Do Foreigners Have Right to Own Properties in Philippines?

With picturesque beauty, warm tropical climate and amazing investment opportunities Philippines is becoming the most sought after place to buy and own properties. Not just national but even foreigners are getting lured by the amazing perks that come along with owning a property in Philippines. Whether they have the right or not is what we are going to talk about. The answer is yes foreigners can own real estate property in the Philippines. They however do not have the right to buy and own land. Foreign ownership in the country is subject to certain rules and restrictions.

There are certain conditions that that govern the buying and acquisition of real estate property by foreigners in the Philippines.

  1. The property must be acquired by the foreigner under the 1935 Constitution.
  2. A foreigner can inherit real property acquired under 1935 Philippine Constitution through hereditary succession.
  3. A foreigner can own a property if it was bought by the owner when he or she was a natural born Filipino. It is still subject to restrictions by law.
  4. If a person is a former Philippine citizen then he or she can own up to 1,000 square meters of rural land for residential purpose according to Batas Pambansa Bilang 185. The area must not exceed 1 hectare.

If you are a married couple then both of you can own separate or combined lands provided the total area of your ownership doesn’t exceed maximum permissible limit.

A person who is a Filipino but marries a foreigner can also own land in Philippines as long as he or she retains the citizenship. There are no restrictions to the amount of land he or she can own.

  1. There is a law that states that if a person who was originally a Filipino but lost his citizenship can because of naturalization regain it provided he swears his allegiance to Philippines again. As soon as he becomes the citizen of Philippines he can own land without any restrictions in Philippines.
  2. A foreigner has the right to own houses or buildings. He or she can however by no means own the land on which the house or the building has been built. They can lease Philippine land over a long term contract that lasts for 50 years. After that time period ends the lease can be renewed in an interval of every 25 years.
  3. Not more than 40% of the units of a condominium project.

Philippines is a beautiful country and almost everyone who sees advantages of owning Philippine land wants to go ahead with it. Strict Philippine laws however make it difficult for foreign nationals to invest and buy here. Whether or not these strict laws should be revoked and owning property by foreigners should be a more flexible process has been a matter of debate for a long time. Philippine laws lay stress on how the land of Philippines is a matter of national patrimony.