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Property

Thing - anything which can or cannot be appropriated


Kinds:
1. Res nullius - thing belonging to no one
2. Res alicujus - thing belonging to someone
3. Res communes - thing belonging to everyone
4. Res derelicta - abandoned thing
Property - thing which can be appropriated
Requisites:
1. Utility - capability to satisfy human wants
2. Substantivity - capability to stand on its own
3. Appropriability - capability to be possessed/appropriated
Classifications:
1. According to mobility: (Article 414)
a. Immovable/real property
(1) By nature
(2) By incorporation
(3) By destination
(4) By analogy
The following are immovable property: (Article 415)
(1) Land, buildings, roads, and construction of all kinds adhered to the soil
If a building is an object of a chattel mortgage, it is considered personal property, but only by
the parties.
(2) Trees, plants, and growing crops which are attached to the land or form an integral part of an
immovable
(3) Properties attached to an immovable which will cause deterioration if removed
(4) Statues, reliefs, paintings, or other objects for use or ornamentation which are placed in
buildings/land by the owner of the immovable and reveal the intention of permanent attachment
(5) Machineries which:
(a) Were placed by the owner of the land/his agent;
(b) Were placed at the workplace; AND
(c) Are essential/principal to the business
(6) Animal houses which are intended to be permanently attached to the land, including the animals
(7) Fertilizer used on land
(8) Mines, quarries, and slag dumps, and waters
(9) Floating docks and structures which are intended to remain at a fixed place
(10) Contracts for public works and servitudes, and other real rights over immovable property
b. Movable/personal property
The following are movable property: (Articles 416-417)
(1) Any property which does not fall under Article 415
(2) Obligations and actions which have movables as their objects
2. According to ownership: (Article 419)
a. Public (Article 420)
(1) For public use
(2) For public service
(3) For development of national wealth
Regalian doctrine - states that all lands of public domain are owned by the State
Kinds of Lands:
(1) Agricultural
(2) Timber/forest lands
(3) Mineral lands
(4) National parks
Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution: The State owns ALL mineral lands.
b. Private
Patrimonial property - property of the State in its private capacity (Article 421); public properties no
longer intended for public use or for public service (Article 422)
Alienable and disposable properties can only be acquired by natural Filipinos.
Foreigners can acquire buildings and accessions, but NOT land.
3. According to alienability:
a. Within the commerce of man (can be the object of a contract)
b. Outside the commerce of man (cannot be the object of a contract)
4. According to existence:
a. Present
b. Future
5. According to materiality:
a. Corporeal (objects which can be seen or touched)
b. Incorporeal (objects which cannot be seen or touched; e.g. rights/credits)
6. According to dependence:
a. Principal
b. Accessory
7. According to capability of substitution:
a. Fungible (can be replaced)
b. Non-fungible (cannot be replaced)
8. According to nature:
a. Generic
b. Specific
9. According to custody of the court:
a. In custodia legis (seized by an officer; under the custody of the court)
b. Free property

Ownership
Ownership - independent right of a person to have exclusive enjoyment to a thing or right (Article 427)
Bundle of Rights: (Article 428)
1. Jus utendi - right to use
2. Jus abutendi - right to abuse
3. Jus disponendi - right to dispose
4. Jus fruendi - right to the fruits
5. Jus accessionis - right to the accessories
6. Jus vindicandi - right to recover
7. Jus possidendi - right to possess
Limitations:
1. Limitations set by law (e.g. eminent domain - right of the State to own private properties beneficial for
public use)
2. Limitations set by the owner
3. Limitations set by the grantor (person who gave the thing to its present owner)
4. Rights of others
Self-help - right to use force to repel a threatening unlawful physical invasion or usurpation of ones property (Article
429)
State of necessity - doctrine where one is allowed to interfere in anothers property to prevent greater damage (Article
432)
Owner of property may demand from the person benefited indemnity for damages.
Surface right - right for owners of properties to also own everything on its surface, and everything under it (Article 437)
Hidden treasure - deposit of money, jewelry, or any precious object hidden and unknown (Article 438)
If founder of hidden treasure is different from the owner, and finds it by chance, owner and founder receive
equal shares of hidden treasure. If founder is a trespasser, owner receives hidden treasure in full.
If hidden treasure is of interest to science or the arts, the State may acquire it at its just price.
Accession - any addition to a property by production, incorporation, or attachment
Kinds of Fruits: (Articles 441-442)
1. Natural - spontaneous products of the soil, and the young and other products of animals
2. Industrial - produced by lands through cultivation or labor
3. Civil - rents of buildings, prices of leases, and life annuities or other similar income
Articles 445-446: Any addition found in a land is presumed to be owned by the land owner.

If land owner uses materials of another: (Article 447)


Owner of materials is NOT willing
Owner of materials is willing to sell
to sell
Owner of materials is entitled to
Land owner is in good faith Land owner shall pay for materials limited right of removal (provided
no substantial injury is caused)
Owner of materials is entitled to
Land owner shall pay for materials
Land owner is in bad faith absolute right of removal (whether
and damages
substantial injury is caused or not)

If a builder builds on the land of another: (Articles 448-451)


1. In good faith, land owner may:
a. Buy the building at current market value; or
b. Sell the land (price should not be considerably higher than the building and the trees)
If land owner decides to buy the building, builder can exercise his right of retention (right to reside in
the building) until he is fully paid.
2. In bad faith, land owner may:
a. Acquire the building without payment and demand payment for damages; or
b. Sell the land (with no limitations on the price to be paid) and demand payment for damages; or
c. Demand demolition of the building and payment for damages
If land owner is yet to make a decision, he CANNOT collect rentals.
Riparian owner - owner of a land adjacent to a body of water (strictly a river; Article 457)
Kinds of Soil Deposit:
1. Alluvium - gradual and unidentifiable deposit; belongs to owner of property it is attached to
When is it alluvium?
a. Gradual and imperceptible deposit
b. Caused by the current
c. Current must be that of a river
d. River is still existing
e. Increase of land is comparatively little
2. Avulsion - sudden and identifiable deposit; belongs to owner of property it was detached from (Article 459)
Article 458: Owner of land adjoining a pond or lagoon does not acquire land left dry by the natural decrease of
the waters nor lose land inundated by floods.
Article 461: If land owner loses land due to change of course of river, he will own a portion of the abandoned
river bed in proportion to the land lost.
Article 462: The State owns the new river bed.
Who owns an island (formed by unidentifiable accumulated deposits):
1. Formed on sea?
a. Within territorial jurisdiction? State
b. Outside territorial jurisdiction? First country to occupy island
2. Formed on lakes/navigable or floatable rivers? State
3. Formed on non-navigable and non-floatable rivers? Owner of property nearer to the island
What if two properties of different owners are equidistant? Each takes one-half to be divided
longitudinally.
Adjunction - union of two different movables into a single object (Article 466)

If owner of principal acted... If owner of accessory acted...


Owner of principal acquires accessory but Owner of principal acquires accessory
In good faith
pays owner of accessory but pays owner of accessory
Owner of accessory can...
Exercise
absolute right
Sell accessory to owner of Owner of principal acquires accessory
In bad faith of removal
principal and demand and may demand payment for damages
and demand
payment for damages; OR
payment for
damages

What is the principal?


1. Object INTENDED to be the principal
2. If both were, the object of greater VALUE
3. If both are of equal value, the object of greater VOLUME
4. If both are of equal volume, the object of greater MERITS (to be decided by the Court)
Mixture - union of materials wherein their respective identities are lost (Article 473)
Kinds:
1. Commixtion - mixture between solids
2. Confusion - mixture between liquids
Who owns the thing?
1. Mixture in good faith - both
2. Mixture in bad faith - owner in good faith (owner in bad faith is liable for damages)
If both acted in bad faith, they are both considered in good faith.
Specification - one object is turned into a new object (Article 474)

If the new thing is more valuable


If materials are more valuable than the new thing...
than materials..
Owner of materials can...
And worker is in Worker owns new thing and is liable Demand indemnity from
Acquire the new thing but
good faith for payment of materials the worker for the
pay for the work; OR
materials
Owner of materials can...
And worker is in Acquire the new thing without
Demand indemnity from the worker for the materials and
bad faith paying for the work (unless work is
damages
more valuable than materials); OR

Quieting of title - removal of a cloud on title (disturbance/doubt); involves real property (Article 476)
There is a cloud on title because of a/an:
1. Proceeding; which is
2. Record; APPARENTLY VALID
but is IN FACT
3. Instrument; INVALID and MAY
4. Claim; or BE PREJUDICIAL to
5. Encumbrance said title

Action to quiet title:


1. Does not prescribe (if plaintiff is IN POSSESSION of the property)
2. Prescribes in 10 years (if plaintiff is NOT IN POSSESSION of the property)
To file an action, plaintiff must present: (Article 477)
1. Legal title; or
2. Equitable title

Co-ownership
Co-ownership - ownership of an undivided thing or right between two or more persons (Article 484)
Co-ownership arises:
1. By law
2. By contract
3. By chance
4. By occupation or occupancy
5. By succession or will
A co-owner CANNOT sell his share of a co-owned property, UNLESS:
1. There was CONSENT from the co-owners; or
2. The property is ALREADY DIVIDED.
Co-owner can exercise his right of ownership over the property, provided he: (Article 486)
1. Does NOT cause injury against co-owners interest
2. Does NOT prevent co-owners to use the property
3. Uses the property for its intended purpose
Three Types of Expenses:
1. Necessary - preserves the property; ALWAYS reimbursable (Article 489)
Co-owner who has made the necessary expense has NO RIGHT OF REMOVAL.
2. Useful - increases the propertys value
3. Luxurious - beautifies the property
Article 492: Useful or luxurious expenses shall be decided by the FINANCIAL MAJORITY of the co-
owners.
If a co-owner makes a useful/luxurious expense without the consent of his co-owners, but does not get
indemnified by the co-owners for said expense, he has LIMITED RIGHT OF REMOVAL.
Alteration - change, more or less permanent, in how the thing is being used, which prejudices its condition or enjoyment
by others
Article 491: Alteration requires the consent of ALL CO-OWNERS.
Partition - separation of a co-owners share from a co-owned property
Article 494: Partition can be exercised at any time. It CANNOT be demanded though if there is an agreement
(not exceeding 10 years, but may be extended only after the expiration of the original period) to keep the thing
undivided.
Article 495: Partition CANNOT be made on PHYSICALLY INDIVISIBLE objects or IF IT RENDERS THE THING
USELESS.
Third parties may oppose partition, but CANNOT nullify partition, UNLESS:
1. Co-owners themselves nullify partition; or
2. Partition will prejudice third parties (Article 499)
Juridical dissolution - procedure for dividing physically indivisible objects where the whole is either given to one co-
owner who will indemnify the rest, or, if no one co-owner is agreed upon, sold and its proceeds distributed (Article 498)
When can a co-owner claim sole ownership of a co-owned property?
1. Co-owner must notify other co-owners;
2. Evidence of repudiation and knowledge of other co-owners must be clear and convincing; AND
3. Other requirements of prescription are present

Possession
Possession - holding of a thing or enjoyment of a right (Article 523)
Classifications:
1. In ones own name or anothers (Article 524)
2. In the concept of owner or concept of holder (Article 525)
3. In good faith (non-awareness of a flaw which invalidates his title) or bad faith (Article 526)
How is possession acquired? (Article 531)
1. By material occupation/exercise of a right
2. By subjection to our will
3. By proper acts and legal formalities
In cases of conflict, who possesses the thing? (Article 538)
1. The PRESENT possessor
2. If both are present, the one LONGER in possession
3. If both began to possess at the same time, the one who has a title
4. If both have a title, the Court will determine
Article 559: One who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof may recover it from the
person in possession of the same.
Article 1505: Owner cannot claim a stolen movable from a person who has acquired the same at public sale,
or at a merchants store, fair, or market.

Usufruct
Usufruct - gives a right to enjoy anothers property while preserving the form and substance of the property (Article
562)
Right to usufruct includes the right to use and right to fruits.
The usufructuary (one who has the right to usufruct) is NOT ALLOWED to convert the thing in usufruct.
Article 572: Contracts entered into during the usufruct period will end as the period of usufruct ends.
Abnormal usufruct - usufruct on an object that deteriorates because of normal use (Article 573)
An owner cannot be the usufructuary of his own property.
Usufruct is temporary, transmissible, and deals with either real or personal property.
Article 581: Owner cannot alter his property while it is under a contract of usufruct.
What are the obligations of the usufructuary? (Article 583)
1. Before the usufruct?
a. To make an inventory
b. To give security
Caucion juratoria - promise under oath at Court in lieu for a security to take care of the property (Article
587)
These may not be necessary depending upon the naked owner.
2. During the usufruct? To preserve the form and substance of the property
Who is liable for: (Articles 592-593)
1. Ordinary repairs (wear and tear due to the natural use of the thing)? Usufructuary
2. Extraordinary repairs? Owner
When can the usufructuary make extraordinary repairs? (Article 594)
1. If usufructuary has notified owner of the need to repair;
2. Repair must be urgent;
3. Owner failed to make repairs; AND
4. Repair is needed for preservation
How is usufruct extinguished? (Article 603)
1. Death of usufructuary
If the owner dies, heirs of the owner become the owners.
2. Expiration of the period
3. Merger of usufruct and ownership
4. Renunciation of the usufructuary
5. Total loss of the thing
6. Termination of the right of the person constituting the usufruct
7. Prescription
Article 607: If there is usufruct on land where a building is constructed, and the latter is destroyed, the
USUFRUCTUARY prevails for the use of the land.
If there is usufruct on only the building, and it is also destroyed, the OWNER prevails for the use of the land.

Easements and Servitudes


Easement - encumbrance imposed upon an immovable in favour of another immovable (Article 613)
Dominant estate - immovable which benefits from the easement
Servient estate - immovable upon which the easement is paced
Servitude - broader English term for easement
Classifications of Easements: (Articles 615-616)
1. Apparent (readily seen) or non-apparent (show no external indication of existence)
2. Continuous (used incessantly or continuously) or discontinuous (depend on human intervention)
3. Positive (imposes the servient owner to allow something to be done on his property) or negative (prohibits
the servient owner from doing something)
Articles 617-618: Easements are inseparable/indivisible.
How are easements: (Articles 619-622)
1. Established?
a. By law
b. By will of the owners
2. Acquired?
a. By title
b. By prescription of 10 years (for continuous and apparent easements ONLY)
Prescription starts from establishment (if positive) or from the time formal prohibition was made (if
negative).
What are the different legal easements? (Article 634)
1. Easements relating to waters
a. Natural drainage (Articles 637 and 674)
b. Easement on riparian banks (Article 638)
c. Easement of a dam (Articles 639 and 647)
d. Easement for drawing water (Articles 640-641)
e. Easement of aqueduct (Articles 643-646)
2. Right of way - easement by which one person or a particular class of persons is allowed to pass over
anothers land (Article 649)
Easement of right of way is APPARENT AND DISCONTINUOUS. Therefore, it CANNOT be acquired by
prescription.
An owner of a piece of land has the right to demand a right of way through the neighboring estates,
after payment of proper indemnity, UNLESS isolation of his property was caused by his own acts.

If a piece of land is: (Articles 652-653)


Acquired by sale, exchange, or
Acquired by donation
partition
Estate of the grantee/donee is
Payment for right of way is NOT Payment for right of way is
enclosed by estate of the
needed needed
grantor/donor
Estate of the grantor/donor is
Payment for right of way is Payment for right of way is NOT
enclosed by estate of the
needed needed
grantee/donee

How is a right of way extinguished? (Article 655)


(1) Opening of a new road
(2) Abutting (dominant estate joins another estate which has access to public highway)
3. Party wall - wall at the dividing line of estates (Article 658)
It is NOT a party wall if: (Article 660)
a. It has a window/opening
b. It tapers on one side
c. It is on the boundaries of one estate
d. It bears the burden of the binding beams, floors, and roof frame of one building, but not of other
buildings
e. It is constructed in such a way that the coping sheds the water upon only one estate
f. It has stepping stones on only one side
g. Lands enclosed by fences adjoin lands which are not
4. Light and view

How are easements of light and view acquired?


Provides direct view Provides side/oblique view
Positive easement 10 years after establishment
10 years after formal prohibition 10 years after formal prohibition
Negative easement AND must be 2 METERS from AND must be 60 CENTIMETERS
estate which can be viewed from estate which can be viewed

Article 673: If an easement of light and view is already acquired, the servient owner CANNOT construct
buildings which will obstruct its view, unless it is 3 METERS away from the boundary line.
Trees CANNOT be planted: (Article 679)
1. LESS THAN 2 METERS from boundary line (for tall trees)
2. LESS THAN 50 CENTIMETERS from boundary line (for small trees/shrubs)
Lateral support - support from the sides
Subjacent support - support above the supporting land

Nuisance
Nuisance - anything which hinders enjoyment of property (Article 694)
Kinds of Nuisances: (old classification)
1. Per se - always a nuisance
2. Per accidens - nuisance because of the location
Kinds of Nuisances: (Article 695)
1. Public - affects a community
2. Private - any nuisance which is not public
Attractive nuisance - dangerous instrumentality likely to attract children at play
Article 698: Lapse of time cannot legalize any nuisance.
Remedies against a Public Nuisance: (Article 699)
1. Criminal case
2. Civil case
3. Abatement without judicial proceedings
Article 700: The district health officer shall make sure that one or all of the remedies against a public nuisance
are availed of.
Requisites for Abatement: (Article 704)
1. Must be demanded first upon the owner of the property
2. Said demand was rejected
3. Abatement must be approved by the district health officer
4. Value of destruction must not exceed P3000

Acquisition of Ownership
Modes of Acquiring Ownership: (Article 712)
1. Original modes (owner is the first owner)
a. Occupation (Article 713)
Property to be acquired by occupation must be res nullius/res derelicta.
Article 716: Domesticated animals may be claimed within 20 DAYS from their occupation.
Article 719: Lost movable (not treasure) shall be delivered to the owner. If unknown, finder shall
deposit it with the mayor to be publicly announced within 2 weeks (8 days if movable cannot be
kept without deterioration.)
If after 6 months, the owner still has not appeared, thing is awarded to the finder.
If owner appears in time, he shall pay the finder one-tenth of the lost movables value.
b. Intellectual creation (Article 721)
2. Derivative modes (somebody else was the owner before)
a. Succession
b. Donation
c. Prescription
(1) Acquisitive - acquisition of a property/right by the lapse of a period
(2) Extinctive - loss of property/right by the lapse of a period
d. Law
e. Tradition (delivery)
(1) Actual (physical delivery)
(2) Constructive

Donation
Donation - gratuitous disposition of a thing/right (Article 725)
Donation is a form of a contract.
Requisites of a Contract:
1. Consent
2. Object
3. Cause/consideration
Kinds of Contracts:
1. Consensual - requires consent for validity
2. Formal - requires the right form for validity
3. Real - involves real property
Article 726: Services which do not constitute demandable debts can serve as the cause/consideration of a
contract of donation.
Kinds of Donations:
1. Simple - liberality as cause/consideration
2. Remuneratory/compensatory - to reward services
3. Modal - donation with a burden less than the value
4. Onerous - donation with a burden equal to the value
The first two follow rules on donation (require the right form for validity); the last two follow rules on
contract (mere consent makes the donation valid)
Other Classifications of Donations:
1. Inter vivos - donation which takes effect during the lifetime of the donor
2. Mortis causa - donation by reason of death
Article 727: Donations with illegal/impossible conditions are disregarded.
Stages of a Contract:
1. Negotiation
2. Perfection
Article 734: Donation is perfected when donor knows of the acceptance.
3. Consummation
Who CANNOT donate? (Article 735)
1. Minors
2. Incapacitated persons/imbeciles
3. Persons who are deaf/mute/who do not know how to read and write
4. Prodigality
5. Civil interdiction
Twin Capacities for a Donor:
1. Must be able to enter into a contract
2. Can dispose of contract
Article 737: Donors capacity is determined at the perfection of the contract.
Who CANNOT receive donations? (Articles 738 and 743)
1. Specially disqualified persons
2. Incapacitated persons
Donations are VOID if constituted: (Articles 739-740)
1. By persons who are guilty of adultery/concubinage
2. By persons who are guilty of the same criminal offense
3. To a public officer or his/her spouse, descendants, and ascendants
4. To persons incapable to succeed by will (if donations is mortis causa)
If the same thing is donated to 2/more persons, who owns the thing? (Article 744)
1. Person who first REGISTERED it in good faith (if immovable property)
2. Person who first POSSESSED it in good faith (if movable property/all donees have registered the immovable
property)
3. If all donees possessed it at the same in good faith, person with the OLDEST TITLE
Article 746: Acceptance must be made during the lifetime of the donor and of the done (except for donations
mortis causa.)
Donation of a movable: (Article 748)
1. Worth more than P5000 - must be made IN WRITING
Acceptance must also be made in writing.
2. Worth at most P5000 - may be made either orally or in writing, but there must be SIMULTANEOUS DELIVERY
of either the thing/document representing the right donated
Acceptance may also be made either orally or in writing.
Requisites for a Last Will and Testament:
1. 3 witnesses
2. Attestation clause
Article 749: Donations regarding immovable property must be made in a public instrument. Acceptance must
also be in a public instrument.
Article 753: Donation to several persons jointly is understood to be in equal shares.
There is NO RIGHT OF ACCRETION (right to acquire share refused by another donee) unless stated
otherwise.
In donations to husband and wife, there is right of accretion unless stated otherwise.
Article 754: Donor is liable for hidden defects/eviction if donation is modal/onerous.
Reversion - thing goes back to the donor (Article 757)
When can reversion be established?
1. If it is in favour of only the donor
2. If it is in favour of a third person AS LONG AS the donor, done, and third person are all LIVING at the
PHYSICAL/MECHANICAL GIVING OF THE PROPERTY
Revocation - making a donation void
When can a donor revoke his donation? (Articles 760, 764-765)
1. Birth, appearance, or adoption of a child
2. Non-compliance of a resolutory condition
Article 768: Donee shall return the fruits of the thing if the donation was revoked because of non-
compliance with the condition.
3. Ingratitude of the donee
a. Donee commits an offense against donor, his property, his wife, or his children
b. Donee accuses or becomes a witness against donor of criminal offense or any act involving moral
turpitude (acts causing moral injury), UNLESS act was committed against the done, his wife, or his
children
c. Donee unjustifiably refuses to give financial support to the donor
Reduction - reducing the thing donated
When can a donor reduce his donation?
1. Donor donated without reserving sufficient support for himself
2. Donor donated more than what he can give by will (this is called an inofficious donation)
3. Donor donated without reservation for payment of debts
4. Birth, appearance, or adoption of a child
When will the right to revoke/reduce prescribe?
1. Ingratitude - 1 year
2. Inofficious donation - 5 years
3. Others - 4 years

Prescription
Laches - negligence to perform a right within a reasonable time
There is NO prescription between: (Article 1109)
1. Husband and wife
2. Parents and children
3. Guardian and ward
Interruption - stops the course of the prescription period and all its acquired rights/benefits
Kinds of Interruption:
1. Natural
2. Civil
How to Interrupt Extinctive Prescription:
1. Filing of case
2. Written extra-judicial demand
3. Written acknowledgment
Source: Paras, E. L. (2008). Civil Code of the Philippines annotated (16th ed.). Manila, Philippines: Rex Book Store.