Have you just discovered that your land title was destroyed or damaged by a natural occurring calamity like flood, or accidently burnt when the house has caught fire or consumed by insects while hidden in a cupboard?
Don’t fret. Damaged and lost land titles can be replaced and reproduced respectively. However, the whole process may not be that easy. Replacing a destroyed or lost title is as important as protecting your investment. The world is rife with deceitful individuals who are ready to siphon money or resources from you, and perhaps, later you’ll discover that your property is being transferred to someone else’s name without your prior knowledge. Thus, it is essential to know the important measures on how to take replacement of land titles legally. It is also a common scenario when someone else fakes the document and asserts that the person is the legitimate owner of the property.
Two Ways to Replaced Damaged Titles
To replace a damaged or lost land title mostly involves reconstitution of certificate of title. To wit, this can be judicial or administrative in nature:
1) In judicial method, it involves filing a petition in the Regional Trial Court and shall declare that the title has been lost or destroyed. The judicial method necessitates declaration of the following information:
– location of the real property
– boundaries of the real property
– names of all persons who have a claim
– statement of claims
– a statement that no other instruments affect the property
– notice of petition (supported by further documents)
2) In the administrative method, the owner of the title files for a petition with the Register of Deeds. However, this option is only available if there is substantial evidence of the destruction and loss of the title as determined by the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority. Using the administrative mode, it is a MUST requirement that the owner should present a duplicate copy of the certificate of the title.
How to Protect Land Titles from Force Majeure
If you are living in a fire-prone zone or receiving frequent flood alerts lately, then it is best and wise to secure your land titles. To do this:
- Keep the land title in a safe and secure place in the form of a fire-proof safe, waterproof chest or a vault.
- Consider an off-site backup by keeping the land title in a safety deposit box in a bank.
- Convert a physical land title into an electronic title (etitle) through the Land Registration Authority’s Voluntary Standardization Program.