A property developer is required to get different permits and documents before they can offer any of their real estate project to the public. One important permit that needs to be secured is a License to Sell. This is a home buyer’s assurance that he or she will get their dream home.
However, most people neglect to double check this information or are unfamiliar on how to verify this.
Here’s what you need to know about the License to Sell in the Philippines, and why you should make sure your developer has it:
1. What is a License to Sell?
A License to Sell (LTS) is a certification obtained by a property developer from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). The Presidential Decree No. 957 under Section 5 declares:
Such owner or dealer to whom has been issued a registration certificate shall not, however, be authorized to sell any subdivision lot or condominium unit in the registered project unless he shall have first obtained a license to sell the project within two weeks from the registration of such project.
It is a proof that the developer has a legitimate business and is financially stable to complete the project that they are selling. This is one way of ensuring that the property’s building plans and specifications have met the standard of the agency, plus that it is a genuine one.
2. Why is it important for check the License to Sell before buying a property?
Checking for the License to Sell is a crucial part of any home buyer’s due diligence. To avoid problems in the future, it is necessary to verify that the developer is approved by HLURB to sell their project. This is for you to know that they are capable of delivering a quality development.
Indeed, a real estate property is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make in your lifetime so you must go beyond the brochure and delve deeper before you settle for a condominium or a house.
3. When should you check for the License to Sell?
Make sure to first check for the developer’s License to Sell as you go house hunting and look for the information about your potential selection. Don’t fall for the pretty façade or fancy artists’ rendition of the property. What good will it do to finally come across your dream home, only to find out the developer doesn’t have a License to Sell?
4. How do you verify if the License to Sell of a property developer is legitimate?
Homebuyers can visit the nearest Regional Office of the HLURB which has jurisdiction of the place where the property is located. They can also verify this online for the list of projects that have an authentic License to Sell or Certificate of Registration, and even those which may have any encumbrances.
Find out the important regional numbers in HLURB’s website.
5. Who issues the License to Sell?
The License to Sell is issued by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. This is the government agency mandated to formulate plans for comprehensive land use, regulate housing or land developments and homeowners’ associations, and serve as an intermediary for disputes.
6. What is the purpose of a Temporary License to Sell?
The Temporary License to Sell (TLTS) is issued by HLURB to property developers to allow property developers to conduct marketing activities to test if the market is viable to their project. This is valid only for six months. If the project is deemed successful, then the developer must submit a Building Permit for its construction.
7. What happens if you purchase a property that does not have a license to sell?
You may choose to cancel the contract and demand for a refund or proceed with the sale. The sale is still valid, but the developer will need to pay the penalties.
Be a Smarter Home Buyer
Prevention is better than facing legal problems in the future. Make sure you have verified the property developer’s License to Sell, especially if you are planning to buy a pre-selling property. You don’t want to fall victim to a real estate scam, and lose all your hard-earned money on a fake land title.
Recently, the HLURB released Board Resolution No. 922 to further protect homebuyers. It requires developers to get approval from the HLURB before they can release an advertisement. The objective states:
[It] aims to ensure that the public and prospective buyers of any lot including any building or improvements thereon, or any unit in a project are protected from fraudulent practices and manipulations through close supervision and regulation of persons engaged in the practice of real estate service with a project.
Do you know property developers selling condominiums, yet don’t have LTS? Help others be a smart home buyer and share your information in the comment box below.