If you are buying property then you need to know about 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 Title Deeds
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 neighbours defined as yet by the Land Department. In other words they have not marked 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 neighbours 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 borders 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. This again not a title deed recommend to a foreigner to buy unless you take 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 the possibility of an encumbered title deed such as with a 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 Thailand 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.
Thailand titles are important to understand. If you are offered a Sor Por Kor 401 then speak to us as Thai titles have changed over the past few years, especially the Sor Por Kor 401 and agricultural land. Always speak to a lawyer in Thailand before you sign or agree to any property transaction.
Title Deeds in Thailand FAQ
What is a Chanote title in Thailand?
The Chanote is a title deed in Thailand which is a certificate of true ownership. It is the only true ownership title deed. The Chanote title deed has been accurately surveyed by the Land Department and GPS plotted in relation to a national survey grid. These title deeds is what foreigners should hold.
What is the meaning of title deed?
A title deed is the evidence of your legal ownership of a specific property or land.
What is difference between sale deed and title deed?
The sale deed is a sales agreement however the title deed is proof of legal ownership of the property itself.
What is the land registry in Thailand?
The land registry is also called the Land Office in Thailand where all property transactions are registered.