How can I eject a family who is living in my property? We have no written contract and they have a store in the garage. May I eject them without following the Rent Control Act since they are also using my property for commercial purposes?
In the lease of things, one of the parties binds himself to give to another the enjoyment or use of a thing for a price certain, and for a period which may be definite or indefinite (Article 1643, Civil Code).
Since you do not have any written contract of lease with your lessee, your relationship with the latter is governed by Republic Act (RA) 9653 or the New Rent Control Act of 2009. It is provided under Section 5 thereof that the law covers all residential units in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) and other highly urbanized cities, the total monthly rent for each of which ranges from one peso (P1.00) to Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) and all residential units in all other areas, the total monthly rent for each of which ranges from One peso (P1.00) to Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) as of the effectivity date of this Act, without prejudice to existing contract. On the other hand, residential unit is defined under Section 3(b) thereof as referring to an apartment, house and/or land on which another’s dwelling is located and used for residential purposes and shall include not only buildings, part or units thereof used solely as dwelling places, boarding houses, dormitories, rooms and bedspaces offered for rent by their owners, except motels, motel rooms, hotel, hotel rooms, but also those used for home industries, retail stores or other business purposes if the owner thereof and his or her family actually live therein and use it principally for dwelling purposes.
Based on the foregoing and provided that your property is covered under RA 9653, you should still follow the provisions of this law in ejecting your lessee even if the garage is used as a store or for commercial purpose if the lessee is using your property principally for dwelling purposes. Accordingly, you can only eject your lessee based on any of the grounds mentioned under Section 9 of RA 9653, to wit:
(a) Assignment of lease or subleasing 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 xxx;
(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. Xxx;
(d) 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 premises safe and habitable.xxx;
(e) Expiration of the period of the lease contract.
We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated 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