Living in the Philippines

Renting Land In The Philippines

If you drive along any road in the Philippines, you will find dozens of signs beside the road saying:
Land for Sale, Land & House for sale, Lot for sale and so on... It means, it's not very difficult to find a piece of land in the Philippines, no matter on which island you are.

Unfortunately you, as a foreigner, are not allowed to own land in your name in the Philippines.

If you still want to buy and own one of this many offers along the road, you can do that either in the name of your Filipino spouse or another trustable Filipino citizen.

Or (if you are not married to a Filipino citizen) you can legally rent that land for 25 years with an option for another 25 years thereafter. That should be long enough in most cases.

If you decide to rent a piece of land, make sure that the rental contract is done with an attorney of your choice and that the contract will be registered with the LRA (Land Registration Authority). Right now I am not quite sure if that long term rental contract should also be written in the Land Title but I think it should.

Another option is to buy a piece of land in the name of your Filipino spouse and make the same rental contract with him or her to make sure you can live in the house which you will maybe build on that land as long as you want. At least, in case of trouble, you only have to deal with family members and not with the original owner of that land who you don't know.

If you rent a piece of land for 25 years means, that you actually buy that land for 25 years. The owner want to sell it and that means that he needs the money. So you will have to pay the same price as if you would buy it at once and not on a monthly or yearly basis.

The risk in this case is still there that after some time, the land owner will try to kick you out, because he want's to sell that land to somebody else and he still owns the Title of the land and his name is still in there. If you have a valid and registered contract, you could of course fight that in court but that doesn't help you when you are dead.

It would be a good idea if you would get the title of that land and put it in a safe place under your supervision. In this case it would be very difficult but not impossible for the original owner to kick you out.