The Supreme Court rendered the 106-Tai-Shang-100 Civil Decision of February 8 2017 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that a joint property owner who occupies the entirety or a portion of the common property without the consent of all joint owners before lending or leasing such property for his/her own benefit does not engage in an act of managing joint property.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant asserted that the parties jointly owned the property at issue. Without his consent, the Appellees leased the first floor to another party for use and provided the second floor free of charge for use by others in exchange for unjust enrichment in the form of monthly rent, which was NT$330,000. Therefore, the Appellees were requested to return such benefit on a pro rata basis based on their share of the ownership.
According to the Decision, leasing or lending joint property is an act of managing the joint property. In addition to the requirement that the decision should be made by the majority of the owners, there should still be an intent to manage the joint property on behalf of all owners. If a joint owner occupies the entirety or a portion of joint property without the consent of all joint owners before lending or leasing the property for his/her own benefit. This act is engaged not out of the intent to manage the joint property. Even if the number of owners and the combined share of ownership exceed the above requirement, such act cannot be regarded as an act of managing joint property.
It was further pointed out in the Decision that the Appellees appeared to have lent or leased the property at issue without the consent of all joint owners out of the belief that the entirety of the property at issue is inured to his own benefit. Therefore, the original decision, in which the lending or leasing act was regarded as an management act simply on the ground that the number of the Appellees and their shares to the ownership both exceeded 50% and thus the property was not occupied without legitimate right, was questionable and was reversed and remanded.