Philippine Property Ownership
• Right To Own Philippine Real Property
The general rule is that only Filipino citizens and corporations or partnerships at least 60% Philippine owned are entitled to acquire land in the Philippines. As an expection to this rule, an alien acquisition of Philippine real estate is allowed in the following cases. Acquisition before the 1935 constitution. Acquisition thru hereditary succession if the foreign acquiree is a legal heir. Purchase of not more than 40% interest as a whole in a condominium project. Purchase by a former natural born Filipino citizen subject to the limitations prescribed by law. A Filipino who is married to an alien retains their Philippine citizenship, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced their Philippine citizenship.
• Special Visas for Foreigners Allowing 100% Land Ownership
There are visa options available to foreigners that allow 100% ownership and control of Philippine land and real estate properties. Contact us with your complete name, address, telephone, mobile, and email address to obtain an appointment with Philippine immigration officials to find out more information. Or go to the official web site of the Philippines Government Bureau of Immigration for more information. http://www.immigration.gov.ph
• New Dual Citizenship Laws Affecting Property Ownership
Dual citizenship is now newly available for the following. Dual citizenship means having two citizenships and passports from two different countries. Former Philippine citizens born in the Philippines, but that have immigrated to another country and obtained citizenship of that country. A foreign spouse married to a Philippine citizen. Dual citizenship allows the citizenship holder full rights of possession of Philippine real property. Currently this is a new law and it is still unclear as of the procedures involved to implement it. Check back for updates.
• Foreigner Married to a Philippine Citizen
If holding title as an individual, a typical situation would be that a foreigner married to a Philippine citizen would hold title in the Philippine spouses name. The foreign spouses name cannot be on the Title but can be on the contract to buy the property. In the event of death of the Philippine spouse, the foreign spouse is allowed a reasonable amount of time to dispose of the property and collect the proceeds or the property will pass to any Philippine heirs and or relatives.
• Foreign Ownership as a Philippine Corporation
Foreign nationals and or corporations may 100% own a Philippine condominium or town home. For private land, residential home with land lot and or commercial building with land lot ownership the foreign national and or corporation forms a Philippine Corporation to take ownership of the property. A Philippine Corporation by law will be a maximum of 40% foreign owned, and a minimum of 60% Filipino owned with a minimum of five incorporators. The corporation by law shall have a main bank account tied to it upon incorporation. A foreign national may be the sole person on the Philippine corporation bank account. Thus allowing the foreign national total control over the funds derived and paid out from the Philippine Corporation and from the income or sale of the asset or real estate property.
• Form a Philippine Corporation to hold Title
Foreign nationals may use our incorporation services or find someone else to do it for you, or even do it yourself. Most incorporations are simple and affordable to process depending on the type of corporation you wish to form. Different types of corporations have different rules, regulations, and minimum capital funding requirements. Typical incorporations to hold Philippine real estate may be a "Trading Company" or "Holding Company" or something similar to be able to buy, hold and sell Philippine real estate property. The first step to forming a Philippine Corporation is having Philippine partners you can trust to be team players with you in your Philippine investments plans. Many times the Philippine incorporators will be Philippine family relatives, or they may be Philippine business partners. We offer to be a part of the 60% Philippine interest with a foreigner wishing to form a Philippine corporation. We provide our foreign partners the ability to control their Philippine investments without having to worry about what the 60% Philippine partners will do. With additional separate legal enforceable agreements we become team players with our foreign partners wishing to make Philippine investments without having their investments at risk in case of unforeseen events or changes in their investments plans. If you are interested to know more about what we do and how we help protect our foreign clients Philippine investments interests, contact us and lets arrange a meeting so we can get to know each other and discuss the possibilities. We only provide legal means for foreign investors to protect their capital and interest in Philippine investments.
• Former Philippine Citizens
"Balikbayan", which is a former natural born Filipino citizen, and now is a citizen of another country is entitled to own for residential purpose 1,000 square meters of residential land, and one hectare of agricultural or farm land. For business purpose 5,000 square meters of urban land or three hectares of rural land.
• Foreign Leasing of Philippine Real Estate Property
A foreign national and or corporation may enter into a lease agreement with Filipino landowners for an initial period of up to 50 years, and renewable for another 25 years. Or lease the property in your Philippine Corporation name for an unlimited period.
• Philippine Real Estate Sales Transaction & Closing Costs
• Taking Title to Philippine Real Estate
The "Deed of Sale" is the document showing legal transfer of real estate property ownership. The deed of sale is then taken to the Registry of Deeds to be officially recorded. "Tax Declarations" are sometimes used but are not very enforceable in court because there may be many others with a tax declaration claming ownership of the same property. A property may be Titled by taking the Tax Declaration to the Registry of Deeds to process to be officially titled. Always purchase property with a proper deed of sale if possible, and if there is not one, a tax declaration is your last choice. Owners must be active in enforcing their property rights. Possession is 90 percent ownership. If the property owner can only show a tax declaration as an evidence of ownership, that means the land is untitled and not registered under the Torrens system, the buyer will not get as much protection, as his title will not be absolute and can yield to one who has a better right, like the person actually possessing and occupying or tilling the land, and who subsequently applies for the titling of the land in his name. It is possible for two or more tax declarations issued to different persons with exactly the same technical description, or referring to the same property.
• Philippine Law Real Estate Acquisition and Disposition Definitions
Acquisition is the act of procuring or getting a hold of real estate property. Disposition is the manner of alienation, transfer of possession and ownership thereof as prescribed by the Philippine law. The acquisition and disposition of real estate is embodied in written agreements or contracts voluntarily entered into and subscribed by the selling and buying parties thereof, before a public officer designated as the Notary Public of the City or Province where the subject property is located. Thereafter, the instrument embodying the particular real estate transaction is required by law to be recorded in the Registry of Deeds in the City or Province where the real estate property is involved and located. The Philippines uses the "Torrens" system of real estate ownership. See below for more information.
• Torrens System of Real Estate Ownership
An adapted form of the "Torrens" system of land registration is used in the Philippines. The system was adapted to assure a buyer that if he buys a land covered by an Original Certificate of Title (OCT) or the more familiar Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) issued by the Register of Deeds, the same will be absolute, indefeasible and imprescriptible. The registered owner will never lose his ownership to squatters no matter how long such land was illegally occupied.
• Condominium Residential Commercial Development Ownership Law
Presidential Decree No. 957, which regulates the sale of subdivision and condominium developments, and providing penalties for violations thereof. The National Housing Authority has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate real estate trade and business, a function, which is presently exercised by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). Certain conditions are required before a license to sell condominium development units and or subdivision development lots and homes is issued to a Filipino or Foreign owned individual or corporation. The requirements include a certificate of registration, a performance bond, and an approval of the building plans and specifications. Violation of these rules could mean fines, cancellation of license and or imprisonment.
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