• Ziggurat Realestatecorp

Who is Farming on My Land?

Being the owner of the property, you are granted under the law certain rights such as the right to enjoy your property as well as the right to dispose of it. (Article 428, New Civil Code of the Philippines)


Considering, though, that another party utilized a portion of your property, there is a need to determine the nature of said party's possession whether he occupied the land in good faith or bad faith.


This is necessary in order to properly conclude as to what proper remedy is available to you.


A careful perusal of Article 448 of the New Civil Code shows that if the other party is in good faith, you can appropriate the works, sowing or planting made within your property after payment of appropriate indemnity; or you can demand from the other party to pay the price of the portion of the land so utilized, unless if its value is considerably more than what was built or planted in which case, you can demand payment of rent.


To be certain the law specifically provides:


"Art. 448. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, sown or planted in good faith, shall have the right to appropriate as his own the works, sowing or planting, after payment of the indemnity provided for in Articles 546 and 548, or to oblige the one who built or planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent. However, the builder or planter cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is considerably more than that of the building or trees. In such case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose to appropriate the building or trees after proper indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the terms of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms thereof."


On the other hand, if the other party utilized such a portion of your property knowing fully well that the same is not his and, despite such knowledge, he still did not secure permission for such use, then his possession can be considered in bad faith.


Consequently, you have the option of demanding the demolition of whatever was built or the removal of whatever was planted or sown within your property, or the payment of the price of the land or proper rent. Article 449 of the said law explicitly states:

"He who builds, plants or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses what is built, planted or sown without right to indemnity.


"Art. 450. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, planted or sown in bad faith may demand the demolition of the work, or that the planting or sowing be removed, in order to replace things in their former condition at the expense of the person who built, planted or sowed; or he may compel the builder or planter to pay the price of the land, and the sower the proper rent."



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