There are probably as many condominiums 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 condominium
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, there are still some issues that keep prospective condominium buyers and owners on the fence. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns is whether or not they are given a title upon purchasing a unit.
For starters, there are two types of title 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 a land that may or may not contain any structure on it. In short, TCT refers to the ownership of the land space along with the air space within it. This type of title also shows the previous TCTs that were legally cancelled because of change in ownership or title transfer.
Meanwhile, the second type of title is the Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT). It is the document that certifies the ownership of a condominium 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 TCT and the CCT is that the latter only covers the air space (unit number of a specific floor in the condominium). Hence, condominium unit owners are given a CCT and developers have TCT .
Owning a CCT 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 availability of amenities. The unit owner is also obliged to pay for the insurance and realty tax for their unit, 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 condominium unit gives its owner a title? The short answer is yes. After complying with the requirements in purchasing and upon the turnover of 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 Condominium Certificate of Title is a documented proof of a person’s ownership over a condominium 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 condominium ownership in the Philippines: the leasehold and the freehold ownership. Contrary to the popular myth that a condominium ownership only lasts 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 the perpetual ownership is a better choice, since it enables the owner to have full control and ownership over the property. 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 make a decision.