Condo unit owners lose land dispute case

By Benjamin Pulta

December 27, 2022, 3:27 pm

MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) has turned down a petition filed by condominium unit owners against a company which bought the land where their units are located.

The appellate court dismissed the petition of the owners of 10 units in two buildings of Xavierville Executive Townhouse in Quezon City against Barrington Consumer Distributions Corporation.

The QC Regional Trial Court Branch 88 earlier granted Barrington's suit to retain the certificate of title of the 900-square-meter parcel of land in Loyola Heights.

In 2005, the city treasurer sent a notice of delinquency of unpaid real property taxes but Xavierville did not reply nor settle the arrears.

Later the same year, the property was purchased by Barrington during a public city auction.

The unit owners argued they did not receive the notices of the alleged delinquency of real property taxes, foreclosure and auction proceedings.

In upholding Barrington's rights, the court said the notice of delinquency was sent to the registered owner, Xavierville Executive, and posted at the main entrance of the Quezon City Hall as well as at the Loyola Heights village office.

The sale was also advertised in newspapers.

"Evidently, petitioners are not owners of the subject property, which is a parcel of land. Rather, they are owners of improvements or concrete structures situated on the subject property. It is a basic principle of law that ownership of a parcel of land does not necessarily mean ownership of the improvements thereon," the court said in the December 15 decision posted online recently.

The court said the unit owners may separately file a suit against Barrington concerning their ownership rights over their respective units. (PNA)