Title Deeds in Thailand

The title deeds system in Thailand is not like anything in the West and many times this creates problems when foreigners buy property in the name of their Thai wife and don’t get what they thought they would be getting. The title deed is very important as there are a number of different title deeds in Thailand most have very limited rights. If you are buying property in the name of your wife and want to register a usufruct or superficies over the title deed to protect yourself then you need to ensure you have a full title deed and not a limited one.


Thai Real Estate

Sor Kor Nung

The Thai Land Department last issued a Sor Kor Nung in 1972 and these title deeds are no longer really used in Thailand. You also cannot upgrade this title deed to a full title deed so stay clear of this title deed in Thailand. This deed you will mainly find in rural Thailand as it is mainly used for occupying farmland. You cannot register a usufruct or anything against its title deed as it is for occupation only.

Nor Sor Song

This is another title deed to stay clear of as the title only allows for temporary occupancy of the land. This land cannot be sold or transferred except by inheritance. This land can be upgraded to Nor.Sor. 3, Nor.Sor. 3 Gor or Nor. Sor. 4 Jor (Chanote) BUT the limitations of sale or transfer is still prohibited even after being upgraded.

Nor Sor Saam

This is a parcel of land which has not had it borders with its neighbors defined as yet by the Land Department. In other words they have not market the land with land mark posts as yet. This is not a full title deed and can be upgraded but it is a title deed a foreigner would not want. The land may be sold however there needs to be a 30 day public notice before sale so your neighbors can raise an objection as the sale of the land might be part of their plot of land.

Nor Sor Saam Gor

This is an upgraded title deed from the above Nor Sor Saam. The border have been measured with the parcel points set using an air survey and you don’t need to give 30 days’ public notice to sell this land. Again it is NOT a title deed recommended for a foreigner so speak to our property lawyer about this type of land first.

Nor Sor Saam Khor

This is an upgraded title deed from the Nor Sor Saam Gor. The parcel point however have not been set by an air survey but issued by an officer from the Land Department. Again not a title deed recommend to a foreigner to buy unless you take the advice from our property lawyer as this land can be upgraded to a full Chanote but it does take up to a year and does cost money to upgrade title deeds.

Chanote (Nor Sor Si Jor)

This is the only title deed a foreigner should buy in Thailand as it is full ownership of the property without any restrictions. There is a note about the Chanote in Thailand which is why it is always recommended to have a due diligence done on any property bought in Thailand.  Never buy any property in Thailand without having a full due diligence done. The Chanote however recently has had its own issues:

  • Under the Thai land reform programme many Chanote’s have been issued for property in Thailand however they are restricted and this would be reflected in the title deed. One example of this is that the Chanote cannot be sold before 10 years has elapsed.
  • Land right documents can be complicated as at times the Chanote may say 3 Rai of land but in reality it might only be 2 Rai of land. This is why a due diligence has to be done where a property lawyer will investigate the land and the title deed.
  • If you hold a Chanote and a squatter has lived on the land for more than 10 years and you have made no any effort to remove them the squatter can apply to the Land Department to have rights over the land.

Property in Thailand is very complex and the land measurements are all in Wah, Rai and Ngan. If you do not understand these terms or the title deed structure then you need to call us tollfree or you can simply walk into our offices in Thailand for more assistance. Always speak to a lawyer in Thailand before you sign or agree to any property transaction.