Having a home is a necessity for everyone. It is a place of comfort for a tired mind and body after a long day of work. However, nowadays, with inflation, owning a house is financially difficult for the working population. House and lot prices are too high and other needs must be prioritized. With this, saving money for long-term investments like a house or condominium is too hard for the working class because of the highly priced commodities. However, there are people who invest in real estate as their rental property. Renting a home becomes the last and only choice of the people to provide their shelter needs. Rental will provide one’s shelter needs yet there is a limitation because obviously, the property is not owned by the renter. Hence, there rules and regulations that must be followed or else, there will be penalties that must be paid or it may cause default in the lease contract. The rules are exclusive for each contract but there are basic dos and don’ts that can be taken into account when you consider renting. With this, what should not be done when renting a home?
The Rental Law of the Philippines
Before knowing what should not be done when renting a home, you should learn your rights as a tenant. Rent Control Act of 2009, also known as Republic Act 9653, is a law that safeguards the welfare of renters especially those in the lowest income brackets against unjustified increases in monthly rental fees. Additionally, it also lists the requisites and procedures for the eviction of the renter.
The important points of the Philippines’ rental law are as follows:
- It only covers monthly rent of PHP 10,000 and below.
- One month advance and two months deposit
- Houses whose monthly rent does not exceed PHP 5,000 are only allowed to raise prices up to 2%
- For rental fees amounting between PHP 5,000 and PHP 8,999, it is only allowed to be increased up to 7% of the rental fee
- For houses with rental amounting between PHP 9,000 to PHP 10,000, the rent is subject to a maximum increase of 11%
- For lease contracts on students, rental fees can only be increased once a year
- Requisites for Tenant’s Eviction
- Subleasing or tenant rents out a portion of the unit to another person without the consent of the owner
- Overdue rental fees
- Owner’s legitimate use of the property – A good example for this is when the lessor wants you to leave the rental property because his or her family member will be occupying the unit you rented. However, this should not be done right away. The lessor must wait for the contract to expire before ordering the tenant to leave the place. Additionally, a formal notice to vacate the property should be given three months in advance.
- House repairs – this may only subject the lessee to temporary eviction because after repairs have been done, the evicted tenant should be prioritized in the lease of the unit.
- Contract expiration – the landlord has the right not to agree on the renewal of the lease contract.
- Penalties for Offenders of This Law
Those who violated the Rent Control Act are subject to a penalty ranging from PHP 25,000 to PHP 50,000, imprisonment of one to six months, or both, depending on the severity of the offense. However, it is unclear if you may sue the landlord for violating your rights as a tenant so it is advised that you may settle things with your landlord or if you cannot come to an agreement, you may now contact your barangay chairman to settle things for both of you as it the said person has the authority to protect the landlord and tenant’s rights.
What Should Not Be Done when Renting a Home?
After being knowledgeable with the important points of the rental law of the Philippines, there are other things to keep in mind make a good rental experience. Instead of knowing the dos, let us know the don’ts so it can be easily instilled in your mind as a potential tent or lessee.
- Not researching about the location of the rental property
It is understandable that all of us has a timeframe to follow in life. However, even though the property you will be living in is just from rental, it is important to research about the location. Research about the accessibility of the place or the nearby amenities that you can enjoy. In this way, you will be able to enjoy your stay in property instead of hopping to different rental units frequently. It is also important to keep in mind the safety of the location before hastily deciding on renting the property.
- Not checking the unit’s condition, physically and legally
As a tenant, you should make sure that there are no damages or inconveniences in the unit like broken wirings, malfunctioning drainages, or any similar inconvenience. Remember, even this is just a rental house, you should ensure that this can be your safe space after a long day of work. Aside from the physical condition of the unit, the lessee must check the legal matters of the property. The potential tenant must ensure to the landlord that property taxes and mortgage payments are updated so that there will be no inconvenience of sudden eviction of the tenant in the property.
- Not understanding the contract or the rental agreement
It is not enough that everything is settled verbally. Fraudsters are good at talks and making you believe their words, so chances are they gained your trust and sign the agreement right away. It is good to scan or skim the lease agreement before signing the document. It is also better if the agreement is evaluated or created by the lawyer so that that landlord and tenant’s rights are clearly protected. In addition, a contract made by a lawyer ensures that no other laws are violated upon agreeing with the rental terms.
- Damaging the Property
Since this is not your ownership, you must ensure that the property is taken with proper care. If possible, you can do upgrades or improvements with the consent of the owner to make a more convenient living experience in the property. Additionally, even if you carefully check the property, there will be times that you will missed out some details. Hence, to avoid further argument, be the bigger person and initiate the talks for improving the property. You may negotiate with the expenses depending on the degree of repairs to be done. Remember that the main person who will benefit on this improvement is you as you are the one residing the house.
- Not getting everything in black in white
It is not enough to talk things out. It is better to get everything in black in white. There will be times that the current contract terms are not enough especially if negotiations happen between the landlord and the potential tenant. So, these additional terms must be recorded in black in white and be attached to the contract. With this, it lists down the expected obligations of the parties and the additional points that have been agreed during the negotiation stage.
- Bringing Pets Especially If It is Not Agreed Upon
There are some landlords who do not allow the presence of pets in rental properties. It is understandable because every tenant has different pets with different natures as well. It is a way to protect the property from the potential damages that the pet can make. There are also times that even the landlord allows pets, the subdivision or the condominium developer has additional terms for pet ownership. With this, it is proper to have knowledge on these aspects during negotiation especially if you have a current pet that will move in with you.
- Not asking for hidden costs
It is normal for condominiums and subdivisions to have additional fees for the amenities that benefits the welfare of its tenants or owners. You must clarify this with your landlord so that you know the expenses to expect by the time you move in. Lucky for you if your rental fee includes the use of the amenities that can be enjoyed by the owner. It must be also noted that there are rental fees that are significantly higher than what the majority of the market offers. However, most of these covers all the additional charges that you must pay when you decide to be a tenant of the property. Henceforth, it is important to ask and read the contract terms. If something is agreed upon and not yet written, you must initiate that the agreement must be written for clarity and protection of both parties.
Being a Wise Tenant
Perhaps, you are a tenant because of your limited budget, or you see it as a practical alternative with your financial status. Renting or owning a house have its own pros and cons. However, it is good to equip yourself with proper knowledge to safeguard your rights and protect the money you spend in every contract you undergo. In this era wherein everyone has their own hustle, there are opportunist who will take advantage of your vulnerability of wishing for a convenient life. Hence, it is important that you do not easily believe on their words unless everything they say is written in black in white.
But if time will come that you will have the means to own a home, Bria Homes maybe one of the best alternatives for you. It offers a wide variety of properties to choose from. From affordable house and lot to condominiums located in strategic locations, it will remove your worries and give you better access on the necessary amenities. Such can be availed through a bank housing loan or through Pag-IBIG loan. With Bria, you have a variety of options to choose from whether it is related to financing or properties to invest on. You may check their website or visit their Facebook page to schedule for a virtual tour of the properties they have developed.