Thursday, April 18, 2013

RENT CONTROL ACT: Tenant may be ejected for failure to pay three months rent

Dear PAO,
I have a tenant who has failed to pay for three consecutive months. The rental fee is P5,000.00 per month. He is ignoring my claims and refuses to talk to me. I already filed a complaint before the Barangay but he never showed up during the hearings. What should I do?

Dear Zarina,
What exists between you and your tenant is a contract of lease. Pursuant to Article 1654 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, you are obliged to: (1) deliver the thing which is the object of your contract in such a condition as to render it fit for the use intended; (2) make all the necessary repairs, during the subsistence of your contract, in order to keep it suitable for the use to which it has been devoted, unless there is a stipulation to the contrary; and (3) maintain the lessee in the peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the thing leased for the entire duration of your contract. On the part of your tenant, he is obliged, among others, to pay the price of the lease according to the terms the two of you have agreed on (Article 1657 (1), id).

Accordingly, we submit that you have the right to claim from your tenant the payment of his rental arrears. However, your legal claims must first be threshed out before the Barangay since, as you have mentioned in your letter, you have filed your claims therein. It is worth emphasizing that our regular courts will not take cognizance of any existing claim which is well within the jurisdiction of the Barangay.

Nevertheless, you may seek for the issuance of a certificate to file action from your Barangay Chairman. Such recourse is available if the obligee, the lessee as in this case, continues to avoid attending the hearings before the Barangay, making amicable settlement unattainable. Thereafter, you may proceed with filing an action for ejectment against your lessee. As provided for under Section 9 of Republic Act No. 9653, otherwise known as the Rent Control Act of 2009, “Ejectment shall be allowed on the following grounds: x x x (b) Arrears in payment of rent for a total of three months: x x x” You may also ask for the payment of the amount which your lessee owes you, as well as damages, if you have incurred any.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

source:  Manila Times' Column by

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