Owners want repair of house, co-owners refuse
"Before my mother passed away, she transferred the title of a house and lot to me and my three siblings. All of us are presently abroad. One of my siblings and I want to fix the house and have it rented but my other sibling is not amenable to this proposition. My other sibling simply does not care as to what happens with the house. How can we solve this problem? It is already causing conflict among us.
Laura 1Dear Laura,
You mentioned in your letter that your mother transferred the property to you and your siblings. However, you failed to mention whether or not the specific portions were divided among the four of you. We would like to clarify that if a determination has been made as to the specific portions of each transferee and delineation of the boundaries has been made each of you may dispose your portion in the manner you see fit. Being the owner, the law recognizes your right to enjoy and dispose the same. (Article 428, New Civil Code of the Philippines) However, if the portions have not been specified, then your right to the undefined portion may be limited by our laws so as to protect the rights of the other co-owners.Insofar as you and your sibling’s desire to repair the house is concerned, the same can be made even if your other sibling is against it. Under Article 489, id, “Repairs for preservation may be made at the will of one of the co-owners, but he must, if practicable, first notify his co-owners of the necessity of such repairs. x x x” Hence even if you, alone, desire to fix and preserve the house, you may do so provided that you send proper notice to your co-owners, if practicable. If your siblings refuse to have the house fixed, you may make such repairs and recover from them their share in the expenses. Certainly, you cannot be expected to let the property deteriorate. It is also natural for an owner to maintain his property in good condition.
Now, with respect to your intention to lease the property, if the period of the lease does not exceed one year or if it will not be recorded or registered, this may be done provided the consent of the majority of the co-owners is obtained. Such act of leasing out the property only amounts to an act of administration, which is not prejudicial to the rights of the other co-owners. (Article 492, id) But if the intended lease is for a period longer than one year or is recorded or registered, this may be considered as an act of ownership. It may affect or prejudice the rights of the other co-owners, thus, it constitutes as an alteration of the property. In such case, the consent of all the co-owners must be obtained. As provided for under Article 491, id, “None of the co-owners shall, without the consent of the others, make alterations in the thing owned in common, even though benefits for all would result therefrom. However, if the withholding of the consent by one or more of the co-owners is clearly prejudicial to the common interest, the courts may afford adequate relief.”Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or via text message (key in: Times dearpao and send to 2299)."
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"Owners want repair of house, co-owners refuse"
was written by Mary
under the Legal Advice
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021