My sister had the first floor of her apartment leased. She wants to know what possible grounds she can use in order to ask the court to remove the lessees who are presently occupying her apartment.
The lessor and the lessee are bound to comply with the provisions, stipulations and conditions of their agreement. Either of them may seek redress from our courts if the other party reneges on his contractual obligations.
For the part of the lessor, he may seek recourse from our courts for judicial ejectment only on any of the following grounds mentioned under Section 9 of Republic Act No. 9653, otherwise known as the Rent Control Act of 2009. The first ground stated therein is when the lessee has assigned the lease or subleased the residential unit which he or she is leasing in whole or in part, including the acceptance of boarders or bed spacers, without the written consent of the owner or lessor. Secondly, the lessor may eject the lessee if the latter has incurred arrears in payment of rent for a total of three months. Thirdly, the lessor may judicially eject the lessee when there is a legitimate need on the part of the owner or 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. However, it is necessary that their contract of lease is for a definite period and the lease contract between them has already expired. Additionally, the lessor must have given the lessee a formal notice three months in advance of his intention to repossess the property, but the owner or 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.
The fourth ground for judicial ejectment is when there is a need for the lessor to make necessary repairs of the leased premises in order to make the same safe and habitable, but there must be an existing order of condemnation by appropriate authorities. After the said repair, the lessee ejected must have the first preference to lease the same, the new rent being reasonably commensurate with the expenses incurred for the repair of the said residential unit. The only exception thereto is when the residential unit is condemned or completely demolished, in which case the first preference rule aforementioned will no longer apply. Lastly, judicial ejectment may be sought when the period of the lease contract has already expired and the lessee retains the property being leased without consent of the lessor.
Applying the foregoing, your sister may file an action for ejectment against her lessees if the reason for which she desires to eject them is any of the above-mentioned grounds. However, she must first bring the matter before their Barangay for the proper Barangay conciliation proceedings (Section 18, 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure). Should Barangay conciliation fail, she must secure a Certificate to File Action from their Barangay and file the action for ejectment before the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, or Municipal Circuit Trial Court (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.
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