Buying a house or lot? Housing czar warns public against scams

In this era of scams and scammers, homebuyers must also be careful when buying property.

There are unscrupulous individuals or groups selling property without the necessary license, says our housing czar, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar.

Sec. Acuzar said the public must be vigilant against buying housing projects without Licenses to Sell (LS) and Certificates of Registration (CR), citing the risk of acquiring sub-standard real estate properties.

Real estate advertisements especially on social media are on the rise and as such, it has become the most convenient platform for non-compliant developers to pull off their illegal activities and victimize unsuspecting buyers.

But Sec. Acuzar said real estate developers must first secure LS and CR from DHSUD prior to the selling of real estate projects to ensure that the projects they are offering to the public have passed the minimum standards required by existing building standards and housing laws. 

“Real estate projects without LS-CR are prone to risks which include undersized lots, low quality units, issues in land titling, and limited access to basic utilities and services,” Sec. Acuzar said.

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar

He urged homebuyers to be vigilant and to ask for the proper documents from sellers before letting go of their hard-earned money.


The DHSUD, through its Public Assistance Service (PAS), has been pro-actively reminding the public against scammers in the real estate industry through social media posts and media releases. In fact, it has crafted its DREAM Tips – an easy to remember acronym on what to do when buying real estate property.

DREAM stands for Demand, Read, Engage, Ask and Move.

Homebuyers can take note of these reminders when buying property:

According to DHSUD-Housing and Real Estate Development Bureau, real estate projects that require LS/CR from DHSUD include subdivision lots, house and lot, condominium units, socialized housing and town houses. These documents are required before selling of units is allowed.

Selling of memorial lots, columbarium, farm lot subdivision, commercial subdivision and industrial subdivision is also being regulated by DHSUD under other types of real estate projects.

Sec. Acuzar has committed to improve the implementation and monitoring of existing regulations set by DHSUD in partnership with other  government agencies concerned to protect home buyers.

Under PD 957, selling without LS/CR is punishable with stiff administrative fines and is considered a penal offense subject to the filing of appropriate  criminal charges.