Condominiums are a hot commodity right now in the Philippines probably because of their numerous advantages. Specifically, condos feature many desirable amenities, such as gym and fitness club, pool, and recreation center. In addition, condominiums in the Philippines, for example those by DMCI Homes, are near the business district, making them a good property to rent.
Living in a condo is a good idea. As a first-time condo renter, then you might be unaware of the rights you have as a tenant. It's a must that you read up on residential laws and rights. Knowing your rights is important so that you will know what you can or what you cannot do legally as a condo renter. In addition, being aware of the law about condo renting will not only give you an idea on what your condo lessor can legally do but will also help you become a better, more responsible condo renter.
Here we give you seven condo rights you should know as a condo renter.
Annual Increase Of Rent
According to Section 4 of the Rent Control Act of the Philippines, if your rent is not more than 10,000 pesos per month, then the rent for your condo unit shall not be increased by more than 7 percent annually. Therefore, you can be at ease that your budget will not go ballistic just because of a condo rent increase.
However, once your condo unit becomes vacant, the lessor can set a different amount for the next lessee.
Advance Payment And Deposit
Before settling in to your new condo unit, you may need to pay some advance rent first. But did you know that your lessor cannot ask payment for more than one month in advance?
In addition, your lessor cannot demand for more than two months deposit. This deposited money should also be kept in a bank under your name, until your lease duration has ended.
This two months deposit will be given back to you after your lease has ended. However, take note that if you fail to settle your rent, electric, telephone, or other bills or if you have done damages to the property or its other accessories, then the condo owner has the right to take away an amount commensurate to the damages done.
Rules On Accepting Boarders/Bedspacers
You may have several rights as a lessee, but you need to take note that being a lessee requires you to follow some rules. For instance, one of the things you cannot do is accept boarders or bedspacers without the written consent of the condo owner. Therefore, if you are planning to take in roommates so that your condo rent will be reduced, you have to get first the permission of the condo owner. Doing so without the consent of your lessor is against the law and may be used as grounds for ejectment.
Rules For Ejectment
As a condo renter, you should know when you can be ejected or not from your leased condo unit. Thanks to the tenancy law of the Philippines, you can sleep soundly through the night confident that you won’t get kicked out of your leased condo just because the owner suddenly wants you to.
Nonetheless, the condo owner still has the right to eject his tenants on the following grounds; if the tenant accepted boarders or bedspacers without the owner’s consent; if the lessee has not paid rent for a total of three months; if the owner has legitimate need to repossess his property for his own use or for the use of any immediate member or his family; if the lessor needs to make necessary repairs of the condo unit, as per the order of appropriate authorities, to make the condo unit safe and habitable; and if your contract has already expired.
However, if the condo owner wanted you out because of his legitimate need to use his condo unit, then the owner should give you formal notice three months in advance. In other words, as a lessee, you have the right to be given advance notice so that you’ll be given enough time to find a new condo unit to relocate to. Aside from this, the condo unit cannot be leased to another party for at least 1 year from the time of repossession.
If the condo owner has the legal right to eject you and has given you three months’ notice (except for failure to pay rent), then he still needs to give you a three-day notice regarding the eviction. You as a tenant need to leave the condo of your own accord.
Failure To Pay Rent For Three Months
You may be asking, what happens if I failed to pay rent for three months? As mentioned, the condo owner has the right to evict you from his condo if you have failed to pay rent for three months. When this happens, the condo owner will sue you and wait for a writ from the courts stating abandonment.
If you are being evicted because of failure to pay rent, then you need to pay rent before the actual day of ejectment. However, if you failed to pay rent, the situation will be taken to the court system.
Nonetheless, as a condo renter, you have the right not to be evicted personally by the condo owner. Only the police can evict you, the tenant, under court order. If the condo owner evicts you personally, then he may face serious consequences for his action.
One of your many rights as a renter is that the condo owner cannot change the locks of your unit just to keep you out. If the condo owner has valid claim of keeping you out of his property, then he needs to go through the proper process of ejectment. If the owner fails to follow this, then he may face serious fines or, worse, be sentenced to jail.
Living in a condo of your own has many perks and advantages. However, if you are planning to rent one for the first time, then you need to be aware of the many rights you have as a renter. Being aware of the law about condo renting will not only give you an idea on what your condo lessor can legally do but will also help you become a better, more responsible condo renter.