Amended law provides tenants relief from eviction.

In a relief to tenants facing eviction, for not paying rents during the coronavirus lockdown period, the government has amended Law 35 of 1978 on real estate leases. The amended law ensures that building owners can no longer demand tenants to vacate the leased property, if the tenant fails to pay the rent during the period of work suspension.

The amendment published in the official gazette on Sunday, 6 September, adds a new paragraph to the First Article of Law 35/1978, which now reads: “In all cases, a ruling may not be issued to vacate the leased property if the tenant fails to pay the rent during the period during which the Council of Ministers decides to suspend or suspend work in all public facilities of the state, in order to protect security, public peace, or public health”.

The amendment, made in light of the supreme interest of the country, provides that the court will determine the method of paying the tenant the late rent, according to the circumstances of each case. 

The amendment also stipulates that a special ‘Rent Department’ be set up in the country’s highest court, comprising of a single judge who is competent to adjudicate on disputes related to rents of whatever value and compensation that arises from disputes.

The amendment further adds: “In cases which deals with rents owed during the period the Council of Ministers suspended activities to protect public health, the period of suspension is not calculated within the dates stipulated in this law, provided that its calculation is resumed with effect from the day the Council of Ministers allowed work to return.

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