4 allegations required for unlawful detainer

Unlawful detainer is an action to recover possession of real property from one who unlawfully withholds possession after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract, express or implied. The possession of the defendant in unlawful detainer is originally legal but became illegal due to expiration or termination of the right to possess.[1]

Under Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, the action must be filed “within one (1) year after [the] unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession[.]” Thus, to fall within the jurisdiction of the MeTC, the complaint must allege that –
  1. The defendant originally had lawful possession of the property, either by virtue of a contract or by tolerance of the plaintiff;
  2. Eventually, the defendant’s possession of the property became illegal or unlawful upon notice by the plaintiff to defendant of the expiration or the termination of the defendant’s right of possession;
  3. Thereafter, the defendant remained in possession of the property and deprived the plaintiff the enjoyment thereof; and
  4. Within one year from the unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession, the plaintiff instituted the complaint for ejectment.[2]

[1] Canlas v. Tubil, G.R. No. 184285, September 25, 2009, 601 SCRA 147, 156-157.

[2] Delos Reyes v. Odones, G.R. No. 178096, March 23, 2011, 646 SCRA 328, 334-335, citing Cabrera v. Getaruela, G.R. No. 164213, April 21, 2009, 586 SCRA 129, 137.