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House ratifies rent control law

Thursday, May 28, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ Businessworld Online ]

THE HOUSE of Representatives ratified a new rent control law aimed at protecting housing tenants from unreasonable rent increases.

House bill (HB) 6098 and Senate bill (SB) 3163 or the proposed "Rent Control Act of 2009" sets a cap on annual rent hikes.

Republic Act 9341 or the Rent Control Act of 2005, which had set a 10% annual limit to such increase, expired last December 30.

HB 6098 seeks to limit rent increases by not more than 4% annually, while SB 3163 puts the limit up to 10%.

Under the reconciled version of the two bills, the annual cap on rent increases was set at 7% for units being rented out for not more than P10,000 per month in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities and not more than P5,000 in other parts of the country.

A one-year moratorium on rent increases upon effectivity of the proposed act was also provided. The law would be effective until December 31, 2013.

After such period, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) will be authorized to study if the industry needs to be regulated or deregulated by the time the five-year mechanism lapses, taking into consideration latest statistics on number of rental units, prevailing rental rates, monthly inflation rate on rentals and prevailing rental rates.

The Senate version was approved on second reading last April 29.

House committee on housing and urban development and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rodolfo G. Valencia (1st district) said that lawmakers expect the ratified version to be signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo anytime after sessions adjourn on June 5.

Congress is going to end its second regular session on June 5. The third regular session will open on July 27. — JFSV


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