DTI Amends Rules; Rental Fees to be Paid Within 30 Days After Lifting of ECQ

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) releases a new set of guidelines on the payment of residential and commercial rents, amending its previous issuance on the said matter.

DTI issued Memorandum Circular No. 20-29, or the Supplemental Guidelines on the Concessions on Residential Rents and Commercial Rents, in view of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) resolutions declaring certain areas under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) or General Community Quarantine (GCQ). The said resolutions, allowed businesses, apart from those which are deemed as essential, to operate under certain conditions.

Section 3.5 of MC No. 20-29 states that, if the residential lessee’s employer or a commercial lessee’s business has been permitted to operate during the ECQ, the grace period shall begin from the date that such employment or business was allowed to resume.

rental fees

The rule shall apply regardless of whether or not the lessee returns to work or resumes business operation.

Furthermore, the due date of residential or commercial rent shall generally fall within the covered community quarantine, which shall not be earlier than March 17, 2020, and not later than the lifting of covered community quarantine.

30-day grace period

It states that the grant of a minimum 30-day grace period shall begin from the lifting of the community quarantine or from the date that the tenant resumes employment or business operations, whichever comes first. The subject rent is not subject to interests, penalties, fees, and other charges.

Residential lessees may also avail of the grace period if they have lost their income during any of the community quarantine, or if their employers or businesses were not operational during the quarantine period.

rental fees

The same is applicable to commercial lessees.

The total amount of rental fees during the lockdown period shall be payable in six monthly installments, following the end of the 30-day minimum grace period. The amount shall be on top of the monthly rent due.

To avail of the six-month concession, the lessees shall provide the lessor a signed Promissory Note or Letter stating such matters.