Repairs on leased property
Who is responsible for fixing any issues or damage the house may have?
The second paragraph of Article 1654 of the New Civil Code provides that the lessor is obliged to make on the thing which is the object of the contract of lease all the necessary repairs in order to keep it suitable for the use to which it has been devoted, unless there is a stipulation to the contrary.
This means that unless otherwise specified in the contract of lease, your lessor is required to carry out any necessary repairs required to keep the house fit for the purpose for which it was intended.
With respect to situations that have become essential to make crucial repairs, Article 1662 of the said Code provides that if during the lease it should become necessary to make some urgent repairs upon the thing leased, which cannot be deferred until the termination of the lease, the lessee is obliged to tolerate the work, although it may be very annoying to him, and although during the same, he may be deprived of a part of the premises.
If the repairs last more than forty days, the rent shall be reduced in proportion to the time — including the first forty days — and the part of the property of which the lessee has been deprived.
The fourth paragraph of Article 1663 then provides that if the lessor fails to make urgent repairs, the lessee, in order to avoid an imminent danger, may order the repairs at the lessor's cost. Thus, the lessee may also undertake the repair thought subject to the expense of the lessor.
The Supreme Court, however, in one case reaffirmed its pronouncement in an old case that a repair implies the putting of something back into the condition in which it was originally and not an improvement in the condition thereof by adding something new thereto, unless the new thing be in substitution of something formerly in existence and is added to preserve the original status of the subject matter of the repairs (Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. v The Court of Appeals, Cesar Bautista and the Heirs of Paciano B. Bautista, GR 100957, Jan. 27, 1994, penned by Associate Justice Flerida Ruth Romero).
Source: Manila Times