Buying Property in Cambodia: The Definitive Guide
Do you plan to buy property in Cambodia?
It’s also the last frontier country in Southeast Asia where it’s comparatively easy to start a business.
With that said, being a developing country, things are done differently compared to what many foreigners are used to.
Before you engage in Cambodia’s property market, it’s important that you learn about ownership regulations, property options available, where you should buy property, and more.
Can foreigners buy property in Cambodia?
Cambodia’s property ownership regulations are similar to those in Thailand and many other Southeast Asian countries. Here, foreigners can only get freehold ownership of strata-titled properties (mostly condos) and aren’t allowed to own land.
Similar regulations apply in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand, just to give you some examples. As read in Article 16, “Amended Law on Investment”, persons with Cambodian citizenship or Cambodian entities have legal rights to own land.
It’s simple as that. But there are ways for foreigners to buy and at least control land.
Buying Land in Cambodia
You can buy land in four different ways in Cambodia. The process is not risk-free, nor easy if you’ve never engaged in the Cambodian property market.
Therefore, I highly recommend you to hire a reputable property lawyer and real estate agent earliest possible that can guide you through the buying process.
Let’s look at the four different options you have when buying land as a foreigner.
1. Buying Land Through a Cambodian Company
This is probably the safest option to buy land in Cambodia. It’s recommended in many other countries, including Indonesia . Bear in mind that the process to set up a company does require a bit of capital and time.
As foreigners can only own 49% of company shares, assure that you set up the company with partners you trust.
Despite being a minority shareholder of the company, you will be able to control the ownership of the property by using different contractual setups.
It’s crucial to do due diligence and appoint a property lawyer to help you through the process.
2. Setting up a Leasehold Agreement
Foreign investors can lease land for a period of 15 to 50 years.
Sometimes, you’ll be able to extend the lease up to 50 years. If the state owns the land, the maximum lease period is 40 years.
Keep in mind, one of the most important tasks to manage before entering a leasehold agreement with a landowner is to check the title.
The title includes information about:
Your rights to control the property
Your rights to sell or rent out the property
If there are any encumbrances or mortgages since previous ownership