CD: Robles v. Hermanos

October 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm (1927, Case Digests) (, , )

G.R. No. L-26173 July 13, 1927
Street, J.

The lessee may prove an independent verbal agreement on the part of the landlord to put the leased premises in a safe condition.

The appraised value of the property may be used to determine the price.

A parcel of land was originally owned by the parents of the present plaintiff, Zacarias Robles. Upon the death of his father, plaintiff leased the parcel of land from the administrator with the stipulation that any permanent improvements necessary to the cultivation and exploitation of the hacienda should be made at the expense of the lessee without right to indemnity at the end of the term. As the place was in a run-down state, and it was foreseen that the lessee would be put to much expense in bringing the property to its productive capacity, the annual rent was fixed at the moderate amount of P2,000 per annum.

The plaintiff made various improvements and additions to the plant. The firm of Lizarraga Hermanos was well aware of the nature and extent of these improvements.

When the plaintiff’s mother died, defendant came forward with a proposal to buy the heirs’ portion of the property. In consideration that the plaintiff should shorten the term of his lease to the extent stated, the defendant agreed to pay him the value of all betterments that he had made on the land and furthermore to purchase from him all that belonged to him personally on the land. The plaintiff agreed to this.

On the ensuing instrument made, no reference was made to the surrender of the plaintiff’s rights as lessee, except in fixing the date when the lease should end; nor is anything said concerning the improvements which the plaintiff had placed. At the same time the promise of the defendant to compensate for him for the improvements was wanting. Accordingly, the representative of the defendant explained that this was unnecessary in view of the confidence existing between the parties.

On the part of the defendant it was claimed that the agreement with respect to compensating the plaintiff for improvements and other things was never in fact made.

1. Whether or not the lessee may contest the validity of a written contract with oral evidence
2. Whether or not the appreciation value can be used to determine the price

1. Yes. In case of a written contract of lease, the lessee may prove an independent verbal agreement on the part of the landlord to put the leased premises in a safe condition. The verbal contract which the plaintiff has established in this case is therefore clearly independent of the main contract of conveyance, and evidence of such verbal contract is admissible under the doctrine above stated. In the case before us the written contract is complete in itself; the oral agreement is also complete in itself, and it is a collateral to the written contract, notwithstanding the fact that it deals with related matters.

2. Yes. The stipulation with respect to the appraisal of the property did not create a suspensive condition. The true sense of the contract evidently was that the defendant would take over the movables and the improvements at an appraised valuation, and the defendant obligated itself to promote the appraisal in good faith. As the defendant partially frustrated the appraisal, it violated a term of the contract and made itself liable for the true value of the things contracted about, as such value may be established in the usual course of proof. Furthermore, an unjust enrichment of the defendant would result from allowing it to appropriate the movables without compensating the plaintiff thereof.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: