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12 Important Things You Need to Know About Land Titles

Congratulations, you’ve bought a home. After going through the tedious process of buying your new home, you’re undoubtedly thrilled by the feeling that comes with reaching this important milestone.

It’s no secret that owning a home is the foremost aspiration that one looks forward coming true. But there’s an aspect that comes after purchasing a property that shouldn’t be overlooked – proper knowledge with legal documents and certificates. By having the right information, you’ll avoid getting duped by con men and scammers.

Here are 12 important facts you should know about Land Titles :

  1. What is a Land Title?

A land title is the evidence of the right of the owner or the extent of his/her interest, and by which means he/she can maintain control and as a rule assert right to exclusive possession and enjoyment of the property. The document is entitled the Certificate of Title. (Peña, Registration of Land Titles and Deeds, Revised Edition, 1988).

  1. Is a land title different from a deed?

Yes. Land title refers to the evidence of the right of the owner while deed refers to a written document executed in accordance with law, wherein a person grants or conveys to another a certain land. (Peña, Registration of Land Titles and Deeds, Revised Edition, 1988)

Examples of a deed: Deed of sale, deed of donation, deed of mortgage, lease contracts, etc.

  1. Why is a land title important?

Land title is important because it is the only document that would prove a person’s ownership over a piece of land.

  1. What information is contained in the certificate of title?

The certificate of title contains the following: ( Aquino, Amado D., Land Registration and Related Proceedings, Revised Edition, 1997)

-The full name of the owner, including the civil status, and the name of the spouse if married, the nationality and residence and postal address;

-Technical description of the land; and

-Annotations of the transactions made by the owner and other pertinent information.

  1. What is the limitation on certificates of title?

A certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral. It cannot be altered, modified or cancelled except in a direct proceeding in accordance with law. (Pres. Decree No. 1529, Sec. 48).

  1. What document is issued to the registered owner of the land?

The owner’s duplicate Certificate of Title is issued by the Register of Deeds in the name of the person in whose ownership of the land was decreed and this is given to the registered owner. (Pres. Decree No. 1529, Sec. 41).

  1. In cases of co-ownership, can each co-owner have a copy of the duplicate certificate of title?

Yes. A separate duplicate certificate of title may be issued to each of the co-owner in the same form. The Register of Deeds shall note on each certificate of title a statement as to whom a copy was issued. (Pres. Decree No. 1529, Sec. 41)

  1. What is land registration?

Land Registration is the process wherein the state provides a public record of the lant title itself upon which a prospective purchaser or someone else interested may rely. (Peña, Registration of Land Titles and Deeds, Revised Edition, 1988).

  1. What is the purpose of land registration under Torrens system?

The real purpose of the system is to quiet title of land; to put a stop to any question of the legality of the title, except claims, which were noted at the time of registration. (Peña, Registration of Land Titles and Deeds, Revised Edition, 1988).

  1. What court has the jurisdiction over the registration of title?

The Regional Trial Courts now have plenary jurisdiction over land registration proceedings.

  1. Do I need to take care or protect my land titles?

Obviously, your property needs to have a title, if you are going to sell your property and proceed with the transfer of ownership.

When properties are mortgaged, the original owner’s duplicate certificate of titles are kept in a safe and secure place by the bank/lending institution. They put it in a fire-proof safe or vault that is in a flood-free area, so it’s safe to say they are safe and sound.

However, if your property is already fully-paid, you should already have the original owner’s duplicate certificate of the title, and it becomes your responsibility to keep it in a safe and secure place. I suggest that you keep them in a safety deposit box (SDB) in a bank not too near your home.

  1. What’s the difference between reconstitution and replacement?

If the original title with the registry of deeds got lost or destroyed, then reconstitution of the title would be necessary. This can be either through an administrative reconstitution or a judicial reconstitution.

On the other hand, if only the owner’s duplicate certificate got lost/destroyed, and the copy at the register of deeds is intact, then the owner only needs to get a replacement for the lost duplicate certificate, through the procedure stated in Section 109 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1529 (Property Registration Decree)

It is through having the right information that you can ensure you’re not setting yourself up for a ton of headache after buying a new property. Don’t forget to keep a copy of all the papers you’ve received during and after the home buying process to protect your investment or for your future reference.

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