When you purchase property or land, it is critical to obtain outright ownership in order to feel secure about your new asset. To complete the process for transferring land titles of ownership, there are particular steps that need to be followed, documents that need to be obtained as well as consultations with relevant agencies. There are seven steps in the land transfer process you should know. We explored the first four steps last week – this week we will delve into the last three steps.
Below are the last necessary steps for transferring land titles of ownership in Cambodia. This will give you clear instructions on tax obligations, the responsible government agencies and the estimated time to complete the process, thanks to Realestate.com.kh.
Step 5 – Pay transfer tax:
A transfer tax of approximately four percent of the total value of the property is paid to the Ministry of Economy and Finance at the General Department of Transaction, in the district that the transferred property resides. A tax receipt is then issued to prove that the property transfer tax has been paid.
In Phnom Penh, however, this tax is not assessed based on the true transacted value of the property; but, rather, based on a schedule of the price of property determined by the Phnom Penh Municipality. The assessed valuation by the Phnom Penh Municipality is based upon factors such as the total number of square metres, the land’s location, use, potential use and other variables.
To put this quite simply, the transfer tax is not based on the actual price of the land which is sold, which is usually the case – rather, it is based on the assessed value made by the Phnom Penh Municipal office, which may be higher than tax rates in other provinces.
If the land is more than 1,200m², the surplus of the land will also be subject to “unused land tax”, For land less than 1,200m², the unused land tax is not applicable. The time for the General Department of Taxation to complete the calculation of transfer tax will depend on the location of the land and its size.
Relevant government agency: General Department of Taxation.
Estimated time to complete the step: This process should take about one day.
Step 6 – Return to Cadastral office to complete the registration process:
After all taxes are paid, the parties may return to the Cadastral office at the District Land Office of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction (MLMUPC) and sign/thumbprint a MLMUPC form for buying/selling real property, as filled in by MLMUPC official.
The signing/thumb printing must be witnessed by a local authority such as a commune chief, who will also give their thumbprint. These procedures are based on Land Law Articles 65, 244 and 245. Land Law Article 69 bars transfer of property unless all necessary taxes are paid. The documentation provided should include payment receipts of transfer tax. (obtained in Step 5).
Relevant government agency: MLMUPC (District Land Office of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction).
Estimated time to complete the step: This should take approximately five days.
Step 7 – Obtain the certificate of title from the Municipal Land Office:
Obtain the certificate of title from the Municipal Land Office: The khan/district land office forwards all the “transfer documents” to the Municipal Land Office where it issues the final Certificate of Title in the new owner’s name. It is now registered.
Relevant government agency: Municipal Land Office.
Estimated time to complete the step: One to two weeks. The last procedural step in practice can take several weeks, depending on the diligence of the land officials and interested parties.
Over the last two weeks we have explored the seven steps needed for transferring titles of ownership. It may seem like an overwhelming process as there are multiple government agencies engaged in the process. However, the outcome is a land title that is both secure and legally certified which can prevent disputes in the future. Your new home is one of the biggest assets you will acquire, so following the correct procedure is critical for your future enjoyment.
James Whitehead is Director of Content @ Realestate.com.kh