How to get a Land Title in the Philippines?
If your property is untitled land or you aren’t sure if it was titled, then you must get whatever property documents exist before starting the land titling process.
These property documents are required documents – you must have them if you want to title the land.
The property documents require you to personally go to:
- The City/Municipal Tax Assessor’s
- The Registry of Deeds
- The DENR/DAR or other Land Registry Office, if there is no land title.
I’ll explain why a land title is important, what to expect when you go and what likely the land titling process would be after you get the documents, and try to prepare you for getting a land title in the Philippines.
What documents are required when getting a land title in the Philippines?
The following documents are required when getting a land title in the Philippines:
- Tax Declarations or an official document from the City Assessors explaining the tax status
- The CTC of the land title in the Philippines from the Registry of Deeds or an official document from the Registry of Deeds explaining the land title status
- If the Registry of Deeds says that there is no land title, you will need to go to the DENR to get the cadastral map
- Depending on the land status, you might have to go to the DAR or other Land Registry Bodies.
Other documents that are needed for land titling:
- If the land was sold/donated to you, you will need the:
- Notarized Deed of Sale/Contract to Sell/Deed of Donation
- Proof of payment.
- Proof of registration at the BIR and
- Proof that the BIR transfer taxes were paid
- Original Land Title with the name of the owner on it
- If the owner is deceased, you will also need all the requirements for the item.
- If the land was inherited and without a will, you will need a:
- Notarized Extrajudicial Settlement signed by all intestate heirs or a Deed of Sole Adjudication if there is only one heir
- PSA birth, death and marriage certificates of the deceased and his heirs and valid IDs
- Note all the information must be accurate and names correctly spelled.
These property documents are needed when trying to get a land title in the Philippines.
And you need to get them first to even figure out which titling process to do to transfer the document in your name.
You will not know which process to do without these documents, since there are different ways to get a land title in the Philippines depending on the documents that you actually have.
Every lawyer will ask for these documents before he starts to title.
Every paralegal will need these documents to help.
Furthermore, the government will ask you for these documents when you start the formal titling process.
So, must get the property documents for any titling process that you do.
Why do I need a Land Title?
You might take a look at all the requirements and start to realize that it is a lot of work – and then decide that you don’t need a Land Title.
Only a land title in your name ensures that you are recognized as the owner by the government.
Only with a land title in your name can you:
- Your heirs transfer the properties to their names with minimal effort
- You mortgage the property or with a bank
- You claim ownership of all the property proceeds and defend your ownership in court.
A tax declaration with your name does not prove that you are the owner. It is just a supporting document.
A contract does not prove that you are the owner. It just shows that you have an agreement with the owner.
ONLY A LAND TITLE with your name on it proves you are the owner.
Can I get a Land Title Online?
You will not be able to get all the Land Title documents online.
You will need to physically go to each of the government agencies for most of the documents.
Online options are limited.
Also expect a few things regarding getting property documents:
- It is manual, so expect to spend a lot of time and effort going back and forth.
- It is bureaucratic, so officers can be strict regarding the process and documents
- It is not centralized, so you will need to go to the local agencies, then the regional agencies instead of finding all the documents in one central agency.
Because the system is manual and bureaucratic, fragmented and disorganized, you will spend a lot of time at government agencies and months on the process.
How much does cost to get the Land Title documents required for the titling process?
The cost to get the land title documents required for the titling process are minimal, with the exception of the transfer and estate taxes at the BIR.
But you will only pay for the transfer and estate taxes in certain situations:
- Transfer taxes only need to be paid when you bought the property or when the property was donated to you.
- Estate taxes only need to be paid when the owner of the property is deceased and you are transferring it to the new heirs.
The cost of each of these taxes is 6% of the property cost.
So, if your property costs 10 Million, you will need to 6% of that or 600,000 (there are some deductions for estate taxes, so it may be less).
That is a lot of money.
The client often rethink whether or not they can really get a land title in the Philippines in their name when faced with this cost, but remember:
Without the land title, you are not the owner of the land.
The cost of the other Land Title requirements is not too much, but it is the time spent going back and forth is the real cost.
For example –
I paid 2,685 pesos for transportation and DENR fees for several trips to the DENIR
However, the real cost was the cost of time and effort.
We spent three months going to the DENR offices.
We were looking for the cadastral map of an untitled property for a client. We had been hired because she wanted to spare herself the effort of going back and forth and because she knew it was complicated to get property documents.
We had to go back to the regional and local DENR offices 6 times to submit different documents. We also had to go back because they wanted lots of other documents (that were not on the usual list).
We got the document at last – but it was 6 trips plus at least 2 days spread out over three months just coordinating the other documents needed.
And that was just to get the DENR requirement – getting a land title itself for this property took much longer.
All in all, it was a lot of work.
So, factor in the days off from work that you will take as well as the document cost when you attempt the land titling process.
How do I get a land title after I finish getting the documents?
To get the land title after you get all the documents, you are going to need to go to the Registry of Deeds to get a title to the land.
- You will need to bring the conveyance document to the Registry of Deeds along with the other documentary requirements.
- You will need to pay the titling process fee.
- Your documents will be assessed.
- If the documents are complete, the RD will approve this and issue a land title with your name on it.
As you can see, the process to actually title land in the Philippines is quite easy.
It is getting the land title documents that are difficult and that ends up costing a lot of money.
It can also be complicated if you do not know the system and understandably confusing.
It is why some lawyers and paralegals specialize in land issues – it takes time to understand how the system works and it takes experience to know what applies to a specific land titling situation.
In any situation where you want to get a land title but do not know any property documents or any property knowledge, always expect that the first step is to get the land title documents.
Any investigation would start with physical visits of you or your authorized representative to the below government offices:
- Tax Assessors Office
- Registry of Deeds
- DENR (other offices such as the DAR may be needed)
When you get the documents at these offices, then you will be in a good position to determine the correct land title process to follow – an EJS perhaps with the deed of sale or another process more appropriate to your situation.
We do offer these services, as well, should you wish a paralegal to investigate for you.