The title deeds in Thailand

When investing in properties in Thailand, it is important to be aware of the different types of Thai title deeds available in order to have all cards in hands to make your investment successful. Below is a brief breakdown of what these different land deeds are.

Table of Contents
  1. What is a title deed?
  2. What are the types of title deeds in Thailand?
    1. Nor Sor 4 Jor (Chanote) (น.ส.4 จ)
    2. Sor Kor 1 (ส.ค.1)
    3. Or Chor 2 อ.ช.2 (Condominium Title)
    4. Nor Sor 3 (น.ส.3)
    5. Nor Sor 3 Gor (น.ส.3ก.)

What is a title deed?

A title deed is a document that show’s a person’s ownership rights over a particular piece of land. It also gives information about additional information related to that land, such as the leases and mortgages.

In Thailand, you will find numerous different types of title deeds, all of which grant different rights and levels of ownership.

  • For lands : A foreigner in Thailand cannot own a chanote, a certificate of ownership for a land, because they are not permitted to directly own one. However, their names can be included on a chanote due to leases and other property rights. Perhaps the least valuable is the possessory right document which addresses a right to use land that has not been substantiated by the department of land. However, the most valuable is the chanote title deed, or Nor. Sor. 4 Jor (น.ส.4 จ), that gives the document holder full rights over the land mentioned on the deed.
  • For condominiums : Foreign investors are permitted to purchase a condominium and to own Chor 2, the title deed for condominiums. This allows them to own their condo unit in full. This includes the right to lease the unit, and the right to sell it.

Thailand has its own units of measurements, “Wah”, “Ngan” and “Rai”. These units are usually used for land, but square meters are usually used for buildings and they convert as follow:

  • 1 Ngan = 100 Wah (or 400 m2)
  • 1 Rai = 4 Ngan (or 1600 m2)
  • 1 Wah = 4 m2
  • 1 Hectare = 25 Rai (approx.)
  • 1 Acre = 5 Rai (approx.)

What are the types of title deeds in Thailand?

As mentioned, there are several types of title deeds in Thailand. It helps to know what different types there are and what right they do, or do not, give you. Below is a brief look at some of the most commonly used and the rights they give to the deed holder.

Nor Sor 4 Jor (Chanote) (น.ส.4 จ)

The chanote land title in Thailand is the highest of all when it comes to land ownership in Thailand and it gives the holder full right to the land. The land attached to the deed is fully surveyed and plotted and marked out. You are most likely to find this type of deed in the more developed parts of the country.

The deed gives the owner the right to use the land as they please, provided their actions do not break the law. The holder can also lease out the land and grant other rights such as a superficies and usufruct. The land can also be sold and passed on to other people, provided that person is a Thai national.

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Sor Kor 1 (ส.ค.1)

This document gives few actual rights to land in Thailand, compared to most other Thai title deeds, and such a deed has not been used since 1972. The document owner has the right to use the land, but they do not have the right to register other rights like a lease.

Also, they can not subdivide the land and they cannot be encumbered with a mortgage. This title tends to be issued to notify other people of the document holder’s right to use the land, and it typically used by farmers. The land is not fully surveyed, and the dimensions of the land are given on a rudimentary map.

This title is sometimes used to help the owner to upgrade another plot of land elsewhere to a chanote title deed. The deed can be transferred to another person and it can be passed on by inheritance. It can also be upgraded to a more secure type of title deed.

Or Chor 2 อ.ช.2 (Condominium Title)

The Or Chor 2 (อ.ช.2) deed is also known as the condominium title and is perhaps the one that foreigners are most likely to invest in because foreign investors are limited when it comes to owning land in Thailand and, condominiums are the easiest and most convenient option, particularly when it comes to having a place of residence.

The document holder has complete ownership over the condo unit and the owner has the right to rent the condo, the right to sell the unit, or leave it to an heir. In addition to ownership of the condo unit itself, the holder also has a small share in the common property. This means the whole condominium building and the land it is located on.

The owner will also have a right to vote in the condominium association. It should be noted that this document can only be granted to a foreigner if no more than 49% percent of the condo units are foreign owned.

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Nor Sor 3 (น.ส.3)

The holder of this chanote land title possesses land that does not have clearly defined borders. It is possible to build on the land and to lease it, and it can also be burdened with a mortgage. The title effectively allows the document holder to use the land as though it is their own, although they do not have full ownership rights over the land.

Although the title holder does not have full ownership rights over the property, their right to use the property is still fully recognized by law. Perhaps the biggest drawback of this title is that the lack of clearly defined boundaries will lead to disputes in some cases.

This land title can be upgraded to other types of Thai title deeds.

Nor Sor 3 Gor (น.ส.3ก.)

This document gives the holder the same right as the Nor Sor 3 document, however, the land is surveyed and the borders are clearly defined. This gives the advantage of not having to be concerned over boundary disputes. The owner of the title is also confirmed to have the right to use the land, to sell the land, and register rights against the land.

The owner is also permitted to subdivide the land into smaller plots and it can be upgraded to a Nor Sor 4 Jor (Chanote) (น.ส.4 จ) title.