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(2018) Rent Control Law for “Houses for Rent” in the Philippines

Did you know that prices of houses for rent are controlled and cannot be simply increased arbitrarily?

Housing rentals are covered by the Philippines’ Rent Control Act of 2009, a law intended to protect millions of Filipinos renting houses.

The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) is in charge of overseeing the implementation of the Rent Control Law, also known as Republic Act (RA) 9653 or “An Act Establishing Reforms in the Regulation of Rent of Certain Residential Units, Providing the Mechanisms Therefore and For Other Purposes”.

The law was approved in 2009 and its provisions have been recently extended by HUDCC for a period of three years, from January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2020.

Here are seven (7) salient items from the Rent Control Law that you ought to know.

7 Important Provisions of the Rent Control Law

1. Which Houses for Rent are covered

The Rent Control Law covers all residential units:

  • (a) in Metro Manila with monthly rent between one peso (P1.00) and ten thousand pesos (P10,000) per month; and
  • (b) in other highly urbanized cities in the country, with monthly rent between one peso (P1.00) and five thousand pesos (P5,000).

Simply speaking, the law applies to houses for rent in Metro Manila charging monthly rent of up to P10,000 and houses for rent in other cities charging monthly rent of up to P5,000. Rent here refers to housing rent alone and does not include water, electricity, utility, or other charges to be paid by the renter. (See also: Taxes and Fees when Buying Property in the Philippines)

2. Maximum Price Increase of Houses for Rent below P5,000

Residential units charging monthly rent of up to P4,999.00 cannot increase the rental price by more than two percent (2%) per year.

For example:

From January to December 2018, the monthly rent for a house is P2,500. By January 2019, the rent can only be increased by a maximum of 2%, that is, a maximum of P50 (computed as P2,500 x 2%). Therefore, by January 2019, the new monthly rent can only be a maximum of P2,550.

3. Maximum Price Increase of Houses for Rent from P5,000 to P8,999

Housing units charging monthly rental rates of P5,000 to P8,999, meanwhile, are not allowed to increase rates by more than seven percent (7%) per year, if the unit is occupied by the same tenant.

For example:

A condo unit in BGC is charging P8,000 monthly rent. By how much can the rent of this condo be increased next year? (See also: Tips when Buying Condo Units in the Philippines)

Answer: P560.00, because rent can only be increased by a maximum of 7%. (P8,000 x 7% is P560.00). Thus, for next year, the condo owner can raise the rental rate charged to the tenant up to P8,560.00 per month.

4. Maximum Price Increase of Houses for Rent from P9,000 to P10,000

Houses for rent charging monthly rent of P9,000 up to P10,000 are not allowed to increase rates by more than eleven percent (11%) per year, if the unit is occupied by the same tenant.

For example:

The monthly rent for a condo unit in Makati is P9,000. What is the allowed rental increase next year?

Answer: P990.00, because rent can only be increased by a maximum of 11%. (P9,000 x 11% is P990.00). This means the new rental rate for next year can be increased to a maximum of P9,990 per month.

5. Rent-to-own units, Commercial Spaces, Motels, Hotels, etc.

Rented units which are used as motels, motel rooms, hotels, and hotel rooms are not covered. Commercial spaces are also not covered by this law. Units under a rent-to-own scheme also do not fall under the Rent Control Act since they have separate contracts.

6. Units offered for rent to students

Boarding houses, dormitories, rooms, and bedspaces offered for rent to students can only increase rents once a year, even if a new boarder occupies the unit within the same year.

For example, if there was a rent increase in June and a student boarder left in July and was replaced by another student boarder in August, the rent cannot be increased for the new boarder. The law states that no further increase on the same year is allowed for units offered for rent to students. Take note that this strict rule only applies to units offered for rent to students.

7. One Month Advance, Two Months Deposit

Owners of residential units cannot demand more than one-month advance rent and more than two-months deposit. Anything more than this limit is considered illegal.

Violators of the Rent Control Law face a fine of P25,000 to P50,000, or imprisonment of one month and a day up to six months, or both.

UPDATE: On November 2017, the HUDCC has approved a resolution adjusting the maximum rates allowed for rental price increases during the period January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. The new rates are shown in the items above.

Previously, prior to December 31, 2017, residential units charging monthly rent of up to P3,999.00 can only increase rents by 4% or less per year, if the unit is occupied by the same tenant. At the same time, housing units charging monthly rental rates between P4,000 and P10,000.00 are not allowed to increase rates by more than 7% per year, if the unit is occupied by the same tenant. These rates have been changed as explained in the provisions above.

Can rent be increased if there’s a new tenant?

Yes, landlords are allowed to increase the rental rate, beyond the set percentage limit, to be charged to a new renter.

For example, if Person A is paying rent of P8,000 per month and decided to leave the unit, the landlord can look for a new tenant and charge the new tenant P9,000 — a 12.5% increase. Even if it’s beyond the 7% maximum limit prescribed by the law, this is allowed since the landlord is not prohibited from charging a new rate to a new renter.

The only exception to this rule is when the housing unit is offered for rent to students. (See No. 6 above)

What’s the rule for housing rental rates above P10,000?

The Rent Control Law does not apply to units charging a monthly rate of at least P10,000.

To reiterate, the law only covers residential units in Metro Manila with rental rate of P10,000 or below (and in other urbanized cities in the Philippines with rental rate of P5,000 or below).

The owner of the house, charging rent of more than P10,000, is free to increase the rate as he or she pleases, and only has to negotiate directly with the tenant.

How effective is the Rent Control law?

The Philippine Rent Control Law is indeed commendable, but we believe its effectiveness may be hampered because of three things:

First, tenants must be made aware that such a law exists so that they will know their rights. More information and awareness campaigns should be conducted in order to publicize this particular law.

Second, tenants who may have complaints about their landlords must know the proper avenue where they can air their grievance. Where exactly can housing tenants go if they are having issues with their landlords regarding unauthorized rent increases?

Lastly, complaints must be dealt with swiftly and properly by the appropriate government agency so that justice can be served for both landlord and tenant.

An effective implementation of the law can definitely benefit millions of Filipino families renting houses. Here at PinoyMoneyTalk, we simply hope the government can provide more avenues to educate Filipinos about their rights as housing tenants.

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78 thoughts on “(2018) Rent Control Law for “Houses for Rent” in the Philippines”

  1. Jerome says:

    Mgandang araw po atty. Itatanong ko lang kasi ung tunkol sa dati kong landlady. Nngupahan ako dati sa apartment nya for 2000/month + 500 sa kuryente at tubig. dumating ung time na sabi nya sa akin magtataas sya at gagawin nyang 2500 na ung upa. Sabi ko aalis na lang ako kasi hindi ko kaya. Pero inabot ako ng 1 month bago makaalis dahil naghanap pa ako ng malilipatan. After 1 year hinahabol pa rin nya ung 1 month na hindi ko nabayaran kahit matagal na kong wala dun. may karapatan po ba syang magdemanda pag ganun?. Wla pong kontrata ang pagupa ko Sa kanya noon.

    1. Junaire Baylosis says:

      Nangupahan kami para sa mga tao namin for special project sa laguna. May apartment na naupahan kami worth 10k kasi marami kami. Nung due date namin singil na kami total special project lang kami, pinakiusapan namin ang may ari na gamitin nalang yung advance namin pero di siya pumayag kasi gustu niya magpayad pa kami. Kung di kami magbayad kasi due date na namin umalis nalang daw kami kaya nagtaka kami bakit pinaalis na kami ehh may advance pa dapat kami na gagamitin pero sabi ng may ari hindi daw pede gamitin ang advance kasi iiwan daw yun. Ibig sabihin kahit magpayment pa kami para sa sunod na buwan meron padin maiwan na isang buwan na rent na hindi namin makukuha. Kaya ang ginawa namin nag exit na kami kasi ayaw pumayag yung may ari na gamitin namin ang natira na isang buwan.

      Tanung lang po sana kung pede pa po ba na kunin namin o irefund ang isang buwan na binayaran nmin na hindi naman po nagagamit.

  2. Conchita Ragonton says:

    Good morning po,tanong ko lng po kung karapatdapat b ang dagdag n 500 per head sa sobra na nakatira sa inuopahan nming bahay na may limit daw ang tao hangang 4 lng.

  3. Xeh says:

    Good day po… gusto ko lng po malaman yung karapatan ko po bilang tenant… nangungupahan lng pi kc kmi buong pamilya.. inuupahan po nmin buong bhay po 700 a month… isang taon n po kmi dito nkatira, ngayon po… ng dhl s bagyo last oct.. nasiea ung cr nmin.. pinaabot ko po s landlord nmin n nsira ung cr sk tumutulo ung bubong nmin… umabot n lng n dec hnd po naayos ung cr at ang bubong… ngayon ng singilan na.. sinabi ko s anak ng may ari n kung pwd kmi n lng ung magpapaayos ng mga sira tapos iddeduct n lng renta ung nagastos s pagpapaayos.. ngalit po sla sabay sabi umalis n daw kmi.. bunutin ko daw lahat ng pananim ko at umalis… may vegetable garden po ako… makatarungan po b n ganyanin ako… nagsisigaw ung landlord ko s labas ng bhay nmin.. that time wala po husband ko,, ako lng at anak kong 5 yrs old… nababastusan po ako s inasta ng landlord ko.. pls advise me kung anong dapat kong gwin..

    Xeh of zamboanga sibugay

  4. Marj says:

    what’s the basis for the 2% maximum increase on rent up to Php 4,999.00? I couldn’t find it on the website of HUDCC and it’s not in the Rental Control Act either. I only saw 4% max increase for rent up to Php 4,999. in HUDCC. Our tenant is using this website as basis. Thank you.

  5. Jesi says:

    Hello po gusto ko lang po sana magtanong regarding sa increase of rent. Since 2003 until now, nangungupahan parin po kami dito sa apartment along metro manila. Before nag start po kami 7000 monthly rent hanggang sa nabenta po ng owner yung apartment sa iba, tapos yung bagong owner ng apartment last 2012 if not mistaken nag umpisa na po sya mag increase ng rent;
    year 2012-2013 – monthly rent 8,000
    year 2013-2014 – monthly rent 9,000
    year 2014-2015 – monthly rent 9,900
    year 2015-2016 – monthly rent 10,800
    year 2016-2017 – monthly rent 11,500
    than again nakareceive kami ng bagong notice galing sa owner na increase for year 2018-2019 monthly rent will be increase to Php12,650.00
    Gusto ko lang po malaman, if how many consecutive years po mag increase ang bagong owner, and naka saad po kasi sa batas na since nasa 7000 yung rent namin dati dapat increase lang sya ng 7%, tapos ngayon po umabot na sa 10,000 up ang upa namin, Ano po ba ang rights namin mga tenant if ganito po ang patakaran ng landlord? at saka po yung landlord madaming daing pag may mga nirereklamong major repair sa property nya. Hoping na may makapag advice po sakin. Thank you in advance.

  6. rhandz says:

    paano po kung si tenant nagbabayad naman po ng rent pero lagi pong late?? pati yung kuryente at tubig hindi binabayaran on time. mag 2 years na sila nakatira sa amin and ever since hindi sila nagbabayad sa tamang oras. pwede ba silang mapaalis???

  7. Cherry says:

    Good morning po Bawal mag luto, maglaba, mamalansiya, maahigpit sa curfew at iba dito sa dorm namin.naagbabayaad po kami ng 2000 pesos tapos naniningil pa po sila ng additional 200 next semester. Hindi rin po maganda ang paguugali ng mga landlady dito sa dorm namin. Biglang nagsesermon ng madaling araw at laging mahigpit sa mga student tenants nila. Ano po ang dapat namin gawin? Salamat po

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