I have a house and lot in Palawan that I will lease to a newly-wed couple for a period of two years. I don’t have time to personally attend to it so I am thinking of authorizing my friend there to act on my behalf. Do I have to give him a power of attorney? If I make him my agent, does it mean that he will be my agent for the duration of the contract?
Any person may authorize another to render some service or do something on his behalf through a contract of agency (Article 1868, Civil Code of the Philippines [CCP]). This is usually evidenced by executing a power of attorney, which may either be general or special. A power of attorney is an instrument in writing by which one person, as principal, appoints another as his agent and confers upon him the authority to perform certain specified acts or kinds of acts on behalf of the principal (De Leon and De Leon, Jr., Comments and Cases on Partnership, Agency and Trusts, 5th Edition, page 404).
As the lawful owner of the house and lot in Palawan, you have the full power to authorize anyone you see fit to do certain acts pertaining to your property. Hence, you may authorize your friend to represent you in the contract of lease of your house and lot in Palawan. Since you will be leasing your property to your prospective lessees for a period of two years, you need to give your friend a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) as required by Article 1878 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
Once you have designated your friend as your agent, it does not mean that you are bound to keep him as your agent for the duration of the contract. As principal, you may impliedly or expressly revoke the agency at will and compel your agent to return to you the document evidencing the agency (Article 1920, CCP). You are also allowed to appoint another person to act as your agent if you no longer want your friend to be your agent. In this case, your relationship with your first agent will be considered revoked or terminated from the day on which notice thereof was given to him (Article 1923, CCP). Moreover, you may also terminate his authority by directly managing the business that you entrusted to him (Article 1924, CCP).
An agency, however, cannot be revoked in any of the following instances: 1) if a bilateral contract depends upon it; 2) if it is the means of fulfilling an obligation already contracted; and 3) if a partner is appointed manager of a partnership in a contract of partnership and his removal from the management is unjustifiable (Article 1927, CCP).
Finally, please be reminded that this opinion is solely based on your narration of facts and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary if other facts are added or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to address your concern.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com