Does a Condominium Expire? The Truth About Condo Expiry


Does a condominium expire according to Philippine real estate law? If it does, should you be worried about it as a condo homeowner?

The “expiry” of a condo building is an often misunderstood concept in Philippine property investment. Yes, large apartment developments and complexes tend to degrade in quality over the years – as all things do. But do these home structures have a sure expiry date that you need to watch out for as a tenant or owner?

No buyer has perpetual ownership over their purchased unit, but there’s still a lot more to the end of a condominium’s lifespan than meets the eye. This quick explainer by DMCI Homes is here to clarify all these nerve-wracking questions for tenants and owners alike.

Want to learn about the misconception of condominium expiry, and its basis within the Philippines’ law? Check out this guide to discover tips about the long-term implications of homebuying and ownership so that you can make informed decisions about your current and future property investments.

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RA 4726: The Condominium Act

The idea of condos having a specific and finite lifespan comes from misinterpretations of Republic Act (RA) 4726. Also known as the Condominium Act, this Philippine law states the following clause about condo buildings:

Section 13. Until the enabling or the master deed of the project in which the condominium corporation owns or holds the common area is revoked, the corporation shall not be voluntarily dissolved […] except upon showing:


(c) That the project has been in existence in excess of fifty years, that it is obsolete and uneconomical, and that more than fifty percent of the members of the corporation, […], are opposed to the repair or restoration or remodeling or modernizing of the project…”

In layman’s terms, Section 13 of RA 4726 states three terms and conditions for “voluntarily dissolving” or retiring a condominium corporation – and in turn, its respective building. These terms are:

  • That the building has existed for over 50 years;
  • That [it] is obsolete and uneconomical, and;
  • That more than 50% of its corporation members agree to [its] retirement.

So what does this substantive law mean for a unit owner like you?

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Firstly, let’s clear up the meaning of a “condominium corporation.” According to Section 2 of RA 4726:

Section 2. […] Title to the common areas, including the land, or the appurtenant interests in such areas, may be held by a corporation specially formed for the purpose (hereinafter known as the “condominium corporation”) in which the holders of separate interest shall automatically be members or shareholders, to the exclusion of others, in proportion to the appurtenant interest of their respective units in the common areas.

As per this section of the law, a condo corporation isn’t just made up of its developers – it’s also composed of shareholders like its units’ owners.

Going back to the three terms and conditions for condo expiry, this means that your home will only really expire if it’s over 50 years old, if it’s incredibly uninhabitable and unusable, and if over 50% of its developers and unit owners agree to retire the building for good. It has to meet all these terms and conditions for it to actually “expire.”

Given this clarification, you might be wondering if these kinds of buildings can expire at all. The rule is if the majority of its shareholders agree that the building is too uneconomical to renovate or rebuild, it can be retired, leading to the need for better, higher quality buildings in the long run.

So if the “50 year lifespan” fallacy is holding you back from purchasing your own unit, let these clarifications ease your concerns and encourage you to invest in your future home. Your building will only expire if it meets all of those three conditions; if it doesn’t, then you definitely won’t need to worry about its lifespan or expiry any time soon.

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Dealing with a condo’s lifespan

Let’s say that, in a rare turn of events, you do invest in a condo that is 50 years of age and nearing obsolescence. Here are some practical steps you can take to make the most out of your own property before it reaches the end of its lifespan.

  • Vote on its fate. If your building is untenantable and already being considered for demolition, you can choose to be part of the vote that will eventually decide its fate. This way, you have control over what happens and you can directly impact the future of your property investment too.
  • Sell the land. If the building is no longer economical or inhabitable, you can actually meet with fellow condo unit owners to sell the land it stands on instead. As a shareholder in the corporation, you can opt to sell and divide the profit share from the sale. With this option, you can gain some financial benefit prior to the property’s overall obsolescence.
  • Agree to a brand new construction. If the original developer of your home still thinks the land is fit for it, you can agree to become a shareholder for a brand new construction. With this option, you can see the building off to its demolition and reconstruction, setting you up for a brand new long-term investment.
  • Get in talks with your property managers. If you don’t know how to navigate this condo concern, talk to your property management team to see what the best possible option is for your needs. They might be able to give you insight into the future of your complex and its community as well.

As your theoretical home nears deterioration at the end of its 50-year lifespan, you may have the opportunity to discuss its fate with fellow shareholders. Make sure to take this chance seriously, as it will help you decide the next best steps for your investment. Talk to your property managers and be involved with the corporation vote, so that you’ll know whether to sell or renovate your home instead.

Of course, this is only in the rare case of uneconomical and uninhabitable condos reaching 50 years of age. Most modern condominium buildings today use high quality and long-lasting materials so that they don’t give in to daily wear and tear. At DMCI Homes, you can expect your home to last beyond its expected lifespan – so you won’t have to worry about its expiration date at any point in the near future.

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Long-term tips for condo owners

With this misconception about your home’s expiry debunked, you can focus your energy on other realistic concerns – like keeping your unit in tip-top shape to ensure your comfort in the long run. To proactively take care of your property investment and avoid issues related to its expiration, make sure to follow these simple tips:

  • Know about the “age” of your unit. By asking about the age of your condo building, your unit, and its original fixtures, you can have a better idea of when your home will require specific repairs and replacements.
  • Conduct maintenance checks regularly. Maintenance and repairs are essential to lengthen the lifespans of both a building and a unit. Remember to regularly conduct check-ups on your living spaces to ensure everything within them is still in good working condition.
  • Ask questions about your building’s financial health. Talk to your property management team to see if the building is still economically viable. Do people still want to buy units and live within the complex? Are there extenuating circumstances that discourage people from wanting to live there? Keep an ear out for any financial concerns that may affect the success of your real estate investment.
  • Stay informed about the condition of the building overall. Regularly check for updates from your property management office regarding ongoing construction throughout the complex too. By staying informed, you can ensure a longer-term comfy condo lifestyle.

Enjoy the benefits of a happy condo life by lengthening the lifespan of your smaller-sized home. Conduct repairs regularly and participate in the overall upkeep of the complex – that way, you’ll never need to worry about your property investment’s potential retirement and expiry.

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Key takeaways

By arming yourself with more context and information about your investment, you can experience a better and happier life at your DMCI Homes condominium. Enjoy your condo home to the fullest by taking these final tips away with you too:

  • Conduct regular maintenance checks on your living spaces. Reassure yourself of the viability of your home by regularly checking it for repairs, maintenance, and renovations if needed.
  • Invest in modern developments that use high-quality materials. This will ensure that your home has a long way to go before it reaches 50 years of age, or even deteriorates beyond repair.
  • Forge a good relationship with your property managers. By connecting with your respective DMCI Homes property management office, you can get relevant updates on your home’s financial health and economic viability in the long run.

Questions? Check out the DMCI Communities Blog or engage with us on our Facebook. Remember to download the DMCI Communities app on Google Play or the App Store to stay up to date with the latest news and offers.


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