Muntinlupa eyes stricter leasing laws
By Nathaniel R. Melican
Owners of rented houses and other properties in Muntinlupa City, along with police and local government authorities, will soon be empowered to conduct periodic inspections on leased properties to ensure that their tenants are not involved in illegal activities.
Local legislators have proposed a city ordinance that would add restrictions to current laws on leasing after the discovery of three shabu laboratories inside the posh Ayala Alabang Village earlier this month.
City Councilor Raul Corro unveiled Wednesday the proposed ordinance that would compel property owners to conduct regular inspections on their rented properties, among others.
The barangay (village) council of Ayala Alabang Village has proposed similar measures, but Corro said the city ordinance would be more comprehensive.
“This will not only cover Ayala Alabang Village, but the entire Muntinlupa,” Corro said when he presented the proposal in a city council inquiry into the circumstances behind the recent Ayala Alabang drug raids.
The ordinance specifically states that the property owner or representatives, along with officers of homeowners’ associations, should be “allowed to enter the leased premises on any day to check if the lessee is complying with the rules.”
The measure also prohibits subleasing the property to another party for another use without the consent of the owner.
Violators will be fined not more than P5,000 or imprisoned for one year, which Corro said is the limitation set by the local government code on such violations.
Alfred Burgos, barangay chair of Ayala Alabang Village, welcomed the ordinance.
“This is a very good idea. We’ll see how we can impose it if it is enacted. The tighter lease measures and the visitation rights will only make our barangay more secure,” he said.
During the inquiry, Burgos and officers of Ayala Alabang Village Association were asked about specific tight measures they have been implementing in the wake of the raids involving illegal drugs.
Leandro de Leon, president of Ayala Alabang Village Association, said they are currently reviewing the contracts of leased houses inside the village and installing more security cameras, especially on secondary roads.
Another policy the village is looking into is the issuance of a different colored sticker to cars of individuals who just rent houses inside the village to differentiate them from homeowners.
Meanwhile, Burgos said they were implementing a deeper background investigation of possible tenants and coordinating with the Bureau of Immigration and foreign embassies to find out if potential lessees have any criminal record.
He said Ayala Alabang Village only allows the leasing of houses for residential purposes, particularly for single families.
“We are in the process of implementing these changes. Some of them might be completed by next month,” Burgos said.