Property sales are not well regulated in Thailand and this is the primary reason why most buyers retain the services of an attorney in Phuket or Thailand to ensure that they understand the law and that they are not going to invest in property that is not what it seems. Property scams are not new and many do make the news in Thailand. Below are some of them from the local Bangkok Post over the past few years.
Phuket Property Scam – Forest Land: (Source: BangkokPost March 14 2012)
Pol Col Dusadee said that in Phuket’s Krathu district, several investors have invaded reserved forest land in the Kamala Mountain Range, while land in tambon Kamala is being sold at 200 million baht per rai at the moment. Some have tried to push for the issuance of an ownership document for a 21-rai plot in the area. A beach-front hotel worth 4 billion baht is under construction on the plot, he said.
Another group recently tried to secure a land ownership document for 45 rai of land in Khao Nakkerd forest reserve in Phuket. Pol Col Dusadee said he would consult with senior officers to try to block the issuance of the ownership document for the land plot. In Phuket and Phangnga, it was found that almost 70% of forest areas have been encroached on.
Note again the issuing and using of title deeds that cannot be sold as listed under the Title Deeds for Thai Nationals on this website. Certain types of title deeds cannot be bought or sold and cannot be upgraded to a freehold title deed such as the Chanote title deed.
Phuket Property Scam – Incorrect Title Deeds (Bangkokpost March 10, 2012)
The first plot, covering 15 rai, was issued with a title deed this year. An initial investigation showed a Sor Khor 1 land occupation document was used to apply for the papers for the plot. However, details of the plot in the Sor Khor 1 document were different from what officials had seen. The document stated the land was near paddy fields, but the real plot was on a hill. The plot, if sold, could fetch about 200 million baht, said the source.
The second plot was issued with a Nor Sor 3 Kor land ownership document. Two Sor Khor 1 documents, one for eight rai and another for 19 rai, were used to apply for a land ownership paper, but the ownership document had been issued for a seafront plot of 33 rai, instead of 27 rai as stated on the application. Six rai of the 33-rai plot was found to be part of Kamala forest reserve, said the source. The land was priced at 200 million baht per rai.
See the section on Title Deeds in Thailand and also the different types of Title Deeds. The Sor Khor 1 as well as the Nor Sor 2 type title deeds. Many of these lower title deeds cannot be sold as they had been created so that Thai nationals could own land as they had been landless. Before buying any property or giving a deposit, speak to a property lawyer in Phuket first or you too could be at a loss of 200 million Baht per Rai.