No… I am not referring to ‘Laughing My Ass Perpendicular’. This is about the Cambodian Government’s Land Management and Administration Project (LMAP) land title program approved in 2002. Its goal was to improve land security by setting up a system for registering land and issuing titles. It was led by the World Bank with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) as the implementing agency.
A title or ‘deed’ is a document confirming property ownership, its location and what rights the owner enjoys. Many properties remain unregistered with the Land Office on behalf of owners. Between 1975 and 1979, Cambodia land title records were destroyed making proof of property ownership virtually impossible. A law passed in 1992 established the basis for land ownership. However, it wasn’t until a 2001 revision that allowed for private land ownership. This gave birth to a land registry system enabling the issuance of Cambodia land titles.
The following Cambodia land title demonstrates ownership – hard, soft and ‘private ownership in co-owned buildings’ (strata) with LMAP also available. A frequently asked question is “Can foreigners own land or property in Cambodia?” The short answer is NO. The Cambodian Constitution prohibits foreigners from owning land and landed properties in the country. Nonetheless there are some ownership ‘mechanisms’ you may wish to explore.
LMAP titles are making land tenure in Cambodia more secure. These registered titles are based on official GPS coordinates and property borders agreed by neighbouring owners, making land ownership less prone to dispute.
LMAP (Land Management and Administration Project) land title in brief:
- LMAP titles recognised by MLMUPC and relevant cadastral offices
- The main difference between LMAP and Hard titles are the use of GPS coordinates to signify property boundaries.
- LMAP titles only apply to land indexed on a cadastral map. It is possible to own a Hard Title without an LMAP title
- Owners need only follow local authority instructions when MLMUPC undertakes LMAP work (it is the ministry’s obligation to communicate with landowners)
- A 4% Transfer tax is levied on the total property value upon completion of the LMAP title transfer
- Foreign nationals cannot own LMAP titles