One of the essential things that you should do when buying a NUVALI house and lot for sale or any other place is to check land titles thoroughly. And while you should always check land titles with the help of a lawyer, you can begin the process by doing some preliminary sleuthing by yourself.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check the authenticity of your land title.
1. Check the physical attributes of the land title
A quick look at your land title can already give you clues if it is genuine or not.
For one, the paper where your land title is printed comes exclusively from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, so it doesn’t look like regular copy paper. It is made of 50% cotton and 50% chemical wood pulp with colored fibers, with a texture similar to a bank check. The fibers should shine slightly when you hold up the paper against UV light.
If you look closely, you should see tiny fibers and dots on the paper. There should also be watermarks that say “LRA” when you hold it up to the light, representing the initials of the Land Registration Association.
Old land titles should have a light yellow color, while e-titles should come in a shade of pale straw. The red and blue border around the land title should be slightly embossed and not flatly printed.
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2. Check the land title’s contents
Your seller’s copy of the land title should contain a marking that says, “Owner’s Duplicate Copy,” on the left side. It should also include a dark red seal on the lower left-hand portion.
If you’re holding the Original Certificate of Title (OCT), you will see “Judicial Form No. 108-D” printed on top. If it’s a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), it should say, “Judicial Form No. 109-D” instead.
The serial number should be in red on the original title and black on the owner’s duplicate. The last two digits of the title number should also be the same as the page number found in the upper right portion.
As for the signatories, the OCT should have two signatures – one from the Administrator and one from the Registrar. TCTs only need one signature from the Registrar.
3. Verify the contents of the land title
There are three things that you should verify – the land area, location, and ownership.
A land area survey ensures that the actual property matches the area indicated in the title. You can ask a geodetic engineer to do this for you.
You should also confirm if the location is correct, as well as the land ownership history. The name of the previous owner should match other documents, such as survey plans and tax declarations.
4. Verify land title authenticity by visiting government agencies.
The most important government agency to visit is the Registry of Deeds. With the owner’s duplicate copy in tow, request for a Certified True Copy of your land title and check if the two documents match. The LRA is another agency that allows you to trace the property’s history.
You can also visit the City Assessor’s and Treasurer’s Offices to check your property’s technical description and records for tax payments, arrears, and other delinquencies.
If you’re buying a NUVALI house and lot, a visit to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board can show you if the development is registered and licensed. You can also visit the Bases Conversion and Development Authority to check the origin of the land title in a former military base like Fort Bonifacio in Taguig.
Ensuring that your land title is authentic can help you avoid any fraudulent transactions or legal mishaps in the future. The prudent act of checking land titles safeguards your hard-earned money when investing in a NUVALI house and lot for sale.
For a quick guide of checking land titles, see the infographic below:
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