In the beginning, i.e. the Sukhothai era, most of the land in Thailand was in the possession of the people, who reserved the right to individually use said land and to transfer it to their heirs. Later, in Ayuthaya and Ratanakosin era, the land was owned by the Kings. The people had to request a royal grant in order to obtain land.
At present, the possession of land has to be in accordance with the principle land administration laws. There is the supervising Land Department and some land is still controlled by other governmental authorities, such as the Forestry Department, which is responsible for the management of land in forest zones, Sor. Por. Gor. is responsible for land in reformed land zones, District Offices and Municipalities (Or. Bor. Tor) look after public land zones.
All land under the control of these government departments have no effect as to the rights of people who owned land before the government appointed the land as a forest, public or reformed zone. The law has o retrospective effect on the individual’s rights to land under the law before it became a forest zone. That individual person still maintains its right to the land.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF RIGHTS TO PRIVATE LAND
The first is the right of possession (Possessoary right), i.e. people who possess and use the benefit of land will have the right to possess such land under the Civil and Commercial Code.
The second is ownership by a person who has a title deed and documents concerning the land.