Ownership rights for foreigners in Thailand
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Thailand raises more and more interest by its quality of life and economic development. Thus, more and more foreigners are interested in the possibility of investing in real estate in particular..
Buy an apartment in Thailand
Buy a house or villa in Thailand
Having use of the land
Purchase freehold or long term lease (freehold / leasehold)
a. Buy an apartment in Thailand
Foreigners of any nationality can purchase a proper name in apartments and have full ownership of the property for an unlimited duration.
For this, we must respect three conditions:
Buy a condominium type of residence with full ownership
Ensure that 49% of the floor space in the residence has not been sold to foreigners.
Transfer all funds to cover purchase from abroad and in foreign currencies.
b. Buy a house / home in Thailand
The confusion over the ownership rights for foreigners in Thailand is often related to the acquisition of land and a house.
The foreigners can not buy land in their name and therefore have full ownership of the ground *
Foreigners can own the property built on the land
* Foreigners who have invested and maintained an investment of THB 40 million (€ 1 million) in Thailand for 5 years, may receive authorization from the Board of Investment to buy land within the limit of 1 rai (1 600m²) on their own behalf, for a purely residential use.
Having use of the land
Rental for 30 years
Registration at Land Department
Renewal of the contract for a period of 30 years
The legal solution is to rent the land for long duration (leasehold) whose maximum is currently 30 years.
The lease must be registered with the Thai government (Land Department). After this lease, the contract will be renewed for a further period of 30 years and so on (conditions previously set with the land owner).
c. Purchase in freehold / leasehold
Free ownership or full ownership
Full rights accorded to the owner
Disposition of the total enjoyment of the property
Possibility to rent or resell the property
Property is leased for a period of thirty years renewable in the terms defined in the contract.
NB: Long-term rental is the most common practice for home purchase by foreigners in Thailand.
The buyer has full ownership of the property and a long-term lease of the land.
Information and useful practices
Dealing with legal persons
In the case of long duration, it is recommended to avoid and deal with individuals. In case of death of the latter, you are going against major complications. It is therefore strongly recommended to treat with:
promotional companies of real estate agencies as having a good reputation and a proven track
It is also possible to mount a legal structure that will make a long-term rental.
For such request mounting board to a lawyer.
Make sure that the contract is recorded in the land department office (cadastre)
Your lease will:
include a renewal clause *
anticipate possible changes in legislation **
* The owner agrees to renew the lease expired
** This approach ensures the ownership of the land in case of changes in the law, and setting the conditions for the acquisition. A clause should be drafted to that effect.
When you take out a long lease duration for the purchase of a house in Thailand, it is important to ensure that the lease is registered in the land registry (land department). Indeed, for all higher lease rental to a period of 3 years, it is mandatory that the lease is registered in the land department. If this were not the case, the legal duration of the lease would be of only 3 years. The lease registered in the land department must be Thais. We must therefore ensure that the original contract often done in English, is properly translated by a certified translator MOREOVER to limit any risk.
Bring along a lawyer
When buying a house in Thailand you should be accompanied by a lawyer. Company Contact laurent Samui & nidia can provide on request a list of law firms. The attorney fees will be related to the real estate transaction and its complexity
Converting Rai and Wah can be complex and can create legal issues when people do not understand what it is that they are signing at the contract stage. Ensure that you understand what you are buying and how best to deal with this. These are the basics for land conversion in the land measurement system in Thailand. Thailand does not have an Imperial or Metric system.
- 1 sq. wah = 4 sq. m. 1 acre = 2.471 rai or 43,560 sq. ft.
- 1 ngan = 100 wah (or 400 sq. m.) 1 hectare = 6.25 rai or 10,000 sq. m.
- 1 Rai = 4 Ngan (or 1600 sq. m.)