Grounds for legally ejecting a lessee

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
We have been renting a house and lot in Pasay City (Metro Manila) for almost 20 years now, and have been paying the monthly rent religiously. When the owner of the property died, his descendants told us to vacate the property, because they will sell it.

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Last October 2015, we received a summons from the Barangay (Village) Council, or Lupon, stating that a complaint has been filed against us. During the proceedings in the Lupon , we learned that there is already a new owner of the house, and he wants us to leave the rented property.

Do we have the right to stay in the rented property even now that the new owner wants us to leave?

Adrian

Dear Adrian,
The new owner cannot just evict you from the premises. This is supported by Section 10 of Republic Act 9653, which provides, “No lessor or his successor-in-interest shall be entitled to eject the lessee upon the ground that the leased premises have been sold or mortgaged to a third person regardless of whether the lease or mortgage is registered or not.”

Under Section 9 of the above-mentioned law, the following are the grounds where the owner can judicially eject the lessee, to wit:

(a) Assignment of lease or sub-leasing of residential units in whole or in part, including the acceptance of boarders or bedspacers, without the written consent of the owner/lessor;

(b) Arrears in payment of rent for a total of three (3) months: Provided, that in the case of refusal by the lessor to accept payment of the rent agreed upon, the lessee may either deposit, by way of consignation, the amount in court, or with the city or municipal treasurer, as the case may be, or barangay chairman, or in a bank in the name of and with notice to the lessor, within one (1) month after the refusal of the lessor to accept payment. The lessee shall thereafter deposit the rent within ten (10) days of every current month. Failure to deposit the rent for three (3) months shall constitute a ground for ejectment. The lessor, upon authority of the court in case of consignation or upon joint affidavit by him and the lessee to be submitted to the city or municipal treasurer or barangay chairman and to the bank where deposit was made, shall be allowed to withdraw the deposits;

(c) Legitimate need of the owner/lessor to repossess his or her property for his or her own use or for the use of any immediate member of his or her family as a residential unit, provided that the lease for a definite period has expired; provided further that the lessor has given the lessee the formal notice three (3) months in advance of the lessor’s intention to repossess the property; and provided finally that the owner/lessor is prohibited from leasing the residential unit or allowing its use by a third party for a period of at least (1) year from the time of repossession;

(d) Need of the lessor to make necessary repairs of the leased premises that are the subject of an existing order of condemnation by appropriate authorities concerned in order to make the premises safe and habitable: provided that after the repair, the lessee ejected shall have the first preference to lease the same premises; provided further that the new rent shall be reasonably commensurate with the expenses incurred for the repair of the residential unit; and provided finally that if the residential unit is condemned or completely demolished, the lease of the new building will no longer be subject to the aforementioned first preference rule in this subsection; and

(e) Expiration of the period of the lease contract.

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.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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