There are many different types of land titles in Thailand , the majority of which do not allow the legal right to build a house on that land. We only recommend one title:
CHANOT (Land Title Deed) is a certificate for ownership of land. A person having their name shown on the deed has the right to the land and can use it as evidence to confirm the right to Government authorities. This land has been accurately measured using GPS to set the area and boundaries of the land. The boundaries of the land are indicated by numbered posts. Any legal acts may be done immediately, as per the right of ownership. Land partition of more than 9 plots must be carried out according to the Land Allotment Law, Section 286.
The land office holds information on all land or real estate within the province. This is the place to conduct any due diligence prior buying.
Purchase transaction should be recorded in a written from, have documentary evidence showing some form of a deed signifying title, and should be registered and paid. It should be noted that contracts of sale and negotiations between the buyer and seller do not take precedence - as the only transactions conducted at the land office are to record what is being exchanged and what fees are payable. Apartment and condominium leases for more then 3 years should also be registered at the Provincial land office.
Proof of real estate or land ownership that has yet to be surveyed or officially documented is considered dubious. One should also scrutinize all parties mentioned as owners, as they may not represent the true owners but distant relatives or aunts and uncles. The process to determine ownership can become quite complicated, especially in rural areas where deeds of title and record of ownership change are not altogether as mature as in western countries. Caution is therefore well advised !
Documents, which provide evidence of ownership include:
Title Deed (Chanote):
A title deed is the purest form of land ownership signifying that the property or real estate has been surveyed and catalogued with the district land office. It ensures easy transfer and is issued mainly in urban areas. One original set is kept in the District Land Office where the registration of land transfer takes place, and the other original set is given to the owner of the land.
Confirmed Certificate of Use: (Ngor Sor Saam Gor)
This document certifies the right to own and use land and is often issued pending the upgrade to title deed. This title is very similar to Chanote but has not yet been upgraded because formalities to upgrade the title have not been completed by the owner. Transfer of the certificate is mainly completed at the District Land Office or Branch District level, as the case may be.
Certificate of Use: (Ngor Sor Saam)
This is similar to the confirmed certificate of ownerships and use, but lacks completion of formalities such as provision of an aerial surveys or official measurement by the district land office relative to other parcel within the adjoining areas. Transfer of this certificate requires posting of intent at each of the following places:
- Provincial Land Office or Branch Land Office;
- District Land Office or Branch District Office;
- House of the Village Headman;
- Location of the land;
- Municipal Office, if the land is in a municipality.
(There is a 30-day waiting period before the transfer is registered by the Chief District Officer or Assistant District Officer, as the case may be)
Below the Chanot and N.S.3. title, there are a host of other forms of land claim deeds and paper such as the Sor. Kor. Nueng (S.K.1)., the Tor. Bor. Tor. Hoc. (T.B.T.6) and the Tor. Bor. Tor. Ha.(T.B.T.5.) These rights are essentially a form of squatter claim, filed with the district office for a small fee. It is not possible to register ownership or lease the land and as consequence cannot be used as a security document in a bank loan. In some instances, depending on the length of the claim and use it is possible to upgrade these land claims (to N.S.3. or Chanot title).
Certificate of Possession: (Sor Kor Neung)
This certificate only recognizes possession and does not imply ownership rights with such possession. The certificate is non-transferable. However, a person in possession may transfer physical possession. This certificate is required for issuance of a Certificate of Use, and is most common in the rural areas. Tax Receipt A tax receipt is evidence of possession, but does not confer ownership rights with possession. It is useful when applying for a Certificate of Possession.
Certificate of Possession: (Sor Bor Khor)
A Sor. Bor Kor. title is a very different. These are true title deeds, accurately surveyed and post-marked, which can also be mortgaged and submitted for planning permission for development. However, they may not be sold or transferred (except under last will and testament). Although this interpretation cannot be fully translated into widespread implementation (i.e. the existence of "gray" areas) it is expected that its interpretation will change in time and that the titles will become upgradeable to full Chanot.
Condominium - Title Deed: (Nangsue Kammasit Hong-Chut)
This is the documentary evidence of condominium ownership. It has similar importance to the Land Title Deed (Chanote). Administrative procedures relating to the registration and issuance of a Land Title Deed also apply to the registration and issuance of a Condominium Unit Title Deed.