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BLAKE, J. -- This litigation is an aftermath of our decision in Bowman v. Hardgrove, 200 Wash. 78, 93 P.2d 303. By reference to the opinion in that case, it will be recalled that we held a ten-year lease, executed by Bowman, as lessor, to Hardgrove, as lessee, invalid because it was not executed by Mrs. Bowman. Hardgrove had been in possession of the property for about a year before he was dispossessed under the judgment in that action. Subsequently, Mrs. Bowman died, and, in the administration of her estate, the property was set over to Bowman in lieu of homestead. Hardgrove then brought this action to recover the amount of the enhanced value of the land resulting from labor and improvements he had put upon it during his occupancy. The action is brought upon the doctrine of unjust enrichment, which is recognized and applied in a number of our decisions. Ernst v. Schmidt, 66 Wash. 452, 199 P. 828, Ann. Cas. 1913C, 389; Gregory v. Peabody, 149 Wash. 227, 270 P. 825. The underlying theory of the doctrine is that, where one expends money and labor in the improvement of the property of another upon the faith of an unenforcible contract, he is, upon repudiation of the agreement by the owner, entitled to be reimbursed for improvements enhancing the value of the property. Pitt v. Moore, 99 N. C. 85, [10 Wash2d Page 138] 5 S.E. 389, 6 Am. St. 489. The measure of damages is the amount the property has been enhanced in value by such and improvements, less any damages suffered by the owner during the occupancy of the putative vendee or tenant. Crowford v. Smith, 127 Wash. 77, 219 P. 855; Gregory v. Peabody, 153 Wash. 99, 279 P. 102. Applying such measure of damages, the trial court concluded that plaintiff was entitled to recover twenty-five hundred dollars, and entered judgment accordingly. Defendant appeals. PDF free

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