Heads up: There are no suggested sections in this chapter.
Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
A certificate of occupancy, indicating compliance with permits and construction documents, shall be obtained prior to occupancy of a building or portion thereof in the following cases:
  1. Erection of a new building,
  2. Erection of an addition to a building,
  3. Change from one Occupancy Classification to another,
  4. Relocation of a building,
  5. Interior alteration of an existing building or space,
  6. A change of occupancy as defined in A-106.1.
Exceptions: A certificate of occupancy shall not be required under the following conditions:
  1. The work is limited to additions or alterations to existing one- or two-family occupancies.
  2. The work is limited to minor alterations of any existing occupancy that do not impact the egress or fire protection of the building or space.
  3. Where a Family Child Day Care facility is operated in a one- or two-family dwelling, provided it is licensed pursuant to the Fire Code.
UpCodes note: Section A-701.1 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
In each case where a Certificate of Occupancy is required by Section A-701.1, construction documents shall be submitted as prescribed in Section A-301.6 for review by the department for conformance to the Building Code in effect at the time of application. Upon approval, the code official shall prepare the certificate in accordance with this Section and procedures of the department. A maximum of one building as defined by the Building Code shall be included on any one certificate.

UpCodes note: Section A-701.2 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
Newly constructed buildings, altered areas of existing buildings and relocated buildings shall not be used or occupied, and a change of occupancy of a building or portion thereof shall not be made, until the code official has issued a certificate of occupancy.
Pursuant to the UCC, the Department shall issue a Certificate of Occupancy to an existing building that was not previously issued a Certificate of Occupancy if the building meets the requirements of the Existing Building Code. The code official may deny the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy if the official deems that a building is unsafe because of inadequate means of egress, inadequate lighting and ventilation, fire hazards or other dangers to human life or to public welfare.
Upon successful completion of the final inspection in accordance with Section A-402.5 and within five business days thereafter, the certificate of occupancy shall be issued by the code official. Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of the technical codes or other provisions of The Philadelphia Code. The certificate shall be available for inspection by the code official at any reasonable time.

UpCodes note: Section A-701.3 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
The code official shall not issue a Certificate of Occupancy for a health care facility until the Pennsylvania Department of Health has approved the occupancy under 28 Pa. Code § 51.5.
Where the issuance of the building permit includes a prerequisite approval as listed in Section A-305.2.1.6, and such approval was granted with conditions, the Department is authorized to withhold the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy until such conditions of approval have been satisfied. The department issuing the conditional approval must notify the Department and the permit holder prior to the final inspection of the permit where conditions of approval have not been satisfied.
Prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, the permit holder shall submit a Flood Elevation Certificate (or Floodproofing Certificate if a non-residential structure) as published by FEMA. The Certificate shall be completed by a registered design professional.
The certificate of occupancy shall include a statement that the described portion of the structure has been inspected for compliance with the applicable code requirements for the occupancy and division of occupancy and the use for which the proposed occupancy is classified and shall specify the following:
  1. The address of the building.
  2. The location within the building if for part of a building.
  3. The edition of the code under which the permit was issued.
  4. The Occupancy Classification Group(s) in accordance with the Building Code.
  5. The type of construction as defined by the Building Code.
  6. If and where an automatic sprinkler system is provided and whether it is required.
  7. Any variances or special conditions.
  8. The permit number.
  9. The date of the final inspection.
  10. The name and address of the permit holder.
  11. The printed name of the building code official.

UpCodes note: Section A-701.4 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
Upon request of the applicant, a temporary or partial certificate of occupancy may be issued to occupy the premises or a portion of the premises before completion of the entire work or operation covered by the permit provided that such portion or portions will be occupied safely prior to full completion of the structure or installation of equipment and systems without endangering life or public welfare. Such issuance shall be in accordance with departmental procedures and the code official shall notify the applicant of any limitations or restrictions imposed by the partial or temporary occupancy.

UpCodes note: Section A-701.5 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
Either the original or a true copy of the Certificate of Occupancy shall be posted in each building, available to inspection.

Exceptions:
  1. Residential buildings and buildings of Group R-3 occupancy;
  2. Buildings of Group R-2 occupancy which have no management office on premises.
UpCodes note: Section A-701.6 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
The code official is authorized to, in writing, suspend or revoke a certificate of occupancy issued under the provisions of this code and the technical codes wherever the certificate is issued in error or on the basis of incorrect information supplied.
A certificate of approval shall be issued by the code official upon completion of the final inspection in accordance with Section A-402.5for permits issued pursuant to the Philadelphia Building, Construction and Occupancy Code for which a certificate of occupancy is not issued.

UpCodes note: Section A-702.1 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
The certificate of approval shall specify the following:
  1. The address of the building.
  2. The location within the building if for part of a building.
  3. The permit number.
UpCodes note: Section A-702.2 was amended by Bill No. 180175. The bill was approved on June 6, 2018.
The certificate shall be available for inspection by the code official at any reasonable time.
No structure in Group E occupancy, the Educational occupancy, as defined in Subcode "B" of Title 4 owned or operated by an entity to which the City provides substantial funding, shall be occupied unless a current special certificate of inspection has been issued in connection with such structure.

Exception: Day care facilities that are not part of a school are not regulated under this subsection, except that day care facilities that are not part of a school, but at which thirteen or more children are cared for must comply with the certification requirements pertaining to water quality set forth in subsection A-703.2.4.B.

UpCodes note: Section A-703.1 was amended by Bill No. 030780 (approved December 31, 2003) and Bill No. 160618 (approved January 24, 2017).
Special certificates of inspection shall be issued on the following basis:
  1. A special certificate of inspection shall be valid for no more than a single one year period, between August 1 of a given year and July 31 of the following year;
  2. For use at the start of such one year period on August 1, such special certificate must be obtained during the nine month period between November 1 and August 1 immediately preceding the beginning of the one year period;
  3. A certificate obtained after the one year period has started on August 1 is valid only for the remainder of that one year period;
  4. The Department shall not issue a special certificate of inspection unless the building has been inspected for fire, safety, electrical, lead paint, water quality and all other property-related hazards and:
    1. the Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections has certified that the building is in substantial compliance with the fire, safety and all other property-related requirements of this Code and that the building can be occupied safely without endangering life or public safety or welfare;
    2. the Health Department or a testing agency certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has certified, within the previous five years, that the building is in substantial compliance with applicable water quality requirements of the Board of Health, provided that in no event shall applicable water quality requirements be deemed to permit lead in water at an outlet such as a sink or water fountain that is in service at 10 ppb or more. Any water outlet determined to exceed any such water quality requirements shall be taken out of service within 24 hours of notification of the relevant test. The owner of the educational occupancy shall post the results of the most recent water quality testing at each particular educational occupancy to a generally available website within ten days of receipt of the results.
    3. the owner of the building or its agent has provided either a certification from an Electrical Inspection Agency licensed by the City or, if the owner of the structure employs, on a full-time basis, an electrician licensed by the City, a certification from such electrician that is also signed by a person with supervisory authority over the electrician, such as a facilities manager, operations manager, or chief operating officer, that the building is in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Philadelphia Electrical Code.
    4. the owner of the building or its agent has provided certification that the building either (i) was built subsequent to 1978; or (ii) is not regularly occupied by students; or (iii) all areas of the building that are frequented by students have been inspected and determined to be safe from lead based paint hazards.

      (.1) An area of a building shall be determined to be safe from lead based paint hazards only if it is free of any lead contaminated debris, such as dust, chips or other paint particulate, on surfaces; and it is free of any condition that may cause exposure to lead from lead-contaminated paint dust or debris, including, but not limited to: flaking, peeling, spalling or efflorescing paint. Flaking or peeling means that paint is visibly flaking from the surface or a person is able to get a fingernail under a paint layer. Spalling means moisture intrusion causing plaster to delaminate from substrate. Efflorescing means that crystalline deposits or white powdery residue is on plaster surfaces.

      (.2) A building area shall be certified as safe from lead based paint hazards based on the visual observation of a certified lead inspector. A "certified lead inspector" shall be as defined in Section 6-802.

      1. All inspections relating to lead paint, including any assessments or evaluations, performed pursuant to subsection (.1) or otherwise, shall be performed in accordance with the following:
        1. No fewer than ten (10) days prior to the inspection, the person responsible for management of the building shall ensure that notice of the pending inspection and the scope of work involved is given to staff and parents of children in the school, or their representatives.
        2. No more than ten (10) days after the completion of any inspection, the person responsible for management of the building shall ensure that the results of the inspection, including the location, amount and condition of any lead paint that was found, is posted on the website of the entity responsible for operation of the building.
      (.3) To the extent any condition is found during the course of any inspection pursuant to subsection (.2) or otherwise that would prevent any portion of the building frequented by students from being certified as safe from lead based paint hazards, the entity responsible for operation of the building shall take all appropriate steps to achieve such certification within ninety (90) days of the adverse finding. Until any appropriate remediation or stabilization activity takes place, the area shall be kept clean by the use of a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration vacuum cleaner or wet wiping; monitoring of paint conditions; and ongoing cleaning of surfaces; and if there is a potential for occupant contact with any damaged conditions, the area shall be isolated by means of a plastic barrier adhered to the wall surface, or other appropriate isolation tool. During remediation or stabilization, the person responsible for management of the building shall not allow any students to occupy the affected portion of the building.

      1. The person responsible for management of the building shall ensure that advance notice of any remediation, abatement or clean-up work be given to staff and parents of children in the school, or their representatives, and posted on the entity's website, as promptly as practicable; and that the results of the work be posted on the website within ten (10) days after completion.
  5. The contents of special certificates of inspection issued under this subsection shall be made available for inspection by the Department and shall contain the following information:
    1. The name of the owner of the building;
    2. The address of the building;
    3. The location of automatic fire sprinkler system(s), if any;
    4. Location and type of fire alarm system(s), if any;
    5. Location of fire standpipe system(s), if any;
    6. If provided for only a portion of the building, a description of the portion of the building covered by the certificate of inspection;
    7. The time period for which it has been issued.
  6. Upon the request of the owner of the structure, a partial special certificate of inspection shall be issued to occupy a portion of the premises upon certification by the Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections that such portion of the premises has been certified to be in substantial compliance with fire, safety, electrical, lead paint, water quality and other property-related requirements provided that such portion or portions can be occupied safely prior to correction of the defect preventing full certification without endangering life or public safety or welfare. Such issuance shall be in accordance with procedures established by the Department and the code official shall notify the applicant of any limitations or restrictions imposed by the partial occupancy; and
  7. No fee shall be charged by the City for the issuance of special certificates of inspection or the inspections performed by the City in connection therewith.

UpCodes note: Section A-703.2 was amended by Bill No. 160618 (approved January 24, 2017) and Bill No. 180700 (approved January 22, 2019).
On August 15 of each year, the Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections shall provide the following information in a report to the Mayor, the President of City Council, and the owner or person responsible for each structure, including the Superintendent of Schools, and shall provide a copy to the Chief Clerk of City Council, containing the following information:
  1. The names and addresses of the structures in Group E occupancy for which a special certificate of inspection under subsection A-703.1 is required to permit occupancy;
  2. The list of structures for which certification is required shall be divided into three subgroups: structures for which certification pursuant to subsection A-703 has been issued; structures for which partial certification has been issued; and structures for which certification has not been issued;
  3. In connection with the listing of structures for which certification has been issued, the listing shall include, for each of the structures, a description of the conditions, if any, that bring the structure out of total compliance with the fire, safety, electrical, lead paint and all other property-related requirements of this Code and any applicable water quality requirements of the Health Department, but which do not prevent certification that the building can be occupied safely without endangering life or public safety or welfare.
  4. In connection with the listing of structures for which partial certification has been issued or for which certification has not been issued, the listing shall include a description of the fire, safety, electrical, lead paint, water quality and other property-related requirements that prevented full certification and a description of the actions that must be taken by the owner of the structure to obtain full certification. Such description shall also include a description of the conditions, if any, that bring the structure out of total compliance with the fire, safety, electrical, lead paint and all other property-related requirements of this Code and any applicable water quality requirements of the Health Department, but which do not themselves prevent certification that the building can be occupied safely without endangering life or public safety or welfare.
  5. The Health Department and any Electrical Inspection Agency or electrician involved in inspection of the structure shall provide to the Department of Licenses & Inspections any information in its possession relevant to such reports within ten days of the inspection.

UpCodes note: Section A-703.3 was amended, Bill No. 030780 (approved December 31, 2003).
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