Monday, June 9, 2008

Quizzer: Ejecting a Paying Lessee

Q: Lessor X leased out his house to Lessee Y on a monthly basis. A few months later, X gave a written notice to Y to vacate the premises since the latter was not paying his rent.

Y refused to vacate the property. X was compelled to file an Ejectment suit against Y. This prompted Y to pay his back rentals, which X accepted. Thereafter, Y filed a Motion to Dismiss before the court, arguing that X already waived his action for Ejectment when he accepted the payment of back rentals.

Is Y's contention correct? Should X's action for ejectment be dismissed?

A: No and no.

The acceptance by the lessor of the payment by the lessee of the rentals in arrears does not constitute a waiver of the default in the payment of rentals as a valid cause of action for ejectment.

Indeed, it is illogical or ridiculous not to accept the tender of payment of rentals merely to preserve the right to file an action for ejectment.

X can rightly accept rental payments only to mitigate losses it would otherwise suffer because of the continued occupation of the premises by Y.

See: Clutario v. CA (G.R. No. 76656 December 11, 1992) and Carlos v. CA (G.R. No. 109887 February 10, 1997)
Photo: Marcin Wichary, Creative Commons, Flickr

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