178 SCRA 310
The respondents, spouses Nicolas and Ramona Gopiao, leased to the petitioner, Vicente Mallarte, an apartment at Sampaloc, Manila, on a month-to-month basis for a monthly rental of P300. Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the lease agreement prohibited the subleasing or assignment of a portion of the leased premises. The Gopiaos made annual inspections of their apartment. They discovered that two rooms on the second floor and a portion of the living and dining rooms had been converted into bed spaces for boarders. Alleging that Mallarte had violated the lease contract, the Gopiaos demanded that he vacate the premises.
Whether the lease contract has been violated.
The taking in of boarders by the petitioner in the leased premises, without the consent of the lessors, did not violate the lease agreement, for a prohibition against subleasing may not embrace the taking in of boarders. Accepting boarders is not equivalent to subleasing the premises. The lessee, by accepting boarders and assigning rooms or bed spaces for them in the leased premises, does not relinquish or surrender his lease to them. He did not cease to become the actual occupant and possessor of the demised premises. He did not surrender the possession and control of the leased premises or a part thereof.
By accepting boarders in the apartment, the petitioner did not sublease portions of the apartment to the boarders, but only agreed to provide them with meals and/or lodging for a price. Since neither the law (BP Blg. 25, as amended) nor his contract with the property owner prohibits the petitioner from accepting roomers, bed spacers, or boarders in the leased apartment, the lease has not been violated. The lessors have no cause of action for the judicial ejectment of petitioner-lessee.
*Case digest by Meriam Rika R. Wong, JD – 4, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019-2020