Can I file a case for ejectment against the tenants in our apartment who have arrears in the rent for a total of 6 months? Can your office assist me in filing the appropriate case against them?
Arrears in payment of rent for 3 months is one of the grounds for judicial ejectment enumerated in Section 9 of Republic Act No. 9653(R.A. 9653) or the Rent Control Act of 2009, to wit:
“SEC. 9. Grounds for Judicial Ejectment. – Ejectment shall be allowed on the following grounds:
(b) Arrears in payment of rent for a total of three 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 month after the refusal of the lessor to accept payment. The lessee shall thereafter deposit the rent within 10 days of every current month. Failure to deposit the rent for three 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;
Since your tenants have not been paying their rent for a total of six months already, you may send them a demand letter to pay their arrears and to vacate the apartment they are renting. You may also ask for assistance from the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa of your barangay for a possible amicable settlement. If despite the foregoing, your tenants unjustly refuse to comply with your demands, you may file an action for ejectment against them before the Municipal Trial Court of the place where your apartment is located.
As regards your other question, we regret to inform you that our Office cannot assist you in filing the case for ejectment against your tenants. Pursuant to Section 7, paragraph 4 of our PAO Operations Manual, public attorneys/PAO employees are prohibited from assisting landlords or lessors of residential lands and/or buildings with respect to the filing of collection or unlawful detainer suits against their tenants.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org