Magna Carta for homeowners

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By Roberto A. Capili

Real Estate Updates

Sunday, October 21, 2012


MANY people may not be aware, but there is now a Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Association by virtue of Republic Act (RA) 9904 effective the year 2011. The law came about to ensure the protection of homeowners and homeowners association’s rights which is manifested in many subdivisions and subdivision projects already existing and those which will come in the future.

As a policy, the State shall encourage, promote and respect nongovernmental, community based and the peoples’ right to form organizations and initiate the establishment of associations in serving their legitimate collective interests as the essence of our participatory democracy. Specifically, it is a policy of the State to:

1. Uphold rights of people to form associations;

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2. Recognize and promote the rights and roles of homeowner as individuals and as members of the society and of homeowners associations;

3. Make available resources and assistance that will help them fulfill their roles in serving the needs and interests of their communities; and

4. Complement the efforts of Local Government Units (LGU’s) in providing vital and basic services to their citizens, and in helping implement local and national government policies, programs, rules and ordinances for the development of the nation.

Under the Magna Carta For Homeowners Law (RA 9904), homeownership starts by:

1. Owning a lot in a subdivision/village;

2. Purchasing a lot in a subdivision/village;

3. Being awarded, or by being a usufructuary, or by legally occupying a unit, house, and/or lot in a government socialized or economic housing or relocation project and other urban estates; and

4. Being listed as a prospective beneficiary or awardee of ownership rights under the Community Mortgage Program (CMP), Land Tenurial Assistance Program (LTAP), and other similar programs.

Homeownership is terminated under these instances:

1. Through conveyance of the property by sale, assignment or donation; or

2. By any other legal transfer of ownership which shall automatically authorize the association to deny homeowner rights to the transferee.

It must be made clear that every homeowner has the right to enjoy the basic community services and facilities provided that the homeowner pays the necessary fees and other pertinent charges. On the other hand, every homeowner has the duty and responsibility to observe the rules and regulations embodied in their articles of incorporation and by-laws and other association directives.

A member is good standing shall have the right to:

1. Avail of and enjoy all basic community services and the use of common areas and facilities;

2. Inspect association books and records during office hours and to be provided upon request with annual reports, including financial statements;

3. Participate, vote and be eligible for any elective or appointive office of the association subject to the qualifications as provided for in the by-laws;

4. Demand and promptly receive deposits received by the association as soon as the condition for the deposit has been complied with or the period has expired;

5. Participate in association meetings, elections and referenda, as long as bona fide membership exists; and

6. Enjoy all other rights as may be provided in the by-laws of the association.

Apart from the abovementioned rights, a member shall have the following duties:

1. To pay membership fees, dues and special assessments;

2. To attend meetings of the association; and

3. To support and participate in projects and activities of the association.

Unless otherwise provided in the Contract to Sell, Deed of Sale, or other instruments of conveyance, or annotated in the title of the property, membership in the homeowners association is optional. As such, every homeowner shall be qualified to be a member of the association.

A lessee of a member with at least one (1) year contract may qualify to be a member upon the procurement of a written consent/authorization from the owner of the lot/housing unit. Until the written consent or authorization is revoked in writing, the owner of the lot/housing is deemed to have waived the rights of an association member except the right to inspect association books and records.

These are but few of the provisions and highlights of the recently passed Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Associations. We will be elaborating more of these in our future articles.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 22, 2012.

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