Land Measurements

If you are buying property in Thailand the measurements can become confusing. It is neither imperial nor metric. We have a convertor on our site to convert Rai into square meters. The Thai system has not changed and when buying property it is best to understand it.

The metric system was officially introduced by a law passed on December 17, 1923. However, old Thai units are still in common use, especially for measurements of land which is often quoted using the traditional Thai system of waa, ngaan and rai. Old-timers in the provinces will occasionally use the traditional Thai system of weights and measures in speech, as will boat-builders, carpenters and other craftsmen when talking about their work. Here are some conversions to use for such occasions:

Thai system

Metric System
1 square wha 4 square meters
1 ngan (100 square wha) 400 square meters
1 rai (4 ngan) (1 sq cen) 1600 square meters
1 baht 15.16 grams
1 tamlung (4 Baht) 60 grams
1 chang (20 tamlung) 1.2 kg
1 haap (50 chang) 60 kg
1 niu 2 cm
1 kheup (12 niu) 25 cm
1 sawk (2 kheup) 50 cm
1 waa (4 sawk) 2 meters
1 sen (20 waa) 40 meters
1 yoht (400 sen) 16 km
1 kwien 2,000 liters
1 ban 1,000 liters (2 ban=1 kwien)
1 sat 20 liters (50 sat=1 ban)
1 tannan 1 liter (20 tannan=1 sat)

 

Fractional Ownership

Fractional ownership has not taken off well in Thailand where it concerns the locals. With a lack of laws governing fractional ownership it is still mainly foreigners who buy into it. There are however questions raised about the 49% condo ownership rule.

When buying a condo complex in Thailand foreigners may not own more than 49% of the units. With timeshare or fractional ownership now on the rise in Thailand questions are being raised about the current law regarding 49% ownership. Phanom Kanjanathiemthao, managing director of property consultant Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand) had this to say with regards to the current debate about property ownership in Thailand.

Restrictions on the foreign ownership of property create difficulties for developers using fractional ownership, who have to apply diverse strategies to attract Thai buyers, said Mr Phanom.

“Many properties in Pattaya and Phuket are not affordable for Thai buyers due to very high prices,” he said. “They cannot even buy with leasehold prices in some projects. Even a discounted price remains unaffordable for them.”

To encourage foreign buyers and prevent problems associated with using Thai nominee companies to purchase property for foreigners, Mr Phanom suggests extending the maximum property leasehold for foreigners to 75 or 90 years, from the current 30 years. In Vietnam, the government is amending the law to allow foreigners to own residential units, similar to Singapore and Malaysia.

“Today almost every country allows foreigners to buy property but they have a committee to set the conditions on what properties foreigners can own and how many they can hold,” he said.

Creating zones where foreigners could own condominiums outright was another approach, he said. Extending the maximum leasehold would benefit Thais and the country, said Praphaisith Tankeyura, managing director of Boathouse Hua Hin Co Ltd.

“We have to accept that almost all properties in Phuket and Samui now do not belong to Thai people,” he said.

Boathouse was among many projects that had to adjust their strategies to cope with shrinking foreign demand. Fractional ownership is a new concept in Thailand so speak to an attorney before you buy into any property scheme. There are currently no laws governing the concept and this might leave the system open to abuse.

 

Thailand Lawyer : Property

Buying property in Thailand will always require the assistance of a lawyer. With branches in Bangkok, Pattaya, Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin. We at Siam Legal are able to offer you the best service possible in Thailand as the largest legal services network in the country. Speak to us about your property transactions either in person at any of out offices, via live chat on our main website or via our tollfree US and UK numbers. See our main website for more details.

Offices located in Thailand

Bangkok: Head Office
Interchange 21 Building, 23rd Floor., 399 Sukhumvit Road,
North Klongtoey,Wattana,
Bangkok 10110
Tel : 662-253-8100
Fax : 662-253-8010

Phuket
123/27-28 Moo 5, Bangtao Place T. Cherngtalay, A. Thalang,
Phuket 83110, Thailand
Tel : 66 06-326-322

Pattaya
6/56 Moo 6, North Pattaya Road,
Banglamung, Chonburi 20150 Thailand
Tel :66 38-370-786

Koh Samui
142/17 Maret, IT Complex,
Building Suite 309, Lamai Beach,
Koh Samui, 84310 Thailand
Tel : 66 77-230-291

Hua Hin
41/223  Hua Hin  Huay Mongkol Rd
Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin,
Prachuabkirikhan, 77110 Thailand
Tel : 663-251-6375

Chiang Mai
Changkran Plaza- Suite 7,
191 Changkran Road Muang Chiang Mai,
Chiang Mai, 50100 Thailand
Tel : 66 53-818-306

 

Title Deeds in Thailand

Title Deeds in Thailand are divided into different classes. Some of the title deeds are very limiting as it has been assigned by the government for a special purpose. Certain title deeds are only for possession and not ownership. Let me explain.

Chanote

This is also known as the Nor Sor 4 Jor which is a true title deed. The land is not restricted and it is the most secure type of land title but land with a chanote can often be hard to find.

Nor Sor 3

Nor Sor 3 is a floating map with no parcel points issued for a specific plot of land and not connected to other land plots, but its boundaries are recorded according to its neighboring plots. Therefore, it may cause some problems in verifying boundaries due to lack of accurate surveys.

Nor Sor 3 Gor

The Nor Sor 3 Gor has the same legal basis as the Nor Sor 3, with the difference being that in general Nor Sor 3 Gor has 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 as each plot is crossed referenced to a master survey of the land area and a corresponding aerial photograph.

Sor Kor 1

Sor Kor 1 is a notification form of possessed land, which shows and maintains the existing rights to the particular land. On December 1st 1954, the government advised all land proprietors to notify their possession of land to the government using a ‘Sor Kor 1’ form. After it was proven that such a proprietor had possessed and used the benefit of the land legally, the government would then issue ‘Nor Sor 3’ or ‘Nor Sor 3 Gor’ as an evidence, which are legal certificates stating the owner’s name that they have the right to such land according to the principle land administration law.