I am planning to evict my tenants who are leasing one of my apartment units. We have agreed to a monthly rental fee of P8,000, but we do not have any written agreement. The reason why I want to evict them is because I have already received many complaints from my other tenants as well as my neighbors for their unruly behavior. They fight a lot, even in the middle of the night which is really bothersome. I personally know this because I live in the same apartment compound. They have also used most of the open space outside of the apartment for fixing their motorcycle and for parking their truck. Other tenants find it difficult to pass through the open space.
I have called their attention several times regarding these concerns, but they ended up just yelling at me. Two of my tenants even decided to move out because they can no longer stand the attitude of these unruly tenants. Please advise me on what my legal remedies are. Thank you and more power.
As a general rule, contracts may be terminated for causes specifically stated therein and for those provided under the law. Considering that you do not have any written agreement with your tenants in question, we submit that you may only lawfully evict them from their leased apartment for causes mentioned under the law.
It is explicitly provided under Section 9 of Republic Act No. 9653, otherwise known as the Rent Control Act of 2009, that an owner or lessor of a property can judicially eject his or her lessee for any of the following causes:
(1) When the lessee has assigned the lease or subleased the residential unit/s in whole or in part, including the acceptance of boarders or bed spacers, without the written consent of the owner/lessor;
(2) Arrears of the lessee in payment of rent for a total of three months;
(3) Legitimate need of the owner/lessor to repossess his or her property for his or her own use of for the use of an immediate member of his or her family as a residential unit, provided that (a) the lease for a definite period has expired, (b) the lessor has given the lessee the formal notice three months in advance of the lessor’s intention to repossess the property, and (c) the owner/lessor is prohibited from leasing the residential unit or allowing its use by a third party for a period of at least one year from the time of repossession;
(4) Need of the lessor to make necessary repairs of the leased premises which is the subject of an existing order of condemnation by appropriate authorities concerned in order to make the said premises safe and habitable; provided that (a) after said repair, the lessee ejected shall have the first preference to lease the same premises; (b) the new rent shall be reasonably commensurate with the expenses incurred for the repair of the said residential unit; and, (c) 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
(5) Expiration of the period of the lease contract.
It appears that the first up to the fourth causes mentioned above do not apply to your situation. Nevertheless, you may utilize the fifth cause after the end of the month. While you and your tenants have no written agreement, it can be said that your contract of lease expires at the end of each month. This is in consonance with Article 1687 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines: “If the period of the lease has not been fixed, it is understood to be from year to year, if the rent agreed upon is annual; from month to month, if it is monthly; x x x”
Accordingly, you may inform your tenants that you will no longer retain them after the end of the coming month. If they refuse to vacate the apartment after the said period, you may bring the matter before the Barangay for the proper Barangay conciliation proceedings (Section 18, 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure). Should Barangay conciliation fail and a Certificate to File Action is issued in your favor, you may file an action for ejectment before the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, or Municipal Circuit Trial Court of your city or municipality. (Section 1, A (1), Id.)
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 email@example.com