Thailand Property FAQsJan 18, 2010
Can a foreigner own land in Thailand?
A foreign national is not allowed to own land in the Kingdom but he can secure such through other structures such as lease which is limited to 30 years only. Nonetheless, if he wants to really own a property on freehold, he can only do so if it is a condominium.
On the other hand, a Board of Investment-promoted foreign business entity can own land in Thailand which is also subject to several restrictions.
Are restrictions also present when it comes to a foreigner purchasing a condo?
When purchasing a condo in Thailand, the foreigner must make sure that foreign ownership of the total area of the development has not exceeded 49% yet. If the foreign ownership quota has been reached or surpassed, the foreigner cannot purchase and own outright a unit of the said development though he may still opt to acquire one through a lease.
So, if lease is allowed to a foreigner, what are the basic facts that he should remember?
As mentioned earlier, the maximum lease period is only 30 years. Now, there can be a chance when an agent or developer informed the foreigner that he can secure an automatic extension or renewal of lease. Frankly speaking, automatic extension of lease is not allowed.
What should happen is that, the lessee and the lessor may negotiate for a new lease period after the initial term is extinguished. If they will reach an agreement, such will be registered as a new lease term rather than an extension.
It is also worth mentioning that a lease can only be required to be registered if the period exceeds more than 3 years.
May the Thai spouse own the property in behalf of the foreign national?
If the property is to be registered under the name of the Thai spouse, the couple must be able to prove that the finances used in the purchase comes from the Thai 100% and nothing from the foreigner. To prove this, the Thai and her foreigner-spouse must submit their separate written declarations stating that the finances used in the purchase came from the Thai and that it belongs with the Thai and not to the foreign national.
Are loans to be use to acquire a property available for foreigners?
Several Thai banks have now allowed foreigners to obtain loans from them but the terms and conditions can be quite stringent.
Should foreign nationals also know the types of title deeds Thailand has?
Definitely, prior to any property purchase be it outright ownership or lease, the foreigner must be certain with the type of title deed a property has since leases and outright purchases can only be allowed to be ratified and registered if the attached title deed is of the superior type, the Chanote and not the inferior ones like the Certificate of Possession.