The House of Representatives passed last Wednesday on Rota a bill that sets the ground rules between a landlord and a tenant.
House Bill 20-119 passed the House with a vote of 17-0, with three excused members. Vice Speaker Janet Maratita (R-Saipan) authored the bill.
H.B. 20-119 outlines the duties and responsibilities of landlords as well as tenants, both for the protection of one another.
According to H.B. 20-119, a landlord must comply with the requirements of all applicable building and housing codes related to health and safety; make the repairs necessary to maintain the premises in a fit and habitable condition; maintain a safe working order of all electrical, plumbing, sanitation, ventilation, and air-conditioning as well as elevators; and provide and maintain garbage containers.
Although it is the responsibility of the landlord to make all repairs and to provide the appropriate removal of garbage, the landlord and the tenant may agree that the tenant may perform these duties.
The tenant, according to H.B. 20-119, shall keep the dwelling unit and premises clean and safe; dispose of garbage; not deliberately damage the premises; not use up all power, water, and others in common areas; and not disturb the neighbors. (Erwin Encinares)