FFE Magazine

The Right to Rent

Many of us have invested and bought property in the Philippines with the intention of earning from renting it out while we are in Europe.

 

Some of us are still contemplating on buying a place to stay when in the Philippines and thus opt for now to rent a condominium for the duration of our stay. In both cases, it is best to know our rights whether as tenants or lessees.

 

Photo from Jim Sparrow

Whether the individual is a tenant or a landowner, here are some basic guidelines from the Philippines Rent Control Act 2009 (RA No. 9653) and Civil Code (Articles 1654-1688). These laws protect both parties from unfair practices as well as build a proper landlord and tenant relationship.

 

Obligation of the land/owner or lessor

 

(1) To deliver the thing which is the object of the contract in such a condition as to render it fit for the use intended (2) To make on the same during the lease all the necessary repairs in order to keep it suitable for the use to which it has been devoted, unless there is a stipulation to the contrary (3) To maintain the lessee in the peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the lease for the entire duration of the contract.

 

Obligation of the tenant or lessee

 

(1)   To pay the price of the lease according to the terms stipulated (2) To use the thing leased as a diligent father of a family, devoting it to the use stipulated; and in the absence of stipulation, to that which may be inferred from the nature of the thing leased, according to the custom of the place (3) To pay expenses for the deed of lease.

 

Deposits

 

The landowner or lessor cannot demand more than a two months deposit which should be kept in a bank, under the lessor’s name, for the entire duration of the lease agreement.

 

Any and all interest that ensues therein, the deposit shall be returned to the tenant or lessee at the expiration of the lease contract.

 

In the event that the lessee fails to settle rental and utility payments, or damages components of the property, the deposit and any and all interest ensued shall be forfeited.

 

Rental

 

Rental should be paid in advance within the first five days of the current month or the beginning of the lease agreement unless the leasing contract states otherwise.

 

The lessor cannot demand more than one month advance rental.

 

The act also states that all monthly rentals for all residential units in the (NCR) National Capital Region and other highly urbanized cities ranges from one peso (P1.00) to ten thousand pesos (P10, 000.00).

 

All monthly rentals of all residential units in all other areas should range from one peso (P1.00) and shall not exceed five thousand pesos (P5, 000.00) as of the effectivity of the act (2009).

 

Limit to Increases in Rent

 

Effective until December 13, 2013, rent of any residential unit shall not be increased by more than seven (7%) percent annually by the lessor as long as the unit is occupied by the same lessee.

 

Provided that the residential unit becomes vacant, then the lessor can set the initial rent for the next occupant.

 

In the cases of boarding houses, dormitories, and bed spaces offered to students, no increase in rental more than once a year is allowed.

 

Grounds for Ejectment

 

Ejectment of the lessee is allowed for the ff. reasons:

 

(1)Failure to pay three months of rental

 

(2)Subleases the unit without the lessor’s written consent

(3)If the lessor needs the property for personal use provided that he must formally notify the lessee three months prior

 

(4)Necessary repairs by the lessor in the unit require the lessee to evacuate. However, once all repairs are finished the lessee should have the first rights to occupy the unit again.

 

(5)Declared condemnation or demolition of the unit or property by authorities of which the lessee should be given fifteen days prior to evacuate.

 

To evict a lessee, lessors must file a case in court. Within ten days following the court procedure, he may apply for a permit to reclaim his property. Final decisions from the court will be conducted within thirty days after.

 

Lessee or Tenant Rights

 

The lessee may terminate their lease agreement at any period for whatever reason.

 

The lessee may also opt not to pay the rental if her lessor refuses or fails to make any repairs or maintain the unit’s habitable surroundings.

 

If fall else fails in maintaining a proper or amiable relationship between landowner and tenant, all conflicts may be brought to court for settlements. To know more about your rights as landowner or tenant and details regarding renting in the Philippines, read the Rent Control Act 2009 (RA No. 9653)

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