Soft Title?

I am thinking of buying an apartment, but am concerned by the fact that it sells with something called a "soft title," which I gather means that it is valid at the district level but not the ministerial.  Does anyone know anything about the risks involved in this?

A soft title is registered with the local Sangkat, whereas a hard title is registered at National level. If you are a foreigner you can only legally purchase a condo. However, if you wish to acquire a older apartment, then you will either have to go down two routes.

1. Set up a land holding company, 49%/51% Cambodian owned, once this is done you can purchase an apartment through the company. You will need a lawyer to explain this to you.

2. Enter into a nominee structure, you will need a Cambodian national who will act on your behalf and all paperwork/title deed will be in their name, you will have to get a lawyer to draw up a nominee structure which is legally binding, however, it is not recognised under Cambodian law and deemed unconstitutional, therefore, if the situation goes sour, you have no leg to stand on legally, risky unless you are 100% sure the nominee, will respect your wishes.

Thank you for all of that information.  If I buy this apartment it will be in my wife's name, who is Cambodian.  Does that make the deal safe?  Or safer?

Hi,
I don't want to cast aspersions on your relationship, as I do not even know you but what I say is from the basis of protecting your integrity. Yes, much safer, however, you and I know that relationships can go wrong and can become acrimonious, therefore, from a legal point of view, I would suggest that you have a nominee structure drawn up, just to protect your interest, in it I would suggest that you stipulate the money is coming from you as the source, pay everything through bank transfer, therefore, it is recorded that the payments you made were for the sole intention of buying a home for you and your partner. Can I ask ask, have you found a place, can I assist in helping you at all ?

Well, I am glad it's much safer.  I am aware that marriages fall apart, having been through one that did, and not being young.  Either way, this is her house if it does, though I'm pretty confident it won't.   I have a place in mind already.  Although I'm not sure if direct bank transfers are possible from America.  Thanks again for your information.

Hi, OK and I hope it all goes smoothly. I bank with ABA and in the past have done bank transfers for large sums, under $100,000k from Thailand and the UK with no problems, apart from the bank fees on both sides and waiting 3 days before it is cleared.

Thanks.   I'm not yet sure that bank transfers work from America though.

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