Posted on July 14th, 2009
The Rent Control Act of 2009 or Republic 9653 was finally signed into law on Tuesday by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The new rent control law aims to protect the more than 1.55 million low income tenants in the country.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said, â€œThe significance of the rent control that was signed by the president into law is somehow help to our lesser privileged citizens so that they will not bear the burden of uncontrollable increases in rentals.â€
The new law, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill 3163 and House Bill 6098, sets a one-year moratorium on rent increases. This applies to houses, apartments and other residential units including boarding houses, dormitories, rooms and bed space.
It also sets a ceiling on rent increases per year until December 2013, which is seven percent. R.A. 9653, or â€œAn Act Establishing Reforms in the Regulation of Rent of Certain Residential Units, Providing the Mechanisms Therefore and For Other Purposes,â€ retains many of the salient provision in the Rent Control Law which expired last December 31, 2008.
Some of those prohibited under the new law is the advance payment of more than one month and a deposit of more than two months, as well as the sub-leasing of the rented property by the renters. Those who will be found in violation of the new rent control law will be slapped with stiffer fines ranging from P25,000 to P50,000 and face imprisonment of not less than one month and one day to not more than six months, or both.
The new rent control law would be in effect for four years, after which the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) is mandated to continuously regulate the rental of certain residential units, conduct review of its implementation, and formulate and implement a two-year transition program to cushion the impact in the event of a regulation-free rental housing market.
Among those present during the signing at MalacaÃ±ang Rizal Hall were Vice President Noli de Castro, chairman of the HUDCC, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and House Speaker Prospero Nograles, who co-authored the law.