Magna Carta for Homeowners
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Republic Act No. 9904 of the Philippine Government, otherwise known as “An Act Providing For A Magna Carta For Homeowners And Homeowners’ Associations, And For Other Purposes”,[1]R. A. No. 9904, Magna Carta for Homeowner’s Associations is the famous governing law for Homeowner’s Associations or HOA among subdivisions in the Philippines.

In order to have amplified knowledge about the law, you may opt to check its implementing rules.

This law empowers the homeowners’ associations to charter their own courses of action, strategies, and methodologies, within the parameters of the law and its implementing rules. The law envisions this in order for these type of associations to have a self-sustaining and viable group.

They should have the ultimate goal of making the lives of every homeowner better, if not the best, within the subdivision, of which such homeowner’s association is constituted and created.

Declaration of Policies of the Law

As its avowed purpose, the law declares its institutional state policies, among others, to respect, promote, and uphold the rights of every individual belonging to certain communities to freely craft and design specific policies and regulations, in accordance with existing state laws or rules, to benefit their continuous existence in relation to, and with, each other, as such.

Thus:

Declaration of Policy. – In fulfillment of the constitutional principles directing the State to encourage, promote and respect nongovernmental, community – based and people’s organizations in serving their legitimate collective interests in our participatory democracy, it is hereby declared the policy of the State to uphold the rights of the people to form unions, associations, or societies, and to recognize and promote the rights and the roles of homeowners as individuals and as members of the society and of homeowners’ associations. To this end, the State shall endeavor to make available resources and assistance that will help them fulfill their roles In serving the needs and interests of their communities, in complementing the efforts of local government units (LGUs) in providing vital and basic services to our citizens, and in helping implement local and national government policies, programs, rules and ordinances for the development of the nation.[2]Section 2, R. A. No. 9904, Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners’ Associations

Moreover, in giving the the law its operational guidelines, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board [HLURB] has promulgated the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R. A. No. 9904.

Hence:

Pursuant to Section 28 of Republic Act No. 9904, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Associations, the following Rules and Regulations are hereby promulgated by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).[3]Board Resolution No. 887, Implementing Rules and Regulations of R. A. No. 9904

How does this law benefit the homeowner’s association?

This state statute relative to the constitution and creation of Homeowners’ Associations [HOAs’] shall serve as the guiding precept towards the amalgamation of individuals living in a certain subdivision who do want a governing body to regulate their working relationships towards one another for the greater good while living therein.

These community societies will benefit from this law since they shall now have the guidance which has the force and effect of law that will make them establish community rules in order to attain a better living conditions.

These association rules, in consonance with HOAs’ Magna Carta, shall now be applicable in a specific condition prevailing upon, or within, the environment of the affected HOA and those people living in the subdivision governed by the former, a granular government that caters to the targeted concerns of particular homeowners.

Is this law beneficial also to the homeowners?

The benefits of this law to homeowners can be ascribed to the creation purposes of the homeowners associations. Consequently:

The purposes of this [the creation of the] Association is to provide and/or maintain community facilities and to facilitate the delivery of adequate social services and economic advantages for the association to improve the quality of life and well-being of its members, on a non-profit basis consonant with the provisions set forth on its Articles of Association.[4]By-Laws Template, HLURB

HOAs, Granular Partners of the LGUs | Homeowners, Constituent Body of the HOAs 

This beneficial and pro-active law, RA 9904, and its implementing rules operate to put in motion the declared policy of the state to boost and re-assure, push for and advocate, and heed and recognize the respective and relevant roles of the following groups in our nation-building objectives:

  • non-governmental
  • community-based and people’s organizations

Homeowners’ Associations

These encouragement, promotion, and respect to the above are adhered to in order to serve their legitimate collective interests in our participatory democracy, thereby, creating a more granular system of government within a small sector of the society. Consequently:

Equipped with such fresh mandate, the government agency [Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development[5]dhsud.gov.ph (DHSUD)], task to implement R.A. 9904, shall make available all the resources to enable HOAs in accomplishing their part to better serve their respective communities, both in the latter’s needs and interest.

Except for adjudicatory and quasi-judicial responsibilities, the DHSUD absorbed the governmental tasks and functions of HUDCC [Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council] and HLURB. [6]Republic Act No. 11201

As regards, however, with the adjudicatory power of HLURB, the same has been transferred to the Human Settlement Adjudication Commission [HSAC].[7]Ibid.

This, in turn, will augment the Local Government’s [LGU’s] efforts to give significant yet fundamental services to its clusters and jurisdictions.

This will also improve and aid the LGUs in executing local and national government policies, programs, rules and ordinances.

HOAs can contribute towards nation-building, thus, transforming their respective communities to become secure, rewarding, and important.

Homeowners themselves

The homeowners are, undoubtedly, the constituent body of the HOAs. They are the assembly from where the authority of the HOAs emanates. Without homeowners, therefore, HOAs are non-existent.

In as much as HOAs are significant components of the nation-building policy of the government, homeowners are the ones who give life to the creation of HOAs.

Consequently, homeowners are equally important in the same vein as the HOAs.

Is HOA Membership mandatory?

Unless contained in a specific contract between, initially with the developer then with the HOA, homeowner membership is optional. This is but an echo of the constitutional principle that the right to self organize does include also the right not to.

Who is a Beneficial User?

There may exist a situation where there is a resident inside the subdivision and who even owns the house therein or a lawful possessor thereof; yet, he or she is not a HOA Member.

This is in line with the policy that, unless contractually in placed, membership in the HOA is not mandatory. Thus:

“Beneficial user refers to the homeowner who is not a member of the association or the developer or owner who cannot be a homeowner as he/she/it holds the, property or properties in the subdivision or condominium not for the purpose of residing therein but as part of the inventory of properties for sale to the general public. In a general sense, it refers to all property owners within the subdivision who are not members.”[8]Section 3.3 of HLURB Administrative Circular No. 03, Series of 2017

Can the HOA prevent a homeowner of, or beneficial user in, the subdivision to enter the same?

The Homeowner’s Association has no right to prevent the homeowner or beneficial owner to enter the subdivision where he or she lives. Aside from the right of ownership over his real property, the liberty of abode and of canging the same is a constitutional guarantee.

Without Sticker

Does the HOA have the right to prevent a homeowner of, or beneficial user in, the subdivision to enter the same on the ground that he or she [or his or her vehicle] has no subdivision sticker even if the latter presented a proof of residency?

For doing this, the Homeowner’s Association may be held liable for damages.

This unwarranted act [prohibiting entry] of the Homeowner’s Association can be a source of cause of action in favor of the aggrieved homeowner or beneficial user against the former.

Under the Philippine Civil Code, Article 32[9]Article 32, New Civil Code of the Philippinesthereof, it provides that:

“Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages:[10]Ibid.

“(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of law.[11]Ibid.

The categorically recognize the right of an individual over his properties and lawful possession. This is a fundamental and basic right. Indubitably, this includes the right over his or her abode to Ingress and Egress thereto.

Unless for a legally valid security reasons or the law specifically provides in certain situations, the homeowner has the right to enter or leave property and his or her access to public and common roads inside the subdivision.

Consequently, it is a violation of law in the event the Homeowner’s Association will prevent a homeowner [or beneficial user] to enter the subdivision despite evidence of residency.

Even the 1987 Philippine Constitution grants to everyone the right of free access to and from our residential abode. The homeowner’s association shall have the obligation to respect this right.

Is it legal to surrender the motorists’ driver’s license to security guards and be replaced with gate pass in order to enter a subdivision?

Unless the law allows, this strategy contravenes an existing statute, and therefore, not valid.

Under Republic Act 4136,[12]Republic Act No. 4135. The Land Transportation Law Section 19 thereof, it states that:

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Act, no person shall operate any motor vehicle without first procuring a license to drive a motor vehicle for the current year, nor while such license is delinquent, invalid, suspended or revoked.[13]Section 19, RA 4136

The license shall be carried by the driver at all times when operating a motor vehicle, and shall be shown and/or surrendered for cause and upon demand to any person with authority under this Act to confiscate the same.[14]Ibid.

In Section 56[15]Ibid. of the same statute, driving without license is an infraction of law. Moreover, the LTO can only confiscate your license if you are in violation of a traffic rule.

In addition, on a locality perspective, it is even proscribed for a provincial board, city or municipal board or council to enact or enforce any ordinance or resolution in conflict with the provisions of this Act.[16]Section 62, RA 4136

On an administrative rule for subdivision’ association, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) Administrative Order No. 03, series of 2017[17]Section 12, Administrative Order No. 03 Series of 2017 specifically states that:

Section 12. Proscribed Acts. – It shall be prohibited:[18]Ibid.

    1. 1. To require the driver of any vehicle entering the subdivision or condominium to surrender his/her driver’s license. The association is not authorized under the traffic laws to take custody, even on a temporary basis, the license issued by the Land Transportation Office x x x x[19]Ibid.

The walls of the subdivision, managed by the HOA, can never grant the latter immunity from Republic Acts nor give it the power to defy the law or existing rules.

Private entities, such as the HOAs, does not have the power and authority to selectively apply the implementation of a particular law and disregard some other provisions thereof.

HOAs have not been granted by any law, to exercise in its own right, a police or legislative power and authority. These HOAs are not above the law. On the contrary, they are enjoined to abide by the law.

It cannot be overemphasized that homeowner’s associations can only regulate their homeowners through the provisions of an existing and valid contract.

In demanding for the motorist’s driver’s license before allowing to enter the subdivision’s premises and replacing it with gate pass, the HOA, through it security guards or personnel, otherwise places the motorist in clear violation of this law. When being coerced to hand over the driver’s license, the motorist can sue for grave coercion.

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RALB Law | RABR & Associates Law Firm

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  1. Sir / Mam,

    Is it lawful if the developer imposed Monthly Dues to us for the time that they did not yet endorse or allow the homeowners to have our HOA yet.

  2. Hi.. What are the ground premises/ distance in putting basketball court in our small village prior to the nearby residents., and with out any quorum with the LGU together with the homeowners and BOD of association..the requested proj. Basketball court entered with out even consulting the homeowners..is there any violation of the bod.

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