#

Registering Property in

Cambodia

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Cambodia. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Cambodia to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    The buyer verifies the title certificate with the Land Office, checking for potential liens or encumbrances

    Agency: Land Office (District Level, Office of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction)

    The buyer should obtain a copy of the initial title certificate from the seller and verify proper ownership, ensuring that the seller is the rightful owner of the title certificate. He verifies the title certificate with the land office (it is also possible to start this procedure at the Land Department at the Provincial level) to ensure that there are no liens, mortgages or other encumbrances registered for that property.

    Official cost according the Prakas 995 dated of December 28th,2012 on public service at Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction

    10 days (simultaneous with Procedures 2 and 3) KHR 50,000
    * 2

    Obtain information on the property from the Commune Council Official

    Agency: Commune Council

    The land purchaser may contact the village chief or the commune council official to obtain information on the land in addition to an official search at the municipal land office. This procedure is not required by law, but it is an additional step to verify that there are no morel liens or other encumbrances affecting the property object of the transaction

    10 days (simultaneous with Procedures 1 and 3) no cost
    * 3

    The buyer should obtain the certificate of incorporation of the seller’s company and other documents from the seller

    Agency: Ministry of Commerce

    If the landowner is a legal entity, the buyer should obtain a copy of the ID of the shareholder or person acting on behalf of the company, and a certified/notarized copy of the certificate of issued by the Ministry of Commerce. These documents are needed to verify the accuracy and identity of the company name appearing in the title certificate. A Power of Attorney is also needed, as well as a resolution signed by the Board of Directors authorizing a named individual to represent the company at the land office accompanied by the Power of Attorney implementing that Resolution. This procedure is not required by law, but carried out in practice to verify information of the seller.

    10 days (simultaneous with Procedures 1 and 2) KHR 80,000
    4

    Apply for registration at the District Land Office of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction (MLMUPC)

    Agency: Land Office, (District Level, Office of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction)

    When 2 persons/companies wish to buy/sell real property, together they should go to the district office of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction (MLMUPC) and arrange to prepare and sign documents. The Land office reviews the document, checks the existing land book and sends it to the tax office to calculate the amount to be paid for the Transfer Tax. Before that, the tax office will send their staff to the field to evaluate the property. They have to inspect the property and assess its value. Once the inspection is done, the tax office will ask the buyer to pay the transfer tax.


    In order to complete this procedure, a cadastral transfer fee of KHR 600,000 is paid to MLMUPC.


    The documentation shall include the company's statute, its Certificate of Incorporation, and Power of Attorney (obtained in Procedure 3). At the time, the original Title Certificate held by the seller must be presented to the Khan (District Level) at the time of signing the deed in order to have the name of the new owner inserted on the document.

    20-30 days KHR 600,000 (Cadastral transfer fee)
    5

    Pay transfer tax at the Tax Collection Office

    Agency: General Department of Taxation

    A transfer tax of 4% of value of the property is paid by the seller to the Ministry of Economy and Finance at the Tax Collection Office of the location of the transferred property. A Tax Receipt is issued to prove that the tax has been paid. The 4% transfer tax is set out in Article 40 of the Law on Finance for the year 1995. In Phnom Penh, this tax is not assessed based on the true transacted value of the property but based on a schedule of price of property determined by the Phnom Penh Municipality. The assessed value is usually based on the total number of square meters, the land's location, use etc. For the land of more than 1200m², the surplus is subject to unused land tax. For the land less than 1200m², the unused land tax is not applicable. The time for the tax office to complete the calculation of transfer tax will depend on the location of the land and its size.

    1 day 4% of property value (transfer fee)
    6

    Return to Cadastral office to complete the registration process

    Agency: Land Department (Province Level of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction)

    After taxes are paid the parties return to the cadastral office at the MLMUPC and sign/thumbprint a MLMUPC form for buying/selling real property that was filled in by MLMUPC official. The signing/thumb printing will be witnessed by a local authority such as commune chief who will also thumbprint. These Procedures are based on Land Law Arts. 244 and 245. Land Law Art. 69 bars transfer unless all necessary taxes are paid. The documentation shall include: (1) Payment receipts of transfer tax (obtained in Procedure 5)

    5 days Cadastral service paid in Procedure 4
    7

    Obtain the certificate of title from the Municipal Land Office

    Agency: Land Department (Province Level of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction)

    The Khan/District land office forwards all the "transfer documents" to the Municipal Land Office where it issues the Certificate of Title in the new owner's name and has it registered. The last procedural step in practice can take several weeks, depending on the diligence of the land officials and interested parties. The Certificate of Title is received at the Land Department (Khan level).

    13 days Already paid in Procedure 5

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 7.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 2.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Phnom Penh Municipal Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? No 0.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Different databases but linked 1.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? Yes 1.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 0.5
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.jica.go.jp/cambodia/office/information/investment/ku57pq00001vq7...
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? No 0.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 5.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? No 0.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Phnom Penh Municipality Court of First Instance
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 1 and 2 years 2.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0