Crackdown on foreign ownership laws

As a result of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction’s (MLMUPC) decision to enforce long-standing soft title ownership regulations, all khans (districts) of Phnom Penh will stop allowing the processing of titles under a foreigner’s name.

Previously, many khans such as Daun Penh have openly allowed foreigners to take possession of soft titles on landed properties, despite it being a direct contradiction of the 2010 law on providing foreigners with ownership rights in private units of co-owned buildings.

Desmond Yap, managing director of Yong Yap Properties, an expat-focused agency based in the Daun Penh/Riverside area, says, “As we understand now, throughout Phnom Penh, foreigners can only own condominiums as stipulated in the 2010 Foreign Ownership Law (the Strata Law). The purchase of townhouse flats can only be done through a nominee or company structure.”

In order to better implement the 2010 Foreign Ownership Regulations, the MLMUPC issued a notification letter on May 25 instructing chiefs of all 12 khans in Phnom Penh City that from June 13 onwards, the transfer of possessory rights to a foreigner is only legal if the property subject to the transfer is on or above the first floor; and the property being transferred into the foreigner’s name exists in a co-owned building constructed with the proper construction permit issued by the relevant government authority.

Source