Right to a Clean Title
The buyer of a subdivision lot or condominium unit shall have a right to a clean title of said lot or unit upon the full payment of the purchase price. If the lot or unit is mortgaged, the owner/developer shall redeem the mortgage within six months from full payment so that the title could be delivered to the buyer. The only fee collectible from the buyer is the registration fee for the deed of sale in the Registry of Deeds.
Realty taxes can be assessed on the buyer if he has actually taken possession and occupied the lot or unit prior to the transfer of the title in his name.
These are so provided under Sections 25 and 26 of PD 957, Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree, thus:
“SECTION 25. Issuance of Title. – The owner or developer shall deliver the title of the lot or unit to the buyer upon full payment of the lot or unit. No fees, except those required for the registration of the deed of sale in the Registry of Deeds, shall be collected for the issuance of such title. In the event a mortgage over the lot or unit is outstanding at the time of the issuance of the title to the buyer, the owner or developer shall redeem the mortgage or the corresponding portion thereof within six months from such issuance in order that the title over any fully paid lot or unit may be secured and delivered to the buyer in accordance herewith.
“SECTION 26. Realty Tax. – Real estate tax and assessment on a lot or unit shall be paid by the owner or developer without recourse to the buyer for as long as the title has not passed to the buyer; Provided, however, that if the buyer has actually taken possession of and occupied the lot or unit, he shall be liable to the owner or developer for such tax and assessment effective the year following such taking of possession and occupancy.”
Non-Forfeiture of Payments
A buyer’s payment for a subdivision lot or condominium unit cannot be forfeited by the owner or developer when he desists paying on the ground that the project is not develop per approved plans and within the time limit for development. He must, however, notify the owner or developer of his decision to suspend payments.
The said buyer has the option to demand a refund of the total amount paid with legal interest. The total amount includes amortization interest but delinquency interest is excluded. Section 23 of PD 957 Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree provides, thus:
SECTION 23. Non-Forfeiture of Payments. – No installment payment made by a buyer in a subdivision or condominium project for the lot or unit he contracted to buy shall be forfeited in favor of the owner or developer when the buyer, after due notice to the owner or developer, desist from further payment due to the failure of the owner or developer to develop he subdivision or condominium project according to the approved plans and within the time limit for complying with the same. Such buyer, may at his option, be reimbursed the total amount paid including amortization interest but excluding delinquency interest, with interest thereon at the legal rate.
Failure to Pay Installments
In case the buyer fails to pay his installments for other reasons not attributable to the non-development of the project i.e. he failed to raise the needed money, he may avail of his rights under Republic Act 6552, Realty Installment Buyer Protection Act. This is so provided under Section 24 of PD 957, thus:
SECTION 24. Failure to Pay Installment. – The rights of the buyer in the event of his failure to pay the installment due for reason other than the failure of the owner or developer to develop the project shall be governed by Republic Act No. 6552.
Where the transaction or contract was entered into prior to the effectivity of Republic Act No. 6552 on August 26, 1972, the defaulting buyer shall be entitled to the corresponding refund based on the installments paid after the effectivity of the law in the absence of any provision in the contract to the contrary.