Can Foreigners Buy Property in Cambodia?

  • by Srun Mengkiang
  • 10 months ago
  • 0

Have you ever wondered or been interested in owning property abroad? Has owning a property in Cambodia ever crossed your mind? While under Article 44 of the Cambodian Constitution, a foreign national cannot own land or property in the land of Cambodia, there are some ways that you can have control over land and property for residential, commercial, and agricultural purposes in the country.

Can Foreigners Own Property In Cambodia?

According to Article 44 of the Cambodian Constitution, only legal entities or natural persons of the Khmer nationality have the right to own land in Cambodia. However, the country attracts many foreign nationals interested in living abroad or buying land for agricultural purposes. This is why there are specific laws that allow foreign nationals to own land in Cambodia, provided that there are certain restrictions that they must abide by:

  • Foreigners may only own properties from first floor in a building.

Foreigners are entitled to own only 49% of private property that may or may not have a structure. This property must be partnered with a Cambodian legal entity. This kind of entity has 51% of its shares owned by Cambodian citizens. So as long as you are sharing your property with a Cambodian entity, you can own any property you desire. This law is not being enforced.

Who Is Eligible To Buy Property In Cambodia?

For a foreigner to purchase property in Cambodia, they must have a valid passport and visa. But it is recommended to go through a proper channel, such as a real estate agent who can guide you through the entire process. It might be difficult to figure it out on your own with all the different laws and regulations. It is always best to consult with a professional who is an expert in this field.

It might also be a good idea to contact a lawyer as there are certain legalities involved with the title and ownership of the property you are interested in.

Property Titles in Cambodia

Since there were no opportunities to own land in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979, , and records were destroyed. In 1989 a new land law was issued, after which a revised law was issued in 2001. According to this new Land Law, there are four property titles in Cambodia:

  • Hard title

This is registered with the Land office and grants possession

  • Soft title

This type is issued by the local village chief officials and is based on the right of possession

  • Private ownership of co-owned buildings
  • Land management and administration project

What Is The Process Of Buying Land In Cambodia?

Incorporating a Land Holding Company

A foreigner may create a Land Holding Company LHC through a joint venture. This means that the majority of stakeholders of the company are Cambodian nationals. While the foreign nationals have a minority share in the company, they do have complete rights in all actions and decision-making in the company.


Foreigners can acquire control over Cambodian property by entering into a lease agreement. This allows them to hold ownership of the property for a minimum of 15 years up to a maximum of 50 years. According to the lease agreement, the property may not be sold to anyone without the consent of the lessee.

Cambodian Citizenship

Another way to buy land or property is to obtain citizenship in Cambodia. The Government of Cambodia encourages this, but it is an expensive method as it requires a large amount of investment into the country.

Marrying a Cambodian

While marrying a Cambodian will not grant citizenship to the foreigner, it will allow them to buy land or property under the name of their Cambodian spouse on the title deed. The foreign nationals would not be allowed to buy land or property under their own name unless they decide to apply for citizenship in the country.

The Nominee Structure

The nominee structure is a process that is the most commonly used as it is the simplest and most affordable. With this process, the foreign national will nominate a Cambodian national of their choice, and they sign a trust agreement in which the holder of the land then leases the property to the foreign national. This process is sometimes risky because there is a risk of being scammed.

Always Conduct a Title Search

Conducting a title search is very important as it can reveal very important information. This will reveal the name of the true owners of the land so that the money goes into the right hand. The title search will also reveal any registered mortgages against the property and any other obstacles as well.

Investment Opportunities for Foreign Nationals in Cambodia

  • Condos and apartments
  • Serviced residences, hotels, and resorts
  • Colonial-era apartments
  • Strata titles office spaces and commercial units

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