L&I Newsletter

November 2023

Announcement / Engagement

L&I information sessions

The Department of Licenses and Inspections is offering regular information sessions to assist stakeholders in navigating L&I processes and keeping them informed of code changes. A list of current offerings is provided below. Customers can also sign-up for this and future webinars under the “Events” section of the L&I homepage (www.phila.gov/li).

  • L&I eCLIPSE Permitting Basics webinar – L&I will be conducting a 2-hour public training session on the basics of filing permit applications through the online eCLIPSE system. This webinar is an introductory session intended for new users. The session will be held on Wednesday, December 6th from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. via Zoom. Please register if you are interested in attending this information session. 

  • L&I Website and Resources webinar – L&I will be conducting a 1-hour public training session to walk you through the department’s website and provide an overview of available L&I resources. The session will be held on Wednesday, December 13th from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. via Zoom. Please register if you are interested in attending this information session.

Note: Capacity is limited and to accommodate all stakeholders, we ask that you only register if you plan on attending the session and, if your circumstances change, please cancel your registration.

  • Requested webinars: Thank you for your recommendations on additional webinar topics. Based on these recommendations, the Department will host future sessions on the following topics:

  • Rental License Renewal - January
  • Construction Inspections - February
  • Expediter Licensing - March
  • Deck Requirements -March

Please look out for registration details in future newsletters. If you have additional recommendations for a webinar topic, please complete this online form.

Building envelope protections workshop

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) is offering a four (4) part virtual training workshop on the science of building envelope protections. The course will cover various aspects of building durability, including condensation control and water management. The course is intended for licensed contractors and design professionals. A course completion certificate will be issued after each session. The certificate provides proof of continuing education credit, including UCC/ICC ceu's and AIA-HSW contact hours.


Part 1: We have a Moisture Problem

(Identify a problem with the housing stock; Why it is a problem; How to fix the problem)

  • Tuesday, December 12th @ 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. – To register, click here.
  • Tuesday, February 13th @ 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. – To register, click here.


Part 2: Moisture in Buildings

(Types of moisture; How moisture moves; Steps to controlling moisture in buildings)

  • Tuesday, December 12th @ 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. – To register, click here.
  • Tuesday, February 13th @ 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. – To register, click here.


Part 3: Construction Assemblies

(Below grade construction; Above grade construction; Roofs, Parapets, and Penetrations)

  • Thursday, December 14th @ 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. – To register, click here.
  • Thursday, February 15th @ 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. – To register, click here.


Part 4: Water management Strategies

(Grading; WRB; Flashing; Cladding)

  • Thursday, December 14th @ 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – To register, click here.
  • Thursday, February 15th @ 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – To register, click here.

Landlord gateway educational series training

The Landlord Gateway Program centralizes resources to help both current and prospective landlords navigate the City’s processes, requirements, and guidance through a single location. To help educate landlords and renters through these processes, the city is providing a landlord gateway education training series on a bi-monthly schedule.


  • Thursday, December 7th – Health Department
  • Thursday, December 14th - Fair Housing


To register for one or more of the sessions, click here

L&I annual report card summary

We have completed our 6th annual Report Card evaluation to understand from experienced professionals how L&I is performing as a whole and what process improvement opportunities exist for the Department. Please review the report card summary and related plans for continued improvement.

FEMA floodplain management assessment

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has concluded an audit of Philadelphia’s floodplain management regulations with a determination that the City is in good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program. Through this audit, FEMA assessed the effectiveness of local floodplain management regulations, enforcement practices, and property compliance. This audit was initiated several years ago and led to significant improvement in regulation, administration, and enforcement, which is summarized in the Guide for Development in the Floodplain. We thank FEMA for their guidance and assistance as we worked to improve flood resiliency within Philadelphia.  

Building certifications in Atlas

The Philadelphia Code includes periodic testing and inspection requirements to ensure the continued safe use and occupancy of buildings. The Department will begin enforcing the requirement to submit associated certifications, as outlined in Code Bulletin A-2204We are pleased to announce that those certifications submitted through the eCLIPSE portal are now reflected in the City’s Atlas web application.

This information will enable building owners and occupants to track the status of certifications. 

L&I YouTube Channel

Check out L&I’s newly launched YouTube Channel. You can watch our eCLIPSE instructional videos and other newly created resource videos such as “Short-Term Rentals” and “Available L&I Resources”. Please check back as we continue to build-out the page and add new content. 


New chimney and vent extension requirements

The Chimney and Vent Extension regulation outlining the responsibilities of the builder and the property owner shall apply to all applications filed after January 1, 2024.

The Chimney and Vent Extension Information Sheet summarizes permit application and construction requirements. The slides from the November public webinar may also be found on the "Resources" page of the L&I website.

The Acknowledgement of Receipt form has been updated to support these changes. The Department will also publish a new EZ Chimney and Vent Extension Standard with a dedicated eCLIPSE application type prior to January 1, 2024.

Proposed plumbing code amendments

Bill No. 230653 has been scheduled for a first hearing before the Committee of Licenses and Inspections on December 6, 2023. This bill primarily addresses certain errors and omissions that have been identified since the original implementation of the 2018 Philadelphia Plumbing Code. Please refer to the legislation section of the City Council site for information on the hearing and to track status.

The following permit resources were recently added to the website (www.phila.gov/li): 

  • Flood Protection Documents - The Development in the Floodplain Guide and Flood Protection forms were updated to reflect the role of the pre-scoping meeting, requirement to submit request for a FEMA Community Letter of Acknowledgement or PA DEP Consistency Letter through a preliminary plan review application, method of certification submission, and the correction of minor typographical errors.


eCLIPSE business license - customer survey

If you have used the online eCLIPSE portal to obtain a business license (rental, food, daycare, vending, high-rise, etc.), we’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve the application. You can help us better serve you by completing this short survey.

The following license resource was recently added to the website (www.phila.gov/li):

Permit Inspections

Virtual inspections pilot program

The virtual inspection pilot program will begin in December. The pilot involves mandatory virtual inspections of specific work types, including EZ Deck, EZ Roof Covering Replacement, and EZ Wall Covering Replacement, Solar Panels, EZ Retaining Wall, Signs, and Tank Install/Removal.


Please review the instructions on engaging in a virtual inspection. As a reminder, the slides from the October public webinar can be found on the “Resources” page of the L&I website.

Field approved changes

The Amended Building Permit Information Sheet outlines field changes that require the submission of an amended permit application.

The Department is undergoing a pilot to expand the scope that may be approved by the building inspector without formal amendment. The expanded scope is comprised of changes that require update to the permit record but limited code review. If your project involves any of the changes listed below, you must contact your building inspector directly for a determination of eligibility and next steps on submitting required documentation.

The Department will re-evaluate the effectiveness of this initiative to determine if it may continue and potentially expand.

The specific changes identified for the pilot are:

  • Minor structural modifications to existing plan details accompanied by a sealed engineer’s report. Exclusions: changes to the size or location of foundation walls/footings, foundation support, exterior wall bracing, rated assemblies, or height of building.

  • Minor adjustment to location of non-rated, non-structural interior partitions that do not lengthen egress pathways/travel distance.

  • Change in type of window in an existing opening, provided that the size is not altered, there is no impact on energy compliance, it is not part of required means of egress, and it is not a historic property.  

  • Change in DPRC-SI or Special Inspection Agency for future work. Changes submitted AFTER work is completed must be submitted for evaluation through a permit amendment.  


Audits & Investigation

New Audits & Investigation Unit Director

The Audits & Investigations Unit (AIU) would like to announce the arrival of its new Director, Jesus Serrano! Director Serrano joins AIU after 25 years of service in the Philadelphia Police Department. Director Serrano brings a fresh perspective and years of investigatory experience that will undoubtedly be a great addition to the AIU team. Welcome aboard Joe!


Enforcement priorities

AIU would like to call your attention to the following enforcement priorities: 


  • Contractors and Subcontractors Information - In accordance with the Philadelphia Code Title 9-1004, contractors who hire a subcontractor to perform work authorized by their permit, must list the subcontractor on the permit in eCLIPSE within 3 days of the commencement of any work authorized by that permit, unless that permit is for a residential building of two dwelling units or less. If the Department establishes that a contractor has failed to do this, the contractor will be cited with a violation of 9-1004(8). The citation is accompanied by a $2,000 fine.    

  • Subcontracting - Subcontractors must always be licensed. They must carry a valid contractor or trade license (for trade work) whenever they are working. A subcontractor is any person or business hired to perform work authorized by a permit, who is not identified on that permit’s application as the prime (or responsible) contractor. 

  • Insurance Requirements - In accordance with Title 9-1004, all licensed contractors must maintain, at minimum, the following insurances: workers' compensation insurance, comprehensive general liability, and motor vehicle liability. Failure to maintain proper insurance, and to provide proof of continued coverage by submitting renewal certificates to the Department, will result in the contractor being cited with a violation of 9-1004(5). The citation is accompanied by a $1,000 fine. 

  • Worker Certification - Every worker at a Philadelphia construction site must have OSHA-10 training and carry their card with them when they’re on the job. If a building more than 3 stories or 40 feet tall is being constructed or demolished, an OSHA-30 trained site safety supervisor must be on site whenever the site is active.  

Violation data report

The Department issued $95,000 in license violation fines in September 2023. Of that total, $30,000 in fines were issued for the use of unlicensed subcontractors or failure to adequately disclose subcontractor usage, $17,000 in fines were issued to contractors for failing to maintain insurance, and $40,000 in fines were issued to contractors for using workers without the required OSHA training. 


The Department issued $213,000 in license violation fines in October 2023. Of that total, $90,000 in fines were issued for using workers without the required OSHA training and $54,000 for the use of unlicensed subcontractors or failure to adequately disclose subcontractor usage.


License discipline

The following license suspension was issued in November 2023:

  • Infinite Enterprises, LLC Development - Repeatedly failing to comply with provisions of The Philadelphia Code, knowingly violating Stop Work Orders on two occasions, and causing deceptive information to be submitted to the Department to obtain permits on two occasions. This suspension is for three (3) months through February 8, 2024.


Refer to the website for a list of contractors and trade licensees whose licenses are currently revoked or suspended.

Unpaid fines

Unpaid fines are now being referred to a third-party collection agency and the Department intends to withhold trade and business licenses pending payment of outstanding fines. Please pay fines promptly to avoid additional penalties and disruption to your business.  


Modular (Industrialized) buildings

The new PA DCED regulations governing modular commercial construction are now in effect. Any permit application for commercial modular construction filed on or after January 1, 2024, must comply with the new program requirements established by Pa DCED. For more information, refer to the updated Modular (Industrialized) Building information sheet.


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