After the City of Philadelphia recently passed new ordinances directing the display of contractor licenses, the use of permits, and the posting of job sites for all contractors, further requirements to perform demolition or construction work inside the City limits went into effect on January 1, 2014.
Under the new regulations, the Department of Licenses and Inspections now requires the submission of additional documentation before it will issue a demolition or construction permit. It will be necessary for contractors to provide a tax clearance certificate from the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Revenue and a valid certificate of insurance showing general liability, workers’ compensations, and automobile coverage. Each contractor’s insurance must have a minimum of $500,000 of coverage and name the City of Philadelphia as an additional insured. Absent this documentation, the requested permit will not be processed and issued.
According to the Department of Licenses and Inspection, these new requirements will strengthen its ability to oversee contractors doing business in the City of Philadelphia and ensure public safety in and around construction and demolition sites. The new requirements are undoubtedly part of the City’s response to the recent building collapse at 20th and Market Streets and increasing budgetary problems. The large public outcry and political pressure brought as a result of the aforementioned accident and the need to collect additional tax revenue have been loud. The potential for lawsuits due to similar accident also played an undeniable part in the new legislation.
Contractors working in the City of Philadelphia should take affirmative steps to ensure that they have the proper documentation in order before applying for construction or demolition permits in the City. Should a contract be entered into before it is known these permits can be easily obtained, it could cause difficulty in both proceeding with the project and subsequent legal issues due to the resulting delays.