There are about 10 forms of the title of ownership in Thailand. For each of them, the Land Department issues its own type of document. Each type can be upgraded to the next level, which gives more rights of using the land.
The lowest title a Thai citizen can obtain simply by building a temporary dwelling on the land, for example a bamboo hut, and notify the authorities about it. If the land is free, it is not owned by someone, does not belong to the national park, it is not used by the government and there are no claims from third parties, the authorities allow the citizen to reside on this land. In a few years, the owner can apply for an official address. With the receipt of the address and the document of its certification the owner also receives the right to transfer the land by inheritance, but no more.
A simple title that allows Thai citizens to sell and rent out the land is Nor Sor (3) Sam. This right of ownership is granted on the basis of a long-term ownership, but this certificate is issued for plots whose boundaries are not officially defined and are not registered at the Land Department. When selling this piece of land, you must make a public notice period of 30 days before the planned date of the transaction. During this period, disputes may arise with the owners of neighboring plots, as there is no land cadastral documentation. On a plots that has the title Nor Sor (3) Sam, with the permission of the authorities, it is possible to build a certain type of building.
Nor Sor Sam Gor – the second, after Chanote, type of document certifying the ownership of land. A piece of land with this title can be sold and leased, handed down and divided into smaller parts. The boundaries of this section are clearly defined by aerial survey, and there is no need for a public notification of the intention to make a deal. This title also gives the owner the right to raise the document level to Chanote, as soon as the area where the plot is located will enter the Chanote zone. In fact, this type of document is a transitional formality between Nor Sor (3) Sam and Chanote.
The main title that confirms ownership of the land is called a Chanote. The boundaries of the plot with Chanote are clearly marked with GPS and are registered in the national cadastral system. The territory is marked by authorized representative by using special pillars (pegs); each of it has a specific government number. In this document there is a complete description of the plot of land, its history, size, boundaries, as well as information of the division of the land and registered transactions. Chanote gives the owner the right to dispose of a piece of land at his own discretion, for example, to transfer by inheritance or by donation, sell and lease. According to the law, land can be leased to foreigners or sold to a Thai company with majority of shareholders of Thai nationality.
The size of the land is indicated in the Thai measures:
1 Wah = 4 square meters
1 Ngan = 100 Wah = 400 square meters
1 Rai = 4 Ngan = 400 Wah = 1,600 square meters