HLURB Issues New Rules in the Practice of Real Estate Service in the Philippines
The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) has just issued new implementing rules and regulations considered as “game-changing” in the field of subdivision and condominium buyers’ protection. The two sets of Rules regulating the advertisements and practice of real-estate service of dealers, brokers and salespersons aim to protect the buyers’ right at the first possible points of contact in purchasing a house or condominium unit – the moment they see an advertisement or when offered by an intermediary of a developer.
The new Rules were issued to address complaints of buyers who have encountered problems in their purchases after having been misled by advertisements which did not reflect the real or complete facts for them to make an informed choice or by misrepresentations of intermediaries who have lured them into making the purchases based on erroneous facts.
Board Resolution No. 921, Series of 2014, or “The 2014 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations on Advertisements” now requires all project advertisements to be first approved by the HLURB. Advocating truth in advertising, the Rules mandates that advertisements reflect the real facts about a project in a manner not tending to deceive a prospective buyer. Essential information are required to be included in the advertisements while disclaimers, misleading and exaggerated statements are prohibited, in order to ensure that buyers are properly and fairly informed. The license to sell number of a project should be prominently displayed to ensure that only projects approved by the HLURB and complying with its design and technical standards are being sold to the public.
Want to check if the project has a License to Sell? Visit HLURB Online.
On the other hand, Board Resolution No. 922, Series of 2014, or “The 2014 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations on Dealers, Brokers and Salespersons” regulates the professional conduct of practitioners’ in selling and marketing condominium units and subdivision houses and lots. They are required to first register with the HLURB to ensure that the buying public will deal only with those who have complied with the requirements of law and who are authorized to practice real estate service. This requirement hopes to weed-out unregistered or unscrupulous practitioners from the practice of real estate service as a measure of affording additional protection to buyers.
The technical staff and designated inspectors of the HLURB have been directed to implement strictly the new rules by carefully reviewing advertisements and monitoring the activities of real estate service practitioners. Penalties are to be imposed in case of violation of the rules, especially in cases of selling of condominium units and houses and lots of projects without license to sell from the HLURB. The two Rules now appear to be a welcome development in the real estate industry. Since the effectivity of the Rules on February 15, 2015, the HLURB has already issued 495 advertisement approvals and has registered about 11,590 practitioners nationwide as of May 15, 2015.