How To Verify Land Ownership in the Philippines (2023)

At some point in our lives, we've all dreamed of purchasing our own vacant land area and imagined all sorts of properties that we could build on it-- a dream house, a residential subdivision, or a commercial building where you can sell goods and provide services. The possibilities and options are endless!

Among the various real estate property options OFWs can acquire, land is the ideal and most preferred type of property. Land is a tangible asset that has lower maintenance cost compared to other property options. Aside from the monthly pay of tax bills, maintaining a vacant land is completely a breeze!

Is Buying Land a Good Investment?

The answer is a BIG YES!

Land ownership has been the most preferred option by investors as it promises great return of investment (ROI) without exerting that much of an effort on the owner's part. The rate of appreciation value for land increases over time. It is due to the fact that unlike other rental properties, a vacant land is immune to the usual physical wear-and-tear of establishments, preserving its natural condition and integrity. It doesn't require any major improvements-- just simple and straightforward.

Acquiring the right land property is like stumbling upon a gold mine!

How To Verify Land Ownership in the Philippines (1)

What are the Pros of Owning a Vacant Land?

Maximum Utility

Think of a blank canvas. Envision everything you can draw and paint on it-- virtually anything! It's the same principle when it comes to the land you invested on. You possess all the freedom and right to build any type of establishment you want with it. However, it is important to determine the location of your property to get the best profit out of your investments!

(Video) How to Verify If the Land Title is Authentic in the Philippines

For instance, if your land is located in the midst of the busy Metro, you can build up a commercial rental office space or an apartment for potential dwellers. On the other hand, if you decide to purchase out in the suburbs, subdivisions or townhouses are the most sound options.

Less Maintenance

Unlike other properties, vacant land is relatively easier to manage and supervise. You don't have to worry about plumbing and electrical maintenance, construction improvements and repairs, among others. The only thing you need to take care of is to inhibit the growth of grass and weeds. Put up high fences to ward off trespassers. Also, no vandalisms!

Less Investment Cost

Typically, vacant land costs less than developed properties as it doesn't include construction costs. Property taxes and fees are also lower compared to established areas and lands.

Direct Ownership

Just place your down payment-- or full payment if you can, and you will have direct control and ownership of that particular land! Direct ownership means you are safe from other costs and fees such as mortgage interests and loan fees. Having your land title documents brings such peace of mind knowing your hard earned money isn't put to waste.

What are the Cons of Owning a Vacant Land?

No immediate cash flow

Despite dodging the hefty mortgage fees, you may find yourself facing other expenses like property taxes and even association fees. Moreover, a vacant land doesn't usually generate passive income unlike rental properties.

Illiquid Asset

While land value definitely increases over time, it also becomes more difficult to find buyers who are willing to pay your price. It may take years before you can sell your land to an actual, suitable buyer. This also means that you can't convert your land into immediate cash.

Permits and approvals required

Land permits and tax requirements may vary depending on where you purchase your land, so it's another thing you need to take into consideration.

How To Verify Land Ownership in the Philippines (2)

Is it OK to buy land with a tax declaration only?

First and foremost, what is a tax declaration?

(Video) Clean Title Ba Ang Lupa Na Bibilhin Mo? Baka may ADVERSE CLAIM! Know How To Verify Land Title!

It is a form of document that shows the market and assessed values of a property for the basis of real property tax collection. Tax declarations are usually managed by the provincial, municipal or city assessors' office.

You need to be wary that purchasing land possessing only a tax declaration comes with risk. These risks may include:

Is tax declaration a proof of ownership?

A tax declaration is not a conclusive proof of land ownership. It just states that a land is declared at the city's assessor's office of where the land is located for the purpose of real property tax payment. Anyone can pay taxes. It is still important to ask for a copy of the Land title issued by the Register of Deeds.

A land title assures you that the property you are eyeing on is legitimately owned by the seller. Somebody could come out and claim ownership for the land you are purchasing.

How do I verify a Land Title?

You can request for a Certified True Copy in the Registry of Deeds to verify the land title presented to you. It is important to check necessary information such as the owner’s name, address, contact numbers and especially the signature contained in the papers and that they match with the ones your seller provided you.

As much as it is important to checkthe status and condition of the land you are purchasing, it is also vital to conduct a thorough research on the one who sells it. Purchase land only from registered and licensed Real Estate Brokers as it is much safer. In the event that your real estate agent, for some valid reason, isn’t available for a meet-up, he should have a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) to do transactions on his behalf.

Minimizing the Risks

Ideally, you should only purchase lands from legitimate real estate agents, but if it happens (but hopefully not)that your only option is to buy untitled lands, here are some tips to minimize risk of loss in your investment.

(Video) Online Tracking of Land Title Applications Register of Deeds | Paano verify Titulo ng Lupa

Inspect the Property

Never, and I mean, never, purchase any land of this type of property without seeing and inspecting it first hand. Photographs could be reliable sources but this doesn't mean that you should be complacent in your transactions. Remember that it's your hard earned money we are talking about!

Another good thing to do is ask around the neighborhood the history of the lot-- who are the owners, the heirs, if anyone had occupied the property, and so on.

Check the Property Tax Map

A property tax map, which can be acquired from the Assessor's Office will show you important details-- size, shape, boundaries, owner--of the property.

If the description of the land in the property tax map doesn't match with what your seller is telling you, consider it as a huge red flag.

Trace Ownership

Tracing ownership of an untitled property is surely a tedious job. In order for you to assess the chain of ownership, you need to contact the owners stated in the property tax map and ask them the following documents:

If you are still having second thoughts about the land you are purchasing, it’s best to get a lawyer to enlighten you of any queries and guide you through the whole process of the purchase.

Looking for an affordable property? Contact us today

A lot of Filipinos dream of owning their first apartment or house and lot. With today's booming real estate opportunities, there are so many options to choose from.

Here at Vistaland International, we have a roster of affordable property listings from several locations across the country. Whether you're looking for a place to live in Manila, Cebu, Davao and etc, we've got you covered. So contact our real estate agents today!

Vistaland International was primarily created to bring OFW closer to their dream of finally acquiring a home in the Philippines. And with the rising cost of living in the country, OFWs and their families are looking for ways to earn extra cash flow to support their daily needs. Luckily, you can also join the global network of Vistaland International as a real estate professional and earn a commission!

Vistaland International Marketing, Inc. (VIMI) is the international marketing division of Vista Land. Aiming to provide OFWs and migrant Filipinos a home in the Philippines, VIMI has established long-lasting relationships with brokers and clients around the world.

Get started with your property investments! Contact us today and follow our social media accounts: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.



How do I prove ownership of land in the Philippines? ›

Ownership of registered land is evidenced by either an original or transfer certificate of title issued by the relevant register of deeds. Ownership of a condominium unit is evidenced by a condominium certificate of title.

How do you verify ownership of the property being claimed? ›

Go to the registry of Deeds and then request for CTC

And also check whether the property's title number and the name of the owner are accurate before visiting the Registry of Deeds.

How do I verify a land title? ›

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  2. PAY SEARCH FEE. ...

How do I find out who owns a piece of land? ›

The best way to find out who owns a specific piece of land is to do a search on the Land Registry website. You can use their map search to pinpoint the land you are interested in and download plans and title deeds for a small fee.

Is deed of sale proof of land ownership Philippines? ›

For the buyer the Deed of Sale serves as proof that he / she bought the property from the seller and owns the same. The buyer can also enforce any warranties contained in the Deed of Sale if there is any defect in the product or problems with the sale in general.

How do I search a property title in the Philippines? ›

The first thing you need to do is go to the website of the Philippine Land Registration Authority (LRA). Once there, you will need to create an account and log in. Once you are logged in, you can search for your land title by your name or the property address. If you find your land title, you can view it online.

How do I check if my lot title is clean in the Philippines? ›

Checking with the local Registry of Deeds (RD) is the best technique to verify the legitimacy of a title. In the Philippines, each city or province has its own RD, which holds the original titles to all registered lands under its jurisdiction.

Do title deeds prove ownership? ›

Title deeds are a series of documents which prove the ownership of a property and the history of its ownership. They will include documents which cover mortgages, lease information, contracts as well as any wills or conveyancing.

Can land search be done online? ›

Steps to be taken to perform an online land search;

Navigate to the Ministry of Land and physical planning and select the land search option. Input the title number and complete the online land search form.

Can land be sold without title? ›

The answer is YES. However, the property owner needs to process the re-issuance or reconstitution of the owner's lost land title.

How can I tell if a title is real? ›

There are five places you can go to if you want to verify the authenticity of property titles.
  1. Registry of Deeds. ...
  2. Municipal or City Assessor's & Treasurer's Offices. ...
  3. Land Registration Authority (LRA) ...
  4. Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB)
Jul 12, 2016

Can you claim land after 10 years? ›

Adverse Possession means someone occupying land belonging to someone else, without permission. If someone does this continuously for a number of years (normally 10 or 12 years) then, in certain circumstances, the land may become theirs.

Can you view title deeds online? ›

Lets get right to the point – there is no way of viewing house deeds for free, online or otherwise. So if you need to a copy of a property's deeds, there will always be a fee to pay.

Can you see Land Registry for free? ›

A title summary from land registry includes the name of the property owner, the price paid, the tenure (freehold or leasehold) and any mortgage lenders name and address. You can use this service to check some of this information for free, including the price paid and tenure of the property.

What happens if deed of sale is not notarized? ›

In affirming the lower courts' decisions, the Supreme Court held that the absence of notarization of a deed of sale merely reduces the evidentiary value of a document to that of a private document, which requires proof of its due execution and authenticity to be admissible as evidence.

Is tax declaration a proof of ownership in the Philippines? ›

Is tax declaration a proof of ownership? A tax declaration is not a conclusive proof of land ownership. It just states that a land is declared at the city's assessor's office of where the land is located for the purpose of real property tax payment.

How much does it cost to transfer property deeds in the Philippines? ›

Average Title transfer service fee is ₱20,000 for properties within Metro Manila and ₱30,000 for properties outside of Metro Manila. The rate typically includes payment for the food & gas of the person doing the transferring.

How long before you can claim ownership of land in the Philippines? ›

Minimum time requirements – Before any adverse possession application can be considered you must have been using (or in possession of the land) for at least ten years.

How can you tell a fake land title in the Philippines? ›

The serial number label (SN No.) should be in red color, while the digits should be in black for the owner's duplicate. The last two digits of the page number in the upper right hand side should correspond to the last two digits of the TCT number. The red/blue border should be slightly embossed and not flatly printed.

How long does it take to get a land title in the Philippines? ›

Transferring the land title from the owner to the buyer usually takes at least three to four months. Given that you need to go to different agencies like the BIR, Registry of Deeds, Treasurer's Office, and Assessor's Office, just to transfer the land title document under your name.

How do you know if a title is not fake? ›

Check the Title and Seal. The duplicate copy should have the words OWNER'S DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE on the left side margin of the judicial form. There should also be a red seal—which should not blot or stain when wet—affixed on the lower left corner of the form. The original copy does not contain either of these feature.

Can you get a copy of land title in the Philippines? ›

In the Philippines, if you have lost your Land Title you will need to go to court to get a new copy. The Lost Title process in the Philippines requires a court case before a replacement can be issued to you.

Can I buying a lot without title Philippines? ›

Yes, you can, but it comes with high risks. It puts your property at risk if you buy it from someone who doesn't own it legally. There is also the possibility of a double sale or a situation in which the property is sold to two or more different individuals.

How do I get a certificate of ownership Philippines? ›

  1. Filled-out Online Application Form or Letter of Application/Intent.
  2. Authenticated copy of ownership to the Land Original Land Title, Transfer Certificate of Title, Certificate of Land Ownership Award or Tax Declaration of Untitled Alienable and Disposable (A&D) Lands.
  3. Certification from the Barangay Captain.
Jun 30, 2016

How do I know if my land title is original? ›

  1. Make a written Request for a search addressed to the Commissioner, Land. Registration giving the description of the Land:
  2. The application is presented to the Office of Commissioner Land Registration. ...
  3. The bearer pays that amount in the bank and obtains a receipt that is presented to the Land Office. ...
  4. 7096 Kampala, Uganda.

Is TCT proof of ownership? ›

A TCT is a document that proves ownership of a particular property. It is issued by the Registry of Deeds after the registration of the sale, donation, or transfer of ownership of the property.

Who keeps original title deeds? ›

Where the title deed is kept depends mainly on whether there is a bond on the property or not. If there is a bond, the deed will be kept by the finance lender or bank, until the bond is paid off. If there is no bond, or the bond has been paid off in full, the deed is held by the property owner.

Do I need original title deeds to sell my property? ›

No, it is not a legal requirement to have an original copy of your title deeds. As mentioned above, since 1990, HM Land Registry have been legally required to have a copy of every registered property's title deeds. This digital version of your title deeds is what is now commonly used when property is bought or sold.

Can you sell a property without title deeds? ›

So, can you sell a house without the deeds? In short, yes; selling a property without the original sale deed is possible.

How much is a land search fee? ›

One is required to pay a fee of Ksh 500 for the search; submit a duly filled search application (form RL 26) and attach the copy title document. The land search at Lands office takes an average of 3 days.

How much does a land search cost? ›

The fee for processing a standard search CON29 is £104 inclusive of VAT. The fee for processing the CON29 Optional enquiries is £15 per question inclusive of VAT. Prices are subject to review in the light of further government guidance or regulation.

What is required for a land search? ›

You just need to visit the nearest Land Offices in your County or Sub County. Once there, you will be issued with a land search form (form RL 26) to fill and submit. Ensure you attach a copy of the land title in question and the other documents (PIN and ID copy).

How much does it cost to title a land in the Philippines? ›

The registration charge is 0.25 percent of the selling price, zone value, or fair market value, whichever is higher. The selling price, zonal value, or fair market value, whichever is larger, is taxed at 0.5 percent (in the provinces) or 0.75 percent (in Metro Manila).

How long is an unregistered Deed of sale valid in the Philippines? ›

Unregistered Sale Agreement is enforceable in Law, and any shortage of stamp charges can be paid through the Court's order. Such an agreement will be valid for three years from the execution date.

How to transfer land title if owner is deceased in the Philippines? ›

The first step is to obtain a copy of the death certificate and the will if there is one. Then, you'll need to go to the local assessor's office to get a tax declaration for the property. Once you have these documents, you can then go to the registry of deeds and register the property in your name.

What is the color of original land title Philippines? ›

If it's an Original Certificate of Title (OCT), it should indicate “Judicial Form No. 108-D” at the top. The serial number label (SN No.) should be in red color, while the digits should be in black for the owner's duplicate.

What are the types of land titles in the Philippines? ›

There are two kinds, namely:
  • Original Certificate of Title (OCT), which is issued for newly titled land; and.
  • Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), which is issued in case of mere transfer of previously titled land.
Jun 1, 2022

How much is certified true copy of land title? ›

Normally, the price per copy runs about P270 for the first three pages as of the date of this writing. Additional fees will incur if there are more than three pages or if the place where one filed his request is in a different branch where the property is situated.

Where can I get certified true copy of land title Philippines? ›

If you are not familiar with where and how you can request a certified true copy of title, one can file a request for such copy in their local Register (sometimes referred to as Registry) of Deeds or in the Land Registration Authority (LRA) Central Office located in East Avenue corner NIA Road, Quezon City.

How do you prove ownership of unregistered land? ›

If land is unregistered the only proof of ownership is the original deeds. These include the documents which have recorded all past dealings of the land for a period of at least 15 years. A buyer's conveyancer will require copies of these documents in order to check the title on behalf of their client.

Is it OK to buy land with tax declaration only in Philippines? ›

Can you purchase a property with the seller possessing only a tax declaration? Yes, you can, but it comes with high risks. It puts your property at risk if you buy it from someone who doesn't own it legally.

What are the proof of ownership? ›

Proof of account ownership is an official letter from a bank or other financial institution stating that your bank account is registered in your name, along with the relevant banking information.

How much does it cost to transfer land title in Philippines? ›

Average Title transfer service fee is ₱20,000 for properties within Metro Manila and ₱30,000 for properties outside of Metro Manila. The rate typically includes payment for the food & gas of the person doing the transferring.

What is legal proof of ownership? ›

1. Sale Deed. This is the primary legal paper that makes you the owner of the property you are buying. Therefore, you need to prepare the original copy of this paper and submit the same in the sub registrar's office of your locality when you formally register the property.

How much is the certified true copy of title in the Philippines? ›

6. How much do I pay for my CTC request?
Certified True Copy (Number of Pages)Total Fees (inclusive of IT Service fees and Network Transmission Fees)
2 pagesPhp 644.97
3 pagesPhp 683.16
4 pagesPhp 721.35
*Additional fee per pagePhp 38.19

Can anyone request for certified true copy of land title? ›

The eSerbisyo Portal (the “Portal”) is an online System that can be accessed by the LRA Clients anytime and anywhere in the world. This Portal is made available to the public for the purpose of requesting for Certified True Copy (“CTC”) of titles in the custody of the various Registries of Deeds.

Can a property be sold if not registered? ›

If you are looking to sell your property which is currently unregistered, you will need to produce your original deeds which prove your ownership. These can sometimes be held by lenders if the property has ever been subject to a mortgage.

What happens if a piece of land is not registered? ›

If the property is unregistered, no information will be held about the property, including who the owner of the land is. When it comes to unregistered land, the owner must demonstrate their ownership of the property through what is called a 'root of title'.

How do you register a land without title in the Philippines? ›

If you own land and do not have a Registered Title you can make an application to the Registrar of Titles to have the land registered. To apply to register your land the following documents must be submitted: An Application form prescribed by the Registration of Titles Act and signed by the applicant.


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4. How can I check my land title in the Philippines?
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6. Guide #3: How to Check or Verify Titles in the Philippines
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