President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday signed into law Republic Act No. 9653, otherwise known as the Rent Control Act of 2009, which imposes a one-year moratorium on rent increases for covered residential units in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities, and caps subsequent annual hikes at a maximum of 7% cap until December 31, 2013.
It covers all residential units where monthly rents do not exceed P10,000. The cut-off is P5,000 for residential units in other areas. The new law also prohibits lessors, or owners of residential units, to impose not more than one month advance rent and not more than two months deposit. Violators will face stiffer fines ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 pesos.