Question 15, 2018 Civil Law Bar Exam

XV

(Question XV, Civil Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

Simon owned a townhouse that he rented out to Shannon, a flight attendant with Soleil Philippine Airlines (SPA). They had no written contract but merely agreed on a three (3)-year lease. Shannon had been using the townhouse as her base in Manila and had been paying rentals for more than a year when she accepted a better job offer from Sing Airlines. This meant that Singapore was going to be her new base and so she decided, without informing Simon, to sublease the townhouse to Sylvia, an office clerk in SPA.

(a) Can Simon compel Shannon to reduce the lease agreement into writing? (2.5%)

(b) Does the sublease without Simon’s knowledge and consent constitute a ground for terminating the lease? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Yes. Answer

Under the Civil Code and jurisprudence, an agreement of the leasing for a longer period than one year is covered by the Statute of Fraud. However, a contract is enforceable under the Statute of Fraud if partial performance has been made. Further, when a contract is enforceable under the Statute of Frauds, the contracting parties may compel each other to observe that form, once the contract has been perfected. Rule

In the case at bar, the parties agreed to a 3-year verbal lease contract which is covered by the Statute of Fraud. However, Shannon had been using the townhouse for more than a year resulting in partial performance. The contract becomes enforceable under the Statue of Fraud. Apply

Thus, Simon can compel Shannon to reduce the lease agreement into writing. Conclusion

(b) No. Answer

Under the Civil Code, the lessee may sublease unless otherwise prohibited by the lessor. Rule

In the case at bar, there was no prohibition on subleasing. Apply

Thus, the sublease without Simon’s knowledge and consent may not constitute a ground for terminating the lease. Conclusion

(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)

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