RICARDO PARDELL Y CRUZ and VICENTA ORTIZ Y FELIN DE PARDELL, plaintiffs-appellees, vs.

GASPAR
DEBARTOLOME Y ESCRIBANO and MATILDE ORTIZ Y FELIN DE BARTOLOME, defendants-appellants.
1912 Nov 181st Division G.R. No. 4656
CASE DOCTRINES
Hereditary succession gives rise to co-ownershipCo-ownership; extent
"Each co-owner may use the things owned in common, provided he uses them in accordance with their
object andin such manner as not to injure the interests of the community nor prevent the co-owners
from utilizing themaccording to their rights." (Article 394 of the Civil Code, now Art. 486)
Matilde Ortiz and her husband occupied the upper story, designed for use as a dwelling, in the house
of joint ownership; but the record shows no proof that, by so doing, the said Matilde occasioned any
detriment tothe interests of the community property, nor that she prevented her sister Vicenta from
utilizing the said upperstory according to her rights. It is to be noted that the stores of the lower floor
were rented and an accountingof the rents was duly made to the plaintiffs.Each co-owner of realty
held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use andenjoy the same with no
other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his coowners, for thereason that, until a
division be made, the respective part of each holder can not be determined and every one of the
coowners exercises together with his other coparticipants, joint ownership over the pro indiviso
property, inaddition to his use and enjoyment of the same.
Co-owner not required to pay rent upon using the co-owned property; stranger to pay rent
Gaspar de Bartolome, occupied for four years a room or a part of the lower floor of the same house
onCalle Escolta, using it as an office for the justice of the peace, a position which he held in the capital of
thatprovince, strict justice requires that he pay his sister-in-law, the plaintiff, one-half of the monthly
rent which thesaid quarters could have produced, had they been leased to another person. Xxx even as
the husband of thedefendant coowner of the property, he had no right to occupy and use gratuitously
the said part of the lower floor of the house in question, where he lived with his wife, to the
detriment of the plaintiff Vicenta who did notreceive one-half of the rent which those quarters could
and should have produced, had they been occupied by astranger, in the same manner that rent was
obtained from the rooms on the lower floor that were used asstores.

FACTS:
Appeal by bill of exceptions.Spouses Miguel Ortiz and Calixta Felin died in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, in
1875 and 1882, respectively. Prior toher death, Calixta, executed, on August 17, 1876, a nuncupative will
in Vigan, whereby she made her four children,named Manuel, Francisca, Vicenta, and Matilde,
surnamed Ortiz y Felin, her sole and universal heirs of all herproperty. Manuel and Francisca were
already deceased, leaving Vicenta and Matilda as heirs.In 1888, the defendants (Matilde and Gaspar),
without judicial authorization, nor friendly or extrajudicialagreement, took upon themselves the
administration and enjoyment of the properties left by Calixta and collected the rents, fruits, and
products thereof, to the serious detriment of Vicenta’s interest. Despite repeated demands todivide the
properties and the fruits accruing therefrom, Sps Gaspar and Matilde had been delaying the
partitionand delivery of the said properties by means of unkempt promises and other excuses.Vicenta
filed a petition for partition with damages in the RTC.RTC decision: absolved Matilde from payment of
damages. It held that the revenues and the expenseswere compensated by the residence enjoyed by the
defendant party, that no losses or damages were eithercaused or suffered, nor likewise any other
expense besides those aforementioned,Counsel for Matilde took an exception to the judgment and
moved for a new trial on the grounds that theevidence presented did not warrant the judgment
rendered and that the latter was contrary to law. That motionwas denied by the lower court. Thus, this
petition.
ISSUE:
WON a co-owner is required to pay for rent in exclusively using the co-owned property.
RULING:
Article 394 of the Civil Code prescribes:"Each co-owner may use the things owned in common, provided
he uses them in accordance with their object andin such manner as not to injure the interests of the
community nor prevent the co-owners from utilizing themaccording to their rights."
Matilde Ortiz and her husband occupied the upper story, designed for use as a dwelling, in the house
of joint ownership; but the record shows no proof that, by so doing, the said Matilde occasioned any
detriment tothe interests of the community property, nor that she prevented her sister Vicenta from
utilizing the said upperstory according to her rights. It is to be noted that the stores of the lower floor
were rented and an accountingof the rents was duly made to the plaintiffs.Each co-owner of realty
held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use andenjoy the same with no
other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his coowners, for thereason that, until a
division be made, the respective part of each holder can not be determined and every one of the
coowners exercises together with his other coparticipants, joint ownership over the pro indiviso
property, inaddition to his use and enjoyment of the same.
As the hereditary properties of the joint ownership of the two sisters, Vicenta Ortiz,
plaintiff, and MatildeOrtiz, defendant, were situated in the Province of Ilocos Sur, and were in the care
of the last named, assisted byher husband, while the plaintiff Vicenta with her husband was residing
outside of the said province the greaterpart of the time between 1885 and 1905, when she left these
Islands for Spain, it is not at all strange that delaysand difficulties should have attended the efforts made
to collect the rents and proceeds from the property held incommon and to obtain a partition of the
latter, especially during several years when, owing to the insurrection, thecountry was in a turmoil; and
for this reason, aside from that founded on the right of co-ownership of thedefendants, who took upon
themselves the administration and care of the property of joint tenancy for purposesof their
preservation and improvement,
these latter are not obliged to pay to the plaintiff Vicenta one-half of therents which might have been
derived from the upper story of the said house on Calle Escolta, and, much less,because one of the
living rooms and the storeroom thereof were used for the storage of some belongings andeffects of
common ownership between the litigants.

The defendant Matilde, therefore, in occupying with herhusband the upper floor of the said house,
did not injure the interests of her coowner, her sister Vicenta, nor didshe prevent the latter from
living therein, but merely exercised a legitimate right pertaining to her as a coownerof the property
Notwithstanding the above statements relative to the joint-ownership rights which entitled
thedefendants to live in the upper story of the said house, yet, in view of the fact that the record shows
it to havebeen proved that the defendant Matilde's husband,
Gaspar de Bartolome, occupied for four years a room or apart of the lower floor of the same house on
Calle Escolta, using it as an office for the justice of the peace, aposition which he held in the capital of
that province, strict justice requires that he pay his sister-in-law, theplaintiff, one-half of the monthly
rent which the said quarters could have produced, had they been leased toanother person.
The amount of such monthly rental is fixed at P16 in appearance with the evidence shown in therecord.
This conclusion as to Bartolome's liability results from the fact that, even as the husband of the
defendantcoowner of the property, he had no right to occupy and use gratuitously the said part of the
lower floor of thehouse in question, where he lived with his wife, to the detriment of the plaintiff
Vicenta who did not receiveone-half of the rent which those quarters could and should have
produced, had they been occupied by astranger, in the same manner that rent was obtained from the
rooms on the lower floor that were used asstores.
Therefore, the defendant Bartolome must pay to the plaintiff Vicenta P384, that is, one-half of P768,
thetotal amount of the rents which should have been obtained during four years from the quarters
occupied as anoffice by the justice of the peace of Vigan.
HELD: partial reversal of RTC judgment. /adsum


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