1. Property Rights
1.1 Legal Protection

1.2 Registries
1.3 Formal Ownership

1. Property Rights

Goal – Property rights that are legally protected, secure, recorded in a single, accurate, widely accessible electronic registry and that lead to high levels of formal ownership for all citizens

1.1 Legal Protection (Very Weak)

Core Question: Does an effective and sufficient legal framework exist to protect property rights for all citizens?

No – Very Weak, weak and inconsistent courts do not protect private property effectively. Investments in many economic sectors frequently are accompanied by land grabs by powerful politicians, bureaucrats, and military officers.

Legal Framework (Very Weak)

1.1.1   Are property rights clearly defined and protected by law?

No – Very Weak – Ranking 116 out of 144; Score 2.7 out of 7

Security of Tenure (Very Weak)

1.1.2   Can citizens challenge the legality of government takings?

No – Very Weak – 118 out of 144; Score 3.3 out of 7

Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 – World Economic Forum

Bundle of Rights (Weak)

1.1.3   Survey Question

SQ1    What is the bundle of rights (group of rights such as occupancy, use and the right to sell or lease) associated with both residential and commercial property ownership?

Weak – foreigners may not own land in Cambodia.

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1.2 Registries (Very Weak)

Core Question: Does a reliable property registry exist including cadastral, title and mortgage lien information?

No – Very Weak, only 18% of urban properties and 10% of rural properties are properly registered & surveyed.

1.2.1  Cadastral Information (Very Weak)

Survey Questions

SQ 2   Is cadastral information (information about the dimensions and location of land parcels) accessible to the public?


SQ 3   Is zoning/permitted use information included are use regulations respected and enforced?


SQ 4   Are Geographic Information Systems (GIS) including Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) information used to create and update the registry?



1.2.2  Title Registry (Weak)

Rank 100 out of 189; Score 64.83 out of 100 What is the number of procedures required to register the transfer of a property from one owner to another? What is the duration of time in calendar days that it would take to complete the transfer?  What is the total cost of the transfer including all fees, taxes, etc. expressed as a percentage of the value of the property?


Doing Business 2016 – Registering Property, World Bank

1.2.3  Mortgage Registry (Very Weak)

Status – Very Weak, Mortgage industry is very young in Cambodia but growing fast.

Survey Questions

SQ 5   The mandatory use of notaries or similar officials slows down and adds cost to the process. Does a notary need to be involved in the registration process?


SQ 6   Is information in the registry available electronically?


SQ 7   Title insurance is indemnity insurance against financial loss from defects in title and from the invalidity or unenforceability of mortgage liens. Is title insurance available to lenders?

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1.3 Formal Ownership (Very Weak)

Core Question: Do citizens understand and trust property rights institutions and avoid the informal sector?

No – Very Weak

Survey Questions

1.3.1 Land (Weak)

SQ 8   What is the status of land ownership?

Weak – only natural persons or legal entities of Khmer nationality have the right of ownership.


1.3.2 Home Ownership (Very Weak)

SQ 9   What is the percentage of formal home ownership?

78.9% of the urban population lives in slums (2005) – Very Weak


1.3.3  Informal Sector (Very Weak)

What is the percentage of services firms that report competing with unregistered or informal firms?

 85% of workers are in the informal economy (2006) – Very Weak


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