Laws & Regulations

Land ownership in South-East Asia

In most ASEAN countries, foreign ownership for properties is not allowed. However, solutions exist such as a lease agreement with a local citizen or in certain countries ownership through the establishment of a company.

 

CountryForeign OwnershipLenght of Lease (Years)Renewal
CambodiaNo5050 years (for a symbolic dollar: the lessee does not have a right of refusal)
MalaysiaYes, if the property is more than 250K USD--
IndonesiaNo25Through a PMA company:
- 20 years and then 30 years renewal
ThailandNoMax. 30Must not exceed 30 years
VietnamNo50Extendable, subject to applicable laws
MyanmarNo502 consecutive 10-year renewals
PhillipinesNo501-time for 25 years

Landownership in Cambodia

In Cambodia, land may be privately owned by individuals with Cambodian citizenship or legal entities having Cambodian nationality (no limitation by time or interests).

The current system for land registration, titling, ownership and transfer is in transition with procedures being added to the existing regulations in order to clarify the process.

Official certificates of title (called “soft” or “hard”) are currently available and the number of registrants is tremendously increasing over the past decades. Investors should ensure that the landowner has a valid certificate registered with the relevant authorities before depositing money for the purchase of a land.

Foreign ownership

Foreign ownership is still not allowed in Cambodia but different mechanisms now exist to purchase a land:

  • Landholding company in which the foreigner owns a maximum of 49% of the voting shares
  • Long-Term Lease Agreement. It aims at granting foreigners the right to own a land for 50 years, renewable for another 50 years. This lease is established between the foreigner and a Cambodian national.

Kep Estate Properties, through more than 6 years of experience in real estate laws and regulations, is closely working with legal advisers in Phnom Penh to establish comprehensive contracts. We are advising our clients on different legal issues while assisting them through the whole purchase process. Our dedicated team will ensure secure and successful transactions via solutions catered to your needs.

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