We tolerated our uncle and his family to occupy a part of our land since 1994.
Our auntie has leased a part, by verbal means and no contract, of the space we tolerated to generate income.
Last June 30, 2009, we advised the tenant that we were already taking over on the commercial space and should transact all concerns with us, as they already have prior knowledge that we are in the process of re-acquiring possession of our ownership.
Due to this transition, we, as the rightful owner, informed the tenant last June 30, 2009 that starting August 2009 their rent will already be P2,300 from P1,500.00 since the space was leased for residential purpose only hence they were using it for their residence and sari-sari store. We had the written agreement signed by them (not notarized) and without asking additional deposit to complete the sum of P4,600.00.(2 months advance @ P2,300/month)
Here comes end of July, they said they would use their 1 month deposit, in the amount of P1,500.00, given to our auntie, but we replied that if they will start using the deposit then they would have to leave by the end of August. With this, they paid the due rent of P1,500.00.
By the end of August, they sent us a message, through our auntie, that they would already use their deposit and will leave the space. With this we had a civil talk and discuss the salient points of their termination of lease.
Their deposit should cover till 10th of September 2009 only. However, they bargained that they would stay till end of September and would pay the due rent in the amount of P1,600.00 plus the consumed electricity based on the amount on the face of the Meralco Bill.
On September 18, 2009, my uncle called by phone to let us know that they already left the space like a theft in the night and had just come back to get their fridge on Friday morning without giving any of us a single word considering the fact that I was always passing by at their sari-sari store from Sept. 14,15 and 16.
We did not pursue them to pay the remaining 7 days rent thought we crossed paths 10 days after leaving our place because they assured our uncle that they would pay what is due with regards to electricity when the bill arrives.
Here comes the bill in the amount of P1,300.00 and the ex-tenant decided that they would pay half of the bill.
Our auntie had already visited them for 3 weeks now (once a week), yet they were always saying that they still do not have money to pay our auntie in spite of the fact that they received P18,000.00 from their debtor, paid the advance to their new lessor and they have a lot of merchandise and new piece of furniture at home.
Last Monday they even say that why do they have to bother paying our uncle/auntie and they even challenged us to see each other in Barangay as they were saying : the raise in their rent was illegal as per Pres. Gloria Arroyo.
As I understand, they were referring to PD 9161 which was effected from January 2002 to December 31, 2004.
From 6 months that I was always visiting them and with my personal experience, we, the owner, had become the tenant and we just wait for their decision to be said. They did not even give prior notice that they will terminate the lease agreement and just informed us on the day of the collection of rental.
1. Can they still enforce PD 9161 which was already expired long time ago?
2. Can our previous tenant file a case against us as per PD 9161 with the fact that we already had a signed agreement on the new rental rate of P2,300.00/month?
3. Since they were provoking us to meet in Barangay, we would like to have them settle the following: Can we demand these during the barangay hearings?
-rental due P536.00
-due from Meralco P650.00
-all amount incurred from filing barangay case including transportation to the till the case will be settled in barangay?
4. What is the fastest course of legal action should we take at the barangay to make them pay their dues? Can we initially file swindling at the barangay?
5. What case should be filed if they still refuse to pay in cash or in kind after 3 hearings in barangay? What documents are necessary to file a case in court for small claims? How long will it take?
Thank you very much in advance.