Title Deeds in Thailand
It is prudent for anyone interested in acquiring land in Thailand to have such property subject to a Title Search and or Due Diligence first to ascertain the ownership and the type of title that the property has. This is to make sure that the person who is selling or leasing the property has the legal capacity and ascendancy to deal it and that the land can be purchased or leased and registered accordingly.
In Thailand, there are several types of Title Deeds with each of them signifying the term of ownership or use as well as the rights attached therewith. These Title Deeds also provide anyone with an idea whether these properties have been officially surveyed by the Land Department or not yet.
Presented in order from the most secure type of Title Deed to the least secure, these are the main land title documents in the Kingdom.
Chanote (Nor Sor 4) - Freehold Title Deed
Of all the types of Title Deeds in the Kingdom, the Chanote is the most superior. Bearing the red garuda, the Chanote signifies full ownership of the property by its listed owner. It also attest that the land has been fully surveyed and correlated by the Land Department with the satellite photographs and the national survey grid.
On the title deed, the property's position, total area, title number and other survey information are listed as well as a sketch that shows the property's relationship with that of its neighboring parcels.
Nor Sor Sam Gor (NS-3K) - Confirmed Certificate of Use
Almost as good as the Chanote is the Nor Sor Sam Gor or the Confirmed Certificate of Use. What it signify is the Land Department's confirmation and certification of the possessor's right towards the land.
Parcels bearing the Nor Sor Sam Gor are unofficially surveyed by the Land Department although these have been already correlated with the master surveys and satellite photographs. It also bears the black garuda and it also lists down the property's total area, its location and survey information as well as the sketch.
The owner of such land with a NS-3K certificate can file for a petition to have the property officially surveyed and then be elevated to a Chanote Title Deed.
Nor Sor Sam (NS-3) - Certificate of Use
The Nor Sor Sam provides certification to owner of the parcel that he has occupied the land and has been positively utilized it. The certificate also recognizes the rights of possession of the owner although these rights are not yet officially recognized.
Lands with Nor Sor Sam 3 certificate may have been surveyed against adjacent properties but such surveys have yet to be correlated with the master survey or satellite photographs making way for chances that the real size of the property is inaccurate.
Documents Providing Evidence of Land Ownership
- Sor Kor 1 (SK-1) –Claim Certificate
The Sor Kor 1 only establishes the "claim" of a person towards a plot and not the actual "ownership." Anyone can establish a claim by occupying the land for more than six (6) months and after publishing a notice at the Land Department for thirty (30) days after which, if there are no counter claims, the claimant can continue occupying the property.
Plots with Sor Kor 1 has no well-defined boundaries. Instead, it utilizes the common language and the natural markers to describe the plot i.e. "from the tree near the stream to the top of the hill."
Nonetheless, plots with Sor Kor 1 may still be upgraded even up to a Chanote but the claimant must provide enough proof that it has been acquired legally and has been utilized in a good manner.
- Bai Jong (NS-2) - Preemption Certificate
The Bai Jong provides anyone with a "temporary" right to occupy a piece of land which can be upgraded to Certificate of Use.
- Por Tor Bor 5
The Por Tor Bor 5 gives no evidence of a valid claim for ownership as the usual owner of these lands with such certificate is the government of Thailand. What it does certify is that the person occupying the land has paid taxes due therewith.