What Happens To Rent Payments During the Enhanced Community Quarantine?

What Happens To Rent Payments During the Enhanced Community Quarantine - Carousell Philippines Blog

It’s no secret that Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has affected everyone’s lives, and some more than others. The government is scrambling and working with the private sector to provide financial aid and assistance on top of its medical and military measures, especially to those hardest hit by the pandemic and affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Government response

On March 16, 2020, the government declared an “Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)” over the entire island of Luzon to help contain the spread of the virus. Originally set to end by April 14, 2020, the ECQ has been extended to last until April 30.

The government enacted Republic Act 11469, or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” which enables the administration to mitigate the damage caused by COVID-19 and help lay down what’s needed for recovery post-ECQ.

Many businesses have been forced to suspend operations and many employees, not being able to work, are unable to earn. Thus, the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) released Memorandum Circular No. 20-12, Series of 2020 granting a 30-day grace period on residential for tenants and commercial rent for micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME).

 

What does the DTI-mandated 30-day grace period mean for you?

The 30-day grace period is meant to help people who are leasing properties survive these difficult times and recover in the aftermath.

Whether you’re leasing a residential or a commercial property, any payment due during the ECQ will be deferred to at least 30 days after during the due date. For example, if you have rent due on March 30, you can pay for it on April 29 instead, without incurring fines, penalties, or fees.

If you have multiple rent payments due within the ECQ, your lessor should, amortize, or divide up these payments equally across the 6 months after the 30-day grace period. You will have to pay these on top of your regular payments. So, if you have a cumulative payment of Php 60,000 due on March 30, then this should be divided equally across the next 6 months without fines, penalties, or fees. 

If you’ve already paid your rent, you are not entitled to a refund. However, your lessor should grant you a minimum of grace period of 30 days after your next due date. So, if you’ve already paid for rent that was due on March 30 and your next due date is on April 29, you are allowed to pay it on May 29 without incurring fines, penalties, or fees. 

Finally, you cannot be evicted for failing to pay any rent due for at least 30 days after the ECQ is lifted.

 

Dealing with violations

If your lessor refuses to do any of the above, you can file a complaint with the DTI personally or by emailing the agency, either through the Fair Trade and Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) through [email protected] or with the regional offices. 

If you’re going to file a complaint, you will need to prepare the following:

  • Your complete name, home address, and contact number
  • The complete name, home address, and contact number of your lessor
  • Complete address of the property concerned
  • Due date of the rental payment
  • A narration of what happened
  • Documentary evidence, if any

 

Punishment for violators

If you’re a lessor and a complaint has been filed against you, you will be served a Notice of Violation and be asked to reply within 5 days with the following:

  • An explanation of what led to the violation or if you’re going to argue against the violation, your basis of why the complaint is not valid
  • How you’ve corrected the violation and its results
  • The date of when you corrected the violation
  • What you will do to prevent the violation from happening again

If the DTI-(FTEB) finds that you did commit a violation, the Department of Justice will file a criminal charge against you. Under the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, those found guilty will be punished with a minimum imprisonment of two months, or a fine of at least Php 10,000, or both. 

 

Generosity for small business owners

With the bulk of businesses in the Philippines being MSME, the DTI has also called for lessors to extend generosity to these business owners who are renting their commercial properties. In particular, they encourage the lessors to:

  • Partially or totally waive any commercial rent payments due within the ECQ
  • Give discounts for commercial rent payments due after the ECQ
  • Renegotiate Lease Terms Agreements with their lessees
  • Do what they can to decrease the economic impact caused by the ECQ on their MSME lessees

 

What about loan payments?

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has encouraged Financial Institutions to offer grace periods for their loan payments and coordinate with their customers to provide refunds for those who have already paid. 

Many financial institutions are actually offering grace periods for qualified clients who have home loans, auto loans, credit card dues, etc. Some are even offering financial aid for customers who have been afflicted with COVID-19. 

Government-operated Pag-IBIG fund is offering a 3-month moratorium on all loan payments for all members living in areas under the ECQ. 

Be sure to contact the financial institutions you have outstanding loans with them to see if you qualify for a grace period. Take the opportunity to also inquire about what forms of assistance they’re offering.

 

Other dues

Besides banks, utility companies and telecommunications companies are also offering grace periods for their customers. 

Meanwhile, the Insurance Commission has ordered insurance companies to provide a grace period for unpaid premiums, membership fees, contributions, etc. This includes the State-controlled health insurance company, PhilHealth.

 

Looking ahead

Many business and financial analysts say that the world is in the midst of a global recession. While the Philippines is not in recession yet, it doesn’t take a far stretch of the imagination to see how the Philippines could also go into one. For now at least, estimates show Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the next quarter will hit a low of 0-1%. 

Difficult times are surely ahead. Regardless, the best thing we can do is to make the best out of a bad situation. If you’re one of the people who has been granted a 30-day grace period on your due payments, take the opportunity to save the cash that you don’t have to let go of yet. Right now, it’s key to make cash last for as long as possible. Plan your expenses and be smart with how you use your supplies. If you are stuck at home, there are many ways you can make good use of your time, like decluttering and selling items on Carousell for extra cash that you can really use during this time.

Don’t lose hope. Have faith that things will get better. Until then, stay safe and stay healthy.


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19 COMMENTS

  1. Correction in your example that rent due on march 30 is to be paid on april 29.. You already noted that ECQ is extended April 30, hence, no rent is still due on or before ECQ period(april 30) plus minimum of at least 30days from its lifting(see sec.3.3 of DTI MC 20-12). Hence, in your example, if the rent is due every 30th and the ECQ is lifted on april 30, rent is due on at least 30 days thereafter or May 31.. Also, please wait for the clarification from DTI if the moratorium also covered those under General CQ because MC 20-12 just provided ECQ.. Thank you.

  2. Magandang Araw po.Tatanung ko lang po sana kung, kasama po sa Bayanihan To Heal as One Act, ang pag lift muna ng writ of Wage of garnishment ?
    Maraming salamat po, God bless!!

    • How about rent to own schemes where we paid 150,000 deposit/downpayment and Php 18,000 monthly totalling Php 348,000. Can I apply the deposit /downpayment Php 150,000 for the rest of the GCQ? The seller wants us to pay too reslty tax, building insurance and other expenses while we are on crisis and our President haven’t lifted GCQ until July 31, 2020. Seller has been harrassing me since March 2020

  3. How about when work stopped due to the pandemic and left my apartment at Pampanga and went home to Manila to observe the duration of the the quarantine? My stuff are left there and for sure it will not be rented since business all stopped.

    • After ECQ.. Dami ding demand ng Bhaws namin at tinangalan ako ng connection Sa PC.. Pinakialaman ang mismong wire…Sama Ng loob ko at gusto ko ireklamo…

  4. Inquiring on rentals for dorms for students. They have not stayed in their dorms since March 15. The landlady is asking for their payment and added charges. Are we obliged to pay?

    • Hi. I am currently renting. Since ECQ has been extended – does the 30 day grace period still applies?

      Also we are paying monthly dues plus the electricity and water is being sub metered by the (old) condo and if you failed to pay they will cut the electricity and water supply. Is this acceptable by law?

  5. we have followed the respond to the bayanihan program in fact we gave discount assistance to those willing to pay their rent and we did not comfel them to pay and some of the have arrears of apr and may our concern now is how will the govt assist us in oue needs since we can not collect from the rent are there assistance from dti to grant us loan? our business was shut down ang we can not collect also to be able to coup up with the difficulties we need assistance from the govt we also provide our employees assistance thru our own savings bec what assistance that the got from gobt is not enougth to sustain their family needs thank you i hope this message will be heard agsin thank you

  6. Tanong dinoble kasi ng may ari ang upa mula ng April kaso binayaran ko lang ung lumang rent pa rin kaso nagalit siya umalis na lang daw kami kaya ang ginawa ko binayaran ko na lang ng doble start ngayong June kaso ayaw naman niya magbigay ng contract.Wala pong kaming income halos 3 months na kaya di ko sure kung hangang kelan ko kakayanin ang rent na doble ang taas.

  7. Hello just want to ask. We didn’t pay the rent from march 30-may 30 bec my business stop and my husband was not able to send money. Last week our lessor came and told us that we have to pay the full 3 months rent on june 30. If not we have to pay the 2 months rent in the said date. Unfortunately I can only pay one month. But she insisted that we have to pay 2 months, if not we have to evacuate the house… Is it legal?

  8. My tenant didnt lose his job and business didnt stop even during the strict lockdown. He is a stock broker. He refuse to pay residential rent from april till july insisting on the dti memorandum that residential rent cant only be made once we are place under mecq. What protection do i have as a lessor?

  9. Hi there i am now facing a prob with the owner of my shop she is asking me to pay my april and may back rentals bec. Of the stop operation from march april and may, and as of jun 7 ,2020 our frst day of operation, she called me and asking for whole payment for my 2 mnths back rentals then i just paid 1 mnth and i am asking for extenssion she just recieved the 1 mnth rental then july 1.2020 she was calling but since i dont know what to tell here i did not answer her, july 12,2020 she sent a letter asking for my 2 mnths back rentals which is the april and may + july wich is not yet due and she wanted me to pay it in full and if i am not going to pay it the next day after recieving her letter i should evacuate and she is just giving me untill july 31,2020 to evacuate the place unless she will podlock my salon,🙁 what action should i do for this?? Do i really have to vacuate as she asked me to do i don’t have place to transfer yet and no money to start up a new place . 🙁

    • And i am also asking for a contract renewal so that i can push with my loans so i can pay her and to have a littale capital to start well but she refused it saying ill just better evacuate her apartment untill end of this month

  10. We’re on our 5 year here sa Kapitolyo Pasig rented apartment. Due to d pandemic were having hard time to pay our monthly rent from may 13 June 13 and now July 13 we don’t have income on grab. The land lord insisted always to check our place especially now we have pandemic then yearly checking again for the renewal of our contract. I started to pay 15,000 now we’re 21,000 and always asking additional deposit and advances despite their never not fixing d apartment and I’m d 1 spending for d maintenance. still I can’t use my advances 5 months. Now our landlord want us to vacate it if we cannot pay. What can I do now. He said I can pay even partial then I deposited d 7,ooo then promised to pay another if I have money. He didn’t follow our agreement then texted me now we’ need to vacate our place within 30 days. What can I do now. I want to fight for our rights as tenant
    This is d only year that my payment was been delayed .How about d bayanihan act that our dear pres. Duterte impose?

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