SC differentiates option contract, contract of first refusal

We agree with the respondent Court of Appeals that the aforecited contractual stipulation provides for a right of first refusal in favor of Mayfair. It is not an option clause or an option contract. It is a contract of a right of first refusal. Respondent Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the said paragraph 8 grants the right of first refusal to Mayfair and is not an option contract. It also correctly reasoned that as such, the requirement of a separate consideration for the option, has no applicability in the instant case. There is nothing in the identical paragraphs 8 of the June 1, 1967 and March 31, 1969 contracts which would bring them into the ambit of the usual offer or option requiring an independent consideration. An option is a contract granting a privilege to buy or sell within an agreed time and at a determined price. It is a separate and distinct contract from that which the parties may enter into upon the consummation of the option. It must be supported by consideration. In the instant case, the right of first refusal is an integral part of the contracts of lease. The consideration is built into the reciprocal obligations of the parties. To rule that a contractual stipulation such as that found in paragraph 8 of the contracts is governed by Article 1324 on withdrawal of the offer or Article 1479 on promise to buy and sell would render ineffectual or inutile the provisions on right of first refusal so commonly inserted in leases of real estate nowadays. The Court of Appeals is correct in stating that Paragraph 8 was incorporated into the contracts of lease for the benefit of Mayfair which wanted to be assured that it shall be given the first crack or the first option to buy the property at the price which Carmelo is willing to accept. It is not also correct to say that there is no consideration in an agreement of right of first refusal. The stipulation is part and parcel of the entire contract of lease. The consideration for the lease includes the consideration for the right of first refusal. Thus, Mayfair is in effect stating that it consents to lease the premises and to pay the price agreed upon provided the lessor also consents that, should it sell the leased property, then, Mayfair shall be given the right to match the offered purchase price and to buy the property at that price. As stated in Vda. De Quirino vs. Palarca, in reciprocal contract, the obligation or promise of each party is the consideration for that of the other. [G.R. No. 106063. November 21, 1996]

Popular Posts