Rights of tenants

Dear Atty. Joji,

I am a storeowner renting a space inside a mall. I would like to ask if the Rent Control Act of 2009 is applicable to a tenant of a mall? I’d like to know my rights as a tenant in a commercial space. Thanks, attorney.



Dear Jill,

Sad to say, the rights of lessees of spaces available for rent in malls are not covered by Republic Act 9653, entitled “An Act Establishing Reforms in the Regulation of the Rent of Certain Residential Units, Providing the Mechanisms Therefor and for Other Purposes.”

The Rent Control Act of 2009 covers residential units, as provided under Section 5 thereof — which provides that all residential units in the National Capital Region and other highly urbanized cities the monthly rent for each of which ranges from P1 to P10,000, and all residential units in all other areas the monthly rent for each of which ranges from P1 to P5,000 as of the effectivity date of this act — shall be covered without prejudice to existing contracts.

Thus, stalls or spaces in malls, being leased for commercial purposes, cannot be covered by the aforesaid law.

In such a case where the subject of lease is for commercial purpose, the rights and obligations of the parties thereto shall be covered by their contract of lease. In your case as a tenant, the provisions of your contract shall be followed in determining your obligation as a tenant and that of the mall owner.

Thus, you may examine your lease contract to determine your welfare as a tenant of the mall. If the contract is silent as to your right or obligation as tenant, your right shall be governed by the provisions on lease under the Civil Code.

Hope this helps.

Atty. Joji Alonso

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