Purchasing Real Estate in Cambodia for Non-citizens
By law foreign nationals cannot hold a 100% stake in real property in Cambodia. However, there are legal means that allow foreigners to fully control real property in which they have invested.
Aside from becoming a Cambodian citizen, which requires a substantial investment in the country, or marrying a Khmer citizen and putting the title in the spouse's name, there are 2 options for buying real estate in Cambodia.
In terms of buying and selling real estate, forming a company in partnership with a Cambodian citizen is regarded as the safest method of investing in land and property within the Kingdom. It is therefore important to have a general understanding of how foreigners can register a company in Cambodia.
The governing principal of Cambodian property law is that a foreigner cannot hold a 100% share in land or property within Cambodia. This principal also applies to the share held by a foreigner in a Cambodian-registered company, including limited companies formed to manage real estate. A 49% stake in a limited company can be vested with a foreigner provided that a 51% stake is vested with a Cambodian national.
Information1: Forming a Company with a Cambodian Citizen
The safest method by which foreign nationals can purchase real property within Cambodia is to form a corporation. Real property is registered in the name of the corporation which must be majority owned - at least 51% - by a Cambodian citizen. Legal mechanisms exist which allow the foreign shareholder full control of the company and its assets.
The foreigner pays 100% of the cost of real property and receives 100% of the benefit. The Cambodia partner, nonetheless, must receive some benefit in the form of annual fees. In addition, forming a corporation for the purpose of owning real estate costs significantly more than the second option listed below.
Information 2: Purchase plus long-term Rental
In this option foreign nationals purchase real property but the title deed is registered in the name of a Cambodian citizen. The foreigner and the Cambodian then enter into a long-term rental agreement by which the Cambodian citizen leases the property back to the foreigner. Lease periods can last up to 55 years.
Proper drafting of the lease arrangements make this a reasonably secure method of controlling real property in Cambodia. The foreigner may sell the property at any time and keep 100% of the revenue from the sale, though usually a 3% commission is paid to the legal owner. In addition, to make the lease legal an annual lease payment is made to the legal owner, this can be as little as $60 per year. The foreigner retains the original copy of the new title deed as a security precaution since the sale of real property is impossible without the original copy of the deed.
* It is essential in this arrangement that the Cambodia legal owner be totally trusted since their signature is needed before the property can be sold.
Independent Legal Advice
For property of relatively low value the lease back option detailed above is reasonably simple and doesn't require expensive legal fees. However, for any substantial investment, legal advice is highly recommended.
For any client who wishes to seek expert, independent legal advice, we can direct him or her to a firm that specializes in all aspects of Cambodian Land Law.
Legal services include, but are not limited to:
Advice on the local laws
Obtaining business and project licenses
Incorporation and registration of companies
Advice on the ownership, lease, titling and registration of land
Taxation and Corporate governance
Renting Real Estate in Cambodia
Properties Lease Terms
We would like to clarify that: Any value customer rental duration which is less than 3 months is not accepted. We only accept those which are longer than six months up to a year periodic lease agreement.
Renting property in Sihanoukville of Cambodia is very straightforward and all types of property are available from low-budget apartments to house or large luxury villas and hotels. Sihanoukvile Agent keeps extensive nationwide lists of rental property and can help to negotiate and prepare rental contracts.
Finding a Property to Rent
There are numerous publications and web-sites available which list available rental property in Sihanoukville of Cambodia, so finding a suitable property is generally easy. You will also see on our website then you can chose or select some properties that as you like then call or make appointment with our agent to help you. A good real estate company or rental agent should be able to introduce you to the owner of a property in which you are interested and negotiate an agreeable deal on the rental price of the house and its contents.
Furnished or Unfurnished?
The generally accepted meanings of furnished and unfurnished property do not apply in Sihanoukville of Cambodia, where an unfurnished property would certainly not be devoid of furniture. In most instances furnishings are negotiable. Generally, if a longer term lease is signed many concessions can be had from the landlord.
Terms, Conditions and Example Rental Arrangements
In Cambodia when rentals are involved everything is negotiable. Similarly, rental payment agreements are very flexible in Cambodia, giving the renter a great deal of choice in the way they budget.
Leases of varying length are available, though usually owners prefer to rent property for a minimum period of 6 months. Deposit payments vary depending on negotiation, and on the duration of the lease. It is common for an owner to ask for a 1-year deposit on a 5-year lease and for a 2-year deposit on a 10-year lease.
Sihanoukville Agent’s commission for arranging a rental contract is normally 1 month's rent, depending on the duration of the contract. The commission is payable by the property owner.
Other Costs Involved in Renting
Propane gas tanks are widely used for cooking. Cooking by propane generally costs no more than $60 / year, even for a large household. That cost fluctuates depending on the international price of oil.
Electricity is a major household expense and is metered by the number of kilowatts used. Electricity costs about 20 cents per kilowatt hour, but, beware, many landlords overcharge for power. Monthly costs can range from $10-15 for a small apartment to over $100 / month for a larger one with a lot of electrical equipment. That's especially true when air-conditioning is used extensively.
Water for general use (not drinking) is metered. The cost is minimal and is not included in the rental price.
Refuse collection costs around $5 / month regardless of the size of the property.
Pest extermination, occasionally required in tropical countries to deal with infestations, costs a flat rate $50 per call-out.
Amenities: Most properties come with cable TV. Cable And Satellite TV costs about $10 per month. Internet links are less common and installation charges can be expensive for properties do not have an internet connection, but costs have come down substantially in recent years.