Several structures of securing a property in Thailand, not necessarily by owning them outright, are available for interested parties be these individuals Thai or foreign nationals and one of these options is leasehold.
In a lease, the person (lessee) who gained the lease from the owner (lessor) gains the right to possess and occupy a property but this possession is limited to a certain period of time only. In Thailand, the maximum lease period is 30 years only and as prescribed by law, only leases that exceed 3 years is required to be registered.
Leasehold is popular among foreigners since they are not allowed to own land on freehold in the Kingdom and the involved process in securing one is relatively manageable especially when having guidance from a Thai property lawyer.
Since they have gained interests on leased properties, these foreigners may even erect structures on top of these properties provided that the contract agreements signed by the lessors and the lessees allow them to do so.
But it must be clarified especially for interested parties who have expressed concerns of the leases’ continuity in the event that the owners sell their properties to other parties, their lease would still be in effect.
Now, there may be a chance when interested parties may have read, have uncovered or informed by certain parties that lease can be renewed or extended automatically after the completion of the initial 30-year term. While this is a promising prospect, the fact is there is no “automatic” renewal of lease in the Kingdom.
What can happen is that, after the 30 year lease has been exhausted, the lessor and the lessee can renegotiate for a new lease term and have this registered as a new lease and not as a continuation or automatic extension or renewal of the initial term.
However, it is highly advisable that interested parties must consult with Thai property lawyers early on the process and then employ proper safety checks to insure that their move to secure these properties are pitfall free as there is always a chance that a person may be presenting himself as the owner of a certain property when in fact he is not the owner nor he has a legal representation to deal the property.