Real estate ownership rules (II)-A A +A
Monday, September 9, 2013
STEWARDSHIP Concept of Ownership
It is a legal document which holds that property ownership presupposes concomitant obligation to the State and the community, and that the property is supposed to be held by the individual only as trustee by people in general. As a mere trustee, the property owner must exercise his rights to the property not just for his own exclusive and selfish interest but for the good and general welfare of the nation as a whole. It carries the following features and characteristics:
1. “Ownership” carries with it a distinct social obligation. As stewards (or caretakers) of their lands, the owners are duty bound to use or utilize their properties in a manner that will promote not only their welfare and benefit but also of the State.
2. “Every citizen retains the right of private ownership.” However, when his landholdings exceed the requirements for his essential necessities or its utilization is not conducive to the general welfare, the State may exercise its authority to control or regulate such right.
3. The right of the citizen to own land continues to be guaranteed by the New Constitution. The guarantee extends to the exercise of the so-called “Bundle of Rights” or attributes which are inherent in ownership, subject only to the limitations or restrictions imposed by law or government regulations.
When the Owner is not entitled to Just Compensation
It is a rule in property ownership that when the State seizes any property, the owner shall be entitled to be justly compensation. Thus, when any property is condemned or seized by competent authority in the interest of health, safety or security, the owner thereof shall not be entitled to compensation, unless he can show proof that such condemnation or seizure is unjustified and arbitrary.
Extent of Property Ownership
The owner of a parcel of land is the owner of its surface (called “surface rights”) and of everything under it (called “subsurface or mineral rights”), and he can construct thereon any works, improvements or make any plantations or excavations which he may deem proper and appropriate, without detriment to servitudes (or easements or encumbrances imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of another immovable belonging to a different owner) and subject to special laws and ordinances. He cannot complain of the reasonable requirements of aerial navigation (called “air rights”), as this is a limitation or restriction to ownership, since ownership is not absolute.
Rule on Hidden Treasure
By “treasure” is understood, for legal purposes, any hidden and unknown deposit of money, jewelry or other precious objects, the lawful ownership of which does not appear. It is subject to the following rules:
1. Hidden treasures belongs to the owner of the land, building or other property on which it is found.
2. When the discovery is made on the property of another, or of the State or any of its subdivisions, and by chance, one-half (1/2) thereof shall be allowed to the finder. If the finder is a trespasser, he shall not be entitled to any share of the treasure.
3. If the things are found to be of interest to science and the arts, the State may acquire them at their just price, which shall be divided in conformity with the rule stated above.
Rights of Accession
It is the right of the owner of the owner to everything that is produced, incorporated or attached thereto naturally or physically; i.e., fruits, buildings and improvements, formation of land. It is not one of the modes of acquiring ownership, although our legal minds are of the opinion that “Accretion” (a kind of accession) is a mode of acquiring ownership.
Under our Civil Code, accession may refer to: 1) “natural fruits” which are the spontaneous products of the soil, and the young and other products of animals; 2) “industrial fruits” which are those produced by lands of any kind through cultivation or labor and 3) “civil fruits” which are the rents of buildings, the price of leases of lands and other property and the amount of perpetual or life annuities or other similar income.
The right which may affect immovable or real property which could either be: “Accession Industrial” in the case of building, planting or sowing and “Accession Natural” which may be in the form of alluvion, avulsion, change of river course and island formation.
Whatever happens, real estate ownership requires observance of the tenets wherein owners are mere “caretakers or custodians” of the property under their care. As caretakers, it must be exercised responsibly for after all, we shall leave behind these earthly things and pass them on for the next caretakers to do their part. (For questions, comments, inquiries, updates and more information, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 09, 2013.