A lease with a term of less than 15 years may be entered into with a Cambodia party. Some due diligence regarding title ownership by the Lessor is recommended prior to signing the lease agreement and involves a title check with the Ministry of Land (if the subject property has “hard title” and/or local land department officials and records.
2. Long Term Lease (15-50 year lease period)
In order to qualify for registration as a long-term lease (LTL), the lease term must be between 15 and 50 years and is renewable for one additional term not exceeding 50 years.
Lease agreements entered prior to the date of implementation of the Civil Code (31 November 2011) are allowed to retain the rights created under the Land Law of 2001 (including a lease term of up to 99 years).
Important points to note regarding a LTL are:
- There is no standard/ government prescribed lease template but a simple form lease can be prepared for the purpose of obtaining a Long Term Lease Certificate.
- Notarization of the lease agreement is required if the Lessee will apply for a long-term lease certificate.
- LTL registration can take between 6-12 months. Failure to register the lease does not impact on the enforceability of the lease agreement. Registration as a LTL only gives additional security to the lessee because it functions as an encumbrance on the title – the title cannot be transferred without the consent of the registered long term lessee.
- No stamp duty applies but withholding tax of 10% would be incurred.
Where the title holder/Lessor is to provide a certificate of long-term lease to the Lessee and to register the lease on the reverse side of the title deed – we will need both the named title holder/Lessor and the individual whose name will be recorded on the reverse side of the title deed to be present in Cambodia before the relevant Cadastral officials.
In addition, per customary practice, in order for the Cadstral office to register a lease and issue a certificate of long-term lease, the lease agreement must be certified by the local level Sangkat (local level authority) – certification of the lease requires that both parties sign the lease agreement in the physical presence of the Sangkat officials.
Ordinarily, the land title holder will engage an agent in Cambodia to help prepare the relevant documents and to liaise with the Cadastral officials to affect the long-term lease registration on behalf of the lessee.
3. Land Concession
Foreigners may legally lease land in Cambodia. There are several categories of leasehold: