Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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A new lease on life

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Property rules

A new lease on life

“A MAN travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it,” said novelist George A. Moore.

In a study conducted by Dot Property, one of the largest property portal networks in the country, home means a condominium unit for 38 percent of the Filipino millennial population. Meanwhile, 75 percent of the said population reportedly prefers renting a condominium unit mainly because: (a) they cannot afford to buy a house and lot; and (b) they can easily move in and out of their homes for work and travel.

If you’re among the millennials planning to rent a condominium unit, you would have to execute a contract of lease with its owner. Here are the things you need to understand before executing a contract of lease:

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Under a contract of lease, the owner binds himself to allow you to enjoy or use his condominium unit for a price certain and for a period which may or may not be definite.

“Price certain” means that your rental expense may either be: (a) certain with reference to a definite day, particular exchange or market, or another thing certain; or (b) determinable by a person who is not a party to said contract.

The owner must lease out the condominium unit to you in the condition as to render it fit for living in. Likewise, the owner must ensure that necessary repairs are made to keep the condominium unit suitable for living, as well your peaceful and adequate enjoyment thereof for the entire duration of the contract.

As the lessee, you are meanwhile obliged to: (a) pay the rent according to the terms of the contract; (b) use the condominium unit in the manner stipulated; and (c) pay the expenses for the deed of lease.

You may suspend the payment of your rent if the owner would fail to make the necessary repairs or ensure your peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the condominium unit.

If it should be necessary for the owner to make urgent repairs, which cannot be postponed until the termination of the contract, you must tolerate said repairs, even if they may be very annoying or you may be deprived of a part of the condominium unit.

If the urgent repairs would last more than 40 days, the rent should be reduced in proportion to the time and the part of the condominium unit of which you were deprived.

Unless expressly prohibited, you may sublet the condominium unit, in whole or in part, subject to your obligations toward its owner under the contract. In this case, the sublessee shall be responsible for the use and preservation of the condominium unit in the manner stipulated in the contract, as well as to his other obligations to you.

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As soon as possible, notify the owner of any untoward act or usurpation committed by any other person on the condominium unit, as well as the repairs needed thereon.

The owner is not obliged to answer for any other person’s mere act of trespass.

But, you shall have a direct action against such intruder. “Mere act of trespass” means that the intruder does not claim any right whatsoever on the condominium unit.

Upon the termination of the lease, you must turn over the condominium unit to the owner just as it was turned over to you, except for what may have been lost or impaired by the lapse of time, or by ordinary wear and tear, or from an inevitable cause.

You are responsible for the deterioration or loss of the condominium unit, except upon proof that it took place without your fault or the occurrence of an earthquake, flood, storm, or other natural calamity.

You are also responsible for the deterioration caused by members of your household and your guests and visitors.

The contract of lease is deemed renewed if, upon its termination, you should continue occupying the condominium unit for 15 days with the owner’s consent and absent the owner’s notice for you to leave the premises. Such renewal is understood to be from year to year, if the rent were paid annually, month to month, if the rent were paid monthly, and from day to day, if the rent were paid daily. The other terms of the original contract, however, shall be revived.

Sara Mae D. Mawis is an Associate at Esguerra & Blanco Law and a Lecturer at the College of Law Adamson University

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