Q: Is the Housing and Land Regulatory Board (HLURB) still in operation?

A: The HLURB has been reconstituted as the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission (HSAC) and retained the former’s adjudicatory function by virtue of Republic Act No. 11201 (RA 11201).

Q: Does the HSAC have a regulatory function like the HLURB?

A: No. Under RA 11201, the regulatory function of HLURB is now vested with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

Q: Where does the HSAC hold office?

A: The HSAC holds office at the HLURB Bldg., Kalayaan Avenue corner Mayaman Street, Diliman, Quezon City.

Q: How do the DHSUD and the HSAC differ?

A: The DSHUD acts as the primary national government entity responsible for the management of housing, human settlements and urban development.  On the other hand, HSAC is a purely quasi-judicial body tasked to adjudicate disputes involving real estate developments, homeowners associations, and appeals from decisions of local and regional planning and zoning body. It is attached to the DSHUD for policy, planning and program coordination only.

Q: What cases fall under the HSAC?

A: The following are the cases that fall under HSAC’s jurisdiction:

  1. Cases involving subdivisions, condominiums, memorial parks, and similar real estate development.
  2. Cases involving Homeowners Associations.
  3. Disputes involving the implementation of Section 18 of R.A. 7279, as amended.
  4. Disputes or controversies involving laws and regulations implemented by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) not falling within the jurisdiction of other judicial or quasi-judicial bodies.
  5. Appeals from decisions of the local and regional planning and zoning bodies.

Q: What is the applicable rules of procedure in the HSAC?

A: The Rules of Procedure of the HSAC (En Banc Resolution No. 8, Series of 2021).

Q: How many Commissioners does the HSAC have?

A: Five (5) Commissioners appointed by the President shall comprise the Commission.

The Executive Commissioner shall be chosen by the President from among the five (5) Commissioners.

Q: What will happen to cases pending before the HLURB arbiters and the HLURB Board of Commissioners?

A: Cases pending before the HLURB Regional Field Offices (RFO) and the HLURB Board of Commissioners (BOC) will be re-numbered.

Cases pending before the HLURB RFO shall be resolved by the original Arbiter, except in cases where the Regional Adjudication Branch (RAB) no longer has jurisdiction over the location of the project. The case shall then be transmitted to the appropriate Regional Adjudication Branch and re-raffled.

Cases pending before the HLURB BOC shall be re-raffled to a Division of HSAC.

Q: Will decisions of the HSAC still be appealable to the Office of the President (OP), Malacañang?

A: No.  All decisions of the Commission are now directly appealable to the Court of Appeals.

Q: What are the rights/recourse of the buyer against the project owner and/or developer in the following cases?

(a) A buyer bought a unit from the project developer or owner. However, the latter failed to develop the project according to the approved plans.

A: Buyer may demand a refund of the total amount he/she paid plus damages.

(b) If the project developer or owner failed to develop the project within the time permitted.

A: A buyer may, after due notice to the owner/developer, desist from further payment due to the failure of the developer/owner to develop the project according to the approved plans and within the time allowed. In such case, installment payments made earlier by the buyer shall not be forfeited in favor of the project owner/developer.

(c) A unit in a subdivision or condominium project was damaged due to a natural calamity (e.g. flood, earthquake).

A: The buyer has to establish in his claim that the construction of his/her unit was not in accordance with the approved plans and specifications. If established, the buyer has the right to obtain a refund of his payments plus legal interest and damages.

Q: Where will a buyer file his/her verified complaint?

A: All Complaints or actions shall be filed in the HSAC Regional Adjudication Branch (RAB) which has jurisdiction over the region where the project involved is located. Where the residence and/or principal office of the complainant and respondent are both located in the same region, the complaint or action may, at the option of the complainant, be filed in the RAB having jurisdiction over the said region regardless of the location of the project involved, unless the parties have validly agreed in writing before the filing of the Complaint or action on the exclusive venue thereof.

In  homeowners association cases, the Complaint shall be filed in the RAB which has jurisdiction over the region where the association is registered with the DHSUD. (Rule 2, Section 7, Rules of Procedure of the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission).