Question A.7, Civil Law, 2019 Bar Exam

Believing that he owned a certain parcel of land and completely unaware of any defect in his title thereto, Mr. A started to build a house thereon. When Mr. P, the real owner of the land learned of Mr. A's actions, Mr. P immediately demanded Mr. A to leave the premises. However, Mr. A refused to leave, and instead, asserted that as a builder in good faith, Mr. P is obliged to sell the land to him.

(a) Is the claim of Mr. A correct? Explain. (3%)

(b) Assuming that Mr. P all the while, knew but did not object to Mr. A's construction of the house on his property, may Mr. A compel Mr. P to purchase the said improvement due to Mr. P's bad faith? Explain. (3%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) No. Answer

Under the Civil Code, the owner of the land on which anything has been built, sown or planted in good faith, shall have the right to appropriate as his own the works or improvements after payment of the indemnity, or to oblige the one who built to pay the price of the land. However, the builder cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is considerably more than that of the building or trees. In such case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose to appropriate the building or trees after proper indemnity. The right to choose is with landowner, and not the builder. Rule

In the case at bar, Mr. A and Mr. P are respectively a builder in good faith and a landowner in good faith. The right to choose on how to proceed from the situation is with M...

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