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Purchase of land and real estate in Thailand has always been one of in demand investment opportunities all around the world. Whether it’s for the purpose of business, residence or retirement, investing in the abundance of real estate opportunities in Thailand for the last two decades has been always something to consider. At Ratchada Law firm, one of the areas of our expertise is the legalities surrounding the real estate and land laws. We have years of experience in guiding foreign individuals with their purchases of land and property in Thailand. If as a foreigner you are considering investing in Thai real estate opportunities, it is strongly advised to seek guidance from an experienced law firm like Ratchada Law Firm in Thailand to help you through the process.
According to Thai Law, foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand. With that being said, there are ways and methods to use in order to gain legal rights to a freehold land.
2.1 Leasing the Land:Even Though the thailand’s laws do not allow foreigners to hold the ownership of a land, they can get into a lease agreement with the Thai owner of the land which provides them with all the rights to the land for the maximum period of 30 years with the option to renew after the lease period is over for another 30 years.
2.2 Ownership Through a Company: Companies registered in Thailand with a Thai shareholder majority is allowed to purchase land in Thailand. It was common for foreigners in Thailand to purchase land through companies they hold shares in. In the past few years however Land Department of Thailand’s government is quite resirtest when it comes to conducting investigations on companies that are suspicious of using a nominee Thai majority shareholders who are only listed in the company’s shareholder list without any proveable interest in the company’s activities. This does not conclude that the legal means to acquire such rights are not available to be considered.
2.3 Investment Means: Thai real estate law allows foreigners to buy and own a limited amount of land based on an investment of 40 million baht for five consecutive years, provided that the land is used for residential purposes.
According to real estate laws in Thailand, foreigners can own a certain area of land by investing not less than 40 million thai baht for not less than five continuous years solely for residential reasons.
2.4 Marriage to Thai Individual: According to real estate laws in Thailand a foreigner married to a Thai is allowed to purchase land and property in Thailand under the name of their spouse. It is quite likely that the husband and wife are asked by the Land Department to sign a declaration that the funds used to purchase the land or property are owned by the Thai spouse. It is important to note that any claims on the ownership might cause issues in the event of divorce and it is likely that the court decision would be in favor of the Thai individual. It is advised that in such event a well prepared prenuptial agreement is in place to protect the foregin spouse.
2.5 Usufruct occupancy and Superficies: A non-Thai may acquire a life term interest in certain types of property rights in Thailand. One example, a usufruct is a right to use (and profit from) land and is similar to leasehold but is non-transferable with some important differences. A foreigner may be able to gain a lifelong interest in some properties in Thailand. For example, a usufruct provides one the rights to benefit from or use land in the same terms as in a lease agreement but it is non-transferable and hold some differences that requires further investigation.
This approach hold significant risks as it is considered to be an unlawful practice according to property laws in Thailand since the Thai person is placed as nominee to go around the law. This practice is illegal and avoidance is advised. It is advised that you take guidance from a competent property lawyer in Thailand for such matters.
Foreing individuals are permitted to own houses and building in thailand with no restrictions.