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Cap on residential rent hikes to remain in force until end of 2021

housing NHA

THE cap on residential rent increases will remain in force for another year, to the end of 2021, according to the National Human Settlements Board (NHSB).

In resolution 2020-04 published Wednesday, the NHSB said a 2% cap on rent increases applies to those paying monthly rent of up to P4,999.

The maximum rent hike is set at 7% for those paying monthly rent of between P5,000 and P8,999, and 11% for those paying between P9,000 and P10,000.

The guidelines apply to residential units occupied by the same lessee. If the unit is vacated, the lessor may set the initial rent for the next lessee.

The power to cap rent increases is conferred by the Rent Control Act of 2009, or Republic Act No. 9653, and is designed to protect low-income housing tenants. The resolution also cited the “economic and financial difficulties” inflicted by the pandemic.

Student housing landlords cannot increase rent more than once each year. The regulation also cannot be applied to new residential units constructed after the approval of the resolution.

The rent control measure was extended in 2017, and was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

The trade department earlier set guidelines for rent deferrals and prohibited the eviction of residential and commercial tenants unable to pay after the end of a prescribed grace period. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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