In principle, a foreigner cannot own property in Laos. However it is possible to rent it. Since the real estate market prices have shown significant advances, quite a number of foreigners have brought property borrowing a 3rd party's name. Hereunder are a few notices and related documents. A buyer who is not able to communicate in Lao, purchases property through a broker or agent. When both parties enter into a sales contract, the buyer pays a commission fee to the broker or agent according to the agreement.
However, there is a possibility that problems can be encountered if the buyer and broker have an unclear contract.
1. Prior arrangements and specific details of the commission fee with the broker is a recommended procedure.
2. Some brokers and sellers can convince the buyer into paying exorbitant prices, the broker will then take a
margin of the inflated price.
3.Some buyers who have been given the pricing and land information through the agent, then make an approach to contract with the vendor directly.
To avoid the case like no.1, pre-arrange a clear agreement by documenting it. You should check that a potential buyer of the property has the exclusive right to purchase [ ie. the property is unencumbered by debt etc ], there is a clear specification of the commission fee and the valuation of the land in a general sense.
In the case of No.2, you can get the general reference of the property through the agent such as a map which shows you location, boundaries and general information about the landlord’s background.
Generally, it is easy to find the “for sale” signs advertising land, giving you information about a land owner's contact number. You might contact that number or ask neighbors about that property. You may have an idea of local real estate market value from other inquiries.
However a situation like that of no. 3 above, may arise. Sometimes the buyer tries to enter into a contract directly, bypassing the agent, in order to save the commission, even though the buyer already has been given the information by the agent.
Be aware of dishonest dealers as pointed out in point 2 above. But at the same time consider that you should be paying a reasonable commission to secure the services of a reputable agent and you need to be realistic in this regard.
The document above is a photocopy of a land registry certificate.
Usually, the document contains 4 pages, it will show you the information on the land owner, total land area and location on the first page. The main information of the property will be in the first page.
You can see a plus sign on the filled form above The document shows two landlords' names, husband and wife. In this case, you need to have both party's signatures on any contract appertaining to this land.
The document above shows you the number “01” on the right hand corner above as each folio or page has it’s own respective number.
The second page must also have the red stamp, which is the official seal of approval.
Also, this page describes additional relevant details such as in this case, that the landlords had inherited the property.
The next page does not show much but states that the details are on folio No. 01.
After checking up the general information of the property, then you need to go the page showing the property-related taxes.
This page shows the records regarding paid taxes. According to the records, tax increased slightly in 2009, However, amount of tax they pay is still a drop in the bucket when you consider the land price. The tax for the cropland is very low, while the tax for the commercial buildings is a little bit more expensive. Hope this information regarding buying property will be helpful even though it is not complete and would appreciate your input and any corrections or additions