Getting property in Thailand

Thailand has turn into an international tourist hot spot catering for backpackers and luxury travelers and every person in-amongst. Some travel there after in a lifetime, other people go every year and some even handle to acquire home there. A lot of other people want to but it isn’t easy.

It is prohibited for foreigners to own land in Thailand. As ownership of land is an essential element of any real estate (land and property) ownership it leads to the conclusion that, in addition to an apartment in a licensed condominium, there is NO freehold ownership of true estate (land and property) accessible for foreigners in Thailand.

Some alternatives to owning home in Thailand

Marry a Thai
One particular route is to marry a Thai national or to have an individual you actually trust, like an adult Thai son or daughter purchase the home in their name. The home remains in the Thai national’s name so the pitfalls of that system are apparent.
In theory, a foreigner married to a Thai national may possibly as a statutory heir with approval of the Minister of Interior inherit land. This should be completed in strict accordance with any of the many land acts and home ownership laws and the inheritor should dispose of the land inside 1 year of acquisition.

Buy a condo
You can purchase a condominium in Thailand. Units in a condominium registered beneath the Thailand Condominium Act can be foreign owned for up to 49% of the units in floor space. I.e. not much more than 49% of the total floor region of all apartment units added with each other in a condominium developing can be foreign owned, the remaining 51% need to be owned by Thai natural or juristic persons.

Acquire by way of a company
Till the new government took over in the current coup, foreigners could take possession of houses and the land below them using a “shell organization”. Although not technically legal, the government, anxious to encourage investment in Thailand, turned a blind eye.

The new government came into power and decided to put a cease to the practice.
They are now in the process of revising the old Foreign Company Act. For now Thai lawyers are recommending that their foreign consumers steer clear of trying to kind firms in order to buy property.

Invest 40 million Baht into Thailand and buy for residential purposes only
In theory foreign people can personal land up to 1 rai (1600 square meters) for residential purposes only. This requirements to be processed by means of the Board of Investment which requires a 40 million baht (about US $ 1.2million) investment into Thailand in specified assets or government bonds beneficial to the Thai economy. This ownership is not transferable by inheritance and therefore restricted to the life of the foreigner granted the right to own land below this exception.

Obtain condos on Leasehold
Land can be bought by foreigners on a 30-year leasehold, with an choice to extend the lease for additional 30 year periods. Possession of the land is assured by virtue of the fact that the property occupies the land. The lessor can’t seize the house upon expiration of the lease, as the home is separate from the land. The lessee can not also freely sell his leasehold for the duration of the term of the lease (it is not an asset) but only assign his contract proper with the consent and cooperation of the registered owner of the condominium unit, and as a contract appropriate a lease is not automatically transferable by inheritance.

Leasehold of condos in Thailand is NOT governed by the Condominium Act but by the chapter Employ of Property. Thai property law does not recognize lease as a true house appropriate but as a employ of home contract. Leasehold in Thailand is in essence a regular tenancy contract with a (prepaid) fixed term not exceeding 30 years.