True land title deeds are officially called Nor Sor 4 Jor or more commonly “Chanote” and are issued by the Surat Thani Provincial Land Office.
Land held under Chanotes are accurately surveyed and GPS plotted in relation to a national survey grid and marked by unique “numbered” marker posts set in the ground.
When scouting around expect to find many land documents in the form of Nor Sor 3 or Nor Sor 3 Gor which are in the strictest interpretation of the law, certificates of land utilization.
They are to all practical purposes equivalent to land title deeds because they allow the land to be sold, leased or mortgaged in the same way as land held under a Chanote Title.
The difference lies in the fact a Nor Sor 3 certificate is less accurately surveyed than the Chanote.
Nor Sor 3 boundaries are recorded in relation to its neighboring plots and therefore there may be survey errors in length and land area.
The newer Nor Sor 3 Gor is in general a much more accurately surveyed title as each plot is crossed referenced to a master survey of the area and a corresponding aerial photograph.
Now there are a host of “land papers” which we advise all serious investors not to give any credence to. They are in essence a form of claims to possessory rights which have been filed with the district land office and upon which a small tax fee has been paid. The land held under these papers cannot be dealt with by way of sale, lease or mortgage. Legal acts cannot be carried wrt to the property and most importantly, you cannot apply for and obtain approval to build on the land.
In conclusion we recommend that any foreigner wanting to buy land should consider only those held under a Chanote or Nor Sor 3 Gor. Remember, whenever in doubt, please consult a professional.