Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purposes of this code, have the meanings shown in this chapter.
Words stated in the present tense include the future; words stated in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural and the plural, the singular.
Where terms are not defined in this code and are defined in the International Building Code, International Fire Code, International Zoning Code, International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code or NFPA 70, such terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them as stated in those codes.
Where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this section, such terms shall have ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies.
Whenever the words "dwelling unit," "dwelling," "premises," "building," "rooming house," "rooming unit," "housekeeping unit" or "story" are stated in this code, they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words "or any part thereof."

Section 202 General Definitions

Amendment
This section has been amended by the state, county, or city.
ANCHORED. Secured in a manner that provides positive connection.
BASEMENT. That portion of a building which is partly or completely below grade.
BATHROOM. A room containing plumbing fixtures including a bathtub or shower.
BED BUGS. Insects of the species Cimex Lectularius, and related species.
UpCodes note: This definition was added by Bill No. 190106-A and became effective on January 1, 2021.
BEDROOM. Any room or space used or intended to be used for sleeping purposes in either a dwelling or sleeping unit.
BLIGHTING PROBLEM. A building that lacks windows with frames and glazing and/or lacks one or more doors in entryways of the building if:
  1. the building is located on a block face where 80% or more buildings on the block face are occupied; or
  2. the code official has provided 30 days' notice to the owner of the property that the code official has determined, in consultation with other City officials as appropriate, that the lack of windows and/or entry doors has a significant adverse influence on the community based on the following factors:
    1. deterioration and/or safety of the property;
    2. safety of the surrounding community;
    3. the value of intact, occupied properties in the surrounding vicinity of the property;
    4. marketability of the property; and
    5. community morale.
CODE OFFICIAL. The Commissioner of Licenses and Inspection, or any duly authorized representative.
DETACHED. When a structural element is physically disconnected from another and that connection is necessary to provide a positive connection.
DETERIORATION. To weaken, disintegrate, corrode, rust or decay and lose effectiveness.
DRINKING FOUNTAIN. A functioning plumbing fixture that is connected to the potable water distribution system and the drainage system. The fixture allows the user to obtain a drink directly from a stream of flowing water without the use of any accessories.

UpCodes note: This definition was added by Bill No. 160472 and became effective on September 26, 2016.
[B] DWELLING UNIT. A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
EASEMENT. That portion of land or property reserved for present or future use by a person or agency other than the legal fee owner(s) of the property. The easement shall be permitted to be for use under, on or above a said lot or lots.
EQUIPMENT SUPPORT. Those structural members or assemblies of members or manufactured elements, including braces, frames, lugs, snuggers, hangers or saddles, that transmit gravity load, lateral load and operating load between the equipment and the structure.
EXTERIOR PROPERTY. The open space on the premises and on adjoining property under the control of owners or operators of such premises.
FAMILY. An individual or two or more persons related by blood, marriage, Life Partnership or adoption; or a group of three or less unrelated persons, living together as a single housekeeping unit.

FORECLOSED VACANT RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY or FVRP. A vacant residential property that is in default on a mortgage, has had a lis pendens filed against it by the lender holding a mortgage on the property, is subject to an ongoing foreclosure action by the lender, or has been transferred to the lender under a deed in lieu of foreclosure, regardless of any subsequent conveyance of title or interest in the property. Such a residential property shall no longer be considered an FVRP when a natural person takes lawful possession of such property for use as his or her residence.

UpCodes note: This definition was amended by Bill No. 150719 which was approved on December 23, 2015.
GARBAGE. The animal or vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
GIFT PROPERTY PROGRAM. The program operated by the Vacant Property Review Committee under Chapter 16-400 of The Philadelphia Code.
GUARD. A building component or a system of building components located at or near the open sides of elevated walking surfaces that minimizes the possibility of a fall from the walking surface to a lower level.
HABITABLE SPACE. Space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces, and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces.
HOUSEKEEPING UNIT. A room or group of rooms forming a single habitable space equipped and intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating which does not contain, within such a unit, a toilet, lavatory and bathtub or shower.
IMMINENT DANGER. A condition which could cause serious or life-threatening injury or death at any time.
INFESTATION. The presence, within or contiguous to, a structure or premises of insects, rats, vermin or other pests.
INOPERABLE MOTOR VEHICLE. A vehicle which cannot be driven upon the public streets for reason including but not limited to being unlicensed, wrecked, abandoned, in a state of disrepair, or incapable of being moved under its own power.
LABELED. Equipment, materials or products to which have been affixed a label, seal, symbol or other identifying mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory, inspection agency or other organization concerned with product evaluation that maintains periodic inspection of the production of the above-labeled items and whose labeling indicates either that the equipment, material or product meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.
LET FOR OCCUPANCY OR LET. To permit, provide or offer possession or occupancy of a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, building, premise or structure by a person who is or is not the legal owner of record thereof, pursuant to a written or unwritten lease, agreement or license, or pursuant to a recorded or unrecorded agreement of contract for the sale of land.
LARGE VACANT COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY or LVCIP. Any vacant property containing an improvement that has a commercial or industrial zoning designation, where the improvement area is greater than 5,000 square feet.

MANAGING AGENT. A natural person over the age of eighteen years who either resides within the City or customarily and regularly attends a business office maintained within the City and who agrees to receive service of notices, orders, or summonses issued by the Department on behalf of the owner or corporate principal. An owner or corporate principal who meets the above qualifications may serve as a managing agent.

NEGLECT. The lack of proper maintenance for a building or structure.
OCCUPANCY. The purpose for which a building or portion thereof is utilized or occupied.
OCCUPANT. Any individual living or sleeping in a building, or having possession of a space within a building.
OPENABLE AREA. That part of a window, skylight or door which is available for unobstructed ventilation and which opens directly to the outdoors.
OPERATOR. Any person who has charge, care or control of a structure or premises which is let or offered for occupancy.
OWNER. Any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property; or recorded in the official records of the state, county or municipality as holding title to the property; or otherwise having control of the property, including the guardian of the estate of any such person, and the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of real property by a court.As to FVRPs, this term shall also apply to lenders, mortgage servicers, and any person, legal entity or agent responsible for the maintenance, preservation, or operation of the property.

UpCodes note: This definition was amended by Bill No. 150719 (approved December 23, 2015).
PERSON. An individual, corporation, partnership or any other group acting as a unit.
PEST ELIMINATION. The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that serve as their food or water; by other approved pest elimination methods.
PREMISES. A lot, plot or parcel of land, easement or public way, including any structures thereon.
PUBLIC WAY. Any street, alley or similar parcel of land essentially unobstructed from the ground to the sky, which is deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use.
ROOMING HOUSE. A building arranged or occupied for lodging, with or without meals, for compensation and not occupied as a one- or two-family dwelling.
ROOMING UNIT. Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit occupied or intended to be occupied for sleeping or living, but not for cooking purposes.
RUBBISH. Combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage; the term shall include the residue from the burning of wood, coal, coke and other combustible materials, paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery and dust and other similar materials.
[B] SLEEPING UNIT. A room or space in which people sleep, which can also include permanent provisions for living, eating and either sanitation or kitchen facilities, but not both. Such rooms and spaces that are also part of a dwelling unit are not sleeping units.
STRICT LIABILITY OFFENSE. An offense in which the prosecution in a legal proceeding is not required to prove criminal intent as a part of its case. It is enough to prove that the defendant either did an act which was prohibited, or failed to do an act which the defendant was legally required to do.
STRUCTURE. That which is built or constructed or a portion thereof.
TENANT. A person, corporation, partnership or group, whether or not the legal owner of record, occupying a building or portion thereof as a unit.
TOILET ROOM. A room containing a water closet or urinal but not a bathtub or shower.
ULTIMATE DEFORMATION. The deformation at which failure occurs and which shall be deemed to occur if the sustainable load reduces to 80 percent or less of the maximum strength.
VENTILATION. The natural or mechanical process of supplying conditioned or unconditioned air to, or removing such air from, any space.
WATER DISPENSER. A functioning plumbing fixture that is manually controlled by the user for the purpose of dispensing potable drinking water into a receptacle such as a cup, glass or bottle. Such fixture is connected to the potable water distribution system of the premises. This definition also includes a free-standing apparatus for the same purpose that is not connected to the potable water distribution system and that is supplied with potable water from a container, bottle or reservoir.

UpCodes note: This definition was added by Bill No. 160472 and became effective on September 26, 2016.
WORKMANLIKE. Executed in a skilled manner; e.g., generally plumb, level, square, in line, undamaged and without marring adjacent work.
YARD. An open space on the same lot with a structure.
Linked Resources
P
P Premium Feature

This feature is included in the premium subscription. Visit the feature page to learn more.

Learn More
Bookmarks
P
P Premium Feature

This feature is included in the premium subscription. Visit the feature page to learn more.

Learn More