What action can we take against our tenants who do not pay rent and refuse to leave as well?
In every contract of lease of things or properties, the lessor is under obligation to give to another the enjoyment or use of a thing for a certain price and for a period which may be definite or indefinite (Article 1643, Civil Code of the Philippines). He is also obliged to deliver the object of the lease in such a condition as to render it fit for the use intended, to make necessary repairs and to maintain the lessee in the peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the lease for the entire duration of the contract (Article 1654, Civil Code of the Philippines). The lessee, on the other hand, is bound to pay the process of the lease according to the terms they have agreed upon, to use the thing leased as a diligent father of a family; and to pay the expenses for the deed of lease (Article 1657, Civil Code of the Philippines). The failure of one of the parties to comply with his obligation shall give the other the right to perform all the remedies provided by law.
The failure of the tenant to pay rent for a total of three (3) months shall be a ground for judicial ejectment. Section 9 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9653 or the Rent Control Act of 2009 provides:
“Section 9. Grounds for Judicial Ejectment. Ejectment shall be allowed on the following grounds:
Arrears in payment of rent for a total of three (3) months: Provided, that in the case of the 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.
If your tenants have not paid their rent for three (3) months or more, you may send them a demand letter to pay and in case of their failure to do so, to vacate the property leased. You may also bring the matter to your barangay for a possible amicable settlement. However, if despite doing the foregoing, your tenants unjustly refuse to comply with their obligation, you may file an action for ejectment against your tenants before the Municipal Trial Court of the place where the property leased is situated.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that 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