Sale of leased residential unit before the end of lease term
Can a lessee be ejected by a new owner when the residential unit in NCR [at a monthly rate of P10,000] is sold before the end of their lease term?
Republic Act (RA) 9653, otherwise known as the "Rent Control Act of 2009"; has following provisions:
"Section 5. Coverage of this Act. – All residential units in the National Capital Region 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 shall be covered, without prejudice to existing contracts.
"Section 10. Prohibition Against Ejectment by Reason of Sale or Mortgage. – No lessor or his successor-in-interest shall be entitled to eject the lessee upon the ground that the leased premises have been sold or mortgaged to a third person regardless of whether the lease or mortgage is registered or not.
"Section 13. Penalties. – A fine of not less than Twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000.00) nor more than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) or imprisonment of not less than one (1) month and one (1) day to not more than six (6) months, or both, shall be imposed on any person, natural or judicial, found guilty of violating any provision of this Act.").
At the outset, the said Act covers only those residential units with a monthly rent not exceeding P10,000 (if within National Capital Region and other highly urbanized cities), or not exceeding P5,000 (in all other areas).
It is clear from the foregoing Section 10 that the lessor's successor-in-interest or the new owner has no right to eject the lessee by reason of the sale of the leased residential unit. Otherwise, a fine and/or imprisonment may be imposed.
Considering that the subject of the lease is a residential unit located within the NCR and with a monthly rent of P10,000, the contract falls within the coverage of RA 9653. As such, the lessee cannot be evicted prior to the end of the lease term, solely by reason of the sale of the apartment unit.
Source: Manila Times