas tool and search for your address:
How much credit do you need to get your first apartment? You'll want to shoot for having a good credit score — generally in the range of 570-739 — to get an apartment. While you may be able to still get an apartment if you don't have solid credit, it will make it more challenging with the competition you're likely to face.
How do I rent out my house in PA? Here's what you can do, step-by-step, to get your first property rented:

  1. Have a Property to Rent.
  2. Know Landlord-Tenant Law for Residential Properties.
  3. Set a Price and Know Your Budget.
  4. Advertise the Property.
  5. Screen Tenants.
  6. Write and Sign a Lease.
  7. Inspect the Property.
  8. Check-in With the Tenant.
Do you need a license to rent property in PA? Is a rental license required to be a landlord? Pennsylvania doesn't have a statewide requirement on rental licenses. However, the City of Philadelphia does require landlords to have a license to rent to tenants.
  • How much is a rental license in Philly?
    • Philadelphia rental license is one of the most important documents that qualify you as a landlord. If you are applying for the first time, we would recommend going to the City of Philadelphia municipal building. Afterward, you can renew it online annually. As of September 2020, the license costs $56 per unit.
  • Is moving to Philly a good idea?
    • A:Yes, it's definitely worth moving to Philadelphia. Especially if living in a city rich with culture, entertainment, and history is important to you.
  • How to rent apartment in philadelphia
    • Property, lots & housing · Get a Rental License · Get help with paying rent · Rent your property (long-term) · Rent your property short-term · Get a Vacant 

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