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Buying Property in Thailand – The Legal Framework

Many foreigners looking at buying property in Thailand have understandable questions about the legal position of owning real estate. Here we outline the legal framework for property ownership.

If you are interested in our real estate developments, our team are very experienced in assisting people from overseas with buying property in Thailand and can give you all the assistance needed to make an informed decision on the legal choices available. We put you in contact with independent, tried and trusted legal advisors that can help make your investment safe, secure and hassle free.

The key issue that many need to address is that foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. However, they can own a house or a condominium and there are multiple ways to secure real estate investments. The best solution depends on the buyer’s individual situation and requirements of the real estate investor and should always be subject to legal counselling.

The following is a selection of the legal instruments available to secure property rights:

Buying a Property in Thailand Freehold 

The key to owning freehold property in Thailand is whether or not in law you are considered a natural or juristic person. Under the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand, a juristic person enjoys the same rights and is subject the same duties as a natural person.

The Foreign Business Act and Section 97 of the Land Code provides that alien person includes a juristic person with half of the shares constituting its capital held by alien. Therefore, a company with less than half of the shares held by alien has the same rights as a Thai Person.

Under Section 1144 of the Civil and Commercial Code, every limited company shall be managed by one single director or multiple directors under the control of the general meeting of shareholders and according to the by-laws of the company. Directorship is open to persons of all nationalities.

Paperwork for buying a property in Thailand

Obtaining a Mortgage when Buying Property in Thailand

Buying Property in Thailand Leasehold

Foreigners are entitled to acquire mortgages in their favour as collateral for financial support to Thai persons or Thai companies. There is no period limit on such mortgage.

 

Foreign customers looking at buying a property in Thailand have the possibility to secure their land through other legal instruments.

The most popular of these is a lease agreement.

Typically, the lease period is 30 years, with an option to renew twice, bringing the total lease period to 90 years. Furthermore, the lease agreement can include an option for the customer to convert the lease agreement into a freehold ownership at any time should the customer wish. For example if the Thai law changes and allows foreigners to own freehold land, if the customer obtains Thai citizenship or if the customer sells the property to a Thai person or company.

As with all legal issues, we urge all our customers to consult qualified professional advisors, who

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