Land Title Deeds in Thailand

According to its basic definition in Law, land title deed is a deed or document evidencing a person’s legal right or title to a property, particularly real property. It is a legal document signed and sealed and furthermore delivered to effectuate a transfer of property.


Land Rights and Land Documents in Thailand

Title deeds are issued by land department and other government departments of Thailand. There are six (6) main title documents which are issued by the Land Department office for the use of individuals which relate to temporary occupation, use and occupation, confirmed right of possession or notification of possession of land. These six (6) main title documents are enumerated as follows:


1. Sor Kor Nung (1)

The Sor Kor Nung (1) land document is a notice outline of possession of land and has little real rights coupled with it. It gives the holder the right to dwell in and use the land (normally for farming). The person who actually occupies the land may have a better right than the person who has just a notice form. This land may be traded and transmitted by inheritance. Lawfully, the transfer process is not more than handing over the notification form and possession or use of the land from one person to another. It is likely to register rights (sale, lease, usufruct, mortgage, etc.) over this type of land.


2. Nor Sor Song (2)

The Nor Sor Song 2 is an approval memo issued by the land department office to the possessor. This document gives the holder the right to occupy and use the land for a temporary period of time. The possessor has to initiate occupation and using the N.S.2 land with six (6) months and has to complete the utilization of the land with three (3) years from the receipt of N.S.2. This land may not be sold or transferred except by inheritance.


3. Nor Sor Saam (3)

The Nor Sor Saam (3) is a title deed which demonstrates a person’s right to acquire a definite plot of land, but the land borders must be confirmed with neighbouring plots. There are no so called parcel points or numbered concrete posts which are hammered into the ground to mark the boundaries of the land. The name showing on the title is the person who has the right to the land and has the legal right to possess the land and use the benefit of the land as an owner (it is not actual full ownership). This right will be recognized by the law and can be used as evidence in any dispute with an ordinary person or the government. It is possible to register a sale or lease and apply and obtain approval to build on this land if building complies with relevant building regulations, zoning and or other laws (e.g. environmental protection). The owner may burden the land (mortgage, lease, etc.) and register this with the Land Department. The land may be sold subject to a 30-day public notice period.


Nor Sor Saam (3) Gor

The Nor Sor Saam (3) Gor has the same legal basis as the Nor Sor Saam however the borders of the land are defined and the land is truthfully reviewed in relation to neighbouring land areas (the land area parcel points are set by using an aerial survey), the right of use has been established and legal acts concerning the land, such as sale, do not need to be published and it is probable to register rights against the land and subdivide the land in smaller plots.


Nor Sor Saam (3) Khor

The Nor Sor Saam (3) Khor on the other hand, is similar to the N.S.3 Gor however is surveyed and issued in an area which has no parcel points set by using an aerial survey. This document is issued by a land officer. Moreover, there are no restrictions for the use of the land and there is no need to publicize any legal acts, and it is possible to subdivide the land into smaller plots.


4. Nor Sor Si (4) Jor (Chanote)

The Nor Sor Si (4) Jor or Chanote is an official document of true ownership for land and the only true ownership land title deed. The lands which are being hold under Chanotes are truthfully surveyed and GPS plotted in relation to a national survey grid and marked by unique numbered marker ports positioned in the ground. Chanote titles are found in the more developed areas of Thailand. Legal acts such as sale do not have to be published. Futhermore, there are no general restrictions on the use and the land can be sub-divided.


5. Nor Sor Ha (5)

The Nor Sor Ha (5) is a manuscript that substantiates the right of the holder in the N.S. 5 land. If the holder has a N.S. 5 land document along with a utilization certificate it designates that the district officer has confirmed the utilization on the land, so this N.S. 5 land title with the utilization certificate can be sold or transferred by registration at the land office. In addition, without the supporting evidence in the form of a utilization certificate it indicates that the district officer has not yet confirmed the utilization of such and in this case may not be sold or transferred except by inheritance.


Importance of Land Title Deeds in Real Estate Investments

6. The most important part of any real estate investment is the land title deed. In investing to real estate in Thailand, the land must have a suitable and legally issued title deed. The land title deed is the official document administered by the Land Department which states and proves a person’s legal right to own or possess a piece of land, its survey status, as well as rights, obligations, or mortgages on the property. The only feasible land titles for investment, whether freehold through a company, by a Thai national or through leasehold is in the first place the Chanote (N.S.4.J) freehold land title followed by the Nor Sor Sam Gor (N.S.4.G). Less attractive is the Nor Sor Sam (N.S.3) as this land title is not (yet) accurately surveyed and the area must be confirmed with neighbouring land. This land may only be sold subject to a 30-days notice period in which it is not uncommon that boundary or ownership disputes are started. This type of land can be upgraded to a Nor.Sor.3.Gor or Chanote.


Contents of Land Title Deed
Title deed forms shall contain the following information, namely: Name, Surname, Residence of the owner, Location of Land, Area, and map of the plot of land showing boundaries on all four sides and shall have an index of registration. These title deed forms shall be signed by the land official and Province Governor and affixed with their seals of office. The aforesaid title deeds shall be made in duplicate one copy being given to the owner and the other being kept at the Province Land Office or its branch, as the case may be.