To the new property buyer, Cambodian land titles classifications can be rather confusing.
Let’s explore the three main ways property ownership can be secured in Cambodia, and the major misconceptions surrounding Cambodian property ownership and Cambodia land titles.
Property ownership can now be secured by one of three forms of Cambodia land title: Hard title, Soft title and Private Ownership in Co-owned Buildings – also known as Strata Title.
1) HARD TITLE:
- Hard title is the strongest form of property ownership in Cambodia and the best Cambodia Land Title.
- Hard titles are an ownership certificate provided by the Land Management and Planning office.
- Hard titles contain detailed information that has been duly recognised and certified at a national level with the Ministry of Land and a cadastral office.
- A Transfer tax of four percent applies of the total property value when a hard title transaction occurs.
- Hard Titles are not available for foreigners.
2) SOFT TITLE:
- Soft title is the most common form of ownership and the most commonly issued Cambodia land title as they avoid ownership transfer taxes and fees.
- It is a Cambodian land title that is recognised at the local government level.
- Soft titles are provided by the local Sangkat or District office and are not registered at a national level - but are still considered a possessory status.
- Soft Titles are generally not available for foreigners.
3) STRATA TITLE:
- Private Ownership in Co-owned Buildings (aka Strata Title) is the most recent form of ownership and allows foreigners to legally own property in Cambodia.
- Strata Title is a less common Cambodia land title, but numbers are growing fast. Most new condo development projects offer this type of title.
- The ‘Law on Foreign Ownership’ was promulgated on 24 May, 2010. This law limits foreign ownership to co-owned buildings. Foreigners still cannot own land, as it is unconstitutional.
- Co-owned buildings are defined as a building or construction in which several owners reside (eg. a condo complex or office tower), consisting of some parts that are the exclusive ownership of each co-owner (private units) and some other parts that are common spaces for the common use of co-owners (common areas).