The rent control law, which expires on December 31, has been extended for two years, Vice President Jejomar Binay announced on Wednesday.
Binay, who is also chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), said the extension of the Rent Control Act of 2009 or Republic Act (RA) 9653, will ease the burden of tenants faced with higher electricity and fuel costs.
The rent raise cap covers the National Capital Region and other highly urbanized cities where the monthly rent is below P10,000, and other areas where it is up to P5,000 a month.
“We want to help renting families have a breathing room given the recent increases in power rates and the natural calamities we experienced,” Binay said.
Under the rent control law or RA 9653, the rent cannot be increased by more than seven percent annually as long as they are occupied by the same lessees.
Binay said Section 6 of RA 9653 authorizes the HUDCC “to continue the regulation of the rental of certain residential units, to determine the period of regulation and its subsequent extension if warranted, to determine the residential units covered and to adjust the allowable limit on rental increases per annum.”
He said the HUDCC decision to extend the law up to December 2015 was based on the initial results of a study commissioned by the agency.
The study, conducted by the Statistical Research and Training Center, an attached agency of the National Economic and Development Authority, showed that about 1.5 million households, or 7.2 percent of the 21.5 million households nationwide are renting their homes. Of this number, 97 percent pay rent of P10,000 and below.
In 2012, the monthly average family income of renters was P23,968—P27,246 in the Metro Manila and P20,794 in other areas. Families in Metro Manila spend about 12.4 percent of their income on rent.
These findings have to be validated because the final figures on housing from the 2010 Census of Population and Housing are still not available.
The study also needs more data such as the Wholesale Price Index for Construction Materials, Real Estate Price Index and Depreciation Costs for a comprehensive look at rental regulation.