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This is a considerable number of people; which prompted the creation of

the Republic Act (RA) No. 9653, also known as the Rent Control Act of
2009.

Important terms defined:

R.A. 9653 defines rent as the amount paid for the use of a residential
unit which is usually paid on a monthly basis unless otherwise specified
in a contract.

Residential units on the other hand are defined as either a separate


dwelling place or part of a bigger multi-dwelling place.

Buildings and apartments used for business but at the same time serves
a residence to its tenants are considered as residential units except for
motels, motel rooms, hotel, and hotel rooms.

Coverage of this law:

This act applies to residential units in the National Capital Region and
other highly urbanized cities which rent at or below ₱10,000; and ₱5,000
or below in all other areas in the country.

The Rent Control Act of 2009 does not cover units under a rent-to-own
scheme since a separate agreement for this is made between the owner
and the tenant.

The limit on increase of rent amount:

The Rent Control Act of 2009 (R.A. No. 9653) states that the lessor or
the landlord is not allowed to increase the rent more than seven (7) %
annually if the unit is occupied by the same tenant. The lessor is only
allowed to change the rate for new tenants once the unit becomes
vacant.

Further, landlords whose units are dormitories, bed spaces, or boarding


houses that are rented to students are only allowed to increase the rent
once a year.

Advances and deposits:

Stipulation on deposits and advances has also been included in The


Rent Control act of 2009 which further states that a lessor cannot
demand from the tenant more than one (1) month advance rent and
more than two (2) months deposit. Any accumulated interest of the
deposit shall be returned to the tenant upon expiration of the rental
agreement.

However, this amount may be forfeited in instances where the tenants


failed to settle outstanding utility bills such as electricity and water. This
amount may also be forfeited and used to pay for damages done by the
tenant to the property.

Subleasing guidelines:

The act also addresses issues on subleasing. It provides that a tenant is


not permitted to sub-lease the unit without a prior written consent from
the landlord. Doing such may be used as reasonable ground to evict the
tenant from the rented unit.

Grounds / reasons for eviction:

Aside from subleasing without the owner’s consent, other valid reasons
for eviction are as follows:

 If the tenant fails to pay the required monthly rent for a total three (3) months.

In cases where the landlord refuses to accept the payment, the tenant may
deposit the payment by way of consignation to the appropriate court, or with
the city treasurer, the local barangay chairman, or deposit the amount to the
landlord’s bank account within one (1) month after the landlord’s refusal.

The tenant should also deposit the rent within ten (10) days of every current
month afterwards.

 If the owner/lessor or his immediate family members have a legitimate need


to use the unit. However, the following conditions also apply:

1. Provided the rent for a definite period has expired. i.e. 1


month, if the rent is collected monthly or 3 months, if the
rent is collected quarterly, etc.

2. Provided the owner has given the tenant 3 months advance


notice. This should give the tenant enough time to look for
another place.

3. The owner is not allowed to lease the unit to any third party
for at least 1 year.
 If the unit is the subject of an order of condemnation by appropriate
authorities and the owner/lessor needs to do necessary repairs to make the
property safe and livable. The following conditions apply for this:

1. The evicted tenant should be given the first priority to rent


the unit back after the repairs.

2. If the landlord raises the rent, the new rate should be


reasonably proportionate with the expenses incurred for the
repair.

3. But if the unit has been condemned or completely


demolished instead, and a new building is built on the same
site, the evicted tenant no longer needs to be given the first
priority for renting the new building or any of the unit(s)
therein.

 Expiration of the lease/rental contract.

In instances where the property has been sold or mortgaged to another


owner, the new owner cannot evict the existing tenant(s) just because he
is the new owner. The new owner still has to follow the above provision
on evictions.

Penalties for violations:

Persons, whether natural or juridical, who are found to have violated any
of the provisions of this Act will be subject to a fine of not less than
₱25,000 but not more than ₱50,000.00, or imprisonment of not less than
one (1) month and one (1) day but not more than six (6) months, or both.

Validity period of this Act:

The Rent Control Act of 2009 has been signed into law on July 14, 2009
and should have expired on December 31, 2013 but it was extended up
to December 31, 2015 by the Housing and Urban Development
Coordinating Council (HUDCC) under the direction of the current vice
president, Jejomar Binay.

Update: On June 8, 2015, the HUDCC further resolved to extend the


effectivity of R.A. No. 9653 up to December 31, 2017: