Issues such as fake land titles, properties being sold illegally and unregistered agents have plagued the Philippine real estate market for years. However, that is set to change after the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) announced a new campaign designed rid the industry of fake agents and illegal developers.
“We need to put a stop to these illegal activities through pro-active efforts in collaboration with our stakeholders, including legitimate developers, who are also falling victims to these scammers, and other government agencies,” Sec. Eduardo del Rosario said in a statement to the Philippine News Agency. “We should protect our home buyers, especially overseas Filipino workers, from these scammers.”
The push to clean up the property sector came after a fresh wave of unregistered developers and real estate brokers were found to be illegally selling properties in the country. These scammers had used social media to promote homes to unsuspecting buyers.
In some cases, these unscrupulous characters pose as a property professional and promise buyers units in existing projects at below market value prices before disappearing once payment has been made. Other times, they will simply look to facilitate a deal by acting as a middle man without informing either side. Both examples go against regulations issued by the Housing and Land use Regulatory Board.
DHSUD has regulatory power over real estate developers as well as brokers and salespersons. Those engaging in these activities are required to register with the DHSUD before they can legally sell property in the Philippines.
The department has asked regional offices to create their own plans to combat fake agents and illegal developers as well as any others involved in the illegal selling of real estate. Meanwhile, the DHSUD head office is looking at ways to improve collaboration with the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior and local governments.
Anyone concerned they are in communication with fake agents and illegal developers can request to see a copy of the Certificate of Registration for the project they are looking at along with the License to Sell.