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How to check the authenticity of a land title in the Philippines?

check the authenticity of a land title in the Philippines

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Given the increasing number of fraudulent land transactions in the Philippines, understanding how to confirm the validity of a land title has become more important and necessary for individuals and companies. Protecting yourself from real estate scams is essential, particularly when major investments like real estate are involved. In this article, we will discuss how to check the authenticity of a land title in the Philippines.

How to check if the land title is authentic or fake

Purchasing land is a significant investment, and ensuring the legitimacy of the land title is crucial to protect your investment. Over 10,000 fake land titles in the Philippines are reportedly circulating, so verifying a land title’s authenticity becomes even more critical. Here are eight ways to know whether the land title is authentic and to spot a fake land title in the Philippines:

Step 1: Check the quality of the paper used

The Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas exclusively prints the forms used in property titles on a special type of paper. This paper blends 50% cotton and 50% chemical wood pulp, integrated with colored fibers. Genuine titles have security features; when held against the light, a watermark that reads LRA or Land Registration Association should be visible. The texture should remind you of a bank check. To check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines, it’s important to note that fake titles often use lower-quality materials, similar to cartolina.

Step 2: Verify the authenticity of the “Transfer Certificate of Title” document

To check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines, request a “Certified True Copy” or the original land title from the Register of Deeds. You’ll need information like the TCT number and the owner’s name for this purpose, which you can obtain from a photocopy of the TCT title provided by the seller. You can find the Register of Deeds’ office, where the TCT title is verified, in the city/municipal hall of the area where the property is situated.

Step 3: Check the owner’s duplicate certificate and seal

Genuine titles will have “Owner’s Duplicate Copy” marked on the form’s left side and a red seal in the lower corner showing no sign of blotting.

Step 4: Verify the seller’s identity

Verify ownership by asking for a valid ID from the person claiming to be the property owner. If the title names the seller’s parents as the owners, be aware of potential claims from other heirs. They must file a court petition to sell the property, as majority consent doesn’t overrule any heir’s rights. Transact only with the actual owner, not unregistered agents.

Step 5: Check the title for liens and encumbrances

A lien is a legal claim on someone’s property to ensure they pay a debt, lowering its value without blocking its sale. The title’s back page, which includes liens and other encumbrances like mortgages, must be visible if you are given a clean title.

Step 6: Check whether property taxes have been paid

Verify with the Assessor’s Office if real estate taxes are paid to check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines. Work with the landowner to include any arrears in the property’s purchase price and obtain a notarized agreement to pay the overdue taxes.

Step 7: Double-check the title’s technical description

The conflict between the land area specified in the title and the actual surveyed area can be grounds for a price adjustment. Ask permission for a geodetic engineer to survey the land to confirm that the technical details align with the title’s description.

Step 8: Contact Own Property Abroad

For those looking to buy property in the Philippines, verifying the land title can pose additional challenges due to unfamiliarity with local laws and language barriers. This is where Own Property Abroad can help. Our team of experts has extensive knowledge of the property markets in the Philippines and can assist you in checking the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines. By leveraging our services, you can have peace of mind knowing that professionals verify the property’s legitimacy.

Land title verification service in the Philippines
Our online land title verification service in the Philippines is designed to offer you peace of mind by ensuring that the land title associated with your property is legitimate, dispute-free, and correctly registered.

Check for an encumbrance in the land title

Encumbrances are legal restrictions or claims on a property that can limit its use, affect its title, and potentially lower its market value. Encumbrance in the land title is officially recorded, and acts as a form of notification to potential buyers or others interested in the property, highlighting existing limitations. It is crucial to check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines, as it emphasizes the importance of thorough due diligence to uncover any claims or restrictions that might affect property transactions.

Types of encumbrances

Understanding the types of encumbrances affecting property is crucial for buyers and sellers to check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines. It influences decisions regarding property investment, ownership rights, and the legal responsibilities attached to land. Here are the different types of encumbrances:

  • Liens: These are financial burdens on a property due to debts like mortgages or unpaid taxes, which give creditors ownership claims if not settled.
  • Easements: These are granted for a party to use another’s property in return for compensation, taking forms like utility or conservation easements, which can impose non-financial burdens on real and personal property.
  • Restrictive covenants: These govern property use, maintain aesthetics, and uphold property values in communities like condos and planned neighborhoods to check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines.
  • Zoning restrictions: These are governmental regulations that determine land use types to organize and control development.
  • Encroachments: This occurs when property improvements unintentionally extend into neighboring lands, often leading to disputes.
  • Covenants, conditions, and restrictions: These are rules in specific developments that govern property use and upkeep, and aim to uphold community standards and values to check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines.

Why a clean title is important

A clean title indicates undisturbed ownership of properties or assets. It signifies that the particular property is free from any conflicting claims, liens, or potential legal disputes. When a property has a clean title, it signifies that only the owner can make ownership claims and that no other party may. It is important to check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines for clarity, as it can be a decisive factor in closing or negotiation.

Conduct thorough title searches to ensure a property possesses a clean title, and check the title for any possible encumbrances or claims against it. Older or more complex properties often take longer for title searches, which typically take about 10 to 14 days because of their lengthy history of transactions and potential owners. Any blemishes, unresolved building code violations, or incorrect surveys could impair the title, rendering it dirty and complicating the ownership transfer process. Thus, having a clean title is essential to check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines and establish a successful real estate transaction. 

How to check the authenticity of a land title in the Philippines online?

Are you looking to check the authenticity of a land title in the Philippines online or secure an authentic copy of the land title in the Philippines? Navigating this process can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re unsure of where to start. Luckily, our legal experts are here to help. Leveraging our deep knowledge and extensive experience within the Philippine legal landscape, we’re equipped to support you through all the legal intricacies and procedures associated with real estate, including land title verification, obtaining an official copy of the land title, and handling various other property-related legal concerns.

Go to’ Learn more’ to learn more about verifying a land title in the Philippines. If you have any questions, you can contact us directly at [email protected].

Land title verification service in the Philippines
Our online land title verification service in the Philippines is designed to offer you peace of mind by ensuring that the land title associated with your property is legitimate, dispute-free, and correctly registered.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is OCT in the land title?

OCT in a land title refers to the Original Certificate of Title, issued for newly titled land in the Philippines. It is also used to check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines.

How to verify land title in the Philippines?

To verify a land title in the Philippines, you must check its authenticity with the local Registry of Deeds (RD) in the city or province where the property is located.

How to verify land title online?

To verify a land title online in the Philippines, use the Land Registration Authority’s (LRA) eSerbisyo portal to request a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Original Certificate of Title (OCT), Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), or Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT).

What is a clean title?

A clean title indicates that a property is free from liens, disputes, or other claims, ensuring undisputed ownership. This is essential when checking the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines.

How to check if the lot title is clean in the Philippines?

To check the authenticity of land titles in the Philippines, visit the local Registry of Deeds, where the property is situated, to ensure that a lot title is clean.

Is it safe to give a copy of the land title in the Philippines?

It is not safe to give out a copy of your land title in the Philippines due to the risk of fraudulent activities.

How to spot fake land titles in the Philippines?

To spot fake land titles in the Philippines, verify the paper quality and authenticity of the TCT, check the owner’s duplicate certificate and seal, confirm the seller’s identity, look for liens and encumbrances, ensure all property taxes are paid, cross-reference the title’s technical description, and lastly, consider reaching out to the Own Property Abroad for further assistance.

Your guide to buying property in the Philippines

Written by Therese Angeles

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