Say you've invested in a pre-selling condominium unit from a developer. Later, however, you get the notice that the construction, or the completion of the project, has been delayed until further notice. What courses of action are available to you, as the buyer, given that your investment may be at risk?
A Presidential Decree, issued by the former president Ferdinand Marcos, declares several provisions that protect buyers of real estate from "fraudulent and unscrupulous subdivision and condominium sellers, operators and developers." Initially issued on July 12, 1976, Presidential Decree No. 957 was dubbed the "Subdivision and Condominium Buyer's Protective Decree" and it has since received several amendments over time, the most recent set taking effect this 2015.
Among the provisions detailed in the decree, several clauses provide measures that you can take in the instance of a delayed development or turnover of project.
As per the decree, the developer, owner, or agent can't keep your payments if the development wasn't completed or turned over according to the approved plans and within the agreed-upon time frame. You have every right to get the total cost of your payments reimbursed, including amortization interests, but excluding deliquency interests, according to the decree. Make sure that you present the necessary documents, such as the contract you were given and all the receipts of the payments you made. You can file for reimbursement through the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
You can also desist from making any more payments if the project is delayed. To do so, file for clearance from HLURB and submit a written notice to the broker, owner, or developer of the project.
Exercise due diligence. If you think you have been cheated or scammed, gather and take note of the evidence. The decree also states that you have the right to file a complaint against the owner or developer, given valid and sufficient proof of their fraudulence, and have their certificate or license to sell revoked by the local regulatory board. Complaints are filed to the HLURB.
Make sure that you read up and know your rights. View or download the "Subdivision and Condominium Buyer's Protective Decree" from HLURB.