Prior to purchasing property in Thailand, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different land titles that are used here.
Whilst foreigners can own property in Thailand, they can not own land directly.
However, they still can hold certain rights with regards to land such as usufructs, leases, habitation and mortgages, which can be included in the title deed.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of the different land titles in Thailand in order to understand what exactly it is you are being offered and to avoid any potential problems further down the line.
As a foreigner, really the only land titles you should consider are Chanote, Nor Sor Sam and Nor Sor Sam Kor as these are the only deeds of which a true right of ownership can exist and which allows for the land to be sold, leased or used as collateral in for a mortgage.
It is also worth mentioning that large parts of land in Thailand still do not have any kind of official status or title. Many land plots, especially in upcountry Thailand have never been properly registered with the land office and have never been confirmed for private use. Instead, land like this is normally regarded as government land or land set aside for farming or agriculture. Land of this type can not be be sold or leased.
So if it is that someone is offering your Thai wife or partner what seems to be a very reasonably priced land plot somewhere in upcountry Thailand, please make sure that the land plot has genuine title deeds and is eligible for private ownership and development.
Don’t think you’re getting what at first sight might be a great value deal when the reality is you could be ‘buying’ land which you or rather your Thai wife or partner has no right to own.
Whatever you decide with regards to the different land titles in Thailand, always seek the advice of an independent lawyer to read through any deeds, contracts or paperwork prior to committing yourself to any type agreements.
Chanote land titles in Thailand
A Nor So 4 Jor (NSJ4) or Chanote, as it is more commonly known, is the only title deed which enables full and certified private ownership of land. A Chanote is the highest land title used in Thailand. A plot of land which has a full Chanote title will have been accurately surveyed in accordance to a national survey grid and will be plotted using GPS coordinates. The land will also have been marked with numbered posts which are used as markers set into the ground. This is the recommended title with regards to the ownership of property/land in Thailand
Please note that condominium title deeds also give freehold full ownership and we’ll be covering condo and freehold ownership in more detail on the Thaivisa Property blog in the coming weeks.
Nor Sor Sam land titles in Thailand
Nor Sor Sam Gor
A Nor Sor Sam Gor, whilst not a full ownership title deed, it does enable the person holding the title to have legal right to the land plot in question. This right to the land is fully recognised by law and can be used as legal document if any dispute with regards to ownership of the land plot arise.
A Nor Sor Sam Gor title can be sold, mortgaged or transferred. This land title can also be upgraded to a Chanote title but only after a full and accurate measuring of the land has been carried out by the local land office, this will include official markers being placed on the land and that no opposition is made against the proposed upgrade to a chanote title.
Nor Sor Sam
The main difference between a Nor Sor Sam Gor and Nor Sor Sam title is that a Nor Sor Sam has never been properly measured or accurately by the relevant people at the land office and therefore does not have true and recognised boundaries.
Any boundary markers which may be found on this type of land plot will normally have been put there by the owners of the land, rather than by officials from the Land Department.
Of course, this could create problems as to whether the boundaries and even size of the land plot is accurate. A land plot with a this title can be upgraded to a Nor Sor Sam Gor.
Nor Sor Song
This is a temporary certificate or rather a letter of consent which entitles the holder to occupy a piece of land for a designated period of time. This is issued by the Land Department and states that the holder must begin occupation of the land within 6 months of receiving the letter of consent, which is valid for a period up to 3 years. A land plot with a Nor Sor Song can not be sold or leased but can be inherited.
Sor Kor Nung land titles in Thailand
A Sor Kor Nung land title has very little real rights associated with it but is rather a notification of possession of a plot of land. Generally speaking this type of land title relates to land used for farming and is more commonly found in rural areas of Thailand. Depending on the location of the land, it may be upgraded to Nor Sor Sam, Gor or Chanote but only with approval from a court.
Please note all the info above is just a guide and we would always recommend that you complete your own research into the different land titles in Thailand. Consult an independent lawyer, speak to people in the know and make sure you are fully aware of the details of any agreement or contract with regards to land in Thailand before you make any kind of long term commitment.