Government takes next steps in fight against Philippine real estate scammers

Late last year, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) revealed its intention to rid the real estate industry of fake agents and illegal developers. These efforts received a massive boost with the department announcing the formation of a special body that will pursue Philippine real estate scammers.

“We need to put a stop to these illegal activities through institutionalized proactive efforts in collaboration with our stakeholders, national and local government units, law enforcement agencies, including legitimate developers, who are also victims of these scammers,” Sec. Eduardo del Rosario said in a statement to the Philippine News Agency.

The DHSUD has created a technical working group led by DHSUD Undersecretary Meynardo Sabili. The group will involve a whole-government approach that engages stakeholders to address illicit transactions and other issues in the Philippine housing industry.

It plans to revisit all laws, rules and regulations relevant to the prevention and elimination of illegal real estate activities in the country as well as look at unlicensed developers and agents who continue to operate without legal documents.

“We should be relentless in our campaign to protect home buyers and legitimate workers in the real estate industry,” del Rosario proclaimed.


Philippine real estate scammers remain a problem

Philippine real estate scammers have plagued the real estate sector for years now. In 2020, a new wave of unregistered developers and real estate brokers were caught illegally selling properties in the country using social media.

Related: How to avoid fake land titles in the Philippines

One example of this illegal activity saw Philippine real estate scammers pose as property professionals that would promise buyers units in existing projects at below market value prices before disappearing once payment has been made.

There have also been reports of some people trying to facilitate a deal by acting as a middleman without informing either side. Both examples go against regulations issued by the Housing and Land use Regulatory Board.