Residents Say Dangkao Borey Developer Pawned Their Land Titles

2 min read
Two vehicles park in front of an empty storefront for Borey VIP, a defunct development owned by R.N. VIP Real Estate, in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district on January 4, 2023. (Keat Soriththeavy/VOD)
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Residents at a housing development in Phnom Penh say they have not been given land titles for homes and land they purchased from a real estate developer, alleging the company pawned their properties. 

Phnom Penh residents living at Borey VIP, which is owned by R.N. VIP Real Estate, said they had not received land titles for houses and land they purchased at the housing complex in Dangkao district’s Spean Thmor commune. 

Families gathered at the housing development on December 24 to push the real estate company to give them titles for land and finished homes, and in some cases, to complete construction of promised houses.

Residents claimed around 1,000 families are having issues with the developer, adding that families from another Borey VIP project in Preah Sihanouk province on National Road 4 had joined the protest and were facing similar issues with the company.

Teng Sreytouch, 31, has been living at the borey since 2016 and took a bank loan — using her parent’s land as collateral — to pay for the house. When she paid the $27,000 for the house three years ago, she was not given a land title and instead received several excuses as to why the company couldn’t provide titles.  

She was told they were facing financial constraints because of the pandemic, and then the company delayed further because of flooding that hit Dangkao district during the rainy season. Another time she was told the land titles were lost. 

However, at a meeting with district authorities on December 29, the company owner told the residents that the company had pawned the land titles. Residents would have to pay $3,250 each to get back the documents, the owner had said. 

“The borey owner didn’t want anything to do with the people. He only raised his 10 fingers to the people,” Sreytouch said, referring to the owner pressing their hands together asking for residents’ consideration.

Another resident of the gated community, who did not want to be named fearing repercussions from the developer, said he paid around $5,000, including the land title registration fee, to get the documentation because he didn’t want the uncertainty of not officially owning the land.

“The company only lied to us. And people do not believe them anymore,” he said.

According to local media reports, residents have been protesting against the company since at least 2021 and petitioned the prime minister to intervene in the case.

Horm Rorn and Van Vannak are listed as directors of R.N. VIP Real Estate; phone numbers for them listed on the Commerce Ministry’s business registry did not work.

A representative of the company, who has previously spoken to residents about the dispute, told VOD they were trying to solve the problem and then hung up.

Kim Nhep, the district governor for Dangkao, said Phnom Penh City Hall had already resolved the dispute. Phnom Penh City Hall spokesperson Met Measpheakdey didn’t answer his phone on Wednesday.

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