Rights of Buyers of Real Estate Properties in the Philippines
Buying a real estate property is a tricky task especially for first-timers. Adding to their many concerns are the malicious scammers and untrustworthy sellers awaiting buyers and renters. It’s important to be vigilant in home buying to ensure that the entire process goes smoothly.
The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) is the country’s foremost government agency tasked to provide support and assistance relating to housing regulations, land development, and land disputes. HLURB offers its services to home buyers, developers, associations, brokers, and local government units.
The HLURB also advises buyers of their rights:
Right to a Clean Title
A property buyer has the right to a clean title of the purchased property upon full payment. In case of mortgaged property, the owner or developer has to redeem the mortgage within six months from full payment so that the title could be given to the buyer.
This right is directly stated in Section 25 of Presidential Decree No. 957 (PD 957), otherwise known as “Subdivision and Condominium Buyer’s Protective Decree.”
Section 26 of this decree states that realty taxes are charged to the buyer if he or she has possessed and occupied the property prior to transfer of title under his or her name.
Non-forfeiture of Payments
It’s out of a real estate buyer’s control if the turnover of their condo encounters a delay or if a house’s approved plan isn’t delivered within the given time frame.
Through Section 23 of PD 957, the buyer can do two things.
First, the buyer has the right to suspend payment, as long as he or she informs the owner or the developer of his intentions. Furthermore, the buyer can also demand a full refund of the total payments (including amortization interests) made with legal interest.
Failure to Pay Installments
A buyer who falls short of the agreed installments may invoke his or her rights under Republic Act No. 6552, known as the Maceda Law or Realty Installment Buyer Protection Act. It is also provided under Section 24 of PD 957. This law indicates one’s rights to an extension period to make installments without interest. It also states a buyer’s right to a refund if the contract was cancelled.
There is wisdom in knowing one’s rights to be protected during a transaction as significant as the purchase of a new home. Thankfully, the Philippines has laws that protect the home buyer against unscrupulous people like unlicensed agents and scammers.
To view more tips for home buyers, visit their website.