Limitations of property ownership

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By Roberto A. Capili

Real Estate Updates

Sunday, December 16, 2012


WE HAVE discussed earlier what ownership in real estate consists of, its types and features. While the State allows its citizens to enjoy ownership of real property, such right or privilege granted however, it not absolute. This means that each property owner surrenders some rights to the State under certain situations or instances demanded by statutes and regulations for the greater good of the majority.

The State or statutory laws regulates, restricts or limits such rights or privileges. The legal definition of Land or property implies complete ownership of Land and everything attached to it, under it and over it. Legal title to Land in fact does not convey absolute fee simple title to real property and the unrestricted exercise of the entire “BUNDLE OF RIGHTS.” There are limitations or restrictions to property ownership which are classified as follows:

General or constitutional limitations (Powers exercised by the State or government)

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1. The Police Power – the right of the State to regulate and restrict property rights for common good or welfare. The government retains the right to regulate property for promoting the public’s safety, health, morals and general welfare. Zoning regulations or ordinances, building codes, traffic regulations and sanitary laws are based upon the Police Power of government.

2. The Power of Eminent Domain – this is the right reserved by government to take by condemnation/expropriation private property for public use/benefit upon payment of just compensation. There is an apparent trend toward a broader interpretation of these rights and powers of government as the concept of what constitute public use or benefit broadens. Eminent Domain refers to the right while Expropriation refers to the procedures or process of applying such power.

3. Power of Taxation – power of the State to impose and collect compulsory contributions and other charges on real estate for government revenues; the government exercises rights on property taxation to raise funds/money for operations and services that protect or otherwise benefit the citizenry. In other words, it is the power of the State to impose a burden or levy to raise income or revenue to defray necessary governmental expenses for a public purpose.

4. Power of Escheat – the reversion or automatic conveyance of real property to the State upon the owner’s death due to the absence of a will, heirs or other legal claimants to the title, or when the owner fails to pay the real estate taxes.

Legal or statutory limitations

1. Zoning – refers to use restrictions in a particular area(s) or the delineation of allowable uses in specific area(s).

2. Subdivision Regulations – the requirements which must be complied with in subdivision projects, such as open spaces, development specifications and completion and delivery of the project to home or property owners.

3. Building Code – regulations pertaining to height, setback, material specifications and other structural requirements and compliance.

4. Rent Control Law (originally under Presidential Decree No. 877 implemented on July 1, 1985 and the latest amendment under Republic Act No. 9653 approved on July 14, 2009)

5. Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (Republic Act No. 6657 implemented in 1988)

6. Urban Land Reform Law (Presidential Decree No. 1517)

Contractual or voluntary limitations

Those limitations imposed by the owner or by agreement with others. These could take the form or applied in these instances: Lease Contracts or Agreements; Right of Way Easement (Servitude) – the right given to an owner of an adjoining land to pass or have access thru another land; Usufruct – the conveyance of right to enjoy the fruits of the property and Use Restrictions in Subdivision Contracts.

Limitations imposed by the grantor or donor. Example: the donor in the conditions imposed on the Deed of Donation may prohibit the donee from partitioning the property within a period of fifteen (15) years.

When owning a property therefore, make sure that you are also aware of these limitations and restrictions imposed by the government on the rights and privileges on property ownership.

FLASH NEWS!!! The scheduled Real Estate Brokers Exams in March 2013 could be the last licensure exams to be conducted before the Real Estate Course requirement could be in effect!

SCORE EXPONENT TRAINING CENTER in partnership with PHILRES–Baguio City Chapter will conduct a JOINT COMPREHENSIVE REAL ESTATE BROKERS SEMINAR AND TRAINING (CREBSAT) starting on December 8, 2012 and weekends of January and February 2013. Registration is still going on and a special “Catch-Up Program” is offered for late enrollees.

For more details get in touch with us at: Unit 306 3/F Antipolo Bldg, Session Road, B.C. (atop Tea House)/ Tel No. (074) 427-1971/ Mobile Phone Nos. 09109302753 / 09384474133 / 09188198168 / 09175072275 / 09178088049.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 17, 2012.

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