The Svay Rieng Provincial Administration has issued a statement warning people to be cautious when buying land in the province because there were some individuals and companies selling plots of land without a proper licence.

The provincial hall warned that any purchases made from them may not be considered as valid in the future. It advised anyone purchasing land there to get as much detailed information as possible before making any deals.

The announcement dated February 8 stated that the volume of real estate transactions in the province had shown remarkable growth in recent years and some of the companies or traders involved did not have the necessary licences or land development permits from the government.

It reminded people that before deciding to buy a plot of land at any location, they should ask to examine the documentation regarding the land in question and to bring it to the authorities to confirm its validity if necessary.

Accurate and clear information can be obtained from authorities such as the district administration where the land is located or the provincial Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

The letter advised prospective buyers to carefully examine and understand business-related documents. These include land development permits; business or development licences; contracts of any sort; and documents that identify the location and boundaries and the owner of the real estate’s identification.

Deputy provincial governor Hem Piseth told The Post on February 10 that so far there had been no cases of fraud reported to the authorities and that the announcement was a precaution to prevent people from being cheated in the future because land speculation in the province had increased remarkably recently.

According to Piseth, sometimes these developments do not seem to be in accordance with the law because there is no basic infrastructure such as roads, electricity or water connections, while the company selling the land just leaves clients behind when the sale is over.

Piseth added that under the recently enacted laws, the company or trader must develop 10 or 30 per cent of the land, including basic infrastructure like utility systems, before selling plots.

“We just wanted to protect our people. They should ask about the laws and learn more information. We want to avoid anyone blaming authorities or the provincial administration. We want everyone to do business fairly on both sides,” he said.

Heng Chivoan, the owner of a land plot in Svay Rieng town, supported the provincial administration’s message. However, he said people won’t buy the land once they understand that the land is being sold without permission under the law.

Chivoan said that selling land plots in Svay Rieng province still has many challenges because there were more expenditures than in other provinces.

He said that in some cases there are electricity poles but no power lines to connect to unless relevant parties negotiate with the utility company for a connection. The same is true of the water supply system, he said.

“Authorities don’t seem to want to work with the developers even after we put in requests to the provincial administration. We don’t hear much back from them,” he said.