Fabie v. David
G.R. No. L-123, December 12, 1945
Josefa Fabie is the usufructuary of the income of certain houses located at 372-376Santo Cristo, Binondo, and 950-956 Ongpin, Santa Cruz, Manila, under the ninth clause of the will of the deceased Rosario Fabie y Grey. The owner of Santo Cristo property is therespondent Juan Grey. Litigation arose between Josefa Fabie as plaintiff and Juan Grey asdefendant and the owner of the Ongpin property as intervenors, involving the administrationof the houses mentioned in clause 9 of the will referred to above.In June 1945 Josefa Fabie commenced an action of unlawful detainer against Ngo BooSoo (who says that his correct name is Ngo Soo), alleging that the defendant is occupyingthe premises located at 372-376 Santo Cristo on a month-to month rental payable inadvance not later than the 5th of each month; that she is the administratrix andusufructuary of said premises; that the defendant offered to pay P300 monthly rent payablein advance not later than the 5th of every month, beginning the month of April 1945, for thesaid of premises including the one door which said defendant, without plaintiff’s consent andcontrary to their agreement, had subleased to another Chinese, but plaintiff refused, basedon the fact that the plaintiff very badly needs the said house to live in, as her house wasburned by the Japanese on the occasion of the entry of the American liberators in the City;that defendant was duly notified to leave the said premises, but he refused; and she prayedfor judgment of eviction and for unpaid rentals. The defendant answered alleging that he was and since 1908 had been a tenant of the premises in question, which he was using and had always used principally as a store andsecondarily for living quarters; that he was renting it from its owner and administrator JuanGrey; that plaintiff is merely the usufructuary of the income therefrom, and by agreementbetween her and said owner, her only right as usufructuary of the income is to receive thewhole of such income; that she has no right or authority to eject tenants, such right being inthe owner and administrator of the house, Juan Grey; that plaintiff has never had possessionof said property; that defendant’s lease contract with the owner of the house is for 5-yearperiod, with renewal option at the end of each period, and that his present lease due toexpire on December 31, 1945; that on June 1, 1945, defendant made a written offer toplaintiff to compromise and settle the question of the amount of rent to be paid bydefendant but said plaintiff rejected the same for no valid reason whatever and institutedthe present action; that the reason plaintiff desires to eject defendant from the property isthat she wishes to lease the same to other persons for a higher rent, ignoring the fact thatas usufructuary of the income of the property she has no right to lease the property.
Who is entitled to administer the property subject matter of this case and who shouldbe the tenant?
The usufructuary has the right to administer the property in question. All the acts of administration — to collect the rents for herself, and to conserve the property by making allnecessary repairs and paying all the taxes, special assessments, and insurance premiumsthereon — were by court judgment vested in the usufructuary. The pretension of therespondent Juan Grey that he is the administrator of the property with the right to choose