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Types of Property Ownership in the Philippines
1. Freehold Land
Private freehold land is exclusively available only to Philippine nationals. Those that count as Philippine nationals include Filipino citizens, and corporations, partnerships or other juridical persons that are at least 60% Filipino-owned.
2. Leasehold Land
Leasehold corresponds to properties that may only be held for a given length of time. All public land may be owned by Filipino citizens on a leasehold tenure; however, private land may be leased by international corporations with certain restrictions.
RESTRICTIONS ON OVERSEAS OWNERSHIP OF LANDS
The 1987 Constitution generally reserves ownership of private land to Filipino citizens. To some extent however, overseas nationals and former Filipino citizens are allowed to own properties. Although there are some restrictions, owning real estate or land in the Philippines is not impossible. Unlike other countries where the only prerequisite is money, property ownership is confined to Filipino citizens, and corporations, partnerships or juridical persons with at least 60% Filipino interest. Dual citizens and former Filipino citizens are also accorded the right to own private lands subject to some limitations imposed by law.
Except in instances when land is inherited, overseas nationals are restricted from owning private lands. They are only allowed to lease private land for up to 50 years. This half-century period is only renewable once for a further 25 years at most.
In terms of condominium projects, the overseas ownership rule applies wherein overseas nationals can only own up to 40% of the entire project.
Overseas nationals can own condominiums under the principle of the 60%/40% rule. They may purchase up to 40% of the condominium and once the purchase is complete, their shares can entitle them to be a stockholder of a condominium corporation. Most condominiums in the country are usually vertical developments and high-rise buildings.
In addition, a Special Resident Retirement Visa (SRRV) is offered by the government to overseas nationals who wish to stay permanently or those who would like to frequently visit or stay for long periods in the country. Holders of an SRRV can also gain additional benefits aside from being allowed to buy a condominium property, lease a parcel of land or a house and lot. Information regarding other benefits of the SRRV is available on the Philippine Retirement Authority website.
Land can be leased by an overseas national or an international corporation on a long-term contract for an initial 50-year period and is renewable every 25 years thereafter. An overseas national can rent a lot and at the same time legally own the house on the rented land.
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