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Apartments in the Philippines

By:Izak Kiefer Lim|July 23, 2019

In the Philippines, when we see signages of apartments for rent, it usually refers to rooms or apartments for rent inside mid-rise buildings. These mid-rise buildings typically have lower than average height compared to condominium buildings. Similarly, apartments in the Philippines can also mean entire apartment buildings that are being sold by their owners.

Apartments are abundant in the Philippines, just like other countries. We can find these apartments almost everywhere from cities to provinces. These apartments mostly cater to the younger population who are mostly college students studying in universities and young professionals. Away from home, college students and young graduates find apartments perfect for its budget and convenience. Furthermore, young professionals are still starting in their profession and are mostly moving jobs finding where they fit best. As such apartments fit them perfectly as there is no long term commitment unlike mortgages.

Cheaper than Condominium rates, apartments have fewer amenities compared to the former. Amenities such as pools, gym, lobby, and more found in condominiums may not be found in apartment buildings. On some apartment buildings, parking spaces might be limited too.

Common Lease terms in apartments are mostly short term since people who rent apartments move around in a few years, students going back home or finding jobs in a different place to young professionals moving jobs or getting reassigned.

In an apartment setting, the owner usually pays for renovations while the tenant pays for rent, electricity, water and parking spaces.

Granted that, majority of apartments for rent come with a bed, closet, cabinet, and bathroom fixtures. Some have a kitchen, but most do not. The furnishing in apartments is not as beautiful compared to condominium furnishings.

Can apartments be bought?

Before we get into that, we’ll distinguish two of the most misunderstood words in the country,  apartments and condominiums.

In the Philippines, apartments are buildings composed of multi-units owned by the landlord. In most cases, apartment buildings are bought by one owner and its units cannot be sold separately as with condominiums.  Apartments, generally have no voting rights in contrast with condos which have shared voting rights over common places such as amenities and more. In an apartment setting, only the landlord decides. In contrast, condominiums are buildings composed of multi-units owned by different homeowner’s, which comprises the homeowner’s association.

So, Why apartments?

As we previously discussed, apartments have fewer amenities, furnishings and parking lots. These factors altogether bring the price down and more affordable for the tenant. Besides, standard apartment lease terms have fewer advance payments and security deposits as compared with other dwelling types making apartment lease setting less stringent on commitments. This type of setting is perfect for the younger population who has less budget and is unsure about committing to the place long term.

Not only that, for an OFW or professional working all her youth abroad saving sums of money. Building an apartment and leasing the units would be perfect go-to businesses for passive income. This business makes the perfect retirement business since there’s not much headache, and it’s not that hard of a company to do. These apartment buildings are rarely taxed and unregulated by the BIR, thus making them have more significant margins.

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