You always need to think about your future and that is why buying land in Thailand is an attractive prospect as it can be really beneficial for retirement, business and investing purposes. It is the sole purpose to make sure that the rights of our client are protected at all times as everything related to Thai real estate is our forte and apart from this we also take pride in the fact that we are being able to help foreigners with Thai laws relating to land.
It is normal for foreigners to acquire knowledge relating to Thai land laws on the internet but it is found that this information is often false and badly advised which leave these prospective international buyers confused and skeptical. If you are a foreigner and want to buy land in Thailand then there are some specific legal issues that you must know about. Hereunder are some of the most important legal issues that you must be privy to.
Is it possible to buy land in Thailand by foreigners?
The most predictable question in your must be this and if we look at Thai law land closely then you will see that Thai laws discourage foreigners from holding or buying freehold land in Thailand. But there are always exceptions to such rules and it is valid for Thailand as well. There are easier ways to acquire land and real estate in Thailand without actually owning them and they are both valid and legal and thus are more attractive.
What are the methods that can be employed to acquire land in Thailand?
Land leases: It is true that according to Thai laws, a foreigner cannot hold ownership of a land but when it comes to Thai land lease, they are actually permitted to hold 100% interest in them. In terms of legality the foreigners merely lease the lands of Thai nationals who are the actual owners of the land in the eye of law. In terms of lease period, the Thai law is known to permit 30 years leasing term and also provides an option to renew it for another 30 years.
- Company ownership: It is common in Thailand that only Thai registered companies with majority Thai ownership are permitted to buy lands in Thailand. Earlier the foreign nationals used to buy as minority shareholder ownership in these Thai companies with Thai majority holding. But as far as new provisions of Thailand Land Department are concerned, they are employing even stricter provisions when it comes to Thai nominees who have be proven to lack necessary interest in the company which is in possession of the land. Irrespective of such stringent rules, there are always legal remedies at the disposal of the foreigners to acquire land in Thailand.
- Investment: As per the regulations of the Thai real estate laws, a foreigner who has been investing 40 million baht for 5 consecutive years is eligible to own a limited amount of land if he/she/they promise to use such land for only residential purpose.
- The spouse: The regulations of the Thai real estate law permit the spouse of a foreigner who is of Thai origin to own or acquire a piece of land in Thailand in his or her name. Although there is a possibility that this married couple maybe asked to sign proper declarations at the Land Department and state that the funds used are in effect the separate property of the Thai national. This declaration actually waives the right of the non Thai spouse from such property or land completely, hence avoiding problematic developments during divorce case settlements. This particular declaration can cause hindrance for the foreign spouse to assert that this property was actually part of the marital property. The only way to assure that the right of the non Thai spouse is protected is by an air tight Thailand Prenuptial Agreement.
- Usufruct Habitation and Superficies: It is possible for a foreign national to have interest for lifetime in certain specific Thai properties. An instance of usufruct is the right to use a land at the same time profit from it and this can termed as being similar to leasehold but in effect it is non-transferrable and has some distinct differences in it.
Can Thai nationals buy lands and execute an agreement stating that this land is held on behalf of a foreigner?
Deemed illegal by the Thai property law, this particular way of owning land in Thailand is a strict no. A Thai national is not permitted to act as a nominee and purchase lands on behalf of any foreigners. There is a high chance that such agreement will not hold good as per the laws and can lead to problematic consequences. Thus, it is recommended that any non Thai who is interested in buying land in Thailand should consult with a Thai lawyer so that they have all the available and especially the best solutions at hand.
Is it viable for foreigners to own houses in Thailand?
In accordance with the Thai real estate laws, any foreign national is permitted to own houses as well as buildings because there isn’t any particular law relating to nationality when ownership of such structures is considered.