G.R. No. 148562, 25 November 2004, 444 SCRA 193
Petitioner Tagbilaran Integrated Settlers Association (TISA), is an organization founded in 1991 by individuals who have residential and business establishments in a commercial lot located at Torralba and Parras Streets in Tagbilaran City. The lot, which has an area of 2,726 square meters, is covered by TCT No. (142) 21047 in the name of respondent Tagbilaran Women’s Club (TWC).
In 1986-1987, the TWC entered into separate written lease contracts for a period of one year with individual petitioners herein, Aurelio Cirunay, Roberto Medina, Basilisa Pumares, Marietta Lumayno, Ramon Ramos Jr., Delio Erana, Elemeterio Ale, Alangadi Sultan, Manuel Chatto, and Cipriano Gamil.
The other petitioners, namely Crisosa Tapay, Julieta Duran, Panfilo Laway, Crispin Penaso, Hadje Malik, Bernardo Gulleban, Kabsaran Mamacal, Pedro Estoque and Eulalio Saramosing are sublessees of stalls in the lot.
In a letter to petitioners dated January 6, 1990, TWC demanded that they vacate the rented premises on the following grounds: expiration of lease contracts, non-payment of rentals, and violations of the conditions of lease including noncompliance with sanitary and building ordinances.
On February 25, 1993, TWC entered into a lease contract on the lot with one Lambert Lim who at once paid a total of P240,000.00 representing payment of rentals for the first twelve (12) months. Petitioners nevertheless refused to vacate the lot, they contending that the contract of lease between TWC and Lambert Lim is null and void because TWC impliedly extended to them new contracts of lease when it continued collecting monthly rentals from them.
Whether implied new lease contracts existed which justify petitioners’ continued occupation of the lot.
The lease contracts executed by TWC and petitioners in 1986/1987 were for a period of one year. Following Article 1669 of the Civil Code, the lease contracts having been executed for a determinate time, they ceased on the day fixed, that is, a year after their execution without need of further demand.
While no subsequent lease contracts extending the duration of the original lease were forged, it appears that TWC allowed petitioners to continue occupying the lot as in fact it continued to demand, collect and accept monthly rentals. An implied new lease (tacita reconduccion) was thus created pursuant to Article 1670 of the New Civil Code which provides: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.
Since the period for the tacita reconduccion was not fixed and the rentals were paid on a monthly basis, the contract was from month-to-month. A month-to-month lease under Article 1687 is a lease with a definite period, hence, it is terminable at the end of each month upon demand to vacate by the lessor. When notice to vacate dated January 6, 1990 was sent by TWC to petitioners, followed by another dated July 16, 1990, the tacita reconduccion was aborted. For a notice to vacate constitutes an express act on the part of the lessor that it no longer consents to the continued occupation by the lessees of its property.
*Case digest by Catherine C. Velasco, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020