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Common Property Problems

These would be the most common property problems in Thailand. These also occur on the island of Phuket and other tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand such as Samui and Koh Pha-Ngan. Always talk to a property lawyer in Phuket if you are looking to buy property as they will need to do a due diligence report on the property, developer as well as the land title deed.

Not speaking to a property lawyer raises the risk of a very bad investment and the possible loss of your investment or retirement egg.

Title Deeds

[Not Upgradable] The most common problems in Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Pha-Ngan was selling property to foreigners such as the Nor Sor Ha 5 and telling them that they can make good money after upgrading the title deed to a Chanote. The approval for these types of upgrades are very rare and if they are then also very costly. Note the reading from the local media:

Bangkok Post, September 12 2005; ‘Land authorities will not issue title deeds to holders of Tor Bor Ha / Sor Por Gor or Bor Por Tor land right documents on Samui Island.

[Cannot be sold] The next common problem is people who sell land which cannot be sold and can only be used for agriculture. These would be the Sor Por Gor. 4-01 which can only be transferred by inheritance. The title was created to settle many landless poor in Thailand who had been living in the forests.

[Cannot be sold] The Sor Tor Gor (S.T.G.) much like the title deed above was created for landless poor in Thailand. The title deed cannot be sold or bought and can only be by inheritance. These are normally located in the reserved forests in Thailand. These types of title deeds are offered for sale to foreigners however they cannot be sold. There was a large property scandal as few years back on Koh Samui where this type of land had been developed illegally on government land.

Incorrect Measurements:

This is another common problem in Thailand as foreigners don’t understand the land measurements. At times the condo might read that the room is 6m X 6m when it does not state if that is useable space or if it includes the thickness of the walls. This is important in new developments as you normally pay per square meter for the condo units. The due diligence would normally settle this for you so you will know if you are being overcharged. If you are buying land for your Thai wife then the adverts might appeal to foreigners telling you 2 acres are for sale. Thai’s don’t use acres but a different form of measurement. This could also be wrong unless someone checks the title deed for the Thai measurements and converts it for you. The Thai land measurements are below.

  • ·         1 Rai 4 Ngan (or 1600 Sq.m.)
  • ·         1 Ngan 100 Wah (or 400 Sq.m.)
  • ·         1 Wah 4 Sq.m.
  • ·         1 Acre 2.5 Rai (approx.)
  • ·         1 Hectare 6.25 Rai (approx.)

When buying property in Thailand then always check with a property lawyer about these issues including the transfer of the property which is also unlike the West – different.