Land Titles and Land Title Registration: FAQs

It is no secret that owning land, especially in the Philippines, becomes a rather tedious process—not considering the boons of having a possible source of a recurring revenue stream, of course.

Land title registration
It pays to know something about land title registration, so that it becomes a less tedious process for property owners.

Buying a property isn’t just a financial transaction. It’s also a legal proceeding, as it involves important documents certifying ownership. You must have proper knowledge with the basics of these legalities to avoid scams, conflicts, and financial challenges. In this article, we outlined some of the most commonly asked questions about one of the most crucial legal documents involved in buying properties: land titles.

Read on to learn more about land title registration in the Philippines. 

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. 

Is a Land Title Different From a Deed? 

Yes, a deed refers to a written document executed in accordance with law, wherein a person grants or conveys to another a certain land. A title, on the other hand, is the legal right to ownership of a property.

How Do I Know if the Land Title Is Real and Clean?

It’s important to ensure that the property you’re buying has a clean title, meaning it’s free from doubt of its validity. Here are some steps to be sure:

  • Check the quality of the paper used. The forms used in property titles are exclusively printed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The judicial form uses a type of paper which contains various security features, with the paper made out of 50% cotton and 50% chemical wood pulp with colored fibers. The paper has a similar texture to a bank check. Fake title forms typically use material similar to cartolina or paper of inferior quality. 
  • Go to the Registry of Deeds to ask for the certified true copy of the title. Visit the Registry of Deeds Philippines official website for addresses of local offices.
  • Consult an attorney. Being experts of land titles and deeds law, they would be able to judge if the document in question is real and clean. 

How Can One Acquire a Land Title?

The easiest way is through the sale and by executing a document called a Deed of Sale, which shows the legal transfer of title from the name of the seller to the buyer. The Deed of Sale is then taken to the Registry of Deeds in the Philippines to be officially recorded. This type of title is also called Transfer Certificate of Title. Here’s a deed of sale sample for your reference.

What Is Land Registration? 

Land registration is the process wherein the state provides a public record of the land title itself upon which a prospective purchaser or someone else interested may rely on. 

What Are the Basic Requirements for Land Title Registration?

  1. Original of the deed/instrument. If the original document cannot be presented, the duplicate original or certified true copy shall be presented together with a sworn affidavit executed by the interested party stating why the original document cannot be submitted. 
  2. Certified copy of the latest Tax Declaration of the property. 
  3. If titled property, owner’s copy of the certificate of title, and all issued co-owner’s copy, if any. In the Philippines, certificate of title is defined as the true copy of the decree of registration or the transcription thereof and needs to be signed by the Land Registration Authority (LRA) Administrator. In other words, a certificate of title is the transcript of the decree of registration made by the Register of Deeds.

How Can I Apply for Land Titling in the Philippines?

How to apply for land title in the Philippines must be among the top things in your checklist of must-know when buying a property. Fortunately, with its agency-wide computerization program now in place, the Land Registration Authority (LRA) has significantly shortened and streamlined its land titling process, making it easy to remember. By a single visit to any register of deeds (RD) office anywhere in the country, you can complete the steps.

Here are the simple steps in applying for land titling in the Philippines

  1. Submit the conveyance instrument and all supporting documents to the entry clerk at the RD. The applicant will receive an electronic primary entry book (EPEB) number, to confirm receipt of the conveyance instrument and supporting documents. 
  2. Pay the corresponding fees. The documents will be turned over to the examiner who will check if all the requirements have been met, after which the information would be encoded. 
  3. If the requirements are complete, the RD approves the applicant. 
  4. A new land title will finally be printed and issued to the applicant. 

How Long Does It Take to Process Land Titles in the Philippines?

The process may take months, depending on the number of buyers applying for the same process with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Registry of Deeds. This is why it’s important to submit all the right documents right at the beginning to get the process moving smoothly.

All things considered, though, it is important that one consults a professional when fixing the legal proceedings of one’s properties. Better to be safe than sorry, of course when it comes to serious matters like this that could mean saving yourself from a boat-load of hassle in the future.

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