A Residential Lease Agreement is an agreement for one person (the "Lessee") to rent the property of another (the "Lessor") for residential purposes over a specific period of time.
A Residential Lease Agreement identifies basic information about the lease such as the property to be rented, the period of the lease, the security deposits, and the monthly rental payments. It outlines the obligations of both the Lessor and the Lessee during the period of the lease.
A Residential Lease Agreement is a legally binding contract between both parties. It contains the following information:
- Description of the Property - The description of the property should indicate the type of property to that will be rented and the address of the property.
- Period of the Lease - The period of the lease is the amount of time that the Lessee can take possession of the property.
- Parties Involved - The parties are the Lessor and the Lessee or their representatives. The Lessor may be an individual or an organization such as a corporation or a partnership.
- Representatives - If the Lessor is an organization, it must appoint and authorize a representative to sign on its behalf. The authority of the representative should be evidenced in a document such as Secretary's Certificate. If the Lessor and/or Lessee is an individual, their representative must have either a General Power of Attorney or a Special Power of Attorney that authorizes them to enter into the lease agreement on behalf of the Lessor or the Lessee. If the period of the rent is for more than one year, a Special Power of Attorney is needed.
- Guardian - If either of the parties are under 18 years of age, their guardians, should also sign the document. The guardian should be either the parent, or, in the absence or incapacity of the parents, the court-appointed guardian, or persons exercising substitute parental authority over the party, in that order. Persons exercising substitute parental authority the surviving grandparent, the oldest brother or sister, over 21 years old, or the child's actual custodian over 21 years of age.
- Rent - The parties may set the amount of monthly rent to be paid by the Lessee for the lease of the property. The parties may also agree on the manner and time of payment of the monthly rent.
- Advanced Rent and Security Deposit - The Lessor may also require the payment of advanced rent and security deposit.
- Advanced Rent - The advanced rent is usually paid at the signing of the Agreement. It may be applied as rent for any of the months during the lease period, as agreed upon by the parties. If the property is located in a highly urbanized city and the rent is equal to or less than Ten Thousand Philippine Pesos (P10,000.00) or if the property is not located in a highly urbanized city and the rent is equal to or less than Five Thousand Philippines Pesos (P5,000.00), the Lessor cannot demand more than one (1) month advance rent.
- Security Deposit - The security deposit can be used to settle rent, unpaid electric, telephone, water or such other utility bills or repair any damage to the property caused by the acts or negligence of the Lessee. If the property is located in a highly urbanized city and the rent is equal to or less than Ten Thousand Philippine Pesos (P10,000.00) or if the property is not located in a highly urbanized city and the rent is equal to or less than Five Thousand Philippines Pesos (P5,000.00), the Lessor cannot demand more than two (2) months security deposit which must be kept in a bank under the Lessor's account name during the entire duration of the lease. Any and all interests earned shall be returned to the Lessee at the expiration of the lease contract.
- Terms and Conditions - The parties can also set out the terms and conditions for the lease of the property. Some examples of terms and conditions are:
- if the Lessee can use the property for anything other than residential purposes,
- whether guests can stay overnight, the number of residents in the Leased Property,
- whether pets are allowed.
How to use this document
Once the document is completed, the user should print at least three (3) copies of the document and attach all the Annexes described in the document. The Lessor and the Lessee, or their authorized representatives, should read then sign all the copies of the document. If either of the parties is under 18 years of age, their legal guardian must also read and sign the document.
Once signed, the Lessor and the Lessee should each keep at least one (1) copy of the document.
If the parties would want to notarize the Lease Agreement, the document also includes an Acknowledgment portion. Notarization of the document converts the document from a private document to a public document so that it becomes admissible in court without need of further proof of its authenticity. To notarize the document, the parties must go a notary public to acknowledge that they have signed the Lease Agreement freely and voluntarily. They should also present a valid I.D. issued by an official agency bearing their photograph and signature such as a driver's licence or a passport, among others. If either of the parties is under 18 years of age, their legal guardian must also accompany them to the notary public. The notary public will usually require one original copy of the document to be left with the notary public.
Once notarized, the Lessor and the Lessee should each keep at least one (1) copy of the notarized document.
The Civil Code of the Philippines governs the law on contracts and lease. Additionally, Republic Act No. 9653 (the "Rent Control Act") as extended by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Resolution No. 1 Series of 2017 ("HUDCC Resolution No. 1") governs lease contracts that fall under the following conditions:
1. The property is located in the National Capital Region or highly urbanized cities and the total monthly rent ranges from One Peso (P1.00) to Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00)
2. The property is located in other areas and the monthly rent ranges from One Peso (P1.00) to Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00).
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