Land Titles in Thailand

By | January 4, 2014

Thailand Land Titles

Buyers MUST be aware of the various title deeds existing under Thai Law BEFORE CONSIDERING buying land in Thailand.

As a non-Thai buying land in Thailand, you should only consider land that comes with a Chanote, Nor Sor Sam Gor or Nor Sor Sam land title.

These three different titles can be sold, leased and used as mortgagecollateral and are the only titles over which registerable right of ownership or lease can exist.

More importantly, you cannot apply for or obtain approval to build on such land without one of the aforementioned titles.

There is a fourth land title which is Sor Kor Nung – (Certificate of Possession), but foreigners should not buy land under this title, as you will see below !.

In any event, please make sure you have a good lawyer look over the paperwork before you commit to anything.

We have also added a link to provide useful information regarding theThailand Land Measurement Conversions so that you can work out exactly the sizes in your local measurement, rather than having to guess it !.



Chanote -(Title Deeds)
This is the most secure type of land title and is what every purchaser should be looking for.It is a freehold title with the owner able to leave the land unattended.

The title deeds are registered at the Land Department in the province in which the land is located, and there is no wating time required to transfer title.

The person having their name shown on the deed certificate has the legal right to the land, and can use it as evidence to confirm the right to government authorities.

Chanote titles are very accurately surveyed & plotted in relation to a national survey grid and also marked by unique numbered marker posts set in the ground.

It is the long term goal of the Thailand Land Department, that all land in the Kingdom will be covered under the Chanote title system.


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Nor Sor Sam Gor – (Confirmed Certificate of Use)
The Nor Sor Sam Gor has the same legal basis as the Nor Sor Sam, with the exception being that in general Nor Sor Sam Gor have parcel points on the map of the land area set by using an aerial survey with a scale of 1:5000.

It is a more accurately surveyed title than the Nor Sor Sam as each plot is crossed referenced to a master survey of the land area and a corresponding aerial photograph.

Therefore, it is possible to verify the boundaries of the land, however, it is not as accurately surveyed as the Chanote.

The Nor Sor Sam Gor certifies that the person named on the deedcertificate has the confirmed right to use the land, implying all requirementsfor the issuance of title deed have been met, and issuance of the title deed is pending.

Land covered under a Nor Sor Sam Gor may be sold, leased, used asmortgage collateral etc, however,the holder of this certificate cannot leave the land unattended for more than 12 years.

The Chanoted and the Nor Sor Sam Gor are the only titles over which registerable right of ownership or lease can exist, and therefore are as such the only ones that a prudent foreigner should consider !!.




Nor Sor Sam -(Certificate of Use)
Very similar to the Nor Sor Sam Gor(Confirmed Certificate of Use), except that not all of the formalities to certify the right to use have been performed.

It is the lowest land title which allows for legally building a property and an instrument certifying the use of land issued by the government to the proprietor of land not a possessory title, i.e. it is confirmed by law that a person holding a Nor Sor Sam has the legal right to possess the land.

This land title can be used as a legal document or to use the benefit of the land as an owner. The Nor Sor Sam is a floating map with no parcel points.It is issued for a specific plot of land and is not connected to other land plots.

This causes problems in verifying the land area. Any legal acts or required changes MUST be raised via a “Notice of Intent” and be posted and then 30 days public notice is necessary before any change of status over the land can be registered.



Sor Kor Nung -(Certificate of Possession)


The Sor Kor Nung land deed recognises ONLY that a person is in possession of land but the Certificate does not imply that there are any rights associated which the possession.

This type of deed is not transferable, but a person in possession may transfer physical possession and the new possessor may apply for a newCertificate of Possession, confused, i am !!.

This type of land deed should NOT under any circumstances be pursued, the Land Department recognises the “possession” of the land, but not any ownership rights.

The land is not accurately “mapped” and can & does lead to many disputes within Thailand !!.