What Brokers Need to Know about HLURB’s Rules on Real Estate Advertising

HLURB_2_t These revised rules’ objectives are to allow potential property buyers to make the most informed choices possible.

At the beginning of this year, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, or HLURB, officially released two sets of revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The revised IRRs apply to the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree, also known as Presidential Decree No. 957.

Contained in Board Resolution No. 921 and 922, the IRRs were revised to better safeguard prospective property buyers from potential fraud and other malpractices in the real estate industry. The following are some key considerations regarding the revised IRRs, which licensed real estate brokers and developers should keep in mind.

Advertising

The revised IRRs have essentially made advertisements as good as real estate warranty in the sense that owners and developers are deemed responsible for any representations they have the HLURB approve and subsequently release to the public. These include the representation of facilities, improvements, infrastructures, or other forms of development in any type of advertisement.

Failure to deliver the terms indicated within an advertisement in a complete and timely basis would result in a breach of contract and warranty, where fines and other penalties would subsequently levied on those liable.

The revision on the IRR is intended to allow potential property buyers to make the most informed choices possible. With that, brokers and developers must ensure any and all information and representations provided in their advertisements are comprehensive and factual.

  • Advertising is distinguished from announcement, with the former essentially being the dissemination of information with the intent to market or sell, and the latter with only the intent to inform or notify.
  • Announcements can only be conducted by the real estate project’s owners and developers. Advertising, on the other hand, can be embarked on by owners, developers, dealers, brokers, and salespersons, making them liable for any representations made.
  • For the benefit of potential buyers, a maximum price for economic and social housing projects must also be indicated in the advertisement.
  • Modes of payment or financing must not be mentioned in ads, unless fully disclosed in details within.
  • It must be indicated within an ad if the photos it utilizes are real or are an architect or artist’s rendering of the project/property.
  • When landmarks are mentioned in relation to a project or property, the distances must be accurately mentioned in kilometers.

Registration

In line with the intent to better protect potential buyers from fraudulent practices, the revised IRRs continues to uphold the need for brokers, dealers and salespersons to be duly registered with the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRBRES).

In addition to this, real estate workers must also register with the HLURB before being able to deal with projects registered with the agency, which include condominiums and subdivisions:

  • Dealers and PRBRES-licensed brokers and PRBRES-accredited salespersons are required to register with the HLURB. Similarly, business firms involved with HLURB-registered projects are also required to register.
  • As the revised IRRs were developed in 2014 and are to take effect in 2015, those not yet registered have until April 15, 2015 to do so before being charged the associated penalties.
  • Prior to the IRR revisions for this year, certificates of registration are valid until the end of November, with renewal not less than 30 day or more than 60 days of the first day of the following year. With the revisions, real estate workers must keep in mind that registration now expires on December 31, with renewal being already started the month before in November.

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