In order for a lessor to refuse renewal of housing lease, the following requirements must be met. First, the reason for refusal of renewal must exist at the time of refusal. Second, if a reason for refusal of renewal existed at the time of refusal, but the reason for refusal of renewal expires afterwards, then the refusal has no effect. Conversely, there was no reason for refusal of renewal at the time of request for renewal, but if there exits a reason for refusal of renewal afterwards, the lessor may refuse to renew within the renewal request period.
Third, even if the lessor has changed, the new lessor may refuse to renew if there is a reason for refusal to renew within the renewal request period.
In relation to the third requirement, the question is whether the new owner can refuse to renew on the grounds of actual residence within the renewal request period if the lessor sells the house to a buyer who is willing to live in that house.
It should be considered that the above three requirements also are applied in the case of actual residence. However, if the requirements for the right to refuse renewal are applied in the case of actual residence as they are, the lessor can effectively make the lessee s right to request renewal invalid by selling the house to a buyer who is willing to live in the house. If housing prices and rent/deposits are rising rapidly, the right to request renewal may become virtually ineffective in particular.
In order to solve these problems, it is necessary to revise the Housing Lease Act and in order for the lessor to refuse the renewal on the ground of the actual residence, the lessor must give a written notice of refusal to the lessee within 15 days or one month after the lessee requested the renewal. In this way, it is possible to protect the lessee s right to request renewal when the lessor sells the house to the buyer who wants the real residence. Of course, the lessor may sell the house to the buyer who wants the real residence within a period of 15 days or one month, but the revision of the act can prevents a lot of cases in which the lessee s right to request a renewal is meaningless due to the real residence.