Mr. A entered into a lease contract covering one of his commercial buildings with XYZ Company, a partnership composed of X, Y, and Z, as lessee, for use as an office space. Upon failure to receive the rental payments when they fell due, Mr. A immediately sought payment of the same from X, Y, and Z, asserting that the individual partners are solidarily liable together with the partnership for its debts.
X, Y, and Z disagreed with Mr. A’s contention, arguing further that in any event, rentals should not be paid up until Mr. A makes the necessary arrangements for the repair of the defective electrical wirings in the office that caused power outages and hence, made it difficult, if not impossible, for them to conduct their usual business operations.
Rule on the parties’ respective arguments. (5%)
1) On the claims of Mr. A:
They are incorrect. Answer
Under the Civil Code, a partnership has a separate juridical personality from the partners. It is the partnership that is primarily answer for its liabilities. If the assets of the partnership are insufficient, it is only when the general partners may be held liable. Rule
In the case at bar, there is no showing that the assets of the partnership are insufficient to cover the liabilities for rental payment. The partners cannot be made liable until this requirement is complied. Apply
Thus, the claims of Mr. A is incorrect. Conclusion
2) On the claims of X, Y, and Z:
They are correct. Answer
Under the Civil Code, the lessee may suspend the payment of the rent in case the lessor fails to make the necessary repairs or to maintain the lessee in peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the property leased. Rule
In the case at bar, the defective electrical wiring in the office that caused power outages fall under necessary repairs. This is made evident by the fact that it has become impossible for the partners to conduct their usual business operations. They can suspend payment until necessary repairs are made by the lessor. Apply
Thus, the claims of X, Y, and Z are correct. Conclusion