Understanding property title in Cambodia
A property title, also known as a deed or land title, is an official legal document that serves as proof of ownership or interest in a specific property. It contains information about the property's location, boundaries, and characteristics, as well as details about the current owner or owners.
The purpose of a property title is to establish and safeguard ownership rights. It provides certainty and clarity regarding who owns the property and what rights they have, including the right to possess, use, transfer, or sell the property. The title may also outline any restrictions or encumbrances, such as mortgages or liens, that affect the property. In Cambodia, it should be noted that a significant portion of land may not have official land title certificates due to historical reasons or the absence of formal registration. In such cases, it is advisable to seek guidance from local authorities, legal professionals, or land experts to understand the specific processes and requirements for securing land rights and titles in compliance with local laws and regulations.
Available title types:
1. Hard Title:
Ownership of property (in the form of hard title) is ensured by the state. To accomplish this, the Cadastral Administration, which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, is granted the authority to identify properties, create land cadastral layouts, issue land titles, register land, and disseminate information to the public regarding the status of land plots. This information includes details such as land type, land size, landowners, and any potential encumbrances associated with the particular plot of land.
- Hard title is considered the most significant and reliable form of land ownership in Cambodia.
- It is a certificate of ownership issued by the Office of Land Management.
- Hard titles contain details that have been nationally recognized and certified by the Cadastral Office and the Ministry of Land Management.
- Acquiring a hard title involves a 4% state tax.
2. Soft Title:
- Soft title is the most commonly used form of land title in Cambodia.
- It is recognized by the local government.
- Soft titles are provided by the Commune or District Office and are not registered at the national level, although they still hold legal validity.
- Many real estate transfers are conducted using soft titles to circumvent taxes and fees payable to the state.
- However, most large new development projects have hard titles, as they are the most established land titles in Cambodia.
3. Private Property Ownership:
- Private ownership in condominiums represents the newest form of ownership, allowing foreigners to legally own real estate in Cambodia.
- This form of ownership is referred to as Strata Title.
- Property Ownership Certificates are less common in Cambodia but are gradually increasing in number.
- The Law on "Foreign Ownership" was officially enacted on May 20, 2010.
- This law governs the ownership rights of foreigners in co-ownership buildings.
- Co-ownership buildings are defined as multi-owner buildings or constructions, where some areas are individually owned by each owner (private floor), while other areas are common areas accessible to all owners (common use area).
Source: Land Law Approved August 13, 2001 [km.wikipedia.org/wiki/ច្បាប់]