Real Property in Thailand

Generally there are three types of real estate you can purchase in Thailand: condo unit, Thai villa or a house, land. We will give an overview and discuss the restrictions for each type.

Condominium Unit

The easiest way and most famous for foreigners to own a property in Thailand would be by buying a condo unit. There is no restriction for foreigners with regards to buying a condo unit except that the maximum you can own would be 49% of the total number of units of the same condominium building. Some condo developers offer pre-construction projects. If you are a foreigner in Thailand and purchasing a property in Thailand it is advisable to contact a reputable law firm with Property lawyers who can have your contract checked and represent your for doing a background check on the developer handling the project before closing the deal.

Thai Villa and House

Owning a house in Thailand is restricted for foreigners. However if a foreigner owns a Thai Limited Company, the Thai Limited Company may own the house. If you do not currently own a Thai Limited Company and is interested to register one, you have to meet the eligibility for business registration and should be able to submit the requirements.

An international law firm, Siam Legal, can assist you in two aspects: 1.) registration of your Thai limited company; and 2.) purchasing of the real estate in Thailand (such as villa or a house). A lot of legal aspects needs to be considered:

  • In registering a business:
    • the documents needed
    • the process of registration
  • In buying a house:
    • the title deed;
    • the property transfer;
    • financing or availability of financing or mortgage bond for foreigners

On Buying Land

A foreigner cannot acquire a land in Thailand. This right is reserved solely for Thai nationals. So expats who really want to acquire land may do so through one of the following ways:

1. Name the land under your Thai spouse

Whether the funds used in acquiring the property is of the foreigner’s, in effect the foreigner is waiving his right of ownership over the land. This is okay until divorce happens and property dispute arises. How to make sure your investment on real estate will be protected?

As a foreigner, aside from unfamiliarity with Thai laws and restrictions on owning a real estate property in Thailand, a foreigner would always be concerned on how to make sure his investment on real estate will be protected, and how to protect his rights as a foreigner. Contact Siam Legal so you will understand the risk, the legal aspect of this option, and the governing laws before you go about this risky property acquisition.

2. Taking a lease on a property

You wish to own the land where a building or a structure is built? Then get a long term lease on a Thailand property. You can choose about 30-year lease with an indefinite lease renewal.

The risk included on this venture would be what if the property you are leasing at was sold? Much more, what if it was sold to a Thai buyer? Are you allowed to sublet, sell or transfer your right as a lessee without the consent of a lessor?

3. Setting up a Thai Limited Company

It was mentioned earlier that while a foreigner cannot own the land, a Thai limited company controlled by majority of Thai company shareholders. This is the only condition on how a foreign owner can gain freehold ownership over the company and over the land.

Real estate purchase involves vast amount of money. Before signing any sales contract, seek legal advice or do a background check on the property you are purchasing. Siam Legal could perform title search, due diligence, sales contract review, offers consultation on buying condo off-plan, transfer of title, and check if you have accurate property taxes.


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