Buying a property for sale in Phuket: Get advice on ownership and title

Titles of property in Thailand

As a potential buyer of property for sale in Phuket, it is important for you to be aware of the various different types of title that exist, in order to understand what is being proposed. A high percentage of the land for sale in Phuket has no title or is even not referred to specifically, owing to a lack of the comprehensive topographic studies necessary to create a full registry of land.

As a foreigner buying land for sale in Phuket, you should only consider a plot that comes with a Chanote (Nor Sor 4), a Nor Sor 3 or a Nor Sor 3 Gor. These different types of title deed, described below, can be sold, rented and used as a mortgage guarantee, and are the only ones that constitute proof of a right of registered ownership or lease. More important still, you cannot request or get permission to build on land without one of the titles mentioned above. In any case, make sure you have a good lawyer who has studied all the documents before you make any commitment whatsoever to buying land for sale in Phuket.

Nor Sor 3

The Nor Sor 3, a document certifying the use of the land and the owner of the land, is issued and managed by the District Land Office (the district office in charge of the land registry) but is not a title of possession. In other words, the Nor Sor 3 is an official document that certifies the person with the legal right to own and to use the land in question. The Nor Sor 3 specifies boundaries of neighboring plots approximately and thus, while the boundaries of the plot concerned are noted, the plot has not been measured. This absence of accurate readings can cause problems in verifying the plot’s boundaries. A change of possession of the land must be made public for 30 days before you can be registered. A Nor Sor 3 may be converted to a Nor Sor 3 Gor, then subsequently to a Chanote, by application to the land department.

Nor Sor 3 Gor

The Nor Sor 3 Gor has the same legal basis as the Nor Sor 3, the difference being that the Nor Sor 3 Gor plot has been measured by the land department. In general, Nor Sor 3 Gor boundaries are defined by an aerial mapping survey using a scale of 1:5000. The Nor Sor Gor 3 title is more accurate because each plot has been mapped to a main ground survey and a corresponding aerial photograph, and it is therefore possible to check the plot’s limits. However, a Nor Sor Gor 3 title is always less precise than a Chanote. As indicated above, it is possible to apply for a Nor Sor Gor 3 title to be converted to a Chanote.


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