• New agreement revives old contract

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    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I am leasing out my house. Originally, our contract is only for one year but he continued renting my house even after one year though we did not sign a new contract. Everything would have been fine, except that he started accepting boarders this year which I prohibited under our original contract. I confronted him about this matter and asked him to get rid of his boarders or leave, but he did not budge. He argued that he can now admit boarders because our original contract has already expired. May I know what the law says about my current predicament?
    Emman

    Dear Emman,
    Based on your narration, your lessee raises the defense of non-enforceability of the terms of the original contract of lease you executed. He believes he is no longer bound by the condition prohibiting acceptance of boarders because the one year period stipulated in your contract has already lapsed.

    Such position is untenable because the law expressly provides the contrary. Article 1669 of the Civil Code states that “if the lease was made for a determinate time, it ceases upon the day fixed, without the need of a demand.” Taking this provision of law on its own would seem to support the position of your lessee that effectivity of your original contract, together with its terms and conditions, ceased upon the lapse of stipulated period, but the following article states:

    “If at the end of the contract, the lessee should continue enjoying the thing leased for fifteen days with the acquiescence of the lessor, and unless a notice to the contrary by either party has previously been given, it is understood that there is an implied new lease, not for the period of the original contract, but for the time established in Articles 1682 and 1687. The other terms of the original contract shall be revived.” (1566a) (Article 1670, Civil Code).

    It is clear from the quoted article that the continuation of a lessee’s possession and enjoyment of the thing leased creates an implied new lease between the parties to the contract and that the other terms of the original contract are revived. Thus, it is a mistake to say that the stipulation in your contract prohibiting the admission of boarders can no longer be enforced. On the contrary, such condition is carried over to the implied new lease created by your lessee’s continued possession of your house after the expiration of the term provided in your original contract.

    Your demand to your lessee that he ejects his boarders is therefore supported by your contract. If your lessee does not comply with your demand, you may terminate your implied new lease agreement and eject him from the premises considering that he violated your contract by admitting boarders into the house, a violation which could be considered material and substantial.

    We hope we were able to sufficiently address your concern. Please bear in mind that this opinion is based on the facts you narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary if facts are changed or elaborated.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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