When it comes to purchasing real estate properties, the roles of titles are very important. With the unique concepts of condominiums wherein properties sold are vertically developed in a single lot space, it makes us wonder, “do I own a piece of that land?” among the hundreds, possibly thousands of condo unit owners. In this article, let us compare condominium and house and lot titles to help us understand better about the ownership we hold of the property.
Condominium vs. House and lot titles
House and lot ownership is a very simple concept. Where your house is built, that is your land, and where you build your house, it should be on the land you own. Therefore, it is super easy for a person to distinguish ownership and titles of land as long as you know which one your property ownership covers.
When it comes to condominiums though, a development could have as many as more than a thousand owners, depending on the scale and size of the community since the floor area of buildings are not equal to or greater than the actual lot area. Moreover, most condominiums offer “common spaces” that are shared by all unit owners. Such spaces are better known as amenities.
Transfer Certificate of Title(TCT) vs. Condominium Certificate of title (CCT)
In buying a property, or searching for one, it is highly common for you to encounter “property titles” such as a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) or a Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT). This is because these property titles include rights, ownership, and other legal implications.
Real estate in the Philippines has two different kinds of titles. The first is a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), commonly referred to as a Deed of Sale and it relates to the ownership of land, which may or may not include a building on it.
Condominium Certificate of Title is the second kind of title (CCT). The condo ownership of a condo unit is confirmed by this paperwork. The CCT includes information about the unit’s geophysical location as well as the floor, unit, and measurement numbers as well as the property’s name, developer, and owner.
Condominium Certification Title or CCT
The main difference between a Condominium Certification Title (CCT) and Transfer Certification Title (TCT) is that the former only communicates the ownership of the property’s air space. For instance, if the individual condominium unit you own is located on any of the building’s floor number or unit number, your title should be that of a Condominium Certification Title.
Since the cost of the building and the lot is split, having a Condominium Certificate of Title increases how affordable the condominium unit is. It also takes care of the hassles associated with everyday upkeep, including security, garbage collection, and other issues, as well as the accessibility of services.
The condo unit owner must also pay the insurance and real estate tax, make the required assessments to cover maintenance and repair costs, and split the insurance and real estate property tax into the land and common spaces.
Does purchasing a condominium grant the owners a title?
Yes, in a nutshell. The buyer must get a collection of legal documents, including their Condominium Certificate of Title that is free of any prior liens, mortgages, or encumbrances, after meeting the requirements for purchase and after the unit is turned over.
The Land Registration Authority often issues the Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT), which serves as written evidence of a condo ownership of a condominium unit.
The Transfer Certificate Title or TCT
A Transfer Certificate Title, commonly referred to as a deed of sale or a deed of absolute sale, is the legal title to a plot of land, whether or not there is a house on it.
It includes information about the geophysical characteristics of the property, as well as the registration number and name of the owner.
The TCT must also include the title’s transfer history, which includes a list of earlier TCTs that were legitimately revoked due to the ownership cycle.
How to get a Land Title in the Philippines?
Selling a property and signing a Deed of Sale (DoS), which certifies the transfer of title from the seller’s to the buyer’s name, is the simplest way to transfer ownership of land. The Philippines’ Registry of Deeds is next visited to formally document the Deed of Sale. The Transfer Certificate of Title is another name for this. The actions to take in order to obtain a land title are as follows.
What is Condo Unit CCT?
Similar to the transfer certificate of title, the Condominium Certificate of Title is a document that attests to the unit owner of the condo unit that the buyer of the property from the developer has purchased.
The so-called “contract to sell” will serve as further confirmation of the acquisition of the condominium unit. Understanding what is stated in this title, its breadth, as well as the extent of the condo owners’ rights, is crucial during the buying process and actual ownership.
How to get a Condominium Certificate of Title?
There are primarily two kinds of condominium ownership in the Philippines: leasehold ownership and freehold ownership. The length of time the owner plans to live in the unit is a major factor in how the two categories differ from one another.
When you own a home on a freehold ownership basis, you also own the ground that a property is built on.
In freehold ownership, you are in charge of maintaining the entire property, including the building’s exterior walls and roof as well as your personal belongings within.
So long as you get all required planning clearance from the local council, you are free to make any structural improvements to the house in freehold ownership, such as adding an addition.
Leasehold condo ownership
In a leasehold ownership situation, you buy the houses but not the land it is situated on. The freeholder, who is selling the land for a predetermined duration, is still the legal owner of the unit. Although it happens more frequently with condos, leasehold homes also exist.
Typically, leasehold ownership extends around 2 to 15 years or more. You might be able to prolong your ownership period if you purchase a leasehold home. The landlord is responsible for maintaining common areas including gardens and hallways.
So, if there is any damage or work that has to be done, they will often take care of it. To cover this, you’ll pay them a service fee. Ground rent is another expense.
With this in mind, all you need to do is obtain the legal documents that are listed below and, with the help of your broker, submit them to the relevant ownership authorities.
Requirements for Condominium Ownership or Own CCT
Now that you know what the CCT is used for, you probably want to know what the different prerequisites are before you can apply for one. This court document serves as valid evidence that you are the owner of a specific condominium property. Usually, the Land Registration Authority is the one who issues it.
The owner must make sure they are able to produce the following documentation to the LRA if there hasn’t been a previous owner and the unit is being given to them for the first time:
- Housing and Lot Use Regulatory Board Certificate of Registration
- Master Deed Declaration
- Selling Permit
- Floorplan with diagrams
- Requesting an individual CCT through a letter of intent
- Restriction Proclamation
- duplicate land titles provided by the proprietor
- Permit for Development
It can be confusing to know where to start with the following documents if you’re buying a condo unit for the first time in the Philippines. In this kind of circumstance, it would be wise for you to speak with an experienced broker who can give you vital advice on how to obtain these needs.
Given your newfound understanding of the distinctions between TCT and CCT, it would be wise for you to learn how to determine the legitimacy of property titles. You should be cautious because real estate fraud occurs far more frequently than you might imagine.
Going to one of the several Philippines-based Registry of Deeds and allowing them to inspect the title is one approach to accomplish this. Asking a certified real estate broker to perform the verification is another option to check.
One of the most significant investments you can make is purchasing real estate in the Philippines. You can ensure a smooth transaction and avoid being taken advantage of by being aware of the many types of property titles.
Written by Mat Balbin