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property tax liabilty on a new condo project- buyer or condo developer?

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Arresto Menor
i have been living in a new condo project for 3 years now. the developer has not made any efforts to transfer titles yet. nor has developer (yet) asked buyers to pay the property tax or informed us that we will pay.

i'm worried though that the developer will send me a property tax bill for the last 2 years. (they sent out an insurance bill 2 years after, so why not property tax bill too?)

is seems that per Presidential Decree 957, Section 26. Realty Tax, since i've moved in, even though Title has not transferred, i would be liable for the last 2 years of property taxes.

HOWEVER, the Master Deed for this condo explicitly states that the developer will remain the sole, exclusive owner of all units until ALL units are sold. not all units are sold yet.

would this clause in the Master Deed preclude P.D.957 sect 26?

also, this is a new condo project and no condo certificates/titles exist yet, so i don't see how the condo units can be individually assessed for taxes.

furthermore, a trip to the Register of Deeds revealed that Developer has not even annotated the land titles for condominium!!

my question is, who do you think is liable for property taxes for the last 3 years and going forward until developer sells out all units??

thanks for your time and consideration.


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i think the property tax is the least of your problems if the RD has no record that the condo exists. you should check with the HLURB also.

to my mind, i believe you should pay the realty tax but that's only due to equity considerations because you are already in possession of the property. you could not be made to pay because there might be no condo association which exists in the first place.

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Arresto Menor
thanks for your reply. but your answer leaves me with another questions.

when you wrote:
"you could not be made to pay because there might be no condo association which exists in the first place."

did you mean the condominium corporation or the Homeowners association? according to the audited financial statement, the condo corporation does exist. but to the best of my knowledge, there is no homeowners association yet.

how does the absence of either of these relate to the realty tax liability?

thanks again.

Last edited by ponapem on Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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let me go back,what is this master deed? it is not valid to state that the developer will remain to be the owner of all the units until all the units are sold.

but you can make this work for you. going back to the tax liability, if the company is claiming it is still the owner of your unit because not all units have been sold, then you can argue that they should still be the ones to pay the tax because they are still the owners.

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Arresto Menor
Just need an advice regarding po sa property tax. We purchase a condominium here in pasig. There are three three 5 floor condominium buildings. We are already living here for almost two years now. We still don't have the title yet. But three months ago the developer send us a letter regarding the property tax. Stating that we should pay our realty tax. They sent us the amount of property tax for all unit owners for each building. Each building has different amount of property tax to pay that I was surprise that all unit owners on our building has the most expensive tax.

The developer explained that it is because our building has a basement parking area but its not free because you have to purchase it. But this month they sent us new computation of the realty tax but the amount is not the same as our neighbor which we have a higher tax to pay.

My question is, when should we pay our property tax and how much should it be? Is the property tax different from each unit owner e en if you are on the same floor and building?

Hope you can help me and thank you so much

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Arresto Menor
johnsonpua wrote:Just need an advice regarding po sa property tax. ...

it's good that you don't blindly trust your developer Twisted Evil .

1. You don't have title yet, but find out if there is a Condo Certificate of Title, CCT, for your unit. check with Register of Deeds or ask the developer to send you a copy of your unit's CCT. it doesn't matter that the CCT is still in your Developer's name. (if no CCT exists for your unit, it is impossible that property tax was individually assessed to your condo unit, and you should not pay any tax.)

2. Did you sign a Deed of absolute sale yet with the Developer?

.....If yes to both questions above, then you are liable for the 2012 taxes (but not 2011) since you have possession, and lived there more than one year.

Before you pay anything to the Developer, you need to verify if what the Developer is telling you is accurate. Go to your city hall, tax assessor's office:
1. get a copy of the TAX DECLARATION for YOUR condo unit.
2. get the actual REPT (real estate property tax) assessment for YOUR condo, if available, to verify the actual tax amount.

a condo unit's property tax can ONLY be issued by the city tax assessor's office. condos are basically assessed on the total sqm at a 'per sqm rate' based on the city/zone where the condo is located. (plus parking spaces for that unit). the property tax really has nothing to do with the actual condo unit other than the stated total sqm of the unit. for same size units, the tax should be the same whether in tower 1, 2 or 3. whether or not the project has a swimming pool or if in your tower, or parking slots are in your tower. whether or not your unit has a beautiful bay or city view or lights or looks out over the cemetery. whether or not your condo project is nicer than other condo projects. the only thing that matters is the total sqm stated on the CCT and tax Declaration. check that the SQM are the same, and same as what your Developer told you on the contract to sell.

the Developer cannot allocate its tax bill on its project to the condo unit buyers. period. Whether the Developer allocates its actual tax bill or a fictitious amount, whether a fair or unfair manner, the Developer does not have the right to determine or assess property taxes of its condo units. Nor can the Developer collect taxes for condo units that were never assessed individual REPT by the tax assessor. Property taxes can only be determined and assessed by the city tax assessor.

If the tax bill for your condo units is actually coming from the Tax Assessor, they should provide you with the official receipt. your Developer does not need to explain it. The fact that your developer is making up explanations probably means your Developer invented your property tax amounts, and they are not coming from the Tax Assessor.

that said, i believe that without a deed of absolute sale, the term 'delivery' does not apply. merely living in the unit is not delivery. there also has to be ownership and posession. Therefore if you didn't sign a deed of sale yet, i do not believe that you own it yet and therefore the seller is liable to pay the taxes.

I will tell you about the developer of my condo. In 2011, our Developer told unit buyers that it 'verified and confirmed' that the buyers must pay the 2010 property taxes. the Developer told buyers how much tax to pay, and that we should pay it to the Developer. the Developer did not supply us with the actual tax bills.

the CCT's were all still in the name of the developer.

we went to city hall to check the tax records. we found out that the tax declaration stated the condo units were "NEW 2011". there was no 2010 REPT individually assessed to our condo units! whatever tax there was in 2010 was assessed to the Developer for its project, and not individually to the units.

not only was there NO tax in 2010 for the condo units, but the tax amounts the developer told buyers to pay to it was 300% more than the 2011 actual taxes. the 2011 REPT for a studio was 4,000 peso, the Developer was falsely billing 12,000 peso for the alleged 2010 REPT, to be paid to the developer!

as stated above, only the tax assessor can assess property taxes on a condo unit, not the developer. the developer cannot allocate the Developer's actual property tax bill for the project, or worse yet, an invented amount 300% more than the legitimate taxes such as my developer did.

don't trust developers reddevil
check the actual tax records.

one last item, if the taxes are paid early in the year, there is a large discount. find out if your developer availed of the discount and whether or not they are asking you to reimburse them for the actual amount they paid or the full amount without discount. They do not have the right to ask you for the full amount if they only paid the discounted amount, if in fact they paid it at all such as the case of my condo for 2010 taxes.

good luck

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Arresto Menor
atty, hingi lang po ako advice tungkol sa right of way... yung lote po kasi namin ay taging plang, pero divide sa 2 person ang pagmamay ari, kame po ang sa harap ng kalsada, at may sukat na 77 sqm. sa likod po namin ay 74 sqm, may maliit na daanan sila palabas sa kalsada, lumiit daw po ang daan kasi daw po yung pader namin sinakop ung daan nila, at sila daw po ang nagbabayad, pinapatibag po nya.. nung makita ko po uli yung taging, pwede nga pong tama ung sinasabe nya na dapat may daan sya,, kaso po nung makita ko at sinubukan ko pong sukatin, nakita ko po na kulang ung sukat ng lote namin na kung isasama pa po yung 1 meter na dinadaanan nya ay kulang pa din po,, sinukat ko ang lahat ng kanto kulang pa din po at lumalabas po na 72 sqm nalang kasama na po yung sinasabe niyang daan ha.. ano po maipapayo niyo dito atty? and pwede ko po bang isara yung dindaanan nya kung sakaling mapatunayan kung kasama sa bilang namin o amin talaga ang daan na un,, na sla lang ang nadaan,, at parang kame pa ang nag bigay ng daan sa kanila? na bahala na po sila mag hanap na daan nila total bakante namam likod nla may sapa nga lang.. salamat po aaty..

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Arresto Menor
I know this is an old post but I'm currently in the same situation. The deed of absolute sale was executed in 2014 (I placed the property under bank housing loan). Now I plan to sell my condo, get a buyer to assume the balance from the bank loan. I wanted to gather requirements that before I proceed so I requested a copy of the necessary documents. It turned out the DOAS was not even notarized yet so the CCT was definitely not transferred under my name. They are saying however that I am responsible for the RPT from 2015 onward. Showed me a section of the Contract To Sell that I am responsible for the taxes. It feels wrong to pay taxes of a property that's not even under my name yet. And yes, I have not seen a single CCT, Tax Declaration or even a City Assessor's notice to date. They asked me to come back to their office where they can present a break down of what I owe the city government. I'm expecting it to be a big one since this is a prime real estate with a zonal value of 60000/sqm.

Question is: Should I even try to fight this or should I just accept what is stated on the Contract to Sell?

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