There are probably as many condos in Manila as there are skyscrapers. Because of their popularity with city dwellers, condos pop up like mushrooms everywhere, boasting convenience and utility. Unlike before, when people would save to buy dream houses, now people would lean more towards spending their earnings on these vertical living spaces.
Most young professionals prefer living in or investing in condo
units over residential properties because of the comfort and luxury that come with the former. They are often accessible and conveniently near places of work in the professional’s preferred city, and are generally a wise investment in the long run .
However, some issues still keep prospective condo buyers and owners on the fence. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns is whether or not they are given a Transfer Certificate of title upon purchasing a unit.
For starters, there are two types of titles in Philippine real estate. The first one is the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), also known as the Deed of Sale or Deed of Absolute Sale, which pertains to the title of land that may or may not contain any structure. In short, the Transfer Certificate of Title refers to the ownership of the land space along with the air space within it. This title also shows previous Transfer Certificate of Titles were legally canceled because of a change in ownership or title transfer.
Meanwhile, the second title type is the Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT). It is the document that certifies the ownership of a condo unit. Aside from the geophysical location of the unit, the CCT also covers the floor number, unit number, measurement, name and developer of the property, and the name of the owner of the unit.
The main difference between the Transfer Certificate of Title and the Condominium Certificate of Title is that the latter only covers the air space (unit number of a specific floor in the condo). Hence, condo unit owners are given a Condominium Certificate of Title and developers have a Transfer Certificate of Title .
Owning a Condominium Certificate of Title enhances the affordability of home ownership since the cost of building and land is divided. It also eliminates the struggle of daily maintenance, such as security, garbage, and other things, as well as the availability of amenities. The unit owner is also obliged to pay for insurance and realty tax, pay due assessments to fund maintenance and repair works, and share the insurance and realty tax on the common areas and the land .
So does buying a condo unit gives its owner a title? The short answer is yes. After complying with the requirements in purchasing and upon the turnover of the unit, the buyer must be given a set of documents, which should include their Condominium Certificate of Title that is clear of any previous lien, mortgages, or encumbrances .
The CCT is a documented proof of a person’s ownership over a condo unit, and is usually issued by the Land Registration Authority.  According to Land Registration Authority (LRA) , if the title is to be given to the owner for the first time, they must submit the following requirements:
If the agent or developer decides to transfer the title to the owner’s name, a Condominium Certificate of Title should also be given along with other documents. Usually, the new unit owners can get their title six months after the full payment .
In order to obtain a CCT, the owner must first know what kind of ownership their condo units possess. There are two kinds of condo ownership in the Philippines: the leasehold and freehold ownership. Contrary to the popular myth that condo ownership in the Philippines will only last for 50 years, leasehold ownership actually dictates that the owner can own the unit for 25 to 50 years, after which the owner may only prolong their stay at the unit through contract renewals . Meanwhile, freehold ownership lets the owner stay in their purchased unit for as long as they want ..
These two have their own pros and cons, but if the owner wants to have a title, the freehold or perpetual ownership is a better choice since it enables the owner to have complete control and ownership over the property in the Philippines. Freehold ownership is also more advisable since, in response to the issue at hand, it is the one that lets the owners have their own CCT. Usually, upon selling units, unit sellers often include in the unit’s brief if it’s under either leasehold or perpetual ownership, so make sure to check this before you decide to buy a condo in the Philippines.