Koh Samui Land Titles

Koh Samui Land Titles

When you are buying land on Koh Samui, you need to know by heart the numerous land title deeds that exist in Thailand. Only by understanding every single one of them and what they imply you will be able to make the best real estate purchasing decision. Furthermore, most of the land on the island has not been titled yet or even surveyed properly. The actual reason why comprehensive titling isn’t available on Koh Samui is the lack of complete surveys.

Any foreigner who is interested in buying land on Koh Samui must search only for land offers that have the following land titles- Chanote, Nor Sor 3 and Nor Sor3 Gor. These are the only titles that can be registered for ownership or lease. In consequence, this type of land can be leased, sold or even be used as mortgage collateral. The most important thing is that a land that does that have the above-mentioned titles can not apply for or obtain a construction approval. Before you buy any kind of land on Koh Samui it is recommended to ask an experienced lawyer to read the paperwork very carefully.


Officially called Nor Sor 4 Jor, but locally known as Chanote, this is a true land title deed that certifies the ownership of a land and is the only evidence that the Thai authorities will accept for confirming your rights over that particular piece of land. The Samui Provincial Land Office issues this certificate by using GPS for surveying the boundaries of the land and determining an accurate plot. Even though this is the most secure and recommended type of land title in Thailand, on Koh Samui it is very difficult to find a land with a Chanote.

Nor Sor 3

The Nor Sor 3 is the document that confirms the use of land to the proprietor, but it is not a possessory title. The District Land Office issues and maintains the Nor Sor 3. It is indeed a legal document that acknowledges that the person who holds it has the legal right to own that particular land. The problem with it is that it is a floating map that has no parcel points issued for a specific plot of land. Also, it is not connected to other land plots even though its boundaries are established depending on the neighbor plots. The lack of accurate surveys causes much trouble in verifying the boundaries of the land. The law states that any changes in the ownership of the land need to be publicly announced with 30 days before registering this change.

Nor Sor 3 Gor

The legal basis for the Nor Sor 3 and the Nor Sor 3 Gor is the same. The only difference is that usually, the Nor Sor 3 Gor uses an aerial survey with a scale of 1:5000 to define the parcel points on the map of the land. Plus, each plot is crossed referenced to a corresponding aerial photograph and to a master survey of the land area, thus making it a more accurately surveyed title. This means that the boundaries of the land are well defined and can be verified at any time. But when compared to a Chanote, it is less accurately surveyed.

Sor Kor 1

The particularity of the Sor Kor 1 is that it represents a notification form for land possession, which proves and keeps the right to that specific land. The proprietors who prove with a Sor Kor 1 that they possess a land on Koh Samui can request from the government the issuing of a Nor Sor 3 Gor or Nor Sor 3, which are legal certificates that mention the owner’s name and his right to that land in compliance with the principle land administration law. The law protects this right and the document can be used as proof in any legal dispute with the government or a private individual.

Condominium Title

Simply explained, a condominium title is a right of owning a part of a building. Condominiums are basically buildings with multiple owners who share with the other residents the common areas of the condominium, such as the stairwell, lobby and swimming pool. In the title, it is mentioned the floor area of that particular apartment, the ground area of the common land and the percentage that the apartment occupies the total space of the building.

Building Transfers

Condominiums are the only type of buildings that have a title document. The other ones can have the long lease or sale registered at the District Land Office. A proof of construction or a document that confirms the sale and purchase are needed for establishing the ownership. This document is distinct from the House License Document, which serves just as a form of registering the inhabitants of a house. If you need to transfer a building as distinct from its land then you must post a 30 days public notice. This is required in order to make sure that there are no other individuals who have the right to contest the ownership. The Thai law allows foreigners to own a building distinct from its land, but they must register the transfer of ownership to their name at the Local District Office.